“You might as well say, that’s a valiant flea that dare eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.”
-Henry V Act 3 Scene 2
The lion has run amok of the zoo, and what tamers are left? The choice may be for the flattened flea circus to take their show on the road.
Suppose with me that a few wistful Reaganites, and more than a few unmoored Grand Old Party tikes who never knew the Gipper in more than YouTube form, are tonight quietly asking questions about the universe to their jellybeans.
What now, Rawhide?
Hillary Clinton deserves better. In that I mean she, and the wider country, requires a more apt, cogent oppositional messenger that will test her White House bonafides under legitimate fire. How star-crossed the moment, that Republicans will be led by a Republican of passing fancy who said in California on April 29th, “Folks, I’m a conservative, but at this point, who cares?” Somewhere a distraught William F. Buckley Jr does, from six feet down. Would Burger King’s mascot be a vegan, or should Ebenezer Scrooge helm Make-a-Wish?
We should expect further cognitive dissidence throughout the summer. This very morning was singed with an implication, by way of the National Inquirer, that Ted Cruz’s father was a Lee Harvey Oswald accomplice. Soon such attuned blunder-bust marksmanship will be aimed at Secretary Clinton. Amid a future discussion of the national debt or a rehash of Benghazi it will suddenly come from “people who are talking” that Hillary once was in cahoots with Squeaky Fromm. “Check that,”Trump will say with a twinkle and an upturned nod, “l have it on good authority that Hillary IS Squeaky Fromm.
Such a coming debate is Sad! for us all.
So while it might not seem very much like Morning in America this particular May evening, Ted Cruz riding off into the setting glimmers, there is a ray of possible light, for those that like to indulge dreams.
Can the ubiquitous wall be built, this one of rear-guard conservatives to keep Trump out of executive power? George Will has called for Republicans to “purge him and his manner from public life” to “reap the considerable satisfaction of preserving the identity of a 162-year old party.” David Brooks bitingly warned in March, “Donald Trump is especially unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.” Greeted with tonight’s Indiana results, Katy Packer, Mitt Romney’s 2012 deputy campaign manager stated, “There’s a sense that, if this is who my party is, I don’t really identity with it anymore.” Plucky Sen. Lindsay Graham tweeted as Hoosier Staters went to the polls, “If we nominate Donald Trump we will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.”
To discover that an editor of the conservative site RedState, Ben Howe, has pledged to support a liberal legacy-villain like Clinton is disorienting in the extreme, but the points made are clear. The Party of Lincoln must discover the better angels of its nature again.
It is time to be Teddy Roosevelts en masse, Republicans, and go 1912 up in here, on a Bull Moose run against your politically compromised host body. Trump will even be a fan of your insurrection— he loves unpredictability.
GOPers of such stripe should immediately commence in their work, culling together a third party ticket run as an electoral triangulation upon the two major parties. Another flanking-by-hashtag isn’t going to do the heavy lifting this time; this brand new effort aimed at the Fall cannot be for show, or a slap-dash affair. At the same time, happily, this insurgent Republican effort operating from outside its own home does not need to win outright in November. That is the good news.
This third ticket just needs to keep it close, make it competitive. Yet this is also where it gets sticky: The slowly dwindling Republican general election pie, under even normal circumstances, would be getting cut into two pieces of perhaps roughly similar size. Yet if a non-majority of electoral college delegates can ultimately be achieved by this extra slicing of the whole, then presto: the election would fall to the House of Representatives.
Be warned though: I give the plan a Jeb Bush of a chance of happening.
Yet stranger things have happened. The TV screen is proof. Consider that the newly-minted presumptive nominee of a major party won in part by appropriating the tagline of a board game, 2004’s reissue of Trump: The Game: It takes brains to make millions. It takes Trump to make billions.”
Any Terrified Republicans at this juncture, composing the draft of a new “Rule 22 Prairial” against their own reality-star Robespierre, may wish to repeat the original 1989 motto to Trump’s game over and over like a purifying mantra: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you win!”
This is my brightest surmised star on the Right, my best cooked scenario I can muster on this third of May for those lost amid the current din. Because regardless of what the evidence might otherwise suggests, elephants are not supposed to forget.