At the onset of this soapbox derby, one outcome seemed scariest of all for the GOP: that Donald would go third-party.
Well, brethren, that outcome has come. Don’t let the ballot confuse you.
How else to explain the following headline on CBS.com?
“Inside Republicans’ failed attempts at blocking Trump’s rise.”
Republicans blocking Trump? He’s a Republican, for gosh sakes. Isn’t he?
Apparently not. All the political news of the days after Super Tuesday appeared to be about what the Republican Party was doing to make sure that Trump did not represent it in November.
Trump said in the first debate that he wouldn’t foreclose a third-party run. Sure enough, that’s exactly what he’s doing – on the Republican ballot.
Here we are in March, and we have three parties: the Republicans, the Democrats, the Autocrat. The latter: a party of one.
Just imagine nominee Trump up on the stage in Cleveland at this year’s GOP Convention, glowering and sneering at all the titular Republicans who dared not to vote Autocratic.
He’s campaigned on one plank, one alone: “Reject the whole bunch of them. Run with me.”
That one plank won’t be enough in the fall. Nominee Trump would be one of the easiest possible marks for a party – Democrats – that, despite its own frailties, has a preponderance of the affection of Hispanics, African-Americans and the young.
Let’s talk about campaign finance for a minute.
Trump says he can finance his own campaign. Per usual, he is full of himself.
He’s been able to finance regional efforts and bundle a whole bunch of media hype to his benefit. However, he is going to be hurting when he realizes that a national race is contingent on donors, and lots of them. He is one Republican candidate, for instance, who won’t get a sniff of Koch money.
For the Democrats, a Trump nomination would mean the lowest-cost campaign ever run. Pay for high-price commercials? Forget it. All the Democrats have to do is run in one long loop the comments of – Republicans.
Let ’em roll: Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, George Will and Charles Krauthammer . . .
Oh, and David Duke.
Oh, and Trump himself. Choose your debate. Choose your embarrassing, sophomoric exchange.
Trump will go down in defeat, a historical asterisk with immense hair, but those sophomoric debate exchanges will endure, video for the ages. They’ll be remarked upon for generations.
Combined, the Republicans have talked themselves out of any chance of occupying the White House.
By the way, the claim being trotted around that Trump enjoys surprising support by Hispanics – in Michelle Bachmann’s words, higher “than any Republican has ever been” — is pure alligators-in-the-sewers stuff.
In September, fact-checking Politifact said Trump sits “at the bottom of favorability polls among Hispanics compared to other GOP candidates.”
Has anything changed to improve his standing with Latinos? Nope. A poll of Hispanic voters regarding a matchup with Hillary Clinton shows a nearly 50-point advantage to her: 73 percent to 16 percent.
But put Trump vs. Latino Nation aside. Trump vs. the Republicans is what this primary contest has become.
Fivethirtyeight.com commentator David Wasserman writes that the GOP “has been hijacked by a populist pirate.”
Populist? Wasserman gives Trump way too much credit. Trump doesn’t even know what a populist is. He’d probably belittle a populist if he encountered one on the escalator.
So, if he’s no populist, what is Trump? In addition to being the leader – OK, the sole member — of the Autocrat Party, he a post-partisan.
That’s a word strikingly similar to “postpartum,” denoting the depression that afflicts new mothers. The Republican Party, fighting and losing its bid to prevent a Trump candidacy, is in the throes of a post-partisan depression.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.