Despite the creeping doubts and periodic worries of conservative naysayers and Eeyores, Republicans have had sufficient reason to be of particularly good cheer heading into the Christmas season. Despite the United States Congress still being viewed by roughly 90% of the voting public as being only slightly more palatable than a freegan banquet fresh out of the dumpster, an acceptable number of them find the Grand Old Party to be at least slightly less offensive to their collective taste than their Democratic rivals. And even though many have found themselves pleased with a few of Barack Obama’s foreign policy maneuvers, a record proportion of them would sooner trust the fate of the economy and their prospects for finding a new job to Carrot Top than leave it in the hands of the president.
All of this makes for a season of joy and optimism among the children of William F. Buckley, who even now are smacking their lips in anticipation of taking back the White House and delivering another body blow to the Democrats in Congress similar to the rout of 2010. Unfortunately for this festive holiday vision, a Grinch may be preparing to slither out of the chimney. (Please note carefully that the preceding sentence did not say, “Gingrich.”) It comes in the form of a headline which should give anyone pause, as it manages to incorporate the phrases Donald Trump and Kingmaker in the same sentence.
In the earlier part of the year, when none but the truly hopeless political addicts were paying much attention to the slowly congealing Republican primary contest, it was somewhat easier to take the presence of Donald Trump on the political scene with smallish grain of salt and sense of humor. Even when polls showed him briefly registering as a “favorite” in the race, most seasoned observers realized that he was simply promoting his television show. Or, perhaps, he was greasing the skids to bump up sales on his upcoming book. (Out now, just in time for those in need of a last minute stocking stuffer!)
But now the days grow short before the Iowa caucuses, and the humor of this situation is rapidly becoming much harder to find. Not only has newly anointed frontrunner Newt Gingrich made the pilgrimage to the Big Apple to kiss the ring of the Donald, but we are informed he will be the host of an august panel presenting a presidential debate.