Via the Daily Caller, here’s the latest attempt by a prominent conservative to stage an intervention with whoever it is among the base that currently has Trump fever. (Rush Limbaugh is, thus far, a notable holdout.) I sympathize with Kraut’s concerns, but … did Al Sharpton really wreck any of the Democratic debates? I remember him as being eminently watchable compared to Lurch in 2004, but if there was any “Sharpton effect” on Kerry in either the primary or the general, I’m not aware of it. Trump is more of a concern because he specializes in a fringe issue that’ll put the rest of the field on the spot, but then again, it’ll also give them an opportunity to position themselves as comparatively more mainstream by disagreeing with him. Same goes for his more “substantive” positions, like starting a trade war with China and sending the U.S. military to seize Iraq’s oil fields. It should be easy, and valuable, to a Gingrich or a Herman Cain to explain to viewers why that’s nutty.
I’m morbidly curious to see Trump at the debates because his “policy platform” seems to be based mainly on being as aggressive as possible, and I’m eager to know how many primary voters that sort of “platform” appeals to. The policies themselves are secondary, which is why he’s not sweating his liberal record on stuff like health care. His candidacy is based on confrontation; that’s why the Birther issue, which drives the left nuts, works so well for him. It’s like a lost chapter from “The Magic Christian,” with Guy Grand willing to spend a few hundred million dollars for a laugh to see how far he can get in a presidential race by being as superficially “hardnosed” as possible. If there’s a constituency among the base to whom that’s appealing, and who’d forgive Trump for years of ideological unorthodoxy while holding everyone else to an exacting standard, I’d rather know it. Everybody into the pool!