Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Trump Stands Alone

Performance artist and amalgam of "mummified foreskin and cotton candy," Donald Trump has once again surged to the top of the GOP field.  He holds 36% support, with his nearest competitor being Tailgunner Ted Cruz with 16% and Bennie the Knife Carson at 14%.

Two significant things. First, Carson's support has collapsed as his "not-ready-for-prime-time" political intellect and skills has become apparent.  And that support looks to have migrated - unsurprisingly - to Trump and Cruz.

The second and more important point is this: Trump, Carson and Cruz account for exactly two-thirds of current Republican voters' preference.  I spoke to a prominent aid to a prominent Republican Congressman who is aghast that his party is going to nominate an experienced clown.  My guess is that sentiment is widely held among the so-called "party elites" or, alternately, Republicans with higher brain functions.

These three guys are guaranteed losers in November 2016.  Trump would be so toxic that we might see the same surge in Hispanic votes that we saw with African American votes in 2008 (though for different reasons).  Cruz is such an unctuous gasbag that Hillary might win by 10 points or more.  Her problem is "likability."  She's Beyonce compared to Cruz.

Martin Longman has an interesting thesis that the Republican Party is sort of where the Democrats were in 1971.  Their insurgents have taken over the party nominating process and are trying to cough up a candidate who appeals to no one outside their own political clique.

If this is true, we could be headed for a long period of real turmoil.  Like the party system of the '70s and '80s, one party will control the House and the other the White House.  But unlike that party system, the parties are so ideologically separate as to make governing impossible.


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