Murphy's Other Law
How panicked are mainstream Republicans that there's a real possibility Donald Trump (R-Trump Towers) might actually get the GOP nomination for President of the United States? Mike Murphy is a highly-regarded Republican operative, and the other day he gave an interview to Bloomberg Politics on the subject.
"He's dead politically," Murphy said. "He'll never be president of the United States, ever."
Harsh words by a notable Republican about their leading candidate for president. But that's the very point that he wanted to address. And so he continued --
"By definition I don't think you can be a front-runner if you're totally unelectable. I think there's an a priori logic problem in that,"
And I think that that's an utterly insane comment to make. Logic so twisted that it's not a priori in the slightest, but something a pretzel would reject for being too convoluted.
Oh. I forget to mention one thing. While Mike Murphy is trying to re-define language until "up" is "down, it's worth noting that in his day job, he's the head of a pro-Jeb! Bush super PAC Right to Rise USA. So, he might be a wee bit biased in his defining moment. And showing his concern.
The reality, of course, is that a front-runner is not someone who is "totally electable." By simple, basic definition, a front-runner is someone who is...well, in front. Being a front-runner doesn't mean you have to win every single election in the future, or even the next election up the ladder. It means you're leading the race of the election you're in. And right now, the race is to get the Republican nomination for president. Because Republicans are pretty much the only ones who can vote in these Republican primaries. Unlike the general election when you have pesky opponents from another party.
In 1964, Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) didn't stand a chance of being elected president. He not only was running against a sitting-president who was carrying on the legacy of his predecessor, a martyred president, but he was so far-right reactionary as to be totally out of step with the country. And so he got swamped in the general election in one of the biggest landslides in American history. Is Mike Murphy suggesting that during the Republican primaries, Barry Goldwater wasn't the front-runner?? Or that when Sen. Goldwater actually got the GOP nomination, he wasn't at that moment the party's front-runner? Because, after all, by Mr. Murphy's very own a priori logic, Barry Goldwater was unelectable and therefore couldn't be a front-runner. But if Mr. Goldwater was unelectable and therefore not the front-runner, who on earth was???!!
I don't think when it comes time to go into a voting booth and cast a ballot that, in the end, Donald Trump will get the Republican nomination for president. Having said that, I'm no longer saying that there is no way he'll get it. There is a way. He could get the nomination. And that way is because the rest of the candidates at this point are so profoundly weak that there is a challenge for anyone to overtake him. I think that ultimately someone will -- though at this point it appears like that can only be Jeb! Bush or Marco Rubio, and both are seriously flawed. (And no, it won't be Dr. Ben Carson. I will say that there's no way he can get the nomination) -- but someone else getting the nomination is not remotely a guarantee.
But whether or not someone else does get the GOP nomination, with all due respect to the logic of Mike Murphy, Donald Trump not only is the Republican front-runner...he has been the front-runner for the past three months, and will likely continue to be in the foreseeable future.
Unless Dr. Ben Carson, who right now is only 5 points behind in the latest CNN poll, overtakes him. At which point, the good doctor will be the Republican front-runner.
Regardless of what Mike Murphy and his logic try to tell you.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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