The nexus of anti-Trump sentiment that is encamped at the Washington Post Editorial Board is apparently having great difficulty processing the fact that Donald Trump is still standing despite having everything and several kitchen sinks thrown at him by the media. This after the Wisconsin ass-whuppin’ that was delivered to him last Tuesday and in light of the fact that Tricky Ted Cruz’s delegate harvesting has now been called out by both Trump and his new campaign boss Paul Manafort. These are indeed desperate times for an establishment that is under siege and nowhere is the fear of change more palpable than inside the Beltway where the well paid courtiers of America’s imperial political class earn their livings.
Jennifer Rubin has crawled out from the gnarled wreckage of the Marco Rubio campaign – of which she was his biggest advocate – to belch up several unhinged anti-Trump screeds. The prolific neocon blogger who pens the Right Turn column is lining up with the rest of the establishment to begrudgingly back Ted Cruz as the last pre-convention roadblock that can derail the Trump express. A bitter pill for Ms. Rubin to swallow considering her obvious contempt for the Texas Senator before her boy Little Marco got voted off the island.
Rubin was absolutely on fire on Monday with four scathing anti-Trump diatribes, in baseball it’s called hitting for the cycle but at the WAPO it’s just a busier than normal day of shoveling the bullshit.
Cruz is now practicing what his former Republican critics preach: He is touting the value of a concrete agenda and speaking in the context of real-world choices. His past and current critics would say this is “opportunism,” but one man’s opportunism is another’s flexibility or pragmatism. Cruz, by necessity, has learned that the inflexible, antagonistic Cruz cannot win a primary, let alone a general election. He has, as the liberals like to say, “evolved.” His GOP critics are entitled to be skeptical and even annoyed, but by the same token, they should recognize that Cruz is savvy enough to adapt and adjust to changed circumstances. More important, he is the only means of stopping Trump from getting to 1,237 delegates.
She then moves the goalposts considering that Cheatin’ Ted is being destroyed in New York to put the onus on Trump winning ALL of the Empire State’s delegates or it will be a failure.
For weeks now, the pressure has been on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to win states and deny Donald Trump precious delegates. The Cruz team can claim their man over-performed, getting more than 50 percent of the vote in Utah, sweeping up all the delegates in Colorado and most in North Dakota, and winning big in Wisconsin. Now, however, the burden shifts to Trump.
Thanks to Trump’s ineptitude and some adept expectations game, it’s no longer sufficient for Trump to win New York. His home state will certainly go his way, but the Cruz team has set the bar at more than 50 percent. Cruz’s team argues that if Trump can’t cross 50 percent (Cruz is the only one to do that in Utah, North Dakota and Colorado) it will confirm the perception that Trump has lost a step. Moreover, failure to sweep the New York delegates seriously narrows the task of getting to 1,237.
She pivots to implore the ongoing delegate trickery (and bribery?) to block Trump in Cleveland.
Rather than agonizing on how to introduce another candidate to the GOP in Cleveland this summer and conniving to manipulate the rules (which will breed resentment), Republicans in the #NeverTrump club should focus now on depriving Trump of 1,237 delegates.
If need be, they also can proceed down a parallel track. That requires addressing issues of ballot access, funding and staffing (all the issues in No. 3 above), but the candidate would not be accused of stealing the nomination. So long as it remains possible that Trump gets the nomination, the #NeverTrump crowd will need to work within the party and simultaneously work on an alternative to the party. Scheming to pull off a switcheroo at the convention, however, seems a poor use of time.
And finally in channeling a famous scene from the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” blasts the billionaire business mogul for not being a closer – a ridiculous assertion consideration Trump’s real estate empire but her regular readers are just dumb enough to buy it.
2016 may go down as the year of two massive meltdowns — Jordan Spieth at the 12th hole of the Masters and Donald Trump in the GOP presidential campaign. In Trump’s case, however, it was fully predictable and flows from the central flaw in his campaign, Trump himself.
Trump is whining that delegate allocation processes are “rigged” and that the system is “corrupt.” He insists he should get the nomination with less than a majority of the delegates (1,237 is not some arbitrary number, but 50 percent plus one of the available delegates).
It is ironic that the man who reportedly took advantage of every tax break, who as a business tactic sues at the drop of the hat and who brags that he bought politicians to influence them now whines about “corruption.” He was supposed to be the expert at manipulating the system. He was supposed to be the guy who understood the levers of power so well that he’d finally use them for the benefit of ordinary Americans. Now, that seems preposterous, not because he is insincere (although he is) but because he is entirely incompetent.
Rubin’s meltdown was preceded by Friday’s distraught cry of pain and anger by the esteemed Charles Kraüthammer who vented his spleen in “The Coming Trainwreck”:
Yes, the big Wisconsin story is Ted Cruz’s crushing 13-point victory. And yes, it greatly improves his chances of denying Donald Trump a first-ballot convention victory, which may turn out to be Trump’s only path to the nomination.
Nonetheless, the most stunning result of Wisconsin is the solidity of Trump’s core constituency. Fundamentalist Trumpism remains resistant to every cosmic disturbance. He managed to get a full 35 percent in a state in which:
● He was opposed by a very popular GOP governor (80 percent approval among Republicans) with a powerful state organization honed by winning three campaigns within four years (two gubernatorial, one recall).
● He was opposed by popular, local, well-informed radio talk show hosts whose tough interviews left him in shambles.
● Tons of money was dumped into negative ads not just from the Cruz campaign and the pro-Cruz super PACs but from two anti-Trump super PACs as well.
And if that doesn’t leave a candidate flattened, consider that Trump was coming off two weeks of grievous self-inflicted wounds — and still got more than a third of the vote. Which definitively vindicated Trump’s boast that if he ever went out in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot someone (most likely because his Twitter went down — he’d be apprehended in his pajamas), he wouldn’t lose any voters.
It’s no longer business; it’s personal. Cruz has essentially declared that he couldn’t support someone who did what Trump did to Heidi Cruz. He might try to patch relations with some Trump supporters — is Chris Christie’s soul still for sale? — but how many could he peel away? Remember: Wisconsin has just demonstrated Trump’s unbreakable core.
And if Trump loses out, a split is guaranteed. In Trump’s mind, he is a winner. Always. If he loses, it can only be because he was cheated. He constantly contends that he’s being treated unfairly. He is certain to declare any convention process that leaves him without the nomination irredeemably unfair. No need to go third party. A simple walkout with perhaps a thousand followers behind will doom the party in November.
The venerable pundit and former psychiatrist is acknowledging that despite every effort and smear campaign – of which there have been plenty – that Trump’s base is rock solid, enough to bolt the dying GOP when they screw their own front-runner on the first ballot in Cleveland. Meanwhile Dana Milbank is leading the lynch mob calling for Reinhold “Reince” Priebus’s head on a stick of Trump somehow manages to survive.
In terms of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of death and dying the WAPO seems to still be trapped somewhere in between bargaining and depression but it sure is funny to watch the slow motion trainwreck.