Until recently the narrative of stories like this has been predictable.
If a candidate said something nuts – or seemingly not true – an army of humorless journalists quickly dug up all the facts and the candidate ultimately was either vindicated – apologized – or suffered terrible agonies.
Al Gore for instance never really recovered from saying “I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”
True he never said he invented the Internet as is popularly believed but what he did say was clumsy enough that the line followed him around like an STD for the rest of his (largely unsuccessful) political life.
That dynamic has broken down this election season.
Politicians are quickly learning that they can say just about anything and get away with it.
Along with vindication – apology and suffering there now exists a fourth way forward for the politician spewing whoppers: Blame the backlash on media bias and walk away a hero.
This season has seen an explosion of such episodes.
Carly Fiorina in a nationally televised debate claimed to have watched a nonexistent video of evil feminists harvesting fetal brains.
Ben Carson has been through a half-dozen factual dustups – including furious debates over whether or not he stabbed someone and whether or not he once won $10 for being the only honest student in an (apparently nonexistent) Yale psychology class.
Trump meanwhile has been through more of these beefs than one can count – even twice blabbing obvious whoppers in live televised debates.
Once he claimed the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to help China – moving Rand Paul to point out that China isn’t in the TPP.
Another time he denied that he once called Marco Rubio ‘Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator’.
The line was on Trump’s website as he spoke.
What’s to stop him?
Read these results and tell me how Trump doesn’t win the Republican nomination?
I’ve been very skeptical about this all along but I’m starting to change my mind.
I think there’s at least a pretty decent chance that Trump will be the nominee.
Here’s why I think Trump could very well end up as the nominee:
1. He’s way ahead of every other candidate now and has been in the lead or tied for the lead for a long time.
2. The only one even giving him any competition right now is Carson who is even less plausible and whose support is heavily concentrated among one (large) segment of the base—evangelicals.
3. Rubio – the great establishment hope now – is deep in third place – barely in double digits and nowhere close to Trump or Carson.
(ed:..i will repeat my call that bernie sanders will run against trump..or even better trump as an independant candidate and an ‘official’ republican candidate..thus splitting the vote on the right..
..and/but in either scenario..sanders will win..
..there is an important fact to remember about/from the time sanders was a state politician..that is that the republicans in vermont came to like/respect this ‘socialist’..as he proved to them time and time again..that he worked for the betterment of all..
..and i see many moderate-republicans..(if any still exist..heh..!..)..i see them choosing sanders over proven total nut-job trump..or ‘dr death’/carson..or any of the other republican clowns pretending to the throne..)
It’s been over four months since Donald Trump took the lead in national polling for the Republican presidential nomination and in that time the GOP establishment’s panic over Trump’s popularity has been at a constant simmer with an occasional boil-over.
Most people (myself included) wrongly assumed that Trump would spike – say something racist and dumb and then embark upon his inevitable decline.
He did spike and he did say racist and dumb things – but his lead over the ‘real’ candidates has not been relinquished or appreciably dented.
Now we’re just three months out from the Iowa caucuses and the strongest challenger to Trump’s dominance is the retired brain surgeon who can’t make a coherent policy argument and just loves talking about Hitler.
And so the panic is rising once again.
One of the more entertaining aspects of this political season so far has been watching the political professionals cycle through the ups and downs of the Republican presidential field.
They have been completely flummoxed by the Trump and Carson phenomena – as the two quirky outsiders knock down one establishment heartthrob after another.
As we await the third debate tonight let’s briefly recap where we’ve been and the state of play at this moment.