My social media feeds have been entertaining to say the least ever since it became abundantly clear that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
On one hand, you have members of the GOP establishment throwing a temper tantrum because, for the first time in decades, they didn’t get their way. Then there are the Cruz supporters, who bought stock in the campaign’s narrative that given a choice between Cruz and Trump, people would embrace the Texas Senator.
Yeah. Not so much.
One of Cruz’s chief propagandists, conservative shock-jock Steve Deace, has also taken the Texas Senator’s defeat hard. Apparently after Cruz dropped out of the race on Wednesday, Deace told his radio audience that he’s going to, “troll like a mother,” all of the people like Mike Huckabee who have come out and endorsed Trump. “I’m going to scorched-earth them all, and I’m going to enjoy doing it, actually. Maybe more than I should.”
The next day, Deace lit into Huckabee, but not without some serious self-promotion where he attempted to take all of the credit for Huckabee’s 2008 win in the Iowa caucuses. Was Deace helpful to Huckabee in 2008? Of course. Was his over-the-top endorsement influential? Certainly. Especially since, at the time, he commanded the microphone of the state’s most listened-to talk radio station.
So if Deace was powerful enough to practically raise Huckabee from the dead, why has he not been able to produce similar results when his good buddy Bob Vander Plaats ran for governor, or when he was supporting his 2012 presidential candidate of choice, Newt Gingrich? The truth is that Huckabee’s charm and personality won people over in 2008. The exposure on WHO Radio helped, but there was a heck of a lot more involved in Huckabee’s rise in Iowa than Steve Deace.
What’s more humorous than Deace taking all the credit for Huckabee’s 2008 victory in the Iowa Caucuses is his sudden hatred of Donald Trump. Sudden is a relative term, but let’s be honest, Deace’s hatred of Trump elevated substantially once the race essentially came down to Trump and Cruz.
Just like the candidate he endorsed, Deace spent the summer enjoying what Trump was doing to the GOP establishment. On August 6th, just a couple weeks before he would formally endorse Cruz, Deace wrote, “The new attacks on Trump — he’s not really a Republican at all. From the same people who constantly tell us we need a ‘big tent’ of course.”
Deace went on to add, “I can’t get enough of him face-palming these GOP liars, bed-wetters and thumb-suckers. Watching him run roughshod over this party that has lied to, betrayed, and failed us so many times is the most fun I’ve had in politics since kicking the teeth in of some state Supreme Court justices.”
And even though Donald Trump has been on both sides of a number of issues throughout the campaign and insulted dozens of people along the way, it’s not like Trump is being any different than he’s been for his entire adult life. It’s not like all of a sudden people are just starting to realize that he is a megalomaniac.
So it’s kind of ironic when people like Steve Deace warn us all that he’s going to “troll like a mother” on everyone who supports Trump when not all that long ago he was asking Trump for interviews, posing for pictures, and oh lets not forget, asking Trump to endorse one of his books.
Deace obviously asked Trump to endorse his book, “Rules for Patriots, How Conservatives Can Win Again.” Trump wrote, “If you want to be able to say ‘you’re fired’ to the people plunging this great country of ours down the drain, this book is for you. Steve Deace is one of the rising stars in conservative media, and he’s able to tackle serious subject matter in a winsome way that’s so easy to understand, even a Washington, D.C. politician can get it.”
Now, Deace isn’t the only one who’s suddenly fed up with Trump. Iowa Congressman Steve King also fits that description. Last week, he told reporters that Trump would have to, “earn” the support of conservative Republicans.
King told Fox News Latino, “I’m not compelled to unconditionally endorse Donald Trump right now,” King said. “It’s up to Donald Trump to start the process of uniting the party now. The healing of this party cannot be done by anyone except Donald Trump.”
King felt differently in 2014 when Trump flew to Iowa to headline a fundraiser for his re-election campaign. It was a nice fall event, a little cold, but nothing like the cold shoulder Trump is getting now from some Iowa conservatives.
The real irony is all of this is that, had these Iowa conservatives used their access and influence to truly vet Donald Trump in the years leading up to the 2016 presidential race, things may have been different. Sure, Trump’s candidacy is unique, but had people actually taken him seriously from the time he started visiting Iowa, perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are now. Who knows.