Will they still love him anyway?


Barker at the 1941 Vermont State Fair.

--- Photo by Jack Delano

Fox News, the broadcast wing of the Republican Party, last night applied its fact-checking skills to Donald Trump’s often absurd, contradictory, chaotic and fact-free “policy’’ prescriptions, while mostly giving Ted Cruz and the man whom Mr. Trump calls “Little Marco’’ Rubio a pass. The GOP establishment is terrified that the real estate developer/operator and “reality TV’’ star will win the nomination and drag the party into an historic defeat in the fall. Yes, he would.

Of course, Messrs. Cruz and Rubio’s allegiance to the truth has also sometimes  been erratic, and they too are not averse to demagoguery, but Donald Trump is in another league. His career has been one con after another.

See: www.trumpthemovie.com

A question is whether Mr. Trump’s followers and potential followers see the way the debate was run  -- to bring  him down  -- as unfair pilling on, leading Trumpists to double-down on  their support of the carnival barker.

Unfortunately for their credibility, and even morality, all three non-Trump candidates on the stage  said that they'd support the New Yorker  if he wins the nomination.  How could they in good conscience endorse someone Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (John Kasich was milder) called dangerous, corrupt and otherwise immoral?  They have been gentler even to Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, the amiable John Kasich took credit last night, as do other national politicians  active in the ‘90s, for the  prosperity and federal budget surpluses of the late ‘90s.

In fact, those happy things resulted from the money freed up by “peace dividend’’ from the end of the Cold War, an income-tax increase accepted bravely by President George H.W. Bush  and the explosion in computer/Internet business, especially after Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, in 1989. The last brought in tons of tax revenue and gave new high-paying jobs to many people, albeit mostly the well-educated.

Mr. Kasich had nothing to do with any of that. But he seems to be a nice man and a competent governor of Ohio, though I would have preferred to see the brilliant and innovative former governor of Indiana, and now president of Purdue University, Mitch Daniels on the stage instead.

-- Robert Whitcomb