Monday, February 29, 2016

Some moderates - Kasich is running to be Trump's VP, Christie endorses the disaster candidate

I first saw Clare Malone at 538 suggest it, then somewhere else - Kasich is in the race to be Vice President. It makes sense of course that any second-tier candidate would have this as the backup possibility. Kasich has mostly stayed out of the mud (he did attack Trump some last fall), and his staying in the race is tremendously helpful for Trump.

He'd appear as a good "balancing" candidate for Trump with both DC and governing experience, and could help a bit with Ohio, an important swing state. He's somewhat less helpful for Cruz whose odds are diminishing now anyway (we'll see Cruz again in 2020). He's a disaster for Rubio, so he's really running to help Trump, maybe have a shot with Cruz.

And we have Christie, who's gone off at length about the importance of actual governing is as required experience to be president, now endorsing the one candidate with even less experience than the senators he derided as unqualified. Christie might think he's VP material but that's unlikely - as the nominee he might have had a slight chance to shift New Jersey, despite his unpopularity, but not as the Veep. He's likely to sit in the cabinet with Sarah Palin.*

These two "moderates" both know from direct personal experience with Trump and from his policies how unqualified he is for office. They're doing this anyway, and that tells you something about the current state of the Republican Party on the national level.

It's useful to think of Kasich and Christie, if they had become president, as having political policies comparable to the last Bush. Rubio and Cruz would be far, far worse.

As for Trump, who knows? He doesn't even know what his policies are going to be, so there's some chance I suppose they could be better than any other Republican.

Despite that, Kevin Drum is right and Trump is the worst possible candidate that could become President. In addition to being disastrously incompetent and generally evil, Trump poses a risk to democracy different from the others. Dick Cheney is a stronger believer in democracy than Donald Trump.

That's not to say that Trump hates democracy - he probably hasn't noticed the concept. But if he stumbled into the chance opportunity to harm or completely destroy American democracy, he'd do it. If he knows about Julius Caesar destroying what remained of the Roman Republic to set up an empire, he probably thinks "strong leadership move".

I don't think a President Trump would probably destroy American democracy - he likely wouldn't get the opportunity, and the people around him would probably stop him if the opportunity did arise. But I don't want to take the chance, or find out how Trump would react to another 9/11.

President Cruz or President Rubio would make us look fondly upon the last Bush administration. President Trump would be even worse.

Update Mar. 30:  Lately Kasich has been more critical of Trump, so possibly I was wrong, or maybe Kasich is changing in response to too much Trump. Or not. The key for the rest of the campaign is whether Kasich runs in a way that maximizes taking delegates away from Trump as opposed to away from Cruz.

*Okay, kidding about Sarah - even Trump has limits.


David B. Benson said...

"I came. I saw. I conquered."


Trump's left hand doesn't know whose right hand it's nailing to the Senate door.