(Just because who knows where things will go tonight?)
It has occurred to me. Baring divine intervention (or demonic intervention; take your pick) it's pretty obvious by now how this election will turn out. Only two questions remain:
- What will happen down-ballot? (AKA How big will it be?)
- How does the GOP recover?
Given the number of down-ballot Republican candidates who are "un-endorsing" or otherwise explicitly bailing on Trump, it appears that they, at least, think he is going to do them significant damage. Yeah, some of them may actually be acting on principle here. But let's face it, anyone really acting on principle (or concern for character or suitability) acted months ago. Figure the professionals, when it comes to elections and winning them, just might know what they are doing.
And it's not hard to see why. You can win, at least in some places, even while trashing every minority in sight. It might even win you votes, especially if you do it carefully. But start trash-talking white women? That's not a minority in those places. And their husbands, and fathers, (most of them anyway) also tend to take it badly.
But look a little further ahead. All those folks that Trump has bad-mouthed are not going away. Nor are their memories. So what does the GOP do to recover with them -- which it must do if it ever wants to win another national election. And, increasingly, a lot of state and local elections. The post-mortem on the 2012 election laid out the need in general terms. But what specific steps do they take?
I've got one off-the-wall idea. Suppose, in 2020, the GOP ran a ticket of Nikki Haley and Susanna Martinez (listed in alphabetical order for the moment). Yeah, I know there is zero chance of that happening -- work with me here. At a stroke, the perception of the Republicans' attitudes towards women, and towards minorities in general (and Hispanics in particular), undergoes a significant change. It may not be totally persuasive, but it's obviously a big step in the right direction.
Could such a ticket win the general election (in the massively unlikely event that it got nominated)? That depends on a) how Clinton has been doing, and especially b) how the economy is doing for most of the country. But win or lose, it would change the conversation significantly.
If anyone has an alternate specific action or three, feel free to share. It will give you something to talk about until the debate provides new fodder.