FOX and the Republican elites have been playing the long game in the shadows. They thought they had their men in Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. What they didn't foresee was a celebrity billionaire with nothing to lose. Trump was also playing the long-game except right out in the open for all to see. And he is the one who might very well succeed.
Well, that was entertaining, wasn't it? We refer, of course, to the grand spectacle of the first Republican presidential debates, held last night on Fox News. Since this is all anyone's talking about in the political world today, we are going to follow suit and devote most of this column to our reactions.
The media has a love/hate relationship with Donald Trump. He is at once, breathtaking in his proclamations and ludicrous in his behavior. He is hard to ignore. Like the entertainment value of watching two trains collide, no one in media wants to miss a Trump event. At the same time, they don't want to take him too seriously.
Republicans risk being caught in a trap of their own devising. The master narrative they're going with -- dishonesty -- is as dangerous for them as they want it to be for Hillary Clinton. They want the 2016 election to turn on the question "Can you trust her?" But Democrats can use jiu-jitsu and make the election turn on the question "Can you trust the people who duped you into Iraq?"
The American Family Association, sponsor of the Republican National Committee's upcoming Israel trip (organized and led by pastor David Lane), is no less extreme and has been venting its virulently hateful anti-LGBT, nativist, religious supremacist, and arguably racist rhetoric across America's airwaves for years.