It wasn't supposed to come to this. And yet, this is the price that "the party of Abraham Lincoln" is paying for its three-decades-plus courtship of a class of people that had historically been politically apathetic: the terminally insane. Today the chickens have come home to roost in the guise of Donald Trump. Before this gets any better for the panic-stricken heads of the Republican National Committee, it's going to get worse. Five months ago, the very idea of the Donald receiving the GOP nod at next summer's convention was about was about as fanciful as Bob Dylan recording an entire LP of covers by Freddie and the Dreamers. Today, I'm not so sure.
You've got to wonder exactly what is going on inside the minds of your average Republican primary voter - particularly in the South and Midwest. The more this guy steps in it, the higher his stock continues to rise among these people. From mocking a New York Times Reporter with a neurological disorder - to insisting that all Muslims be registered and monitored by Big Brother - to referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers - he seems unable to offend any of these people. Even when he proclaimed that Iowans were idiots because his poll numbers were somewhat lagging in that state, he appears not to have offended a soul. You gotta wonder. You really do.
This is not to say that Donald Trump is a fool. I honesty don't think that he really believes one/tenth of the nonsense he adds to the national political conversation. He knows full well that - at least in this day and age - in order to get the Republican nomination, a candidate has to stomp around the country saying a lot of mind-bendingly stupid things. Once he gets the nomination (assuming that he does indeed get it), it will be quite an amusing thing watching him slither back from the extreme-right to the center-right during the general election. There's also this uncomfortable factor: forgetting his all-too-numerous faults as a candidate, there is (with me at least) a grudging admiration for the guy. I have always appreciated anyone with moxie - and Trump has it in droves. If the definition of successful parenting is instilling self-confidence in a child, Donald Trump's mom and dad were the best parents in history.
Sometimes I wonder if he is some sort of double agent doing espionage work for the opposition party. At one time he described himself as a "liberal", so anything is possible I suppose. The damage he is doing to that party is palpable and incalculable.
Trump's candidacy almost guarantees that for the first time in one-hundred and sixty years, one Democratic administration will be followed into the White House by another Democratic administration. The last time that happened was on March 4, 1957 when Franklin Pierce tossed the keys to the executive mansion over to pathetic old James Buchanan. It hasn't happened since. It will happen again on Inauguration Day 2017 - mark my words, boys and girls. The curse is being broken. Aren't these interesting times?
In spite of all of these jolly developments, progressives across the land are setting themselves up for a huge let down. For one thing, while Hillary Clinton is not the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt - that's for damned sure. And even if she ends up surprising us, she'll still have to deal with the aggravations that her husband and Barack Obama encountered. While the Republicans almost certainly have become virtually unelectable on a national lever, they won't be going away any time soon. Barring a miracle, they'll still control the house and the senate for the foreseeable future. There's still no end to the damage that they can and will do. This is something we'll just have to live with.
Isn't this a time?