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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Winter of Trump

Last summer I wrote about the ubiquity of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. As we near the Iowa caucuses I, like many others, figured he would have faded by now, victim to his almost daily outrageous statements. Surely he would be seen as the fraud he is, and stupendously unqualified to be president.

But no, his lead in the polls is even greater than it was then. Establishment Republicans, like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and John Kasich have not taken hold. Equally unqualified psychotics Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have faded, as their facades have fallen. The only person that seems to stand between Trump and the nomination is Ted Cruz, who may be even scarier than Trump. Cruz is an ideologue and Christofascist, while Trump is just an egomaniac who can't even name a Bible verse.

This week the media got all excited when Sarah Palin, who I'm not sure even holds a job, endorsed Trump for president. John McCain, who is responsible for unleashing this monster on the American public, must really feel good about her endorsing the man who mocked him for being a prisoner of war. The New York Daily News, which has become the left-wing version of the New York Post, hits the nail on the head with this cover. Or, as Gawker.com put it, a "hot mess endorsed a dumpster fire." Palin's speech, with Trump standing by, looking like someone benignly tolerating a crazy aunt's toast at Christmas dinner, was predictably incoherent. "He's from the private sector! Can I get a hallelujah?"

This was an opera buffo for Democrats, who see this as furthering their own hopes for November. Reading the Times columnist's today, Gail Collins says the Republicans are coming to terms with a Trump nomination, while Ross Douthat makes suggestions for stopping Trump (bring up his unsavory business practices). The National Review is coming with guns blazing to stop Trump, whom they don't consider a real conservative.

I'm not sure it will work. Trump's supporters don't read anything, let alone the National Review. There may be truly nothing he can do or say that would put them off, and he seems to know it. He just said he could shoot somebody and his numbers wouldn't drop, and I think he's right. I think he could behead Adele and have sex with her skull and nothing would happen. After a speech full of lies and insults he probably goes backstage and tells his handlers, "Can you believe I'm getting away with this?"

I think Trump can get the nomination. And if he does, the Democratic nominee, whomever that is, will not be afraid to go after him, and every shady business deal will be fair game. He will get indignant, throw fits, and lose practically every voter who is not already for him. It will be an electoral disaster. Also in the Times today was an article about New Hampshire voters who can't stand him. They lukewarmly say they will support him if he is the nominee, but I imagine many will just stay home. Nominating Trump will be Republican suicide.

So is there a way to stop him? Some weeks ago there was blather about a brokered convention. I'm not sure what the rules about delegates are, but apparently they can vote for whomever they want. But who would be the alternative? Mitt Romney? Paul Ryan? Surely such a coup would outrage Trump supporters and lead to the kind of convention that would require arrests, the way a last brokered convention, in Chicago in 1968, occasioned.

Reasonable, sane Republicans: you just may be screwed. And it's your own damn fault. Instead of sitting there blaming Obama for everything, you have not come up with any good ideas. Saying no is not an idea, and it led to this.

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