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The only label that matters

March 2, 2016

It’s customary to identify political people with a letter after their names to indicate their party affiliation. D, R, I, whatever.

Actually there is only one letter that matters in a presidential election, and that’s a “W.”

The Democratic party leaders have long since figured out that even a “bad” Democrat in the White House is better than no Democrat at all.

The RNC by way of contrast is still hung up on a strategy of arcane philosophical fratricide.

As usual, the Republican party has fallen back on its “defeat ourselves at any cost” strategy.

With highly visible governors and big money donors declaring they would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than back Trump, the success of that strategy is certainly a possibility.

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that “conservative” is not the label voters are looking for, the party pooh-bahs seem intent on trying to win with a strategy that an increasingly large percentage of their rank-and-file has relegated to a distant second in importance.

Exit polling after Super Tuesday shows without a shadow of a doubt that jobs and the economy are what Republicans care about in this cycle. Even Trump’s bellwether cause célèbre, immigration, is at best third on the voter’s list.

It isn’t abstract principle that drive these voters. It is principal, as in a positive balance in their bank accounts.

While giving the greatest deference to both, Trump voters don’t perceive that the Bible and the Constitution are going to be great job creators.

The people that vote for Trump are not blind to his shortcomings. They simply don’t care.

Every vote for Trump is a clarion call for pragmatism but the “party of Lincoln and Reagan” isn’t listening.

While each state has its own distinct voter characteristics, the overwhelming take-away from Tuesday contests should be that none of the party’s goals, whether high-minded or not, can be realized if the party can’t win.

Of all of the statistics in Tuesday’s contest, perhaps the most telling is that the majority of Democrats are united behind a single candidate.

Republicans can’t even manage to decide which person should carry the “conservative” banner, much less match Hillary’s prowess in forming a cohesive voting bloc.

If Trump does prevail in spite of the old guard Republican opposition, his sins are certainly no more egregious than Hillary Clinton’s.

It’s not pretty to contemplate, but this election may come down to whether voters find flaws that impact national security, a less than stellar job creation record and the fact that there are still some 20-30 million uninsured people more bothersome than whether a few Trump business entities filed for bankruptcy.

Voters are going to put Mr. Trump on the shortest leash in history relative to producing some verifiable results, but at least he has a clear-cut to-do list in their eyes.

If he can show significant inroads on even the first three or four things on that list, then the stage is set for an extended period of Republican control.

It remains to be seen, even at this stage of the game, whether the sheer weight of disapproval can bend the Republicans to the will of the people.

As plebian as it may seem to some “conservatives” if they can’t post a “W” behind a name in November, the alternative is another eight years of reruns of the Obama era.

From → op-ed

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