Donald Trump's refusal to say that as president he would discard the Iranian nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration is "eminently sensible" and a sign that the Manhattan real-estate tycoon is not beholden to conservative Tea Party orthodoxy, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes argued on his August 17 All In program.
Hayes observed that it's unlikely any other Republican primary candidate would be able to get away with making such a pronouncement on the Iran deal without negative repercussions.
Here's the relevant transcript:
All In with Chris Hayes
August 17, 2015
CHRIS HAYES: Trump has also asked what he would do about the Iran deal on his first day in office and he took a very different position than most of his rivals.
DONALD TRUMP, Meet the Press interview withChuck Todd: I've heard a lot of people say, "We're going to rip up the deal." It's very tough to do when you say rip up a deal, because I'm a deal person --
CHUCK TODD: You get that. Even if it's--
TRUMP: Let me tell you, but I will police that deal.
TODD: So the deal lives in a Trump administration? You're just going to be --
TRUMP: It's very hard to say "We're ripping up." And the problem is by the time I got go there they will have already received the $150 billion.
HAYES: That position, that he wouldn't simply rip up the Iran deal on day one, is, well, eminently sensible one, particularly for a guy who's supposed to be a Tea Party hero. It's also the sort of thing that would get, I would wager, any other candidate in the Republican field absolutely torn to shreds by some of the same conservative commentators who are now celebrating Trump.
We've long been told that to win over the Tea Party and the GOP base a candidate has to hew closely to conservative orthodoxy, ideology and ideas about small government and traditional social values. Trump's candidacy is revealing the rules we thought we knew either no longer apply or that maybe they never did.
Hayes then introduced his guests MSNBC contributor and former RNC chairman Michael Steele and Vox.com editor-in-chief Ezra Klein. It was the latter who explained that Trump's mish-mash of conservative populism and genuinely liberal points of view on other issues is typical of the American "moderate" voter, who may appear "moderate" in the aggregate on the issues by being passionately "conservative" on some issues while steadfastly "liberal" on others. Klein added that:
partisans tend to be very consistent in their political preferences and they tend to take their political cues from their party. So their party, because their party has an incentive to get elected, to win elections, tends to take a pretty consistent series of positions and take positions that are reasonably in the maisntream, positions they feel are achievable, that will not anger their core interest groups.
But moderates who tend to be less connected to politics and to parties just pick the positions they like, and those positions are often more extreme.
And Donald Trump, the reason he's being so effective or one reason I think he's being so effective, is that typically a candidate like him, any candidate, would need to be sort of, he would need to fit the party in order to run well in the party, because even if he was appealing to voters, he would need money, he would need staff, he would need validation, and he would need media attention.
But Trump, because of his kind of unique role in American life, because of his tremendous wealth, he can really do this while being at war with the party. And as such, he doesn't need to conform to what the Republican Party wants and he can take positions that are popular with segments of the Republican Party that are often not well served by the Republican Party establishment.