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.
The time has come to point out once and for all that the emperor in Trump Tower has no clothes.
First of all, what sort of “debate” structure might we expect from this off brand circus geek tent? In an absolutely indispensable fisking of the affair, Ed Morrissey notes that the organizing dignitaries include none other than Eason Jordan. If you are the sort of person who spends their time reading an essay such as this, you already know who Mr. Jordan is without my dredging up the whole unpleasant history yet again.
Even though some candidates are already refusing to participate — with the possible exception of Newt — and strategists such as Karl Rove are calling on the party to discourage the rest from attending, even that may not be enough to keep this selection of camera hogs away from the media trough on Dec. 27. Should they need any other data to help tip the scales, allow me to offer one additional piece of evidence. Even as Mr. Trump is sending out gold plated invitations and making preparations to hold the debate, he is giving interviews to the Wall Street Journal, stating in no uncertain terms that he is still considering a third party run next year. (A move which, should anyone actually be foolish enough to vote for him, would only detract from the eventual Republican nominee’s chances.) In nearly the same breath he alludes to his intentions to endorse one of the current candidates. And this is what we seek in an impartial moderator of a debate to help determine the next leader of the free world? Are we actually taking this man seriously now?
Trump’s time on the political stage is far past the point where the giant hook should have come out to remove him before rotting fruit begins flying. He makes a mockery of the process and could potentially provide a shove to affairs in a self destructive direction. I assure you that none of us will be laughing if the GOP manages to lose a critical election which should, by all rights, be as close to a cake walk as we’re likely to see for some time to come. You’ve had your latest moment on the stage, Donald. Now it’s time to scurry back to your television studios and casinos before you ruin Christmas for all of the conservative Whos down in Whoville once and for all.