Posted by on March 2, 2016

Regular readers know that I am a big fan of shlock movies, ones that are normally not acknowledged in polite society.  One of the very best of these is Kelly’s Heroes, starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles and Donald Sutherland and featuring one of the great movie theme songs (Burning Bridges by the Mike Curb Congregation).  The theme of the movie is the superiority of private enterprise over the public sector, as a rag-tag group of American soldiers pierces through the German lines in WWII, motivated by a bank full of gold.  Finding their route to riches blocked by a German soldier in a Tiger tank, Rickles offers the following advice to Savalas (and the clip is well worth watching):

Rickles: “Make a deal.”

Savalas: “What kind of a deal?”

Rickles: “A deal, deal.  Maybe the guy’s a Republican.  Business is business.  Right?”

Soon thereafter, you have the sight of the tank pivoting its gun and blowing open the doors of the bank.  Free enterprise overcomes all.

Well, it is time for the Republican candidates to heed this advice.  People are going to have to start falling on swords.  And quickly.

Carson can stay if he wants; he is an irrelevancy at this point.  Kasich has to give up his delusions and drop out before the March 15 winner-take-all primary in his home state of Ohio.  And Cruz and Rubio have to make a deal and one of them has to drop, more likely Rubio at this point.

The reason for this is simple: Trump cannot win the general election and he will drag the Republican Party down with him, probably losing the majority in the Senate.  And then we will have Clinton in the White House, a liberal majority in the Supreme Court and (at best) a split Congress.  A perfect storm.  As Tim Miller, the head of the conservative Our Principles PAC, stated:

Donald’s general election campaign will fail worse than Trump Mortgage and Trump Steaks did and Hillary Clinton will destroy him even if she’s campaigning from jail.

If anyone doubts this, then I suggest a read of Megan McArdle’s recent posting in BloombergView entitled “The Die-Hard Republicans Who Say #NeverTrump.”  In it, McArdle eavesdrops on a Twitter conversation and invites emails from long-time Republicans who are against Trump.  Here are some of the better responses:

“I’m concerned Trump’s nomination would split the GOP apart (like the Grand Canyon) and his inevitable, massive loss could destroy the GOP (then no more Supreme Court appointments, ever?). … Better to lose one election or third party or something, even at the risk of the Supreme Court, and live to fight another day, than tolerate radioactive Trump — and through the contact, become radioactive ourselves and implode into oblivion.”

“I fully feel that even a single four-year term by either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be disastrous to the fundamentals and principles this nation was founded on.  But a Donald Trump administration would be equally, if not more, disastrous.  The difference is that with Donald Trump, conservatives and the Republican Party would be shackled to the mess created, bound at least by association to whatever tyranny he imposes, whatever disastrous policy he enacts on a whim, and whatever hateful, bigoted rhetoric follows in his wake by the alarming number of his followers I would never have imagined still exist in America today.”

“I personally am not willing to sacrifice my country and more specifically the dignity of the office that represents it, just to make a point.”

“It may be true that the country I love and fought for has gone over the cliff and is willing to elect a narcissistic con-man as president, but I will never, under any circumstances, put my name to its death warrant.”

“POTUS has power to start a nuclear war.   Trump is impulsive, thin skinned, irrational and vindictive.   Putting nuclear launch codes in his hands would be only thing worse than putting Hillary back in the WH.”

“I agree with Donald Trump on virtually nothing and don’t consider him a Republican.  Not only won’t I vote for him in a general election, but I’ll vote for either Hillary or Sanders….As Americans, I think we have a moral obligation to choose between the lesser of two evils…or as Churchill said: ‘If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.'”

McArdle summarizes the responses into the following  charge sheet against Trump:

  • They question his character and judgment
  • They think he’s a racist, or panders to racists
  • They think he’s misogynistic
  • They think he lacks substance on policy
  • They see him as an unprincipled con man
  • He’s seen as authoritarian
  • They don’t trust him with foreign policy
  • They believe he’s a crypto-liberal

But McArdle is most struck by how many die-hard Republicans, many of whom claim to have voted the straight ticket historically, say that they won’t vote at all or will vote Democratic if Trump is the nominee.  And how many of them would leave the Republican Party if he gets the nod.

Trump may be unstoppable at this point.  The only chance is to unify all the non-Trump voters in a single candidate, which is likely to be Cruz.  Cruz is very, very far from perfect, but there is still a reasonable chance that in the general election, and in governing, he will lose the looney edges.  Trump only has looney edges.  It is also true that, while Cruz may not beat Clinton, at least this would be a conventional loss, rather than the Thelma & Louise moment that the Republicans would have with a Trump candidacy.  The Trump supporters are having fun now, but I can assure them that this only lasts while the car is still in the air.

It is time for Cruz and Rubio to make a deal.

Roger Barris

Weybridge, United Kingdom

I Wish that I Had Said That (And Sometimes Not)…

“Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies,” by Gore Vidal, a life-long liberal explaining the origin of his political beliefs

 

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13 Comments on "Make a Deal"

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Mark B. Spiegel
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A Trump/Kasich ticket could beat Clinton. People would look upon Trump as the mouthpiece and Kasich as the reasonable guy who can get things done. After all, Trump– like Obama, except for is pet-project of Obamacare– probably doesn’t want to get his hands dirty dealing with all the bs involved with actually “governing.”

Mark B. Spiegel
Guest

P.S. Trump will do FAR better in the general election than Cruz, who is seemingly now the only Republican alternative, so it’s “him” or “no one.”

Mark B. Spiegel
Guest

You know, if you cut through the guy’s bluster, his tax and healthcare proposals are terrific and a lot more pro-growth than Hillary’s: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions

(That’s assuming this tax proposal is at least deficit neutral– I’ve heard some skepticism about that.)

Mark B Spiegel
Guest
Re. the specifics of the tax plan, I’d “WAG” that if the rates were 5% higher across the board vs Trump’s plan, it might at least be revenue-neutral and would still be flatter than it is today. As for the spending side… My thought is that Trump is an egomaniac who thought it would be really great to be President but has given very little thought to what he’ll do when he gets there, but that if he DOES get there he’s a practical guy who will make smart decisions. I don’t buy into the “crony capitalist” thing– remember, he’s… Read more »