Trump's popularity has little to do with his viability as a presidential candidate.
Donald Trump isn't going to run for president.
He is rich, enjoys himself, says bold and often stupid things, trades his wife in for a younger model every few years, and calls Rosie O'Donnell a "big fat pig." What's not to like?
But President The Donald Trump? Really?!
He couldn't take the scrutiny. Given his swashbuckling life and the media's heightened scrutiny of things Republican, Trump would spend his entire campaign putting out fires. Whether it be shady-side-of-the-line business deals, "bimbo eruptions," tax shenanigans, enemies looking to get even, or Lord knows what else, he'd barely have time to round up enough B-listers to keep "Celebrity Apprentice" afloat.
Then there is the matter of his ideology — as in, what exactly is it? Trump has alternately called Jimmy Carter the worst president ever, then George W. Bush the worst president ever, and now Barack Obama the worst president ever. This nouveau "conservative Republican" supported "universal health care"; advocated a tax on the rich; stood pro-choice on abortion; supported Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; called George W. Bush "evil"; proposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports; and has contributed more money to Democrats than to Republicans. Whew!
Like Ross Perot — an earlier rich, thin-skinned businessman-turned-presidential-aspirant — Trump barks out orders, says jump and expects people to do so. Doesn't work that way in politics. Try jabbing an index finger at an obnoxious New York Times reporter or a pesky rival Republican and saying, "You're fired!"
Nor will he run as an independent — as he once threatened and then un-threatened to do. An indie candidacy would siphon votes away from the Republican candidate, requiring Trump to spend the rest of his life deflecting the blame for Obama's re-election. No fun being the next Ralph Nader, who, after costing Al Gore Florida and the presidency in '00, can't get a table at Chuck E. Cheese's.
This brings us to the only reason to pay attention to The Donald. He's turning over rocks the media can't even locate with a guide dog and a treasure map.
Take the "wacky" birther issue. Polls show that most Republicans question whether Obama was born in America. The Supreme Court calls this a "political question" and, therefore, outside of its power of judicial review. So legally, the birther issue is deader than Elvis. Besides, Obama's principal 2008 primary opponent, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, couldn't nail him on the issue.
If there were something there, the hounds of the Clintons would have found it.
But are the "birther" folks wackier than the majority of Democrats who believe George W. Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11 or are unsure that he did?
Are the "birther" folks wackier than the majority of Democrats who believe that "Bush Lied, People Died" our way into the Iraq War or are unsure that he did?
Are they wackier than the majority of Democrats who, in 2008, held Bush responsible when gas prices hit $4 a gallon?
What's the point? When people are unhappy with a politician and/or his policies, they sometimes see the worst — whether or not there is a factual basis. But the media do not even have a name for the Democratic equivalent of "birthers," despite these vicious, unsubstantiated and irresponsible accusations of Bush.
On the birther issue, however, there is at least some legitimate head scratching.
Hawaii's new governor, incensed over this "demonization" of Obama, vowed to put the issue to rest by releasing the relevant documents. Oops. The governor learned that under Hawaii's privacy laws, no one could obtain the records without a "tangible interest." Who could release the records? Barack Obama. And he apparently refuses to waive his right of privacy. This kind of thing fuels speculation and suspicion.
Trump, while he's at it, might want to turn his investigators onto Obama's academic records — high school through Harvard Law — which remain top-secret.
Trump might want to confirm or refute Obama's campaign assertion that he and his mother used food stamps — a tale of hardship strangely missing from Obama's autobiography.
Trump might want to question members of Obama's former church to find out how, during his 20 years as a member, Obama managed to miss every single sermon in which his "spiritual adviser," the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, shouted the anti-Semitic, anti-American, racist statements widely seen on YouTube.
We know Bush's grades. We know his brand of whiskey before he kicked it. We know he eats pork rinds. Dan Rather nuked his own career trying to prove Bush got high-hat treatment in the Texas Air National Guard — a contention Rather still holds. But Obama? Nothing to see here.
No, the real story about Trump isn't Trump.
It's the pass given Obama by the media. Whether it's regarding Obama's birthplace, whether Obama personally heard Wright's racist and anti-Semitic sermons, or whether unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers wrote Obama's first book, Obama manages to avoid careful examination from the adoring media.
Trump would not be relevant — if the media had been.