Donald Trump’s campaign is imploding in a way that’s so spectacular and unprecedented that it’s tempting to just sit back and marvel at it, like it were some kind of holiday fireworks display grand finale set to the crescendo of the 1812 Overture. The problem, of course, is that there’s still every reason in the world to be terrified of Trump — incompetent, woefully unfit, mentally unstable clown though he may be — because even badly damaged he’s still one of the two people currently running for the most powerful office in the world. Until the threat he poses has safely passed, sane America still needs to shelter in place, in this case meaning that it needs to fight tooth and nail to ensure he never gets anywhere near the White House.
Admittedly, though, the meltdown we’ve seen over just the past few days is the sort of thing you can’t take your eyes off. Even the most seasoned pol-watchers have never seen anything quite like it. In fact, Trump has behaved so erratically and self-destructively that we’re now learning that the GOP is actually trying to put a contingency plan in place should the unthinkable happen (for them anyway, given that the entire Trump push for the presidency has been unthinkable for most of us). ABC News is reporting that Republican leaders are now contemplating what their emergency move would be if Trump were to suddenly drop out of the race. Sound like a completely insane scenario? Not anymore. Not when we’re talking about Donald Trump.
Look at just the past 72 hours — maybe the most calamitous 72 hours in the history of any modern presidential campaign. Trump continued to provoke and insult the family of a U.S. soldier who died saving his fellow troops; he claimed to have sacrificed as much as that dead soldier by working hard and creating jobs; he said Russia wasn’t ever going to go into Ukraine, even though the country has been there for two years; he engaged in a petty, vendetta-fueled power play with the GOP by refusing to endorse Paul Ryan and John McCain; he accepted a Purple Heart that was gifted to him by saying that he’d always wanted one and taking it from a vet was easier than actually earning it; he threw a fucking baby out of a rally; his staff, according to CNBC’s John Harwood, is now powerless to contain Trump and has reached the point of being “suicidal.”
This is why the GOP is more than a little concerned. According to NBC News, the party is planning an honest-to-God intervention to see if anything can get through to Trump’s monumental ego. But if that doesn’t work — and it won’t — they have to have a plan B, especially since Trump has hinted he may drop out. Oh, it was easy to think at first that Trump’s lament about how the upcoming election would be rigged against him was an early attempt to justify a loss to Hillary Clinton. But there’s another way of looking at it: If Trump can convince himself and his idiot yokel base that he’ll never get a fair shake, that’s how he can get out and still save face. It doesn’t matter how utterly full of shit an excuse it is, all that matters is that Trump believes it and his most rabid followers believe it.
And if Trump used that excuse, imagine the reaction from those minions. As he’s already hinted at, there would be violence and chaos, because Trump represents a cult of personality — and if he says he’s leaving because Clinton is cheating, they’ll trust him since it’s what they already wholeheartedly believe. He’ll be a martyr rather than an unhinged buffoon. Will he actually do this? Who the hell knows. But that’s exactly the point. We’re in uncharted waters here. None of us has ever seen a political campaign like this or a candidate like this. Trump could honestly do almost anything at this point and it wouldn’t be all that shocking. The only thing we know for sure is the same thing the GOP is dwelling on and losing its mind over right now: The longer this mental patient’s one-man-show continues, the more damage he’s doing to the Republican party. As it is now, Donald Trump may be their extinction level event.
For that, they have no one to blame but themselves. They’re the morally bankrupt party that hitched their wagon to this dangerous lunatic.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.