GOP, make Donald Trump take a 'time-out'

Story highlights

  • Dean Obeidallah: Trump's unceasing and erratic statements make it seem like a good time for a "time-out"
  • He says party leaders should beg Trump to take a break, of his family should stage an intervention

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM's weekly program "The Dean Obeidallah Show," a columnist for The Daily Beast and editor of the politics blog The Dean's Report. Follow him @TheDeansreport. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN)Donald Trump really needs a time-out. I'm talking the type where Trump has to sit in silence in the corner for an extended period of time to put the brakes on his horrific behavior. He should do this for all of our sakes, as his words are becoming more erratic and alarming by the day.

At the very least, the man should move up the "very nice long vacation" he said he plans to take if he loses in November. Move it to, say, tomorrow.
    Even Trump supporters have to acknowledge that Trump's strategy of "all press is good press" might work great for someone like Justin Bieber -- or even Trump, when he's hosting a reality show -- but it's not working for him in this election. Just check out the new NBC/WSJ battleground polls released Friday. Trump is down in every battleground state polled; in North Carolina, which Mitt Romney won in 2012, Trump trails by nine points.
    And the candidate who seemingly spent more time during the GOP primaries reading polls out loud at events than talking about policies, must be keenly aware of how poorly he is doing now. That might explain why Trump is ratcheting up the rhetoric to levels that are alarming people even more than they were before.
    Just look at the cray cray Trump dished out this week. First, he suggested that the only way to stop a President Hillary Clinton, and the federal judges she would appoint, is via the Second Amendment, raising the specter of armed revolt -- an interpretation he soon skittered back from. Then, a couple of days later, he created another firestorm by declaring that President Obama was literally the "founder" of ISIS and had earned ISIS's "most valuable player award."
    Friday, however, Trump seemingly tried to dismiss his wholly fabricated claim about Obama as a joke. He explained that the media misunderstood his words because, as he tweeted, "THEY DON'T GET SARCASM."
    Sarcasm?! I'm a comedian -- I'm pretty well versed in the art of sarcasm. That was not sarcasm. Even the dictionary (a book Trump might call "overrated") tells us as much: "the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny."
    But Trump meant exactly what he said about Obama. How do we know this? Well, because he told us. Thursday, when conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if he meant Obama was the founder of ISIS in a figurative sense, the GOP nominee rejected the suggestion, "No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS."
    Trump wants you to believe whatever strategic manipulation suits him at the moment -- not your own ears.
    You have to, on some level, feel for Trump's surrogates who were defending his ISIS founder comment Thursday. Not 24 hours later, their credibility was undermined yet again by Trump's assertion that he was kidding.
    I'm guessing they, too, would love to see Trump take a time-out.
    Katrina Pierson
    The goal of a time-out, say child development experts, is to "decrease undesirable behaviors" by ensuring "that the individual in time-out is not able to receive any reinforcement for a particular period of time."
    Media coverage is the positive reinforcement Trump lives for. So a time-out would be just the right cure.
    The only problem is that the media would never agree to a media blackout for even a few days -- unless Trump did it himself.
    How to persuade the man who needs attention like a vampire needs blood?
    Two suggestions: GOP leaders can go hat in hand and grovel before Trump like a serf pleading to "Game of Thrones" Queen Cersei Lannister. After all, polls show he is now dragging down other GOP down-ticket candidates.
    Or, Trump's family could stage an intervention. They can wait for him when he enters his offices at Trump Tower, lock the door behind him, sit him down and explain why they are worried that his media addiction is making him self-destructive. They can be ready with options that might help Trump, like counting to 10 before tweeting or pretending like he is actually running for president of the United States, not auditioning to be the new snarky judge on "America's Got Talent."
    This will be a tough sell to a man who boasted just a few days ago that he has no plans to change his strategy or temperament, since they worked for him in the GOP primaries.
    But it is worth a try. The alternative is a stream of baseless, inflammatory and irresponsible comments by Trump between now and Election Day, each one another nail in the coffin for the Republican Party -- and an appalling reflection on our proud nation.
    Do us a favor, Republicans. Get this guy into time-out.