What was, just a few months earlier, a golden opportunity to elect a Republican president in 2016 has become, depressingly, a seemingly lost opportunity. The Democrats were...are putting up a deeply flawed, old (both age- and idea-wise), and eminently beatable opponent. The Republicans had...have, a vast array of young, smart, articulate, successful (politically and otherwise), attractive, and (importantly) conservative potential candidates. Unimportant as it is, the GOP group is also ethnically and gender diverse, providing an inducement to potential voters who are foolishly swayed by those trivialities.
And so who works his way to the top of the GOP field? Donald Effing Trump, that's who - a blustering, obnoxious, ignorant, thoughtless, old fool (older than Hillary) who proudly brandishes his well-deserved reputation as a crony capitalist and who embodies every Republican caricature the Democrats can pull out of their nether parts. To top it off, he's not conservative! As Guy Benson points out, (Townhall column linked below), Trump proclaims solidly left-wing positions on health care, the Iran nuclear deal and raced based affirmative action, to name just a few. As an advocate for frequent and robust government involvement in people's lives, he would fit quite comfortably in the field competing for the Democratic nomination.
In a recent Gallup poll, 36 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats said they would support Trump as a third party candidate. That's impressive support from the jackass party, but even so, it understates his potential. Make Trump a primary challenger to Clinton instead of a GOP candidate and those numbers could conceivably reverse. A (D) instead of an (R) following Trump's name would make all the difference.
This past week, Barack Obama offered a pathetic defense of his failed anti-terror policy and Hillary Clinton shamefully, disgracefully lied about telling the grieving parents of the victims of the Benghazi tragedy - a tragedy of her making - that she blamed the planned terrorist attack on an obscure video. In other words, she lied about her lie.
And the big news was - Donald Trump's bigoted and hilariously unworkable "plan" (see Krauthammer below) to prohibit all Muslims from entering the country.
That Trump is unqualified for the presidency is almost beside the point. (Our current president is similarly far out of his depth). The most frustrating thing is, in the general election, Trump is unelectable. (Benson runs the numbers below). Supporters of Trump are as blind to this fact as they are to his intellectual and moral failings.
My personal dream ticket is Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin (in either order). Aside from the excellent leadership it would provide, such a team would drive the left absolutely, irretrievably, bonkers. What fun that would be! But I would never support such a ticket because - It. Could. Never. Win.
Un-conservative and un-electable. Trump violates the Buckley Rule at both ends.
Trump devotees are delusional if they envision their guy taking the oath of office January, 2017. If Trump manages to secure the GOP nomination or if he runs as a third party candidate, the person solemnly swearing will be HRC. (We'll find out if she can do it straightfaced). This will probably happen even if Trump isn't on the ballot because of the damage he has inflicted on the Republican brand. And the Trump crowd is hallucinating if it claims there would be no difference between a Clinton presidency, or one administered by, say, Marco Rubio.
There is one last hope. The Obama Justice Department will eschew politics, do the right thing, and indict the presumptive Democratic nominee for criminally negligent handling of classified, non-classified, and top secret material; for criminally negligent endangerment of national security; for multiple counts of perjury; for obstruction of justice; and for dozens of other prosecutable crimes.
Yep, all that's needed is a principled display of integrity and independence from Attorney General Lynch. Or as Kevin Williamson might say, "Look! A unicorn!"
Summing it all up -- Aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!
Links to some good recent commentary on Trump --
Quin Hillyer --
Charles Krauthammer -- http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428354/donald-trump-muslim-ban-absurd
Guy Benson -- http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2015/12/10/poll-nearly-70-percent-of-trump-followers-would-support-him-in-independent-run-n2091546
Mona Charen -- http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428222/donald-trump-hillary-clinton
Added 12/12 - Jonah Goldberg's G-File today includes an analysis of pernicious populism and the noxious celebrity cult of Donald Trump. He also has some amusing metaphor-laced thoughts about dealing with ISIS. Sprinkled liberally (in a good sense) with Goldbergisms, the column is, as usual, entertaining and enlightening. And it's long. More to savor.
When populism is yoked to a cult of personality, the mob defines success as success for their leader, principle be damned.
Added 12/14 -- Kevin Williamson warns the left that their enthusiastic support for Obama's repeated flouting of the law will come back to haunt them in the form of a
President Cruz, President Rubio, President Fiorina . . .
Or, angels and ministers of grace defend us, President Trump. Last week, the civically illiterate reality-television grotesque declared before a meeting of a policemen’s union that one of his first acts in office would be to issue an executive order mandating capital punishment for anybody convicted of murdering a police officer. Never mind that the president has no such power and that Trump doesn’t seem to understand the difference between state and federal law; we have so quickly accustomed ourselves to believing that anything that sounds good to us is right and proper (“constitutional” in 2015 anno Domini means “I like it”) that no one other than a few persnickety constitutionalists (that suspicious foreigner Charles C. W. Cooke leaps to mind) even bothered to note how nuts Trump’s promise is. In this, as in many things, Trump resembles Barack Obama and the Clinton mob, who have been, it bears remembering, his traditional political allies.