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Hullabaloo


Saturday, January 09, 2016

 
GOP Villagers come to grips with Trump

by digby



















I'm still not sure how I ended up on Alex Castellanos' email list but I'm kind of happy I have. His missives are fascinating (even though they're written without caps which drives me crazy ...)

Anyway, here's today's thinking from a GOP villager:

as we begin the new year, i hope you will again allow me to point you to new post, “Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the Missile Headed for Grandma’s House.

it is an attempt by yours truly to sum up where the race stands as we walk closer to the altar where we will soon take vows and marry one of these democrat or republican contenders.

given that our politics is polarized; our electorate is angry; we are enduring transformative technological, cultural, and economic revolutions; the world itself seems to be on fire; and we still have more gop candidates than voters, i offer no warranty w/ any predictions about who will be standing beside us to say “i do”. 

my best guess at the moment, however, is that though some of donald trump’s support is only show and should be discounted, like the asking price of a car, over all i suspect trump’s support is growing and solidifying more than it should be marked down.  trump may not only become the outsider candidate who triumphs in his lane but also, the establishment candidate to whom the gop turns as the alternative to a ted cruz who roars out of IA.

an increasing number of establishment republicans are coming to terms w/ trump as the best way to play the limited hand the gop has been dealt. they know mr. trump is not a republican, a conservative, or even the future of our cause or our country.  nevertheless, they see trump as the turnaround ceo we might need to rescue our country in the short-run, before it goes under, or there may be no “long term."

you may need a double expresso for this one, if you are inclined to stick w/ it. it is longer than train smoke, as they say back home, but i hope it stimulates a few thoughts or, at least, a little discussion.  again, you can find it here: http://bit.ly/1PVR6ib.

a few excerpts:
  • "If I had to bet today, I’d put my money on Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination and, as the underdog, becoming the next President of the United States.

  • "It hurt to say that, but let’s look at the GOP nomination process. To borrow an insight from Brad Todd of OnMessage Media: “Bush has to beat Christie, Christie has to beat Rubio, Rubio has to beat Cruz, Cruz has to beat Trump and Trump has to beat 50%….”

  • "Should Hillary Clinton be favored to beat Donald Trump?  Not necessarily."

best,
alex


I disagree with Castellanos' view that the establishment is coming around to Trump. (As I wrote yesterday in Salon I think they're coming around to Cruz.) Trump is far less of a "party man" than Cruz, even with all of Cruz's obstreperousness, and I find it hard to believe they really think he can beat Clinton. The only reason for them to back Trump would be a sort of inside job to blow up the party and start over. (And hey, maybe that's their only option at this point.)

Brian Beutler wrote a thought provoking piece last week in which he speculated that a Cruz nomination would be the best thing for the political system right now. It's a smart observation but I suspect that the Republicans will blame Trump for a loss no matter what, even one by Cruz. So, I'm not sure this would have the clarifying effect one might think it would. But even so, the right wingers don't play that way. They're patient. After Goldwater they didn't fold. They were more motivated than before. I don't know if it would work again, but I'm positive that they think it will. This isn't some "strategy" for them. They are true believers and they aren't going to be persuaded by some idea that wussy "democracy" demands they adjust their thinking.

But they might adjust their strategy. That picture at the top shows one possibility.


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