Sunday Morning Meditation – Derp Horse

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt August 9, 2015
Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a certain amount of poetic justice in seeing Donald Trump, king of the jerkasses, upending the GOP presidential primary.

I have a few GOP candidates that I like this year. Oddly enough, I like Jeb Bush, even though I think his brother is as dumb as a bag of hammers. It’s against my better judgment, but in general the GOP field is slim pickings as far as credible candidates are concerned. There’s Jeb, Sen. Marco Rubio and perhaps Rand Paul. But watching that debate Thursday, you knew that all of the oxygen in the room was getting sucked into the giant wind tunnel flapping on Trump’s face.

The pundits say Trump has “tapped into” something in American politics. But what he’s purportedly “tapped into” is this fever swamp of racism and bigotry that exists within the GOP base. Republicans have been dipping their toes in it for years, paying just enough lip service to win those voters without becoming mired in its icky depths. Trump hasn’t tapped into squat. He’s gone all Daniel Plainview from “There Will Be Blood” and stuck a drilling rig on top of the swamp. He’s drinking the milkshake.


The GOP’s real problem isn’t Trump. The real problem that they’ve pandered to the people who would vote for him. Trump is succeeding because he’s climbed atop his derp horse and has arrived to lead the denizens of the fever swamp to stupid.

Trump’s problem with women is really the GOP’s problem with women.

Trump calling Hispanics a bunch of criminals is not too far removed from GOP-controlled legislatures adopting draconian immigration policies.

Trump claiming political correctness is killing this country is really the GOP not recognizing that political correctness and respecting the feelings of others aren’t necessarily interchangeable concepts.

The GOP is staring at its Id in the mirror, and it wears a bad toupee. The GOP’s real problem is some of its “mainstream” candidates and party leaders are cut from the same cloth as the radioactive blowhard in their midst. Hell, Trump is still more likable than Rush Limbaugh, which is kind of scary.

I am enjoying Trump’s candidacy for all the wrong reasons, and the mainstream GOP is worried for those same reasons. You aren’t going to be able to stake this Trump vampire sucking all of the attention away from your candidates. The only way you defeat him is by changing the things about your party that would make him an attractive Republican candidate in the first place.

I’m sure some of your hard line leadership will call that weakness. Fine, whatever makes you feel better about it. Why listen to me? I’m only a 30-something voter who would love to support candidates who would cut my taxes, as long as they don’t act like a jerk toward all of my friends who aren’t straight white males.

Any candidates like that in the GOP field? Well, maybe the ones I mentioned and Gov. John Kasich. But all the conservative yakers say they’re too milquetoast anyway, so screw it. The Ghost of Political Realty Present has better things to do than tell you what you’ve already known for years anyway.

Change, if it ever happens, isn’t likely to occur before 2016’s elections. So I figure I’ll just sit back and consume Trump news like Cookie Monster consuming a bag of Double Stuffed Oreos laced with crack cocaine.

Om. Nom. Nom.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • westgalady

    Bravo! This is what we all need – clear thinking.

  • Chris Billingsley

    Thanks Dan. Defiantly a progressive’s attempt at a “fair and balanced” description of the Republican presidential primary. I especially liked the extremist portrayal of Republican policies. Never mind that every Democrat politician at every level, including those who represent Decatur, do not have qualms about the butchering of fetuses and new born babies for sellable body parts. This is the real racism and bigotry in American society today. How can any Democrat look themselves in the mirror and not see Joseph Mengele?
    So what Republican presidential candidates do I like so far? I can support right now and later vote for Cruz, Walker, Rubio, and Perry. My second tier consists of Huckabee, Carson, and Carly, whom I like more and more. I could vote for Bush but only because I don’t want to see the ghost of Mengele administering the oath of office to any victorious Democratic candidate. Christie and Kasich have some good ideas but once you hug a Democrat, you can’t go Barrack.
    Trump? Yuck!

    • Will Whitley

      I have always felt that the response you generated was overheated, but equating all democrats to an infamous, torturing sadist is pretty horrific. You hate a lot of people if you truly feel that way.

    • Aaron Marks

      Chris, keep smoking the crack! I’m afraid you finally discovered every Democrat politician at every level, including those who represent Decatur, do not have qualms about the butchering of fetuses and new born babies for sellable body parts! The jig is up. At least one of us no longer has the opportunity to ruin young minds. You’re not drinking the water in Decatur, are you? The fluoride turns everyone commie…

    • Pride of Decatur High

      Thankfully, at least for you, the Republican party is not a single-issue party. Your post brings to mind the GOP shibboleth about the right to life: it begins at conception and it ends at birth.

  • Jennifer

    Great commentary, Dan. Just the other day, I said Trump was the ID of the GOP. Glad to see others recognize it too! He is simply stating – quite clearly – all the things the republican party stands for: putting gays back in the closet, women back in the kitchen and blacks/Browns back in their place.

  • Anne

    Is Decaturish now a political publication? I thought it was intended as local Decatur/DeKalb news and info, not national politics. If it’s becoming a political page, I’m off. There are better political sites and pages elsewhere.

    • We write columns frequently, as most of our regular readers know. There probably are better pages for political commentary out there, but I don’t own any of them, so I have to make do with what I’ve got. Thanks for reading this column, by the way.

    • Ditto. I love Decaturish, and am a paid subscriber, but to me, this particular column doesn’t offer anything insightful or newsworthy (sorry, Dan.) It would be one thing to find a new angle on the effects of a Trump candidacy on American politics or the GOP in particular, but this column doesn’t do that, in my opinion.

      It also drags out many beaten-to-death horses without supplying any new information. The assertion, “Trump’s problem with women is really the GOP’s problem with women” may get a lot of progressive Democrats’ heads nodding in unison, but it’s a missed opportunity from a journalism perspective. Instead of just letting that statement hang on its own, why not follow it with new evidence about the GOP’s issues with women? Are women leaving the party? is there a demonstrable shift in voting patterns among women? (I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I think this article would have seemed less like a left-wing rant if it had contained facts to support its political assertions.)

      Lee Coursey – still a Loyal Reader

      • Thanks for subscribing and for reading. I can’t please everyone with everything I do, so I’ll understand if some people are into it and some aren’t. I get tired of writing straight news articles all the time and enjoy the opportunity to write about something different, on occasion. The Trump thing has been an endless source of amusement for me and I’m jealous of all the other writers who get to cover it. So I had to exercise a little editorial prerogative to get my two cents in. If people don’t like it, not to worry. We still adhere to our regularly scheduled programming 99 percent of the time. But if I don’t get to have fun doing this one in a while, it won’t be worth doing. I suspect anyone who wants to stop reading over one silly column wasn’t that into us anyway. Glad you still are. 🙂

  • Pride of Northeast Decatur

    Good take – the Id of the Republican party is scary but, perhaps more true than previously considered. I, too, would like my taxes lowered and my streets kept safe but not at the risk of my soul. At least not that way. The one hypothetically good thing I could say about Trump is that he wouldn’t have put an early end to our water slide, busted water main be damned! Keep up the good work, Dano. Don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thang.

    • Thank you. Haters gonna hate. That’s their function.

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