A Trump presidency would be fabulous TV.  And though he would instantly, by virtue of simply getting elected, complete a milestone on the Decline of Empire travels by getting even our allies to believe we have collectively lost our shit and never trusting us again to the degree they do now, I don’t believe he would accomplish much more domestically than B. Sanders given the Congress with whom either will have to deal.  I’m not even sure Trump would nominate an ideologue to the Supreme Court, because of course I do not believe a word he says.

How much people are influenced by their love of the Great Screen is vastly underrated, and at this particular point in our history this will be a tight election even if Il Douche does win the GOP nod largely because of TV (though also because HRC is a weak candidate).  We are conditioned to Spectacle, and no one likes a blowout in Super Bowls,”reality” TV, or Politics.  We are conditioned to vote for our team, to be loyal to our team, our tribe, regardless of how silly (or futile) that may be.  TV does a lot of that conditioning.

Trump may horrify a lot of old-school establishment conservatives, but he’ll appeal to a lot of authoritarian simpleton racists that normally vote D and/or are one of the 25 people in this country that are actually I’s.

The Villagers and the TV (repeating myself to a great degree given the tube’s power over the culture) will see to an election within 5 points one way or another regardless of who the nominees are.  Politics has become a for-profit business on several levels post Citizen’s United.

Sure am glad I’m not brown, female, gay, young, dependent or depended on, or (too) poor, because being any one of those things is going to get dramatically worse under Republican control.  Bright sides!

My guts are screaming pretty loudly right about now that Rafael fits the current GOP electorate best.  Of course, I’ve also been saying Trump will flame out for about 6 months now, and maintain to this day it will still happen.  Predictions are hard and all.

Think about how good you have to be at what you do to get where Cruz has gotten in a people business where virtually everyone who knows him hates him.  He has Nixonian ruthlessness, cunning, ambition, and intellect.  He’s no moron, but certainly is such an awesome asshole the latter more than makes up for Ted’s Ivy League eduction and intellectual pedigree in the eye’s of Cruz’ Einsteinian base of hard core theocrats and general Haters, the ones that just love being “led.”  Need to be led.

HRC’s ceiling is, IMO, 53% of the vote if she runs a flawless campaign (she won’t).  There isn’t going to be much margin for error.  Ted will present a serious problem, since I assume all those Principled Establishment Republicans who are on record as hating Cruz will come ’round to the modern GOP’s barely unspoken motto of “Party before Country” soon enough.

The scariest words and perhaps the most raw expression of pure tribalism in politics are, “I will support our party’s nominee [no matter who it is].”

The only good I can see coming from a Cruz Presidency is that I think he’d be a one-termer and would ultimately prove to be another nail in the coffin of the modern Republican party.  The man clearly doesn’t wear well, and he wants to give more money to rich people than every single other Republican candidate, which is now a proven failure on both national and state levels, as Bush The Lesser and the fine Republicans in KS and LA have clearly demonstrated, so I assume it will fail again, but we won’t see the consequences for another several years and by then it will be too late for me to care.

If Cruz wins, once again being an oldish, spouseless, childless SWM loner with a laptop, a dog and a cat will come very much in handy.  I can ride Ted out.

I continue to believe I was born at just the right time and place in the history of the American Empire, because a Cruz Presidency would most certainly be another signpost to me that the best days are behind us.  Underestimating him is a fool’s game.

Update:  David Wasserman rains some reassuring data on my apocalyptic-grade fear of a Cruz Presidency.

I tend to come down on this side of what will happen in the process to replace Nino as opposed to this view, with the caveats that a lot of things can change in 10 months and even the modern GOP has not regressed to a point that renders them unable to read poll numbers.

Simply can’t see the Republicans folding on this one.  We are in the process of watching the last violent survival shudder in the life of a currently dying or at the very least transforming institution.  The Culture has moved on from much of the Right’s reactionary bullshit, particularly Kids These Days, and as much as I don’t think re-litigating abortion and gay marriage is a good political idea for the GOP these days, they’re all in with their base and are going to the dance with what brought them.

Strange times.

 

File under things I wish I would’ve written myself.

I like Heywood J a lot.  He sees the world through the same lens I do and doesn’t get enough blog-love if you ask me.

He was a big enough, tough enough, mean enough guy for this year’s GOP electorate, but he wasn’t stupid enough.

Christie is the kind of politician who would hire people who would in turn create a rush hour traffic jam purely out of political spite, which traffic jam no doubt seriously pissed off a number of their own voters.  Yeah, he was mean enough.  No room in the party right now for anyone who knows a thing or two about politics though.

It’s very distressing.  I didn’t like the guy because of his native NJ personality (and see above for a manifestation) but I wouldn’t have completely freaked out had he been my President.

We elected a black guy and a huge chunk of conservative America just collectively freaked out, and now Trump has let them out of the closet and given them voice.  Strange times indeed.  Ezra has it spot on here.

 

 

The press will continue to fawn on him because money and “electability” and because, apparently, Marco is cute or something (he’s actually a bit of a douche, albeit a smooth one), but his debate crash and burn will sting for a long time because of a simple fact: The American public has no interest in seeing their POTUS pantsed like that by anyone, under any circumstances.  A pantsing like the dorky nerd in the locker room with all the asshole jocks.  Coupled with total brain freeze.  It’s a tough image to shake, and it’s going to come up again and again.  Few voters will have missed it should he secure the nomination.

He’s a clever politician taking responsibility like he demonstrates in the first link, I think that sells, but he’s a couple of days late on it, since he’s spent the last (and only two days he had) saying he was going to keep repeating what he said.

But I don’t think his do-over is going to help.  That’s the second time he’s clearly choked on a national stage.

The Republicans want a big-swinging-dick type this year, that much is obvious.  This year a humiliation like Rubio suffered is going to be very hard to overcome.

Update:  This was a mistake, IMO.  He’s really under pressure now and there is a long road ahead.  Another sign of poor judgement and inexperience, if you ask me.

The only thing I would quibble over in this rundown of the state of play in the GOP primary is that to my jaded cynical eyes no matter who wins the Republican primary their odds of winning are at least 40%, a small quibble indeed.

Mitt Romney’s “47%” comments were widely reported, but at the time I couldn’t understand why nobody in the Democratic party pointed out that the GOP nominee has a floor, too, made up almost entirely of angry white guys, bigots, homophobes, racists, Christianists, and morons.

I put that floor at very near 45%, not too much different than the 47 Mittens so stupidly tossed about.  Odd that modern Presidential races now come down to about 10 states and 10% of the population.  A little disturbing, too.