Monday, November 30, 2015


On ABC's This Week yesterday, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona uttered a Sunday talk show heresy:
At this point, I don't see a path where Donald Trump probably doesn’t become the nominee.
Matt Bai was having none of it. He assured us that Trump's numbers will never get better than they are now, and once other candidates drop out, it's over for Trump:
BAI: -- no, the question, look, we know what we've got with Trump now. You have an inelastic base of support that maybe 25-30 percent of the party -- he couldn't shake that if he went out and, you know, killed a bunch of people today.

The question is -- the question is, you know, can he grow it?

He's shown no capacity to grow it and I think the things he's done in the last couple months make that impossible.
Apparently Bai is unaware of the recent Economist/YouGov poll in which Trump was pitted one-on-one against Marco Rubio. In that poll, Trump trounced Rubio, 57%-43%.

So, yeah, Trump can "grow" his voter base.

Bai tells us to chill out -- the GOP Establishment has got this:
BAI: ... So the -- so what you're really looking at is -- the question you have to ask yourself is can the governing establishment of the Republican Party at this point be like the Tea Party in 2012, in which they just remained split, choose a bunch of different candidates in different states and can't coalesce?

That's the scenario under which you're talking --

CARDONA: That's right.

BAI: -- that you're talking about. I don't think establishments behave that way. I think ultimately, they do congeal around one or two candidates. And if that's the case, they will eclipse Donald Trump because he can't grow 25 or 30 percent in the election...
Except that the GOP Establishment isn't "congeal[ing] around one or two candidates." The Establishment likes Rubio, but it also can't quit Bush, or give up on Kasich. And now Chris Christie has won the endorsement of New Hampshire's Union Leader newspaper, and the ABC panel thinks he's having a "moment" -- not just because of that endorsement but because of terrorism:
[COKIE] ROBERTS: -- and Chris Christie, regardless of the "Manchester Union-Leader," is in a little moment because of what happened in Paris. And -- and terrorism, once it becomes the primary issue, it really does sink everything else, because if people don't feel safe, nothing else matters, so.

BAI: Well, he's also the best pure...


BAI: -- he's the best pure...

[MARTHA] RADDATZ: Very quickly, Matt.

BAI: -- retail candidate in the field. And that's why I think "The Union Leader" endorsement does matter at this point, because I think the establishment does have to congeal somewhere and he's got a lot of strengths as a candidate.
It's so typical that panel made up of Northeast Corridor elitists thinks that the guy most likely to be seen by voters in Iowa and South Carolina and Texas as a terrorism fighter is ... a mouthy lawyer. It's the Giuliani fantasy all over again. These people are approximately as dumb as the Trump voters, except that they think writing legal briefs is almost like being a war hero and Trump voters feel that way about getting golf courses and casinos built.

And Bai is telling us that the GOP Establishment will "congeal around one or two candidates," but a renewal of phony Christiemania will make them more likely to remain divided. Christie? Kasich? Rubio? Bush? The longer the Establishment remains indecisive, the better life gets for Trump (or possibly Ted Cruz).

And if Christie may be having a "moment," the voters seem not to have noticed: He's still in seventh place in New Hampshire, with 5.3% of the vote, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average. He's at 2.3% in Iowa, 1% in South Carolina, and 1.5% in Florida. He's at 1% in the only Nevada poll conducted this fall. He's going nowhere.

But you keep waiting for that Christie "moment," GOP Establishment. Donald Trump thanks you.

(Via Karoli at Crooks & Liars.)


jsk said...

My scenario for the GOP nomination process, or How Trump Loses.

1) Cruz remains in close contention in Iowa polls. Voters who would really prefer Carson say to themselves, "Ideally, we want a True Christian who's a complete outsider, but Cruz comes close. At least we can count on him to fight the homosexuals and the baby killers, and in the general election he would be a stronger candidate because he can't be dismissed as easily as Carson." Cruz wins Iowa.

2) Trump voters wake up to the news and say to themselves, "Trump LOST? That means he's a LOOOSER!! We can't vote for a LOOOSER!" Trump takes a huge nosedive in the polls. His former supporters say to themselves, "Well at least we can count on Cruz to kill the Muslims and kick out the Mexicans, or vice versa." Cruz wins New Hampshire with 40+ percent, roughly equalling the "Establishment" vote divided among Rubio, Christie, Kasich.

3) With all the momentum and all the swooning press coverage this brings, Cruz goes on to win the nomination.

Unknown said...

Bai: "I don't think establishments behave that way."

English: Every sane insider knows that established institutions do not select those like Trump to lead them.


(1) Heritage - the absolute dead center of the Republican establishment - picked Jim Demint to lead them.

(2) The GOP selects WORSE than Trump all the time: ladies & germs I give you Louis Gohmert; Michelle Bachman; Steve King; just about every over-regliotic medico with a yearning to 'fix America' that ever lived in the state of Georgia; SARAH FREAKING PALIN, PEOPLE, and not just once for dipshit town council member in the crack capital of Alaska, but a second time for mayor, a third time for governor, and FOURTH TIME DING DING DING DING for veep - one ol'mangetoffmylawn stroke or falldown by a 68 year old rowdy who'd spent years tortured as a POW, away from the Oval Office. And that's just selected scum from the rancid wriggling hellstew floating on top!

(3) There's "the establishment" and then there's "the GOP Establishment", and one those is distressingly often not all that far from "the Dem party Establishment", while the other is indistinguishable for a snakeball in spring.

I felt consident that I'd learned all I ever needed to know about Matt Bai when I read a post by Marci Wheeler as emptywheel at her former digs with when she related sitting on a panel with Bai on something to about journalism and he preceded to treat her like she was Peppermint Patty in human form. What Matt Bai doesn't know about things is one whole hell of lot - but he does know the location of all the mens washrooms at Heritage hq.

Steve Gerrard said...

I like the repeated use of the word congeal. I usually use the word with respect to some greasy glop left over from food preparation. Congealed fat in a pan, for instance. How apropos for describing the GOP.

Chai T. Ch'uan said...

The final RNC wildcard is the Calvinball ruleset in play at the GOP nominating convention. According to the math on this envelope in front of me, someone who controlled the votes of all 463 unpledged-but-not-super delegates would only need to side with a third of the remaining 1562 delegates to get the 1191 needed to crown the Koch-approved choice as Miss GOP 2016.

Victor said...

Matt Bai, is the print version of NBC's UpChuck Toad!

They're both reliable mannequins who spout conservative GOP and DC MSM Villager talking points.

Paul Coppock said...

What's being called the "GOP establishment" is now just one wing of a seriously divided party. And it's the weaker wing, because all the activism and energy is on the crazy side. It doesn't matter who this establishment "congeals" around. This is a party headed for self-destruction because of the way its primary process is structured, and, more basically, because of 40 years of corrupt racist rhetoric.