Trump’s vanity candidacy is obviously a huge embarrassment to the GOP, but the reality is that Trump’s views are no more absurd than some of the others in the GOP field, like Ted Cruz or Ben Carson, for example. However, unlike Ted Cruz, Trump is incapable of pretending to be sane, and unlike Ben Carson, Trump has enough money and fame to keep himself in the headlines.
Because, regardless of how embarrassing the GOP nomination fight does or does not become, the 2016 presidential election is pretty much out of reach for the Republicans, I can’t help but wonder if it wouldn’t be in the Grand Old Party’s best interest to give the nomination to a couple of Tea Partiers. The only route back to national credibility for the GOP is to discredit the folks who have hijacked the party from the far right. A GOP ticket featuring Donald Trump and Ted Cruz might just be the kind of bitter medicine needed here. Allowing these two guys to wax insane in 2016 and watching them get beaten worse than any ticket in history might give the GOP establishment the leverage it needs to marginalize its crazy wing.
Of course the GOP can’t take this advice because of the very real possibility that it would be (or would seem to be) a cure worse than the disease. A Trump/Cruz, or Cruz/Trump ticket would almost surely help the Democrats regain control of the U.S. Senate, and even give them a puncher’s chance to take back the House. Another reason the GOP can’t take this advice is that the GOP (like Democratic Party) does not have control over its nomination process. The Democratic Party’s nomination will be much less chaotic, but only because Hillary Clinton’s operation has spent more than a decade putting itself in the driver’s seat. The 2016 GOP nomination fight is going to be a tremendous freak show, but in the end they will very likely nominate one of their more tame candidates, which (sadly for the GOP) will not be enough to win them the White House nor will it be helpful to the task of reining in their small but very well financed faction of crazies.
At this point, I’d suggest that the Republicans pray…and pray hard…that one of these lunatics decides to launch a third party candidacy from the far right, allowing an establishment GOP nominee to rehabilitate the party’s credibility on the campaign trail with an eye toward preserving the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, while losing gracefully to Hillary Clinton.