The GOP: Resigned to Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel
It is safe to say that a vast majority of Democrats have considered Donald Trump and Ted Cruz equally “evil’” and “dangerous” from the get-go.
Democrats now find themselves in the delicious position of watching the Republican establishment trying to decide, not which of the two GOP frontrunners is the best for the party and the country, but rather which of the leading candidates is the “lesser of two evils,” the “more dangerous,” which one would mean “the death of the party.” In other words, which of the two would mean the least harm to the party and the country.
Not that sane Republicans have not been anguishing over this horrible conundrum already.
Michael Gerson’s “For the good of the Republican party, both Trump and Cruz must lose” was discussed here, including his memorable closing statement:
For Republicans, the only good outcome of Trump vs. Cruz is for both to lose. The future of the party as the carrier of a humane, inclusive conservatism now depends on some viable choice beyond them.
Emmarie Huetteman quotes Senator Lindsey Graham as saying, “If you nominate Trump and Cruz, I think you get the same outcome…Whether it’s death by being shot or poisoning doesn’t really matter. I don’t think the outcome will be substantially different.”
Others have lambasted one candidate without necessarily heaping praise upon the other.
More recently, as Republicans assess the pickle they find themselves in, they either continue to lament the poor choice they have, or are resignedly hoping that the least of two evils will be Donald Trump.
Or as The New Republic’s Jeet Heer more politely writes in “The Classier of Two Evils”:
With less than two weeks till the Iowa Caucus, the shape of the Republican race could hardly be more frightening for the Republican establishment. Both of the two leading candidates, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, carry baggage that would make winning the general election a tough slog… And the surprise is that all signs are pointing to Trump being the establishment’s favored candidate—or, more accurately, the lesser of two evils.
Heer notes Senator Bob Dole’s statement that picking Cruz as the presidential nominee would be “cataclysmic,” and the party would suffer “’wholesale losses’ if Mr. Cruz were the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.”
Here are some other headlines clearly indicating the Grand Old Party’s sense of resignation and desperation as it scrapes the bottom of the barrel:
— Jonathan Martin / New York Times: Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Republicans Argue Over Who Is Greater Threat
— Laura Clawson / Daily Kos: GOP establishment thought Trump was the ultimate nightmare. Then they got a look at Cruz.
— Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post: The GOP Establishment Has Found The One Thing That Can Make Donald Trump Palatable: Ted Cruz
— Joan McCarter / Daily Kos: Republican establishment’s hatred of Ted Cruz is warming them up to Donald Trump
— Greg Sargent / Washington Post: Republicans warm to the idea of President Trump
— Robert Schlesinger / US News: GOP Warms to Donald Trump in Anybody-But-Cruz Fervor
CODA: Look at the bright side, Republicans, the recent romance between Donald Trump and Sarah Palin is “a pairing made in heaven, perfect in every way” and should go a long way towards scraping the bottom of the barrel perfectly clean.
Lead image: www.shutterstock.com