Thursday, August 04, 2016

My One Political Prediction

It, um...seems to have been an interesting few weeks, politically speaking. I believe that since I last blogged, Donald Trump has picked a fight with the parents of an American soldier who died stopping a suicide bomber on the grounds that they support Islamic terrorism, stabbed his two most prominent national political allies in the back, insinuated he would use nuclear weapons as a first resort, asked the Russians to illegally interfere in a national election on his behalf, discussed documents that he claimed were "top secret" (which may not actually exist), and oh yeah he kicked a baby out of one of his rallies.

And then said that he doesn't understand why he's behind in the polls.

With all that, the Republicans seem (unsurprisingly) to be hitting the panic button. There's just one problem--that button's not hooked up to anything. There is no provision for denominating a candidate who has been selected as the Republican standard-bearer once the convention happens. This means that no matter what Trump does--publicly setting fire to Reince Priebus' car, pissing in Paul Ryan's protein shake, playing the "I'm not touching youuuuu!" game with John McCain--all they can do is ask him to drop out. (And Trump knows it, which is why he's doing all this. Trump is only nice to people when he needs to be in order to get something out of them. Voters should remember that in November.)

Which brings me to my one political prediction. Because rumor has it that the Republicans are, in fact, privately trying to get Trump to drop out (a rumor that the Republicans are denying with the same approximate degree of believability that NFL team owners use when insisting that they have full confidence in their 1-11 head coach and don't plan on making any personnel moves until after the season). And those journalists who have looked into this have said that if Trump were to drop out, the Republicans would need it to happen before September 1st in order to be able to put the new candidate's name on the ballots in all 50 states (once they selected him or...oh who are we kidding, become the nominee, which would also need to happen before September 1st).

So here's my one political prediction. I'm not saying that Donald Trump is going to drop out and fail to finish what he laughably calls a political campaign. (Although it's not an impossibility. If you quit, claiming that the game is rigged and people aren't giving you a fair chance to win, you can always claim you would have won.) But I will say that if Trump does drop out, it will not happen until at least September 2nd.

Because if there's one thing that the Ryan/McCain episode has made clear, it is that Donald Trump never does anything gracefully when he can achieve the same outcome while avenging imaginary slights against him. If Donald feels like the Republicans have insulted him (which, although entirely justified on their part, they have) he will exit the race in a way that makes it as clear as possible that the blame for his failure rests on them, and in a way that does as much damage to them as a party as he conceivably can. In this case, that means shifting his campaign message to suggest that he's being sabotaged by his own party, then dropping out after it's too late to find a replacement and watching their electoral strategy crash and burn.

I realize that "Donald Trump does something spiteful and petty to his allies in order to salvage his ego" is not exactly going out on a limb as far as predictions go, but I feel that it will at least help you during this uncertain period to know that we are stuck with Donald for another month at least. Beyond that, it will depend on which kind of humiliation he hates more--the humiliation of losing to Hillary, or the humiliation of not even trying.

1 comment:

Jim S said...

From what I've read, Donald Trump doesn't want to be president. He just didn't like being told he didn't belong in a presidential race.

If that is the case, then the more Republicans try to oust him, the more he will resist. I think you hit the nail on the head when you talked about Trump claiming the system was rigged. That gives him his out.

"I would have won if ...." He gets to stick it to the Republicans who mocked him and he has "Ran for President for one of the major political parties" on his Ego board, I mean resume.