So last night the likely nominee for the GOP’s presidential ticket reassured a worried nation:
We are doomed.
I think Jeb Lund (my new favorite columnist) has it exactly right here, reporting the debate from the debate-watching ballroom at the CPAC conference:
Fox even demanded that Trump explain how his own absurd tax-cut giveaway to the wealthy is going to correct the federal debt, as well as account for how his prescription drug plan will save taxpayers money while covering all Americans who qualify.
That’s just how far these people have gone on beyond zebra. After a quarter century of allowing any Republican candidate to generate any trillion-dollar figure by throwing 13 dice in the air and counting whatever numbers appeared — after allowing eight years of “repeal and replace Obamacare” without giving a tinker’s damn about what the “replace” part looked like (if it even existed at all) — a conservative outlet demanded that a conservative explain how supply-side economics works, do something that looked like math and provide a plan that makes sense.
You know the instruments of the right are losing when they have to move left to correct themselves.
My publication, Bridge, runs a fact-checking feature during election seasons, the Michigan Truth Squad, similar to Politifact or any of the many other similar services provided by staid, sober, responsible news outlets. We all pick up a little of the work, and while it’s not my favorite part of my job, sometimes it brings you up close and personal with some truly vile campaign materials, and at least some readers seem to appreciate it. But when I look at things like this sad little AP fact-check of last night’s debate in Detroit — no, I didn’t go — I can’t help but think we have missed the Getting It train by not minutes, not hours, but by days, years, eras, epochs. I can imagine being the poor AP sap tasked with that literally thankless duty. It’d be like writing the copy that goes around the naked pictures in Penthouse; seriously, who is going to read this?
I’d read a fact-check of the penis thing. Maybe someone could get an ex or two on the record.
The thing is, even if by some turn of events Trump doesn’t get the nomination, or if he does and Hillary shellacks him in November, the damage has already been done. An oaf, a buffoon, has stood on what is allegedly a “debate” stage, in a contest for president of the United States, and bragged about his dick. And like Lund points out, people are eating it up:
And yet Trump won them over, time and again. Rubio had made jokes about his penis over the last week, and Trump just said, “It’s never been a problem,” and the entire room nearly whooped like a daytime talk show audience. Cruz burned him, and he burned back, and they cheered. Rubio came after him, and they cheered.
…If Trump could win points there, just imagine what happened among the people who have no fealty to movement conservatism, who have nurtured a sustained rage at being betrayed or ignored by its bromides, who have been told that conservatism is good for them even as they have seen the middle class begin to crater around them like a suburban Florida neighborhood pockmarking with sinkholes during a long drought.
This is what we’ve sunk to.
We’re doomed. Have a nice weekend. I plan to drink.