I have to admit, Trump’s been crushing it as far as
pretending to campaign for president goes.
I mean, every new thing out of his mouth has been crazy,
inappropriate, racist or all three, and I’ve been eating it up with a childlike
sense of hope and wonder. I could not ask for a better piece of entertainment
product, and while I don’t know what we did to deserve this, I’m wiling to go
with the flow, lean back, and watch an angry clown pretend to run for president
without thinking about it too hard.
After all, his candidacy is the sort of thing that really
does start to fall apart if any level of scrutiny is applied to it.
If you’re a Trump supporter, I apologize, but that’s the
level on which I’m choosing to enjoy this whole thing. It’s a shallow level,
but that doesn’t make my joy that he’s running any less real. And isn’t it more
important that we ARE enjoying the same thing than petty questions of why?
Ultimately, I don’t think Trump will take the Republican
nomination, because the people who own the party choose how it’s run, not the
voters, and the owners know that Trump is too much of a wild-card to allow as
their standard bearer during a major election they think that they might
actually win. Which is unfortunate, but nothing can be done about it, that’s
just how the process works. A safer choice will be made and the whole US
election program will become a much less interesting one.
Which is what it is, though I DO believe that with a little
luck, and sufficiently passionate supporters, Trump CAN make himself an
important enough part of the conservative conversation that, when the time
comes to choose a vice presidential nominee, he will be legitimately considered
and, though this is not likely, perhaps even chosen. With the sheer number of people
running, after all, the party will be splintered, and a moderate,
business-friendly candidate might need a good way to reach out to the more
conspiracy-minded base. Stranger things have happened, after all…
That would be a lot of fun.
On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is
running basically unopposed and the whole primary can safely be ignored until
the national convention.
If you’re a Sanders supporter, I apologize, but you had to
know on some level that this was the case. As I pointed out earlier, the people
who own the party choose how it’s run, not you. Sanders is moving the Overton
window further left than I’d have thought possible, and congratulations to him,
but you’re going to have to take that win and be happy with it.
It’s not a bad win, after all.
Once she has the nomination officially nailed down, however,
things begin to become interesting. Because the sitting vice-president, who at
one point did have a slim but non-zero chance of mounting a legitimate challenge
had he entered the race, chose not to do so, keeping Clinton’s path to the
presidency clear for her. And presumably, while it’s unlikely any actual
quid-pro-quo situation has been negotiated, he would appreciate something in
Due to this, as well as the fact that, technically, there is
no legal reason the same man can’t be the vice president under two different
presidents over the course of sixteen years, there’s a small but non-zero
possibility that Jolting Joe Biden is tapped to, once more, run in the VP slot.
The Republican nominee picks Trump, Clinton picks Biden, and NOW the decks are
cleared for a Donald Trump/Joe Biden vice presidential debate.
I want this so much, you guys, I can’t even say. People
forget because the Obama administration has done a pretty good job keeping him
on a short leash, but Joe Biden has basically zero internal censor, in a way
that’s frequently unbelievably entertaining. His debate against Paul Ryan was
one of the highlights of 2012, not the presidential campaign, the year, it was
one of my favorite things that happened that year, and his tendency to go off
script, contradict the official white house position on major social issues or
drop a random F-bomb makes watching him do things while camera’s are pointed at
him a fascinating prospect even when nothing goes off the rails. Even when he’s
well behaved, there’s a sense of anticipation in the air!
And, partnered with somebody like Trump who CLEARLY has zero
interest in such petty things as “Facts” or “Research” and who genuinely
believes he can speak authoritatively on any subject, Biden off the leash could
really go to town, unleashing his own unrestrained id with a willing, if much
dumber, sparring partner.
It would be a debate for the ages. For all the wrong
reasons, obviously, but for the ages nonetheless, and I want to watch it happen
Alternately, Comedy Central could host the “Parallel
Universe” Trump/Biden presidential debates. I’d watch that too.
But let’s be honest, part of the sick thrill is the danger
of this taking place in real life, with actual policy decisions in the balance.
Staged for the purposes of a show, much though Trump’s candidacy IS staged for
the purposes of a show, I don’t know that it would have the same impact…