Quick Takes: Trolling Trump

* Perhaps you heard that Trump is announcing an ideological test for immigrants who want to enter this country.

Trump is also expected to propose creating a new, ideological test for admission to the country that would assess a candidate’s stances on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. Through questionnaires, searching social media, interviewing friends and family or other means, applicants would be vetted to see whether they support American values like tolerance and pluralism.

* That prompted Sen. Harry Reid to go on a little trolling expedition.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) thinks Donald Trump needs to take a test before he is elected president…

“Since Donald Trump wants to impose new tests on immigrants, he should take the one test every immigrant has to pass to become a United States citizen. He would almost certainly fail, given his general ignorance and weak grasp of basic facts about American history, principles and functioning of our government,” Reid said. “The fact is, Donald Trump is nothing more than a spoiled, unpatriotic drain on society who has earned nothing and helped no one.”

Reid said that unlike immigrants,”Donald Trump represents none of the qualities that make America great.”

* Paul Jossey writes, “How We Killed the Tea Party.”

As we watch the Republican Party tear itself to shreds over Donald Trump, perhaps it’s time to take note of another conservative political phenomenon that the GOP nominee has utterly eclipsed: the Tea Party. The Tea Party movement is pretty much dead now, but it didn’t die a natural death. It was murdered—and it was an inside job. In a half decade, the spontaneous uprising that shook official Washington degenerated into a form of pyramid scheme that transferred tens of millions of dollars from rural, poorer Southerners and Midwesterners to bicoastal political operatives.

My analysis would be that the leadership vacuum in the Republican Party right now has opened the door to an endless stream of grifters.

* Rebecca Traister finds something familiar in Donald Trump’s excuse that, if Clinton wins, it will be because of fraud.

While the blaming of an anticipated loss on voter fraud is certainly not exclusive to this election cycle — Google “Diebold” and “2004” — the language used by Trump and his allies, the language of delegitimization, is especially telling, and potentially powerful, in a race against the first woman ever nominated for the presidency. It channels a conviction that has deep roots in our culture: A woman could never really win, not over a man. Her purported victory must, on some level, be inauthentic — whether because she cheated or because she shouldn’t have been allowed to compete in the first place.

Not coincidentally, this was also the argument used in many attempts to delegitimize the presidency of our first black commander-in-chief. The “birther” movement — led in part by Trump — questioned Barack Obama’s claim to the highest office in the land by suggesting that he was foreign-born, his very citizenship illegitimate…

Now, surely Trump presents a particularly acute case of White Male Authority Dysfunction, but in his impulse to cry illegitimacy when faced with potential insurrection by a woman or a person of color, Trump is not un-American. In fact, it is a response that runs throughout our history.

* Perhaps you heard that over the weekend, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said that the U.S. wasn’t in Afghanistan until Obama decided to go in. She eventually admitted she was wrong. Then it was Rudy Giuliani’s turn.

I doubt Giuliani will admit that he was wrong about that one…big time. He strikes me as the kind of guy who’d assume that such an admission is only for girls (or girly-men).

* Breitbart set out to prove that current presidential polling is skewed. Then this happened.

In a poll out Sunday from Breitbart and Gravis Marketing, Clinton led a four-way contest with 42 percent of the vote to Trump’s 37 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson earned 9 percent of the vote, while the Green Party’s Jill Stein received 3 percent.

(Psssst…there’s also this: “An ‘informed ballot’ survey conducted by Gravis this spring was mocked for getting a Maryland congressional race wrong by 96 percentage points.”)

* Finally, the folks at “The Briefing” have been doing a fantastic job of putting together ads and videos for the Clinton campaign. The latest is no exception. It covers all the questions that have been raised about Trump’s ties to Vladimir Putin.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.