The Wisconsin State Journal is sad today because Donald Trump is making the Republican debates look clownish. Today’s editorial, Hey, Trump — You’re Fired, is remarkable in several ways.
First, let’s note that we place it in the category “Type 2 Editorial – Surprisingly Correct”. (See here for our original taxonomy of State Journal editorials). It is true that Donald Trump hosting a Republican Presidential debate is a fiasco on every possible level.
Of course, that’s hardly the worst of the fiascos. The Republican slate has itself been a traveling clown car, long before Trump wanted to host a debate. If Trump has been a clown and a disservice to the Party (and he has), it’s not his first time, and he’s not the only one.
So it’s odd that the State Journal’s editorial takes time to say
…significantly — and this is the reassuring part — Trump failed to gain any traction with voters when he dabbled with running for president himself earlier this year.
What?!? They don’t recall that in April, 2011, Trump led the Republican field in national polls. This was back when he was acting as America’s Top Birther.
Odd that the State Journal cannot remember six months back, but then we’re routinely amazed by their serial inability to remember anything about how America went from budget surplus to debt during the Bush calamity years. Even when people try to remind them, they still can’t remember. But why be surprised? They snoozed for thirty years as the middle class was being dismantled, and it’s not at all clear they’ve learned about it yet.
The real story is the Republican base, and here again, our editorial page doesn’t notice it. You hate to come right out and say something that reflects poorly on a whole class of your fellow Americans. But there’s something wrong with the Republican base. They are capable of believing anything, at least for a while. Lowering taxes actually raises revenue? Hallelujah! Herman Cain? He was well-qualified! Age of the earth? About 6,000 years. Climate change? Not our fault! And on and on.
We’re seeing a clown show in the race for the GOP nomination, because it can’t be otherwise. It’s now inherent, systemic, built-in. The State Journal editorial page either does not know, or will simply never say, that their Party has gone out of control.
Krugman at the NY Times (emphasis ours) :
The larger point, however, is that whoever finally gets the Republican nomination will be a deeply flawed candidate. And these flaws won’t be an accident, the result of bad luck regarding who chose to make a run this time around; the fact that the party is committed to demonstrably false beliefs means that only fakers or the befuddled can get through the selection process.
That’s true. GOP candidates are required now to dismiss scientists on scientific issues. On climate change GOP candidates must insist either that it’s not [provably] happening at all, or that human activity has nothing to do with it. If the candidate can’t or won’t sign on to what is in fact a monstrous lie, the base will send them home.
The next generation gets the droughts, the floods, the loss of crop lands, the crop failures, the famines, the global catastrophe. Millions will die. You’ve got to want that Republican nomination real, real bad to lie about this stuff. But, on the bright side, maybe you get nominated, even win the Presidency.
If it’s a clown show, it’s not the funny kind. That’s the real story. It’s not about Trump.