5 stages of Trump thinkpiece: 1. Ha Ha, Trump 2. Why Trump Can't Win 3. Explaining Trump 4. We Must Respect Real America 5. Oh God, Oh God— Ivor Tossell (@ivortossell) July 25, 2015
Hello, Stage Five!
Less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses, there is growing anxiety bordering on panic among Republican elites about the dominance and durability of Donald Trump and Ben Carson and widespread bewilderment over how to defeat them.
Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot, virtually ensuring a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency and increasing the odds that the Senate falls into Democratic hands.
The party establishment is paralyzed. Big money is still on the sidelines. No consensus alternative to the outsiders has emerged from the pack of governors and senators running, and there is disagreement about how to prosecute the case against them. Recent focus groups of Trump supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire commissioned by rival campaigns revealed no silver bullet.
In normal times, the way forward would be obvious. The wannabes would launch concerted campaigns, including television attack ads, against the front-runners. But even if the other candidates had a sense of what might work this year, it is unclear whether it would ultimately accrue to their benefit. Trump’s counterpunches have been withering, while Carson’s appeal to the base is spiritual, not merely political. If someone was able to do significant damage to them, there’s no telling to whom their supporters would turn, if anyone.
Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive here haven't just upended the apple cart, they've set it on fire and are throwing flaming apples at everyone they can find. They've taken the bread and circuses grift to the endpoint and everyone's all stunned to see that in the era of reality show politics that the hooting masses love the guys that aren't supposed to have any chance of winning. Oh, and there's this.
According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest.
And the Republicans will look up and shout, "Save us!" And Mitt Romney will look down and whisper "47 percent." Oh well, I guess those sidelined mega-donors will have to console themselves with all the local, state, and House races that they've bought over the last five years. I'm sure they'll be okay even if they don't win the White House. The rest of us? Well...not so much.