Updated: Feb 16
Who is the "manly man?" Donald Trump, the big mean spirited blowhard name caller, or the shorter (in stature) but potentially dangerous Democratic candidate, Michael Bloomberg, or the gay Pete Buttigieg, who has surged to become a serious contender for his party's presidential nomination?
It’s been a head-spinning couple of weeks. The fact-flawed State of the Union address further exposed partisan divisions. There was the impeachment verdict and Trump’s subsequential “victory lap” when he used the annual bipartisan prayer breakfast as a White House celebratory event.
Meanwhile, the Iowa Democratic Caucus debacle saw potential opponents in the 2020 elections stumble out of the gate. And Trump, flexing his post-impeachment muscles, sought to interfere in the Justice system’s treatment of political allies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn.
Trump and his allies ramped up their attacks on potential opponents Buttigieg and and Bloomberg, intimating that, on the basis of their measures, Trump is somehow more “manly” than either.
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg surprised pundits with a disputed victory in the Iowa Caucuses and a second place finish in the New Hampshire primary. This got the attention of Republicans, so right-wing outlets predictably resorted to homophobic attacks.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh attacked Buttigieg’s sexuality in a rant that had him declaring that America wasn’t ready for a gay president, while touting Trump as “Mr. Man”. Meanwhile, the religious right, who claim to have God’s ear and that their God hates homosexuals, declared that Buttigieg should be put to death for his sexuality.
Yeah, they went there. Just when you thought those nutcases couldn’t sink any lower they did.
Speaking of lower, Trump took his attacks on potential Democratic opponents to new heights (pun intended). With Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg surging to third place in the electability polls, Trump saw this as an obvious threat.
Unable to attack him on his financial status, Trump chose to belittle Bloomberg’s height. In a tweet (of course), Trump referred to Bloomberg as “Mini Mike,” and said “the 5’4” Bloomberg “is a mass of dead energy. His actual height is 5’7”, while Trump is 6’3. Trump further pushed the false accusation that Bloomberg wanted to stand on a box during debates to exaggerate his height.
While others have shied away from Trump’s Twitter attacks, Bloomberg fired back, calling Trump a “carnival barking clown” after Trump referred to Bloomberg as a LOSER and compared him to a “tiny version” of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
In a Twitter misfire, Trump attacked Bloomberg on his Stop and Frisk policy, calling Bloomberg a “total racist” for supporting this practice. The tweet was deleted after several people pointed out the multiple times Trump had whole-heartedly supported this policy, calling for even harsher actions during his 2016 campaign.
So, in an era of “mine is bigger than yours”, we see Trump and his supporters continuing their petty attacks on Democratic candidates while ignoring the issues. It’s a long time until November 3rd and there is no clear front-runner among these candidates.
Expect the attacks from Trump to continue, but at least one candidate, Michael Bloomberg, won’t cower from these slanders. Only time will tell who emerges victorious.