Thursday, December 10, 2015
Throw the Republicans Down the Well
Borat was on Jimmy Kimmel the other night, warning everyone that Sacha Baron Cohen had a new character in his repertoire -- Donald Trump. How else to explain that person with an orange "jimmy" on top of his head? Just when you think the Donald couldn't lower the bar any lower, he says he will get on the phone with Bill Gates and see if there is something they can do to keep Muslims off the Internet. What Sacha Baron Cohen is saying in his Borat-like way is that Trump stole his shtick.
Unfortunately, Republicans have shown time and again that they have little sense of humor. Ron Paul found himself being punked by Bruno back in 2008, and wasn't very happy about it. Trump loves to dish out the nasty barbs, but whenever someone takes a pot shot at him, he gets very testy. It's kind of like Kim Jong-Un, who got all upset with the movie The Interview, giving the tepid comedy far more attention than it deserved. At least his father could take a joke.
Lindsey Graham tried to humorously strike back at Donald Trump for releasing his telephone number, but it didn't go over very well. Since then, Graham has opted for a harsher approach. The funny thing is that as much as Trump's political opponents appear to hate him, not one has said they would vote against him in the general election, assuming he won the nomination. They all took an oath, or something like that. All except one.
I find this very hard to understand because what Trump has essentially done is drag the Republican Party down to its rawest, coarsest level, kind of like that scene in the movie where Borat gets the patrons of a bar to join in singing, "throw the Jew down the well." Does the GOP really want Trump to throw the Republicans down the well?
Even more amusing is that 7 years ago many Republicans were saying that they would vote for Hillary Clinton before they would vote for John McCain. In fact, many Republicans took advantage of open Democratic primaries to vote for Hillary, vaulting her to wins in Ohio and Texas, and briefly slowing Obama's momentum. Granted, they were probably doing so mostly to stop Obama, but the biggest cheerleader at the time was Ann Coulter. However, this year not even Bob Dole, who won the GOP nomination in 1996, could bring himself to say he would vote for Hillary over Trump or Cruz, saying he might oversleep on election day.
The Republicans are facing their worst nightmare in either Trump or Cruz, yet the body of the party appears helpless to do anything about it. Of course, the GOP establishment could rally around a candidate like Rubio, Bush, Kasich or Christie before then, but at this stage of the game not one of them appears ready to drop out and support the other. They seem to forget that the reason the more respectable Mitt won the nomination in 2012 was because he was the only "moderate" among a ballot full of clowns, and even he was dragged down to their level. Right now, these four are splitting the "moderate" vote, and in the winner-take-all primaries that dominate the later half of the election schedule that isn't a very good sign. Thirty per cent might be all Trump needs to win the lion's share of the delegates.
Whether Donald Trump is real or a Sacha Baron Cohen impersonation, the Republicans better come up with a strategy to confront him before it's too late. I don't think drafting Mitt again is going to do the trick. Maybe what they need is an alternative billionaire or someone who can pull off a good Ronald Reagan impersonation.