Donald Trump, devoid of any meaningful role in American culture outside of a television show in which he fires marginally famous people from imaginary jobs, has settled nicely into a new, strange role as a political commentator, a role with all the hubristic indulgences of his campaign for president without any of the expenses or embarrassments of actually running for anything.
And it's about damn time we started ignoring him.
He also displayed his diplomatic and political maturity this week in his dealings with conservative columnist George Will.
"The costs are clear. The benefit, what voter is gonna vote for [Romney] because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious it seems to me," Will said. "Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics. Again, I don't understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?"
It wasn't a kind thing to say about Trump, sure. But he's got a legitimate question in there: Where's the Trump Bump? Who is Trump going to inspire to switch their vote from Obama to Romney?
Did he answer the question? Nah. Trump didn't use "facts" to correct a critic, he called him names. It's the best he can do, and we shouldn't care even a smidgen.
But Will's statements against associating with Trump didn't stop Romney from attending a Las Vegas fundraiser with Trump
last night that's estimated to have helped Romney pull in $2 million.
Though he didn't specifically address the birther silliness, Romney said before the event that he doesn't agree with all his supporters, according to CBS.
"And my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in," Romney said. "But I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."
While the whole "50.1 percent" thing suggests somebody should explain the electoral college to Romney, the important point here is that Romney gave Obama -- and everybody else -- a reason to talk about Trump.
"Mitt Romney's continued embrace of Donald Trump and refusal to condemn his disgraceful conspiracy theories demonstrates his complete lack of moral leadership... all in order to raise money for himself," said Obama campaign official Stephanie Cutter, in a statement. "If Mitt Romney lacks the backbone to stand up to a charlatan like Donald Trump because he's so concerned about lining his campaign's pockets, what does that say about the kind of President he would be?"
He's a wealthy nobody. He has no special qualifications, no expertise outside of getting people to pay for large structures with his name on them. Even asking him about the economy is pointless -- yeah, he's got a degree from Wharton, but when he's contradicting people with Nobel Prizes, you have to wonder where the condo builder is getting his numbers from.
Trump gets put on TV because people know he'll say something silly. But unlike wildcards like Allen West, Trump's opinions are of no consequence -- he wants to talk about China and OPEC, but he doesn't know about China and OPEC. Trump "ran" for president because he knew it would get people to pay attention to him, and Romney, by hanging out at fundraisers with him, is only prolonging America's unproductive and itchy Trump infection. When did we start valuing foreign policy statements from a glorified landlord whose personal brand revolves around a haircut?
Trump has shown that he is incapable of intelligent discourse on any topic of any importance. Why do we keep asking him to do it?