They are awfully, awfully good at slander. Now, just imagine what they can do when all that's necessary is that they tell the truth. And this year, that's all they have to do. And they will.
Oh, my, but they will.
It's not that Donald Trump's nearly complete ignorance of government and the Constitution and his virtually global illiteracy when it comes to foreign policy hasn't been "outed." His incoherent rambling during the Republican debates exposed him for the ignoramus and bully he is. But he was appealing to an audience that didn't care. The third or so of the Republican electorate that rallied behind Trump and dominated the Republican race was largely motivated by anger, frustration, bigotry and hatred. They didn't notice that Trump was nearly always incoherent and spent most of his time insulting people, calling people names, and mouthing empty platitudes. They didn't mind. As long as Trump served as an outlet for their rage, he didn't have to make sense.
Throughout the GOP primary season, Trump supporters shrugged off the facts about his record, his personality, and his ignorance. They denied them and chose not to know any better. They created a man in their own minds whom they could admire and named him Donald Trump.
The real Trump- the petty narcissist who has made so much money cynically preying upon people just like those who have anointed him as their god-king; the religious hypocrite whose favorite Bible verse is the lex talionis and who brags about his adulteries while claiming that he has no need to ever ask God for forgiveness; the bully who rejoices in mocking the disabled and the weak; the immature counter-puncher who reacts with childish personal attacks whenever anyone criticizes him, however mildly; the babbler who thinks that judges sign laws and conduct investigations and who almost certainly could pass neither a citizenship exam nor a grammar school civics test; the man who has publicly said that women have to be treated like excrement and follows his own advice- is a man who doesn't have to be lied about. Those angry people boiling over with negative emotions and often inarticulate rage were plentiful enough to form a bloc larger than any other Republican candidate could summon. But they are far too few to win a national election, and the more the rest of the American people learn about the real Donald Trump the more they (nearly three-quarters of whom already view him negatively) will loath him and despise him as the loser he truly is.
Oh, my, will they learn. And while Hillary and the Democrats are carefully laying out the damning and wholly factual case against Donald Trump, Trump will simply continue to make wild, unbelievable, and of course wholly unsubstantiated charges and call people nasty names.
His supporters- those angry men and women who specialize in deceiving themselves- actually think that he's going to win. The media, who have newspapers to sell and sponsors' goods to peddle, have a vested interest in pretending that this election is going to be competitive. But it won't be. There are lots of angry Americans who in many cases have good cause to be angry. But most of them are decent folks who would never vote for a man like Donald Trump, and when they get to know him as the Democrats will be sure they do get to know him they will reject him in disgust.
And there's more. Trump thinks that charisma wins elections. He mocked those who praised President Obama's well-organized campaigns. Trump knows better than the experts. He knows- or thinks he does- that its personality and leadership and force of will- in short, the Fuhrerprinzip- rather than political organization and a "ground game" that wins elections.
And he is so, so very wrong.
The hour is growing late, and he has virtually no national political organization. His state organizations- and presidential elections really are fifty separate state elections, each dealing with the peculiarities and nuances of a particular population with a particular makeup that lives in a particular place- are nearly non-existent.
His supporters are very loyal and highly motivated, and could be utilized to man the telephones and knock on the doors that the people who usually do such things for Republican nominees are refusing to do for a man we cannot in conscience support. But the Trumpfolk don't know that they need to those things, and Trump and his organization don't know that they need to have them do those things, and they are all lost in the fantasy that they don't have to.
It's possible that they may wake up at some point and mount enough of a campaign to minimize the looming disaster. Certainly state parties fighting their own local elections will carry part of the load. But the Democrats are organized as the Trumpfolk are not. In fact, Hilary Clinton is organized like few Democrats ever have been. And on Election Day, there will be a bloodbath. Not only will Trump be badly beaten, but his own hubris and political naivete will prevent him from effectively mustering even the support that he has.
Trump may well carry Indiana, perhaps, and maybe a few of the border states. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that he will do marginally better than Barry Goldwater did in 1964. .Maybe he'll carry Nebraska. He might have an outside chance in Missouri and Kentucky and Tennessee, though I doubt that will win two of those three. He'll probably carry Oklahoma, but I seriously doubt that he'll carry Texas. My guess, in any case, is that he will fail to carry any other outside the Deep South, and he may not carry all of the ones in it.
Four years ago, the Democrats managed to define a good man in the eyes of the American people by telling lies and half-truths about him. The Democratic attack machine is a well-funded and awesome thing. It reaches not only into America's living rooms but into every union hall and teachers' lounge and fern bar. This year, all it has to do is tell the truth about Donald Trump.
Four years ago one of the best-funded and organized campaigns any Republican presidential candidate has ever mounted was waged. Massive efforts were made to identify Romney voters and get them to the polls. It failed in some measure because the Romney people tried to beat the Obama campaign at their own, high-tech game, and the technology they applied was a disaster. Project Orca was a debacle, but at least it was an effort- and in many ways an impressive, well-organized and well-funded effort.
But no such effort will be made for Donald Trump. He doesn't think he needs it. And he's wrong about that- horribly wrong- just as he's wrong in thinking that what worked in the primaries is going to work in the general election. As much as I despise everything Hillary Clinton stands for, beginning with the battle for the minds of the voters this summer and ending with the "ground game" in the Fall Donald Trump and his supporters are in for a series of very rude and very brutal awakenings. It's too late to choose a different candidate, and before long it will soon be too late to even mount an effective ground game for the terrible one they have.
It is going to be a historic landslide- and Trump and his people will blame it not on a fatally flawed candidate and a hopelessly clueless approach to the running of the national campaign but on "traitors" who never owned as un-Republican and un-American a nominee as Donald Trump their loyalty in the first place.