July 16, 2015

TRUMP IS THE GHOST OF ROSS PEROT, Jonathan Last writes at the Weekly Standard, with a bonus Jesse Ventura flashback. “So before we go any further, consider: Donald Trump — the Donald Trump — holds in his hands something like veto power over the Republican quest to win the White House. Sit with that for a moment:”

There are only two reasonable conclusions to be drawn from the Trump Contingency: (1) Democracy doesn’t work and we all need to get behind Sweet Meteor of Death 2016; or (2) To the extent that Trump is standing in front of any sort of movement, that movement needs to be co-opted, not vanquished, if Republicans want to have a chance of victory this cycle.

If you want option #2 — and I understand if you prefer #1 — then you have to start by figuring out what Trump is selling that attracts voters. And this doesn’t seem like rocket science.

In 2012, the entire Republican field was caught by surprise when it turned out that immigration was the defining issue of the primary campaign. Without anyone having noticed, immigration displaced abortion as the major litmus test for GOP candidates. And then, to show that 2012 wasn’t an aberration, two years later an unknown, unfunded, econ professor bushwhacked Eric Cantor by 11 points in a Republican House primary in Virginia. His primary issue-indeed, just about his only issue-was immigration.

So Republican strategists (and their candidates) ought to understand that Republican voters care a lot about immigration. And yet, the attitude of the GOP establishment towards these folks seems to be, as Mickey Kaus jokes, they just “cling to their rage about immigration because they can’t get what they really want: Low capital gains taxes.”

And speaking of the GOP establishment, right on cue, John McCain in incensed that Trump has “fired up the crazies” in Arizona. “People who otherwise might be more centrist are angry about this border situation.”

Yes, this happens when voters finally despise being insulted by the officials they elect, being pandered to, and strung along:

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