He won’t [win], of course, but it matters a great deal how he loses. In a healthy two-party system, the G.O.P. would treat Trump’s strange success as evidence that the party’s basic orientation may need to change substantially, so that it looks less like a tool of moneyed interests and more like a vehicle for middle American discontent.According to Douthat, if I'm reading this correctly, either Trump's candidacy will lead to Douthat-style reform of the GOP or it will lead to a crisis within the GOP that will destroy it -- and what will emerge from the ashes will be, I suppose, precisely the sort of reform Douthat likes.
In an unhealthy system, the kind I suspect we inhabit, the Republicans will find a way to crush Trump without adapting to his message. In which case the pressure the Donald has tapped will continue to build -- and when it bursts, the G.O.P. as we know it may go with it.
That's Douthat seeing his own obsessions and hobbyhorses reflected in the Trump candidacy. What does Maureen Dowd see?
Trump is a manifestation of national disgust -- with the money that consumed politics, with the dysfunctional, artificial status quo and with the turgid return to a Bush-Clinton race, with a less adept Bush and Clinton.Dowd looks at Trump and sees ... a pathogen that contains a precise cocktail of antibodies to the things she hates most in the world, Clintonism and Bushism!
“The prospect of Hillary and Jeb as the nominees created a huge opening for something like this,” said former W. strategist Matthew Dowd. “The American public looked at it and said, ‘I do not want that.’”
... Trump’s “gusto,” as he likes to call it, has thrown into sharper relief the grinding-it-out, impatient entitlement, the overthinking and overcorrecting of Jeb and Hillary.
Both campaign like they are owed, not because of their great national achievements, but because of their byzantine family dynamics....
Why, it's almost as if both Dowd and