I've been reporting for weeks now how Trump's stratospheric negatives with pretty much every voter demographic, his eating of Hillary Clinton's polling dust, his across-the-board polling underperformance versus the reviled Mitt Romney four years ago, and explaining how what matters in polls outside of the weekend before an election is the size of the margins and the trends across all polls. If they're all saying pretty much the same thing and headed in pretty much the same direction - as is the case with Trump - then "liberal bias" cannot account for anything more than a small fraction of these numbers. To try and pretend otherwise, and to argue that the very personality and tactics that have buried The Donald in this Grand Canyon-esque general election hole are somehow going to catapult him to November triumph rather than digging him even deeper and turning the Empress into a sympathetic figure, playing right into her inevitable playing of the "vagina card", is pure delusion.
Donald Trump cannot "experience" his way to victory, because he has none. He cannot "substance" his way to victory, because he is the epitome of policy ignorance and leftist instinct. And his only card - insult (or "entertain") his way to victory - will cause mass cathartic orgasmic release among his followers, but that will backfire on him as well.
Trump cannot win. And nominating him is tantamount to forfeiting the White House to Hillary Clinton - with or without #NeverTrumpers.
That was Ted Cruz's argument this morning on the Hugh Hewitt program, and he made it almost as deftly as I did:
HH: Senator, Ross Douthat in the New York Times wrote a very interesting column, I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see it yesterday, but he points out 300 million Americans, 125 million will vote, [and] Donald Trump [ha]s [won] about ten million votes, I’m not sure what your vote total is, he’s won more votes than you. Nevertheless, Douthat argues that in this primary electorate, the Trump support seems unwilling to accept evidence that Donald Trump will not win in the fall, that they reject that evidence as bias, that he will put New York and Michigan into play and in fact, Corey Lewandowski yesterday said he would win Massachusetts, others say Pennsylvania. What do you make about those arguments and what do you make about Douthat’s assumption regarding their unwillingness to deal with what the media puts out as facts?
Pardon me a moment gentlemen....
....I had to get that out of my system.
TC: I didn’t read that particular column, but I can tell you on the merits that the Trump campaign operates in a fact-free environment. They are utterly divorced from reality. The numbers are clear, if Trump is the nominee, Hillary wins and she wins by double-digits. He gets obliterated. Donald Trump right now is losing the State of Utah [or was as of five weeks ago]. Utah as you know, may well be the reddest State in the Union. If a Republican cannot carry the most conservative State in the Union, we’re looking at a “Walter-Mondale”[-magnitude] blowout. I will note in contrast, that if I’m the nominee, we [can] win. We carry key swing States, we carry independents, right now I’m beating Hillary Clinton with young people by double-digits, but let me tell you the even more broad point of even just electability – it is stunning how many issues Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton agree on. If you’re a social conservative, it should bother you that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both agree on taxpayer-funding for Planned Parenthood and both of them think Planned Parenthood is wonderful, that’s their word. It should bother you that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both agreed with Bill Clinton on banning many of the most popular firearms in America. As the president, I’m going to defend the 2nd amendment, not seek to ban guns.
And so on and so on and so on. See the whole tale of the tape here.
Here are the comparative electability numbers in another bellwether "red" State that has only gone "blue" once in the past seventy years - Arizona:
Trump trails the Ugly Dutchess in the Grand Canyon State by seven, while Cruz leads her by five. Just sayin'. Or as Captain Ed put it, "If Arizona’s really in play, then the GOP is in deep, deep trouble."
But Trumplicans just don't care. And that has happened before in American political history. Our conservative forebears in the Goldwater movement didn't push him over the top in 1964 because they were trying to defeat the functionally invincible Lyndon Johnson, fresh off the JFK assassination tragedy; they were trying to seize the Republican Party from the real RINOs as the national political vehicle and home for the conservative movement, which it has been - until now. The extreme Left didn't inflict the 1972 McGovern disaster on the Democrat Party because they thought he could unseat President Nixon - he was probably the only Donk candidate who couldn't - but because they were "anti-war," anti-American, pro-communist vermin forty years ahead of their time, and he represented them. It was a gigantic middle finger to the country they hated, and they flipped it. And Nixon was reelected in an LBJ-Goldwatereque landslide.
Sometimes nominating electorates just make emotional, irrational, suicidal choices. It's just been a lifetime or more for most of us since Republicans have committed such electoral hari-kari.
That's what Trumplicans are reprising now:
It requires staggering self-deception to place the blame for a Trump general-election defeat anywhere except where it would belong: squarely on the shoulders of Donald Trump. It’s not on account of a Twitter hashtag that the average polling spread for the last month has [Mrs.] Clinton winning by 8.5 points, or that only five head-to-head polls in the last year projected that Trump would run better than [Mrs.] Clinton (and even then only modestly). It’s not because of a handful of vocal conservatives that Trump’s unfavorable ratings started, when he announced last June, at 68% — and that they are at nearly the same place now. That’s on Donald Trump.
And so would be a loss in November. Trump has unprecedented name recognition. He’s garnered some $1.9 billion in free publicity during this presidential cycle — more than six times as much as his closest competitor (Cruz). He has “Ten Billion Dollars” at his disposal. Trump has everything he needs to be president. If he can’t do it because there is a group of conservatives who are not interested in rallying around an untrustworthy liberal who mocks the handicapped and calls women “pigs” — isn’t that his problem? Isn’t it Trump’s problem if a whole lot of conservatives think that women shouldn’t be punished for having abortions, that the president of the United states shouldn’t retweet white supremacists, and that American foreign policy shouldn’t be operated like a protection racket? If Donald Trump wants conservative votes, isn’t it his job to show that he represents conservatives? And if those conservatives won’t acquiesce, then Trump’s supporters can go out and find other people who will vote for him. That’s also how elections work.
But Trump’s partisans won’t do that — because winning this election is not actually what they’re about. They’re not about “making America great again.” They’re sure as hell not about party unity. They’re about vengeance. They’re about crushing the conservatives they believe have betrayed them. They’re about tying the villains to the tracks and pushing the TrumpTrain™ full-steam ahead. [emphasis added]
Most Trumplicans are not "alt-right" white supremacists; they're ex-Tea Partiers who were far more "populist" than conservative. They saw the Right as a means to an end - the slaying of Obamunism - and, entering politics in the "red wave" 2010 cycle, got the mistaken impression that politics was easy and all they had to do to win forever was "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" The 2012 cycle should have taught them otherwise, that politics is tough, that the other side gets to "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" back, that they fight dirty, and that constitutionalist principles constrain us from reciprocating in kind.
But it didn't. They rejected that lesson. And that's when this intra-party fissure opened up. They either let their anger overwhelm them or were always dominated by it, but either way, "winning" was more important to them than any set of philosophical principles, they saw that our principles were "restraining" Republicans from playing dirty in retaliation, and so they had no more use for conservatism or the GOP. And then along came an unprincipled, unscrupulous New York liberal conman who embodied every bit of the "win at any cost, by any means necessary" "ethic" and promised them he'd "schlong" their professed enemies - which now included conservative Republicans - and it was off to the races.
And it'll be all downhill from there. Which will only stoke their raging recriminations incendiarily more.
Ted Cruz bouncing back in Indiana next Tuesday is pretty much a necessity to derail that crazy train. And the Texas senator just picked another leg up in that effort - or a thigh, at least:
Gee, thanks, Governor.... I think.