Where would the Republicans be without Donald Trump? Well, it would certainly be a better world if your name happens to be Bush or Walker or Perry.
The campaign would be more sedate, but also far less interesting. No one would be talking about anchor babies, the 14th Amendment, and the need for a “big, beautiful, powerful wall” on our southern border.
This week, while entertaining a crowd in New Hampshire, Trump compared Jeb Bush to Sominex, joking that his rival was putting people to sleep at a similar event down the street. What politician talks like that? Trump not only gets away with it, but wins new converts with every brazen insult.
Yes, Donald Trump has stolen the show thus far. It’s partly his slash-and-burn style, but behind that style there is also some substance – he regularly hammers both parties and the Washington establishment on things like the border, our treatment of wounded warriors, and a lack of respect for America in the age of Obama.
Trump has been pronounced dead and buried on numerous occasions, especially when he denigrated John McCain’s war record, but the interestingly-coifed tycoon makes Lazarus look like a piker.
Back to the opening question: Where would the Republican Party be without Donald Trump? More predictable, more boring, far less inclined to confront some vexing issues facing Americans.
On the other side, where would the Democratic Party be without Hillary Clinton? That question seems to terrify the Democratic leadership. Who are their alternatives? A 73-year-old socialist with a Trump-like loathing of the establishment? An amiable and sometimes buffoonish 72-year-old vice president? A former Maryland governor who begged forgiveness for saying “all lives matter.” These are not the ’27 Yankees; they aren’t even the ’62 Mets.
As our pal and lifelong Democrat Kirsten Powers writes this week, party leaders are shielding Clinton from any and all competition. Yes, there will be a handful of debates, but not until October. Party boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz has taken on the role of Hillary Clinton’s protector-in-chief.
And the Democratic front-runner really seems to need protecting. When she deigned to briefly speak with the media this week, Mrs. Clinton wilted under tough questioning from FNC’s Ed Henry about that mysterious private server. As much as Donald Trump relishes the attention, Hillary Clinton obviously despises that part of the political process.
Much as she might wish, the email situation will not go away, certainly not before the FBI issues a report in a few months. The drip, drip, drip of revelations and accusations will continue to torture Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and her acolytes. She expected an unobstructed march to the nomination, but now worries about an obstruction of justice charge.
Moving forward, Americans crave a strong leader who can reinvigorate the moribund economy, deport criminal illegal aliens who terrorize our cities, reduce the rising crime rate, and confront the Islamic jihadists who are running wild around the world.
Donald Trump is on the offensive right now, smacking Republicans, Democrats, foreign governments, and political correctness. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is playing defense, trying desperately to protect her lead and run out the clock.
These are the dog days (named for the dog star Sirius in the constellation Canis Major, which rises in the summer). Many Americans are on vacation and relaxing, but the campaign season has already kicked into high gear.
That’s a very good thing in a troubled nation, and we owe a debt of gratitude to a certain real estate tycoon for shaking things up.
Does Donald Trump have the endurance of a marathon runner, or is he a sprinter whose fast-twitch fibers will soon cramp up and give out? We will find out… sooner or later.