Is the Republican Party having a nervous breakdown?
That’s what it looks like to many Americans. It makes for great entertainment, but it doesn't bode well electorally.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the candidates who are leading the field for the Republican presidential nomination are the least qualified. The candidates who are lagging and those who have dropped out are the most qualified.
If that sounds like rational thinking to you, you don’t know much about rational thinking.
Of course, we know what it all means. We have heard it from a television personality who goes by the name of Kennedy.
According to Kennedy, the Republican Party is angry and frustrated because the current president is acting more like a dictator than a leader. People vote for Republicans. They elect Republicans to just about every public office. The result: Barack Hussein acts as though nothing has happened.
Regardless of what the people think, regardless of what the Congress thinks, Barack Obama does what he pleases. Think about Obama’s immigration policy, which he justified doing by executive fiat because Congress did not act. What did Congress do to stop it? What could they have done to stop it? People do have a right to be furious, but why not be slightly more furious at Barack Hussein Obama and the Democratic Party. And why not do what is necessary to ensure that the next president is a Republican, and not just in name only?
Or, take the Iran nuclear deal. A large majority of Americans and a large majority of members of Congress do not approve of it. It does not matter. The deal is now in force.
Americans feel like they are being bullied. It is not a good feeling. So, they want to bring in a bigger bully, someone who will take the gloves off, a street fighter, someone with brass knuckles who will bully the bully. It makes a certain amount of sense. Or at least it would if there were any chance that Donald Trump would ever be elected.
But, a large majority of Republicans believe that Trump is their most electable candidate. They are saying this just as Trump begins to fade, as the aura seems to be dissipating into thin air.
Trump’s problem is that he is one-note. He lacks the relevant experience and does not know anything about the vast majority of the issues that would confront a president. Empty as he is, he wears out his welcome. Being all show and no substance, Trump is currently fading in the polls because people are getting bored with the shtick.
To look at the bright side,, Trump seems to have saved us from Jeb Bush and that might be a sufficient accomplishment. His charge that Bush is low energy resonated because Jeb always seems somewhat weak at the knees.
And yet, Trump could think of nothing very original to throw at Ben Carson than to accuse him of being low energy. Thereby, he opened himself up to the obvious retort, offered last night by Bill O’Reilly. The host of the O’Reilly Factor was laughing at the bloviating billionaire. He noted that someone who was capable of standing on his feet for fifteen hours performing brain surgery—a field where you cannot make mistakes, because if you cut the wrong brain cell it will not heal or grow back—is not low energy. Carson’s poise and self-control are positive character traits, especially when compared to a candidate who pretends to be out of control.
When it comes to Trump, there’s no there there, there’s no command of the facts or the issues. It is inevitable that Republicans, no matter how angry they are, or better, no matter how willing they are to be led around by their anger, will tire of the exercise.
To be scrupulously fair to the Donald, people have flocked to his candidacy because he represents the opposite of today’s beaten-down whimpering metrosexual hypersensitive American male. For his supporters Trump has been the antidote to the wussified American man.
The point is well taken. Yet, the antidote to today’s diminished American man is a man who can do the job, who can function effectively as the president, not someone who is dancing on a very thin resume. Some people thought that Dwight Eisenhower had low energy, too. But, he was an effective leader. One needs to understand the difference between posturing and achievement.
Many Republicans blame their Congressional leaders for having effectively bent over and submitted to Obama. Surely Republicans could make more of a show of having a spine. They should relish confrontation. And yet, doing so would mean attacking a man the American people put in the White House. You reap what you sow.
Apparently, the average Republican voter reasons like this: Republicans in Washington have been looking ineffectual, so why not nominate a candidate who will really be ineffectual, like Dr. Ben Carson. One admires Carson as much as anyone, but it is unthinkable that a plurality of Republican voters actually believe that he is qualified for the presidency, or that, when push comes to vote, he would win an election against Hillary Clinton.
In a normal year, in a year when people were thinking with their minds and not with their rage, they would find much to like in a candidate like John Kasich. Of course, they would have found much to like in Scott Walker and Rick Perry, too. A lot of good that did.
In any other year, Kasich might be an ideal GOP candidate. He's the two-term governor of Ohio, a pivotal swing state that Republicans have never won the White House without. Kasich was reelected in a landslide last year and his approval ratings in Ohio remain very high.
Kasich has served in Congress. He knows the federal budget and has balanced it. He has worked on foreign policy. He has governed effectively. What’s not to like?
Apparently, he’s too low energy for all of the tough, manly GOP voters, people like Trump supporter Mike Tyson. So, yesterday Kasich said that the current Republican presidential primary campaign is downright “crazy.”
It makes a certain amount of sense. Beyond Trump and Carson, Republican voters are gaga over inexperienced first-term senators, because electing a first-term senator has worked out so well in the past. And, let’s not forget Carly Fiorina, an excellent debater who seems to believe that for having failed to run a major corporation she is qualified to run the country.
Anyway, Kasich is angry because Trump is taking credit for the Ford Motor Company’s decision-- taken last spring, by the way-- to continue manufacturing some of its trucks in Ohio. One must note that the negotiations that led to this decision began in 2011.
Three days ago Trump tweeted:
Word is that Ford Motor, because of my constant badgering at packed events, is going to cancel their deal to go to Mexico and stay in U.S.
Three minutes later Trump doubled down on the bogus claim:
Do you think I will get credit for keeping Ford in U.S. Who cares, my supporters know the truth. Think what can be done as president!
Now we know what Trump can do as president. Talk the talk but not walk the walk. Make false claims and yell at anyone who does not believe them.
What’s the real story? NPR reports it:
The real story appears to be this. Ford has decided to move some pickup truck production from Mexico to Ohio, but that deal was announced back in the Spring. And Ohio's governor is proud of it.
"I went to Detroit and had a lot of meetings with the auto companies," Kasich said, referring to the time shortly after he took office in 2011 when Ford received state tax incentives. That benefit has been traced to the decision to move the truck manufacturing back to Ohio. Ford executives have criticized Trump and praised Kasich in response to the flare up.
Without naming Trump, Kasich said, "Anybody else that's in here trying to say that something they did today affected something in 2011 must be living in a time machine or something."
On the one side you have a governor who accomplished something substantive, who kept manufacturing jobs in his state. On the other side you have a candidate who takes credit for something that he did not accomplish, thus, who burnishes his resume with a lie.
So, naturally the Republican Party is infatuated with the latter while ignoring the former. Let’s be clear here. When you are running against someone who lies all the time, someone whose initials are HRC, you cannot attack her when your leading candidate tells lies himself.
Kasich continued, saying that the Republican campaign had become “crazy, as in, nuts. NPR reports:
"Look, we're hearing all kinds of crazy things right now on the campaign trail," Kasich added. "One of the guys wants to abolish Medicare and Medicaid. Another guy wants to deport 10 million people out of America."
There, Kasich was referring to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who recently talked about replacing Medicare and medicaid with private health savings accounts, but later insisted he wasn't proposing the elimination of the programs. Kasich also sounded like he was calling out Trump, who has repeatedly talked about deporting millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally.
And keep in mind, Marco Rubio, splendid human being, does not believe in the life of the mother exception for abortion. How do you think that is going to go down once the country finds out about it?