Turn out the lights the party’s over, they say that all good things must end

Trump campaigning in Alabama, but I think the fascists used to salute with the right arm. (WireImage via WSJ)

It’s all over but the crying.

On the dawn of Super Tuesday, real conservatives voices are raised in loud lament.

Thomas Sowell says it is time for at least one of the remaining electable Republican candidates in a General Election to throw himself on the Trump grenade.

“Everyone understands that the best chance for stopping Trump is for that fractured majority vote to consolidate behind one candidate opposed to him. But who will step aside for the good of the country?” Sowell asks.

“When we think of American military heroes who have fallen on enemy hand grenades to save those around them, at the cost of their own lives, is it really too much to ask candidates — especially those who present themselves as patriots — to give up their one political chance in a zillion this year for the sake of the country?”

His pleas are probably too little too late, just as George Will says of Marco Rubio’s new-found aggressiveness toward Donald Trump.

Will points out:

Unfortunately, Rubio recognized reality and found his voice 254 days after Trump’s scabrous announcement of his candidacy to rescue America from Mexican rapists. And 222 days after Trump disparaged John McCain’s war service (“I like people that weren’t captured”).

And 95 days after Trump said that maybe a protester at his rally “should have been roughed up.” And 95 days after Trump retweeted that 81% of white murder victims are killed by blacks. (Eighty-two percent are killed by whites.)

And 94 days after Trump said he supports torture “even if it doesn’t work.” And 79 days after Trump said that he might have approved the internment of Japanese-Americans during World II.

And 72 days after Trump proved that he does not know the nuclear triad from the Nutcracker ballet. And 70 days after Trump, having been praised by Vladimir Putin, reciprocated by praising the Russian murderer and dictator. And so on.

Rubio’s epiphany — announcing the obvious with a sense of triumphant discovery — about Trump being a “con man” and a “clown act” is better eight months late than never. If, however, it is too late to rescue Rubio from a Trump nomination, this will be condign punishment for him and the rest of the Republican Party’s coalition of the timid.

Bret Stephens seems to get that there may be nothing to stop the bigoted, politically rudderless and unhinged Trump who in recent days has endorsed “Bush lied; people died,” embraced a Mussolini aphorism, refused to release his “beautiful” tax returns for several difference reasons, waffled on disavowing an endorsement by onetime Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, as well as calling for “opening up” libel laws to make it easier to sue anyone who hurts his feeling. (Will compared this to the Sedition Act of 1798.)


“None of this seems to have made the slightest dent in Mr. Trump’s popularity,” Stephens concludes.

A couple of Stanford professors writing in The Wall Street Journal observe that Trump’s classless bombast has tarred everybody in the GOP. Polls show the number of people who would never vote for any given Republican on the ballot keep going up, but not so for the two Democrats.

“Democrats are having a vigorous campaign that, so far, hasn’t undermined their candidates’ chances in the fall. Meanwhile, Republicans have been destroying each other,” they write.

Will’s lede paragraph is a classic jibe but a futile gesture, I fear: “Donald Trump’s distinctive rhetorical style — think of a drunk with a bullhorn reading aloud James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” under water — poses an almost insuperable challenge to people whose painful duty is to try to extract clarity from his effusions.”

A Trump nomination, which is likely to be wrapped up today, will destroy the GOP. After the state primary in Nevada, in which we get to pick the lesser of assorted evils for U.S. Senate, House and state offices, I may switch to the Libertarian Party. Talk about futile gestures.

I can remember when Willie looked like this:


15 comments on “Turn out the lights the party’s over, they say that all good things must end

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    The GOP establishment ignored the rank and file, insulted us and made jokes about us. They caved into Obama at almost every turn. Is Trump the best candidate out there? I don’t care. He’s rocking the boat and driving the GOP elites crazy and that’s why I’m voting for him.
    The GOP is getting EXACTLY what they deserve.

  2. Rincon says:

    The Republican candidates are practicing conservative ideals. Each candidate is sticking to his ideological guns with no pragmatic regard for the likely consequences. In short, they have been taught by their peers not to compromise. That kind of thinking has paralyzed the whole country. It’s no wonder that the Republican Party is stumbling as well. Just desserts..

  3. nyp says:

    You know, it’s funny: when Donald Trump was loudly asserting in 2011 that President Obama was a madrassa-educated native of Kenya, I did not hear a peep of outrage from you.
    Nor when he was calling Mexican illegal immigrants “rapists” and “killers.”

    Just crickets on this page.

    What was it that turned the corner on your sense of moral outrage? That he opposes trade deals and wants to eliminate corporate tax loopholes?

  4. nyp says:

    And, by the way, “Bruce Feher” far better expresses the attitudes of the Republican base than does George Will or Thomas Sowell or Thomas Mitchell.

  5. Barbara says:

    The Republican Party stopped being the party of limited government, economic freedom, dedication to the rule of law and constitutional principles when Reagan left office. Conservatives stood by while the party moved more and more to elitism and crony capitalism. It is past time to recognize that the Republican Party has become the problem just as is the Democratic party.

    I will not be voting for the lesser of evils. I have notified all the candidates that unless Cruz is at the top of the ticket, I see no reason to vote for any downstream candidate.

    I will not cast a vote for Trump. He has demonstrated he has no core principles and is willing to use any position as a bargaining chip to get the deal he wants. My God given rights are not bargaining chips, and I will not vote for someone who treats them as such.

    Cruz is the only candidate in the race that has as his touchstone the Constitution. Without him, we have lost our republic. I do not trust any other candidate to appoint an originalist to the court. When things get bad enough, people will hopefully return to the Constitution as the way back. I will work to make an Article V convention a reality. Perhaps the solution was never in Washington, and will have to come from the States.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    I don’t unbderstand the vitriol against Trump when it should be directed at the Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, not exactly a paragon of character, morals and principles. And I don’t recall that Obama was questioned in such anger, it was enough for most that he was of satisfactory color and livelier than the near somnolent McCain. McCain was a war hero and a long time politician and lost to a Chicago street hustler with no officieally recorded background. George Romney went down for the count in 2012, now he wants to see Trumps IRS records, Harry Reid redux,why doesn’t he demand to see Hillary Clinton’s IRS records?

  7. George Romney? Your age is showing.

  8. nyp says:

    “Satisfactory color .. a Chicago street hustler ….”

    You could just tell that Vernon Clayson was the perfect Trump voter.

  9. Patrick says:

    Donald Trump is the “Mickey Mouse” candidate for 2016. The near human embodiment of “None of the Above”.

    The masses of the republicans, the intentionally fragmented idealogs, are so locked into their “principles” that their convinced to hate all other candidates and are persuaded that any one of “the others” mean the actual end of civilization.


  10. Bill says:

    Alas, Trump epitomizes what too many of the public wants and understands. Can you expect anything more from a society that makes celebrities of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian? Low information voters belong to both parties. Regrettably, the Republican candidates were constrained by the rules that caused McCain and Romney to go down in defeat, which is simply trying to play “nice” and letting your opponent define you while you hesitate to define your opponent. One can hope for the best but I do fear that we are (as Krautham
    er says) looking at a Mussolini with a comb over.

  11. nyp says:

    It’s the People’s fault.

  12. nyp says:

    I am so happy to have an opportunity in this forum — of all places — to quote Bertolt Brecht’s famous poem about 1952 “Worker’s Revolt” against the East German Communist Party:

    After the uprising of the 17th June
    The Secretary of the Writers Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  13. Steve says:

    At this point, why the hell not?


  14. It’s not over yet folks…the current delegate count (with a few more from Tuesday still to be awarded) are as follows…Trump 316, Cruz 226, Rubio 106…with 1,237 needed for the nomination. There are still 1,784 delegates up for grabs. Take a deep breath and buckle up!

  15. Bill says:

    I awoke this morning and felt disappointed in Mitt Romney’s belated attempt to stop the Trump juggernaut and wished that he had done this earlier just as I had wished that he had done the equivalent on his own competition, the untouchable Barack Hussein Obama. Then tonight I watched the Republican debate and saw a thin skinned narcissistic bully that had no solutions other than sweeping generalities, personal attacks, and juvenile bravado. Hopefully, the voting public will see through this charade in time to insure that a rational candidate faces either Hillary or Bernie.

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