2 March 2016

Trump loves Tuesday, Anti-Trump is now Cruz


“Two weeks from tonight right here in Florida we are going to send a message. The presidency of the United States will never be held by a con artist.” This was the defiant, never-say-die rhetoric of Senator Marco Rubio last night in Miami. Wishful thinking, it seems, though.

The news Tuesday night wasn’t good for Mr. Rubio. With Virginia going to Trump, the non-Trump alternative has got to be looking like Ted Cruz since he at least racked up a victories in Texas and Oklahoma. But talking about the alternative to Trump is just the sideshow because it was Donald Trump’s night again. As of this writing he had won five of 11 states.

How did we get here? Sean Trende and David Byler explain it as a perfect storm. Huge media coverage for Trump during the summer. Trump got “64 times as much news coverage… as for Cruz, Kasich and Rubio combined,” according to an analysis of CNN. Trump then fed the media frenzy, which meant no other candidate got any coverage and meanwhile the GOP didn’t take the Trump candidacy seriously. “Everything we know about party nomination processes told us that sooner or later, Trump would implode,” write Trende and Byler. “But, as we’ve seen, the unthinkable does happen from time to time.”

Simple, the unthinkable has happened. Thanks a lot. But explaining how it happened doesn’t tell us why it happened. For the why let’s turn to Ben Domenech, editor of The Federalist. Trump isn’t the disease or a symptom, for Domenech he’s “a beta-test of a cure” whereby “working and middle class Americans are reasserting themselves against a political and cultural establishment that has become completely discredited over time and due to their own actions.” Which brings me to results on the Democratic side which basically sealed the nomination for Hillary Clinton.

The vote count wasn’t the only news relevant to Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy however. The State Department just released its latest (last?) review of Mrs. Clinton’s emails and concluded that as opposed to her direct claims to the contrary, she did in fact traffic in classified material through her private email server. So a truth-teller she ain’t. Oh, also, the country she and President Obama claimed as a foreign policy victory – Libya – is now overrun by ISIS and will need US help to turn the tide. So not such a great record of foreign policy achievements either. Mrs. Clinton is likely to make history with her nomination, twice. She will be the first woman candidate for President of the United States and the first nominee under FBI investigation and possibly federal indictment. Oh, and she’s a terrible retail politician who hasn’t taken a question from the press in three months.

It is a long way from the nomination to the Oval Office, however, which could possibly favor Mrs. Clinton. But does anyone really believe that the Trump implosion that the GOP expected during the primaries, will happen before the November election allowing Mrs. Clinton to waltz into White House? Not likely and the campaign would be entertaining to be sure.

Thought experiment: What might a Trump presidency look like? Nothing good, says Michael Brendan Dougherty. “The Trump phenomenon that is proving everything we knew about electoral politics wrong in 2016 will also prove that governance is much more resistant to dramatic change.” Plus there’s the fact that Trump is terrible on property rights and taxes.

To sum up: Trump won’t be the change he says he wants and Clinton doesn’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem to begin with. Some choice.

Abby W. Schachter is US editor of CapX.