Between a Louse and a Flea

Back in January, I asked: “Why the Sudden Love Among Establishment Republicans for Donald Trump?” “It has," I wrote, “been quite an experience -- half amusing, half alarming -- to behold the sudden transformation of Donald Trump from pariah to desperate hope of the Republican Party.”

In the weeks that have followed, more and more GOP-friendly pundits, functionaries, factota, courtiers, lackeys, lobbyists, consultants, and eminences grises have boarded the Trump Express. They explain, if pressed, that: a) Trump is inevitable and one has to get with the program; and/or b) the only alternative is Hillary Clinton, and you wouldn’t want that, would you?

I confess that I don’t find either rejoinder particularly convincing. In the first place, it is worth noting how frequently what we were assured was inevitable turns out to have been merely contingent, and being merely contingent, how often it fails to happen.

Trump may be the nominee. It is not, however, inevitable. I am not even convinced that it is likely.

And speaking of unlikely things, it is not at all clear to me that Hillary will be the nominee, either. Her supporters might not care that she blamed Benghazi on an internet video or that she endangered American national security by her cavalier disregard of communication protocols while secretary of state, but the FBI seems to be taking a different view of the matter. There is also the cognate issue of the pay-to-play processes of the Clinton Foundation, which have also attracted the FBI’s attention.

Then there is the sudden transformation of Bill Clinton from coquette into an aging Miss Havisham, who -- like Dickens’ original -- looks more and more like a cross between a “waxwork and a skeleton.”

But I digress. If many GOP-friendly observers have edged towards supporting Donald Trump, another portion of the commentariat has adopted the #NeverTrump hashtag, even, in some cases, to the point of threatening to endorse Hillary if she is the only alternative.

A couple of observations. First, it is a sad irony that many Trumpeters seem to believe that he represents an alternative to the corrupt, inbred Washington establishment. In fact, he is merely the impish, bad-mannered Id of the Washington establishment. What his supporters hate, Trump embodies.