Saturday, January 16, 2016

With GOP in Complete Disarray, Trump Offers Establishment Some Difficult Choices

by Nomad

King of the World Donald TrumpThe results from the last Republican debate are in and it must have a lot of people in the Republican party extremely jittery. And they really ought to be.

After the sixth debate, Trump is still holding his commanding position, the reins of Republican Party power seem to be in his hands and he isn't going anywhere.  
MarketWatch reports:
The political establishment — in places like New York, Washington and Los Angeles — has been waiting for months for the Trump movement to flame out of its own accord. In the past few weeks they have finally woken up to the shock that this may not happen.
The choices for the ruling elite (whose authority Trump seems to be directly challenging) are stark. Either take Donald Trump with all his political warts, all of his toxic rhetoric and his inane policies or take a 50-50% risk that he will walk away and escort his supporters over to his third party. 

Even the Best Case Isn't So Terrific
According to one source, all this uncertainty and instability is having a negative effect on Wall Street. While blaming the decline in stocks on the political confusion might seem like a stretch, there is a bit of logic to that claim.

Above all else, Wall Street likes certainty and predictability. It's their security blanket and, at this point, things, especially in the Republican Party, could hardly be anymore uncertain. Here are two possible outcomes and both are fairly awful for investors. 
Even in Wall Street’s best-case scenario, the parties will only pick establishment candidates after months of bruising primary battles. In a worst-case scenario (for investors, at any rate): They’ll pick one or two heterodox outsiders who will threaten to turn everything upside down.
So, you have the Republican party being led by a rabble-rousing billionaire that cannot be bought and on the other side, there's a competition among the Dems about which candidate can appear more aggressive on Wall Street accountability.

For the Republican Party, the options are fraught with existential danger, namely, an acrimonious split in the GOP that will not be easily mended.
Analysts are looking at the possibility of having an unelectable candidate or an unwinnable campaign. 

For a party unable and unwilling to compromise for the last eight years, it is ironic to watch them deal with a candidate who himself refuses to compromise.

People who normally would vote for Republicans and who still believe in party principles must be having a serious re-think. For die-hard conservatives, suspicious of Donald Trump, the party's inability to deal with this candidate speaks volumes about what is wrong with the party. One man - an extremely wealthy man- has been able to hijack the entire party, appealing to its worst traits. And apparently he cannot be stopped.

Angry Voices
The best the establishment could do was to trot out South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (a woman!!) to launch an undisguised attack on Trump's brand of politics. What a strange and revealing spectacle. After all, it was supposed to the a rebuttal to the President's State of the Union address and yet, it turned out to be a trumpeted warning against Trump. 
“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”
She wasn't talking about Obama, obviously. In the last four years, especially, Obama has come across as being the least angry and hysterical person in US politics at the moment.
Witness his expert handling and defusing of the Iranian-Navy mini-crisis. In that one event last week, "presidential" was contrasted with crackpot, silly and positively dangerous reactions on the Right.

Haley's remarks about resisting angry voices, when the Republican party endorsed people like grumpy John "bomb-bomb" McCain and his belligerent running mate Sarah Palin. Nobody on the Right said much when, during Palin's speech in which she implied Obama was a terrorist, a member of her audience shouted "Kill him." The Republicans were fine with that. 
 So many other examples and in each one, the GOP elite said not a word of castigation for all that anger. 

If conservative voters stopped listening to angry voices, Rupert Murdoch would have to sell Fox News and put Sea Hannity and Ann Coulter and half a dozen others on the unemployment line. 
Sad thought, isn't it? 

The GOP once upon a time loved the sound of angry voices. Music to their ears. This is the party that once diligently cultivated anger and its accompanying stupidity, hatred and intolerance. Today the party is warning the public not to listen to those same angry voices. 

Empty Choices
Resistance is futile when it comes to The Donald. More and more right wing sources are beginning to admit that this Trump thing has gotten out of control.
It's hard to deny the numbers.
In the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls, Trump leads his nearest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, by nearly two to one, 35% to 19%, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio trailed a distant third at 12%. Neither Trump nor Cruz is an establishment candidate, and Rubio is at best an up-and-coming one. The establishment’s preferred candidate, Bush, is running way back in the single digits.
Single-digits? JEB was supposed to the answer to the Republican prayers, the glorious final installment in the  trilogy of the House of Bush. The Republican establishment bet the farm on the wrong horse, it seems. The Bush brand died sometime between the 2008 economic meltdown and the TARP bailout.
It was an arrogant and stupid idea to even consider foisting another Bush on the American public, many of whom are still slowly putting their lives back together after the last Bush devastation.  
Back in March 2012, this blog was giving the warning that JEB was not bankable. Nope, no way, too much baggage, I said.
Call me Cassandra Nomad.
Still I never imagined JEB could ever be so wretched a candidate as this. 

As you probably known, Rafael "Ted" Cruz shot himself in the foot during the last debate by insulting "New York values." Trump, in what seemed like an unexpected flash of genuine feeling, took the line and adroitly flung the phrase back at Ted with contempt. (Pay attention, Dem candidate handlers. Do not underestimate that orange person on the stage.) 

Whether justified or not, the complicated questions about his eligibility, resurrected by Trump seem to be sticking. Sanctimonious people usually feel the crushing blows of Karma the hardest.
Some call it divine justice. 
More trouble too. Revelations of possible financial disclosure wrong-doing may soon take Ted Cruz out of the race altogether. 

That leaves Marco Rubio, the congressman who wasn't there. Without some kind of primary upset- distinctly implausible at the moment, Rubio's chances of being nominated are fairly dismal. Too young, too impetuous for the older Republicans. The revelation that he was "bored" with his Senate position and, for this reason, didn't show up to vote most of the time, has had a damaging effect on his campaign. It's inexcusable to a party that talks about welfare queens and "free stuff" and condemns people who don't want to work for a living. 
Marco has demonstrated that he thinks to start at the bottom, gaining experience over the years, and building networks, all that's for- to use a Trumpism- losers. 

Democratic Win is Not Guaranteed
So the smart money is favoring Trump as the nominee.
Trump is now the favorite for the GOP. Ladbrokes, the world’s largest bookmaker, now gives him a 36% chance in a crowded field, just ahead of Rubio (at about 33%). Bush is way back at 10 to 1.
For the Republican party, time is clearly running out for an alternative to Trump. At the moment, Trump holds all of the aces, kings, queens, and knaves.

One can hear the back teeth grinding in the backrooms of the GOP.

Even a serious mention of a brokered convention (in which a compromise candidate is drafted) could force Trump to carry out his threats. So that option carries significant risk and realistic discussion of it is out of the question.
Besides Trump going into the primaries seems to have the majority support. Will he also have the delegate?

Who the alternative candidate might be is also unclear. Mitt Romney? Again?
For many voters- especially the ones who believed, as the Republicans once promised, President Obama would be a one-term president- Mitt Romney is not acceptable.
Memories of his constant often pointless lying and flipping on nearly every issue are hard to forget and harder still to forgive.

With Trump in the driver's seat things are going to get pretty interesting.
Democrats had better buckle down, quit quibbling among themselves and face the coming Trump threat. The Democratic party cannot afford to make the same mistakes the Republican has made.