I love the smell of panic in the morning, long before the first vote is cast in the primaries.
It has slowly dawned upon the saner and leveler heads in the Republican party that they are looking at a debacle in the 2016 presidential election if the GOP ticket is headed by either braying buffoon Donald Trump or stabby retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Up until now it has been all fun and games, but with Iowa just around the corner after the holidays (Feb. 1) "shit is about to get real," as the Buddhists say.
There are within the GOP some people who are actually concerned with governance and policy and getting stuff done -- and then there is the Freedom Caucus made up of bomb throwers, arsonists, sociopaths, and flat-earthers. Crazy as it may sound, many from both factions are not enamored with the idea of handing the keys to the kingdom to either the guy who will gold-plate Mt. Rushmore or the other guy who is Chance the Gardener from Being There -- only black.
As the WaPo notes, one GOP strategist who can look past his next paycheck has a fairly apocalyptic view of the future.
“We’re potentially careening down this road of nominating somebody who frankly isn’t fit to be president in terms of the basic ability and temperament to do the job,” this strategist said. “It’s not just that it could be somebody Hillary could destroy electorally, but what if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?”
Oh. NOW they like Hillary. She has become their back-up date in case Trump or Carson lands the nomination and only now are they beginning to acknowledge that that way lies madness.
What to do, what to do?
Faced with the fact that Trump is not fading and a solid amount of the base really enjoys the Ben Carson "Jesus-and-two-counts-of-attempted-murder" freakshow, they are hoping that Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio can pull it out now that the the conventional candidacies of Scott Walker, Jeb! Bush and Rand Paul have flamed out.
But, just in case, some Republicans are hedging their bets and big time donors are holding onto their cash hoping that Mitt Romney will be convinced to ride to the rescue like a white knight on a bicycle wearing a short-sleeved white shirt and tie, going door-to-door telling America once again about the Angel Reagan.
According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest.
If enough panicky businessmen and Republican kingmakers show up begging and pleading, of course Romney will accept. Because Romney wants to be needed, unlike grudgingly accepted the way he was in 2012. His vanity -- along with his belief that he is destined to become president -- will become the irresisitible force that shoves him into the fray for the good of God and country and his ego.
Does he have a chance of winning? Nope. But the plan -- at least for the GOP -- won't be to win. It will be to save everyone else down-ticket because they can't afford to lose their hold on both houses of Congress due to low turnout caused by turning the party entirely over to the crazy Breitbart wing.
They may be crazy, but they're not a suicide cult.
It's so hard to tell these days...