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Donald Trump has fallen so far that on Friday Rush Limbaugh discussed the idea, brought by a caller, that the reality star and momentary Republican kingmaker is actually President Obama's "Trojan horse." Kevin from Houston -- who implied he was a birther, no less -- said, "I mean, if you look at how the birth certificate issue went and all that it just seemed like it was just too (sigh) orchestrated, the way it all came out. All of a sudden, it just disappeared. We get the phony birth certificate..." Limbaugh cut in to explain that several strangers have approached him to float the Trojan theory, saying, "there is a lot of suspicion about this. I've had the term Trojan horse used to me twice this week by people who are doubtful. The thing that set 'em both off was what Trump says, 'If I don't like the nominee, I'm running third party,' 'cause everybody knows third party guarantees Obama. Everybody." From savior to traitor in mere months.

Trump, if he is in fact capable of real emotions, seems genuinely surprised by this turn of events. Now that every candidate but Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich has decided not to go to his December 27 debate, he feels betrayed. Trump told Don Imus Friday that Michele Bachmann's decision stung: "She'd call me, she'd ask me for advice, she said I should be her vice presidential ... If she wins, she'd like to think about me for the vice presidency, all of these things ... And then after all of that, she announced she's not going to do the debate. It's unbelievable. You know, it's called loyalty. It's actually called loyalty. How do you do that? You know, it's amazing to me."

Worse, the Republican Party appears to want concessions that would compromise Trump's integrity! "Unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011," Trump said in a statement, CBS News reports.  "I must leave all of my options open because, above all else, we must make America great again!"

Poor Trump must have started to believe his own hype. (Or maybe he's always believed his own hype, and it's just easier to get a skyscraper built in Manhattan than it is to moderate a presidential primary debate?) While the candidates might have been willing to wink at conservative voters by visiting him on their way to fundraisers in New York, it seems highly unlikely they wanted him to have any influence over anything. But loyal Rick Santorum, at least, is keeping up the charade. Santorum said in a statement, “Many of my opponents jockeyed to be the first to fly up to New York and use Donald Trump for a photo-op and no doubt try and secure an endorsement. But when Donald wants to moderate a debate – they refuse to attend ... That’s what’s so wrong with politics today -- hypocrisy.” Yes! That is what's wrong with politics today -- that politicians are having second thoughts about their embrace of Donald Trump, not that Trump was ever involved in politics at all.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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