For months I have patiently held to the opinion that when people finally had to make it count for real, Donald Trump's campaign would begin to deflate. Last week the good people of Iowa had me thinking that process had begun. Yesterday the Republicans and Independents of New Hampshire put the brakes on that in a big way. Sigh.
If I have to I will vote for Trump over Clinton or Sanders, easily, but I really don't want it to come down to that. I mean, this is one of the things he had to say last night as the results came in:
We are going to make our country so strong. We are going to start winning again. We don't win anymore as a country. We don't win on trade. We don't win with the military. We can't beat ISIS. We don't win with anything.
We are going to start winning again. And we're going to win so much, you are going to be so happy. We are going to make America so great again. Maybe greater than ever before.
What a load of crap. Politicians are noted for a lot of crap, of course, but this is worse than used car salesman level of crap. In my business career I have bought tens of millions of dollars of goods and services over thirty years, and I've had some real dirtbag salespeople sit across the desk from me. Everything about Trump, his language, his mannerisms, his bluster, all of it screams "dirtbag salesman" at me. I learned to trust that instinct a long time ago. The depressing problem is that Clinton and Sanders are even worse.
I will probably caucus for Ted Cruz on Super Tuesday. He's not my ideal candidate, and given the way the MSM hates him and is working overtime to denigrate him and raise his negatives, I'm not sure he can win. That MSM animosity is also a positive, however. Anybody who can so easily prompt Chris Mathews to go full frontal asshat on live television has something going for him in my book.
Most of the focus the last month has been on the problems with the Republican field, from Trump of course, to the size of the crowded field, to the grass roots-establishment rift. But Democrats have been having their own serious issues as well, even if they are not covered. Clinton's email issue is a far bigger problem than just classified emails stored on an unsecured server, as bad as that is. The very existence of the server was a giant slap at the notion of government accountability to the citizens and transparency through the Freedom of Information Act. The sole purpose of that server was to circumvent those principles and that by itself disqualifies Clinton from holding any office, let alone the Presidency.
The even larger problem for Democrats, however, is the looming Liberal-Progressive schism. Progressives have been on the rise in the Democratic Party for a long time, but I think we've reached the tipping point where they will dominate the party going forward. The problem for the party is that the two wings can only coexist as long as Liberalism dominates. That's because the Liberal wing has generally been willing and able to tolerate the Progressive wing, but the reverse will not be true. Progressivism at its core is collectivist and intolerant while Liberalism, though left-leaning, still revolves around individual rights and freedom. When Progressives take full control Liberals will have to choose between party or principles.
The time has come for several GOP candidates to drop out gracefully. It's time for Christie, Fiorina, and Carson to bow to reality and go home. Jeb Bush should do so as well, but he won't. Kasich has to play out the hand he drew yesterday, but it's not as good a hand as he wants to think. I predict he flops badly in the 9 southern/western states on Super Tuesday and he begins his informal campaign for VP shortly afterward.