One of the Republican’s great weaknesses this cycle was that there were too many cooks in the kitchen. Seventeen people jumped into the primary. It diluted the field and fractured the party. It’s death by a thousand paper cuts. A platoon of candidates trying to make their voice heard, locked in an arms race to see who can “out-conservative” who, with the goofiest antics rising to the top of the day’s news cycle and drowning out serious conservative ideas.
I’m wary of the constant stream of “this is the reason for Trump” think-pieces and you should be, too. But I don’t think there’s any question that the foul-mouthed buffoon rose to the top – in part — by exploiting the GOP’s live-action reenactment of Captain America: Civil War.
One of the GOP’s great structural weaknesses is that there’s little downside in running for president. It’s a 21st-century phenomenon, where 24-hour media has a voracious appetite for drama, infighting, and political theater.