As a moderate Republican who voted for Obama, I should be Donald Trump’s natural enemy. Instead, I’m rooting for him.If you nodded in agreement at that reference to "the right-wing baggage essential for winning the nomination that dragged down John McCain and Mitt Romney," congratulations: you're not a wingnut. You know that Mitt Romney talked about "self-deportation," denounced Obamacare the way Ahab denounced the whale, and picked granny-starving Paul Ryan as his running mate; you also know that John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate and said it would be just ducky if U.S. troops were in Iraq for a thousand years.
The Republican establishment foresees a defeat of Barry Goldwater proportions in the unlikely event Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination. As Trump’s lead in the polls grows, so too does their panic. Yet, for moderate Republicans, a Trump nomination is not something to be feared but welcomed. It is only after a landslide loss by Trump that the GOP can win the White House again.
Trump’s nomination would give what’s left of the sane wing of the GOP a chance to reassert control in the wake of his inevitable defeat, because it would prove beyond doubt that the existing conservative coalition cannot win the presidency. A historic thrashing of the know-nothings would verify that compromise and reform are essential to recapture the White House and attract new voters, such as Latinos, who are now alienated from the Republican Party.
A best-case scenario would see the nation souring on the Democrats after three victories in a row, the most either party has achieved in the post-war era, and the election of a pragmatic Republican in 2020, unencumbered by the right-wing baggage essential for winning the nomination that dragged down John McCain and Mitt Romney....
But to wingnuts, these guys were liberals -- or RINOs, which, to the right, is exactly the same thing. Every wingnut "knows" why Romney and McCain lost: because they weren't conservative enough! If Trump were somehow to win the nomination and he went on to lose the presidency in a landslide, even with someone like Ted Cruz (or, God help us, Palin) as his running mate, these same wingnuts -- the ones thrilling to his every word right now -- would say he lost because he was too liberal.
Hell, it would easier to make that case with Trump -- he's given money to Democrats and praised single-payer healthcare, and he occasionally says conservatively incorrect things even about immigration. So we'd be back at square one: Next time, if we want to win, we have to run a conservative! And if no Republican wins the presidency for a generation, it will be because none of them actually were conservatives. Because, to the wingnuts, conservatism can never fail -- it can only be failed.