LOS ANGELES (Goodyear Satire Company)--
"No, not another Trump town hall!" I cry in vain.
This is The Art of The Ordeal.
It's the way Donald Trump is negotiating to be the next American President.
Read his book. Its all there. Define and destroy your opposition. Be unpredictable. Keep everybody guessing. Be the last man standing. Win. That's the Art of the Deal. But putting millions of Americans through this years-long battle, that's the Art of the Ordeal.
Trump is turning the 2016 campaign into one of those Republican Death Panels but the one most likely to die is the Republican Party.
Trump's campaign has been miraculously successful on the personnel level. He's mowed down 15 of their brightest lights and dimmest bulbs, from Bobby Jindal and Jeb Bush to Scott Walker and Rick Perry. Party stalwart John McCain isn't even going to the Republican National Convention. He's the guy who chose to stay with the Vietcong, but Trump? Not so much.
Trump's remaining credible opponent is the odious Ted Cruz, whose likability factor hovers between Zika-carrying mosquitoes and suicide.
From a policy standpoint, Trump has destroyed the GOP brand as well. He's challenged so many tenets of modern conservatism that its impossible to not believe he's a democrat in wolves' clothing.
Eight million GOP primary voters have now voted for someone who (a) donated to Planned Parenthood, (b) contributed to Hillary Clinton, (c) hires foreign workers, (d) says he's going to tax the rich, and (e) thinks transgender people should choose their own bathrooms.
He's most recently said of the new President, "I don't care if it's a Republican or Democrat, I couldn't care less." That's the final knife in the Republican brand, and one that he believes will inoculate him from charges he's not "conservative" enough. It elevates Trump the candidate and marginalizes any importance to the Republican label.
Who knew that destroying the GOP would be this easy?
Trump's endgame is either getting the nomination and remaking a Trumpublican Party, or bolting the GOP, taking with him the credibility of by-then 12 million primary votes and the "fairness" factor to losing to a johnny-come-lately who didn't bother facing the primary voters. In his mind, a win-win.
Trump 2016! ( I added Jeb's ! to make it seem more exciting than it is.) But if it brings about a more reasonable Republican Party, then this ordeal will all have been worth it.