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, March 4, 2016

Which Is It?

The commentary after last night's literal dick measuring contest pretty much comes down to whether Donald Trump represents the collapse of the Republican party or American democracy itself.  I tend towards the former, but when I see Jim Webb make a complete, simpering fool of himself, I hesitate.

The great flaw in American political journalism is that they fall into two easy patterns:

1) Both sides do it/opinions differ.


2) Horse race analysis.

Trump has exploited this by constantly talking about his poll numbers and lying his ass off.  Fox News tried hard to pierce the lying last night, but Webb's ludicrous comments (from someone who knows better) suggest that the "both sides do it" trope can allow for a candidate like Trump to make completely implausible claims about everything and that somehow balances Clinton's sketchy emails.
This manic desire to balance both sides allows Trump to violate all norms and the basic rules of math.  But the GOP's math hasn't added up since Ronald Reagan.  They have divorced themselves from the truth since Dubya.  Trump has realized that all he has to do is take the whispers of GOP politics and turn them into shouts.  Just as Mitch McConnell found out how easy it was to break the Senate, Trump has realized how easy it is to game the nominating process.

Will that translate to all Americans in November?

We have to hope.

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