|Trump couldn't win over the elite. Clinton had them all along.|
I don't know how much like the average Sanders supporter I am -- ready to vote for Sanders' ideals but resigned to the fact that Clinton would win -- so my move to back Hillary won't lose me any sleep. For others, it might take a while.
But, as this insightful article from Paul Waldman in The Week reflects, Clinton has the advantage of having been the Democratic elite's pick from the beginning and then going on to get the approval of a majority of Democratic voters. Trump, on the other hand, stands as a rejection of his party's elite, showing in sharp relief that GOP core voters are mad as hell, not so much at D.C. but at the very Republican leadership that failed to deliver a goddam thing to them. Cruz, by amounting to a far-right rejection of the GOP's timidity on social and cultural issues, actually aided the Trump insurgency by sucking all the oxygen out of the (mostly fake) moderate center. What was left? Jeb! Rubio! Walker! (??)
It's been that way from the beginning. The Democratic race has had an angry moment here or there, but on the whole it's been civil, substantive, and sometimes even friendly. The people from whom Democratic voters take their cues, like politicians and media figures, have reflected that general mood. The ones supporting one candidate haven't spent a lot of time trashing the other candidate and saying that if he or she were to win the nomination, they'd desert the party. There's no meaningful #NeverClinton or #NeverSanders movement. Once the nomination is decided, you're going to have a hard time finding an elected Democrat or a liberal talk show host who'll tell people to sit this one out because the candidate they didn't support is such a disaster. And while Bernie Sanders may represent a revolt against the establishment, if and when Clinton becomes the nominee, it will represent Democratic voters validating the choice of Democratic elites.
A Donald Trump nomination, on the other hand, will represent Republican voters rejecting the choice (or rather, the choices) of Republican elites. Though few could have predicted that Donald Trump would be the vehicle of that rejection, it isn't surprising to see the Republican grassroots horrifying Republican leaders.From a progressive's point of view, this primary season has been like the best beach party ever. Sure, Sanders has gotten testier at Clinton than many might have hoped -- he made a better "ideals" candidate than a mad-as-hell spitfire raining down bombs -- but we can see how that might have a soft landing at the end of the day. And he indeed did one thing: push Clinton noticeably left, which may make her more palatable to the so-called Bernie Bros.
But nothing even vaguely similar can be said about Donald Trump and the Republican Party. No matter the outcome -- a contested convention is still a distinct possibility -- imagine GOP elites trying to figure out a way to make nice with Trump and his voters after having been pretty hardcore #NeverTrumpsters. Good luck with that.
The result will be a GOP ticket from Hell, no question. All that's left is to find out how brutal things get down-ticket. Trump is entirely unelectable in the general and entirely unable to rally the troops for the usual suspects up for re-election to Congress.
Also remaining to be seen is how far away from Trump Congresscritters are going to run. You think they want him on the podium with them? HA.
Someone make a bucket of margaritas and a humongous plate of nachos. I'm headed for the water. I'll be right back!
As I once heard Ramblin' Jack Elliott say: What a day, what a beach, what a dog, what a bone!
Don't let me down, GOPers!
|This photo may be apropos of nothing, except to suggest what a naked Donald might|
face in the glare of a general election. It won't be pretty. He'll need more than a tan.