The 2016 Republican presidential contest has barely begun and it has already grown alternately tiresome and old or just downright scary. As a Democrat, I might be pleased, but as an American, I am deeply troubled. I just want it to end.
Republicans cheered the Citizens United ruling in 2010. Now they have it to thank for the spectacle of Ted Cruz calling Mitch McConnell a liar on the floor of the Senate and Donald Trump leading in the polls.
I suspect that this sample is actually much more ideologically extreme and less willing to compromise than the elites who matter are. It's likely that, as in many years past, there will be a conflict between the more ideologically pure parts of the party and the more professional compromisers.
The experience of witnessing the first black President in the history of the United States has indeed been a wonderment to behold. As it turned out, the grand old white establishment revealed itself to be petty, obstructionist, vindictive, and incompetent. History will remember them as such, to the extent history will remember them at all.
What if everything Donald Trump was doing or saying in his "serious" bid for the presidency was just a ruse? What if's just a brilliant, cunning scheme, as a closeted Democrat, to ensure the election of Hillary Clinton in 2016?
When Fox News announced that they would be limiting the number of candidates invited to their debate to only the top ten in polling, it was inevitable that there would be a struggle to get on the main stage. But there will also be a "consolation prize" debate earlier in the day, which will feature those who didn't make the cut.
Let's face it. The Republicans will have quite a time trying to sift through their thicket of candidates. So many angles and issues and characters to consider. Do I like the clean-cut union-busting Wisconsin governor or the clean-cut anti-choice former Senator from Pennsylvania?
Rather than simply asking for black votes in October 2016 after having taken them for granted up to that point, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will possess the credibility that comes with having earned those votes. At that point -- if not a lot earlier -- the Democratic Party and its nominee will need to thank #BlackLivesMatter.
A bevy of Republican candidates get shut out of national primetime by Fox, but not Trump.
Every once in a while, I'd say something so vile and disgusting that it would in fact get a rise and manage to disgust even me. This is about where the Republicans find themselves these days. Insulting foreigners, brown people, gays, veterans, and each other.
Shrum and Christie discuss whether John Kasich got overshadowed this week and if the GOP has "crazies" in the base (McCain's word) or simply has "a crazy base." Also: Senate Republicans go off on Kerry over Iran -- was he "fleeced" or do they believe in "unicorns?"
Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican presidential candidate from Florida, may be frustrated that his campaign is lacking traction, but there is no excuse for him to say that the president has "no class." His comment is a feeble attempt to get attention because he is lagging behind.
As a political scientist, I am reluctant to make predictions about elections, especially about the behavior of a single individual. But I'm willing to make an exception this year, because the presidential campaign is turning out to be such an exceptionally crucial (and entertaining) one.
Trump is leading or doing well in several national and early state polls. That's why the other candidates and all Republican leaders should be denouncing his ignorance and xenophobia more forcefully.
With 2016 fast approaching, things look bleak for the GOP. Pandering to a non-white voting block could very well end up costing it the South, as it did to the Democrats in the 1960s. At the same time, pandering to base will alienate too many groups to win in a general election--not the least of which are Latinos.