Time is running out for Republican Party establishment figures to execute a “Stop Trump” strategy.
Next week’s Super Tuesday primaries in 12 states will go a long way in determining whether Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the presumptive presidential nominees.
And less than 24 hours after a debate that most pundits say was won by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Trump once again stole the spotlight by winning an important endorsement from former presidential candidate Chris Christie.
Trump’s ascension — and, to a lesser extent, that of Democrat Bernie Sanders — has upended conventional wisdom in American politics. But political blind spots have allowed Trump’s anti-establishment message to take root.
The Governing Cancer of Our Time
David Brooks – The New York Times
There are essentially two ways to maintain order and get things done in (a big, diverse) society — politics or some form of dictatorship….compromise or brute force. Our founding fathers chose politics….
Over the past generation we have seen the rise of a group of people who are against politics. These groups — best exemplified by the Tea Party but not exclusive to the right — want to elect people who have no political experience….
They suffer from a form of political narcissism, in which they don’t accept the legitimacy of other interests and opinions. They don’t recognize restraints. They want total victories for themselves and their doctrine.
Trump is Everyone’s Fault
Fuzz Hogan – New America
Here is what happened: Even those people who didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 fell prey to the notion that one person, with exceptional powers of persuasion, could “change Washington”…
Then, we all went on our way. We went back to watching reality TV because it seemed like harmless fun….
For those who did pay attention, it was to dive head first into the echo chamber, the very thing we all asked Obama to fix. Whatever happened in Washington, it just wasn’t good enough, and the other guys were always to blame….
So, Washington got two signals from the citizenry. One, ‘my way or the highway.’ The other, ‘I don’t care.’ If bosses said stuff like that, would anyone do their job? Or would everyone start acting selfishly and printing resumes? So, that’s what Washington did. It basically stopped working. A bad boss will do that. And we’re the boss.
Trump’s Exceptionalism Explained
Jack Shafer – Politico
Donald Trump doesn’t cross the line. He erases it.
The secret to Trump’s campaign is his relentless optimism. It doesn’t matter that he has a deficit of real plans, genuine programs and identifiable advisers. Quite the opposite: These shortcoming are actually strengths….
He provides emotional placeholders where messy political ideas belong. Trump’s short-form answer to most policy questions is to invoke the word “best,” a neat trick that both identifies his position and tags his opponents with “worst.”
People are Still Underestimating Donald Trump
Jamelle Bouie – Slate
Earlier this week in Nevada, I attended two events for Trump….When I spoke to Trump supporters, at both events, I heard a single refrain: Trump says what we’re all thinking,Trump doesn’t talk down to us….
These aren’t idle comments. Trump has ideas and beliefs, but he’s not winning because Republicans back his policies or hold his ideology. He’s winning because, like the most effective demagogues, he’s built an emotional bond with his audience….
They don’t care that Trump doesn’t have specifics, that he can’t give details on the wall with Mexico, or his trade war with China. What they see is that Trump is like them. He talks like them. He jokes like them. He shares their anger and their prejudice. He shares their fear. He even talks about the government like they do.