Sorry I haven’t been around much: a combination of delayed after-effects of an antibiotic and a tough week at work has left me in tatters.
But: tonight is the GOPpers first [set of] debate[s], and I wanted to get in a quick hit about Trump before this thing is over:
I think he’d do best not to behave.
There are rules for debates, formal and informal, and while he may be forced to follow the formal rules (whatever they are), there’s likely nothing the moderators can do if he decides to spin off dispatch after dispatch from his own, alternate, universe.
Half a decade ago I considered the possibility of a Sarah Palin run for the presidency, and wondered “how do you fight against someone concerned only with her own creation of the truth?” As I embedded a clip from an old NewsRadio episode (which you can view here; the crucial bit begins around 9:20) as an example of how someone willing to crash through the most basic expectations of argument will beat the person who abides by those expectations.
As I noted then
You can deal with a reality-manipulator, because the manipulator has to have some sense of that reality before she warps it to her own ends. And even that Bush staffer who sniffed to the NYTimes reporter about those stuck in the ‘reality-based community’ and the ability of the Bush admin to create its own reality nonetheless still gestured to reality. They did, in their own baleful way, seek to create new facts on the ground.
[. . .]
So how does someone avoid the physics of politics, the inevitable grinding down and peeling back and failure associated with all political action? You don’t accept that there are any rules, any downs on the other side of up, any nulls to one’s hypotheses; there is only the rabbit pulled out of the hat and the declaration that this is, indeed, magic. And that magic is real.
A Trump who tries to whittle himself down to fit into the role of the “serious candidate” is a Trump who whittles himself down into nothing at all.
No, for Trump to triumph he should keep doin’ that Trump thing.
Won’t help him win the nomination, of course, but it might keep him in the game a while longer.