It won't be Trump: A Christmas credo for despairing Republicans

And in the past 24 years since David Duke’s victory in the 1991 Louisiana Governor’s race, we have almost never seen Republican primary voters actually choose a candidate anything like Trump. By “anything like Trump” I mean a candidate who

(1) Had never before run for or held elective office
(2) Had a long and recent history of aligning by positions, donations, endorsements, and other affiliations with liberals and Democrats; and
(3) Deployed rhetoric and a public persona so incendiary as to horrify and embarrass the party establishment.

The most recent GOP primary, in Louisiana in November 2015, was won by a sitting GOP Senator of wholly conventional conservative-but-establishment cast. The 2014 primaries were won by so many establishment-backed candidates that people routinely openly speculated that the Tea Party was dead. Mitch McConnell won over 60% of the vote in his primary against a Tea Party challenger, Matt Bevin, last year. And Bevin came back and won the primary and general elections for Governor by building on the credibility from a prior campaign and being a (somewhat) more disciplined candidate – in other words, by becoming a more professional politician. Candidates who seem kind of Trump-ish mostly won under unusual circumstances – Arnold Schwarzenegger got elected in a statewide multi-candidate multi-party recall, and Jesse Ventura ran as an independent.