Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Trump's scorpion to the GOP's frog

Rich Lowry writes for the National Review. His commentary on Trump was featured this morning on the editorial page of the Daily Star.

... Trump is all about himself. In this sense, he is already what the Republican National Committee feared when it got him to sign the pledge — a third-party candidate.

He’s running against the Republican Party from within the Republican Party. He cares nothing about its values or its interests. He favors it exactly to the extent it can be subordinated to him and no further.

It’s been a month since we were told Donald Trump was pivoting to being more presidential and unifying after his victories on Super Tuesday.

Since then, he has: declared that he’d consider paying the legal bills of a goon who sucker-punched a black protester, talked of riots at the Republican convention if it doesn’t go his way, threatened and mocked Heidi Cruz, and justified his campaign manager’s manhandling of a female journalist in the most asinine and dishonest ways.

It has become a truism in the coverage of Trump that nothing can hurt him, and with his base that is certainly true.

Might it be that Trump's political kevlar is because his own base is just as Republican as he is? Which is to say, somewhere between not so much and not at all. The accompanying post in this blog today is about the extreme distrust of our institutions and how that shapes the politics of modernity.

Lowry has some real zingers about what might transpire in the next month or so before the GOP's smack-down in July. At present, there is no good outcome for the GOP. With Paul Ryan out of the picture, they are left with the clowns now on stage and Trump's threats of a calamitous, even cataclysmic, convention.

Events can always intervene, and Hillary Clinton certainly has her own weaknesses, but every objective indicator is that nominating Trump will mean that a divided Republican Party loses in the fall, perhaps badly, maybe even epically.

Probably the most favorable non-Trump scenario is that Ted Cruz beats him on a second ballot at a convention and has enough anti-establishment credibility to take the edge off the inevitable revolt of the Trump forces.

On this view, John Kasich does not stand a chance with the "Republican" voters. His demeanor is entirely too reasonable (even if his policies are not). Either way ...

But surely Trump would do all he could to destroy Cruz and the GOP in retribution for denying him the nomination.

Trump’s implicit threat is, almost certainly, lose with me in a simulacrum of a normal process (and lose your integrity and principles along the way), or almost certainly lose without me in an intraparty cataclysm I will make as spectacular as possible.

Either way, the GOP in all likelihood is now managing dismal outcomes.

The Trump phenomenon holds important lessons for the party, but there is no escaping the insuperable weakness and failings of Trump himself, namely his egotism, immaturity, irresponsibility and habitual dishonesty.

The RNC thought it had scored a victory so many months ago when Trump signed its pledge. Instead, it was enacting the political equivalent of the fable of the scorpion and the frog.

Lowry's headline says of Trump "... he’s not with the GOP."

He never was.

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