Poor John Barrasso

I really feel for Sen. John Barrasso, by all accounts an essentially sensible man condemned to supervise the writing of the platform on which Republican lose cannon presidential nominee-to-be Donald Trump is going to run. Of course, so will every candidate for Congress, governor, and state legislator in the country. And most of them (unlike Trump) are actually Republicans. And conservatives. And believers in democratic values.

Poor guy. He's tasked with mixing oil and water.

So how does Sen. Barrasso cobble together a platform that embraces coherent philosophical and policy positions with Trump's mercurial inclination to say whatever pops into his head at the moment, however nonsensical, bizarre, offensive, politically untenable, or contradictory of what he said five minutes before? The answer has to be  the answer to the question of how porcupines make love: very carefully.

In one sense, it doesn't matter. Trump has shown a remarkable capacity for abandoning what supposedly are positions which lie at the core of his. um. convictions without missing a beat. I'm amazed that we haven't heard more in the media about his admission that he isn't going to actually build a literal wall; that it's metaphorical. Or what seems to be a quiet change from the position that Muslims, as such, should be banned from immigrating to the United States to the somewhat less offensive notion that people from countries implicated in the furtherance of terrorism and the recruitment of terrorists should be excluded. I suspect that he'll cheerfully embrace whatever Sen. Barrasso and his colleagues on the platform committee write- and then just as cheerfully ignore it.

Yes, as predicted- as Reince Priebus and the more abject members of the Republican establishment have promised- Trump seems to be walking his nuttier statements back a bit. He's even trying to act at least a little more like a president and less like a grammar school bully. Of course, he isn't trying all that hard; his response to George Will's declaration that he has left the Republican party over Trump and urging fellow conservatives to do the same would embarrass most people no longer in the Third Grade. But he's trying to act like a grown-up, at least some of the time. He really is.

But the problem is that he's still not a grown- up. He's still an insecure, emotionally juvenile man whose words mean nothing and who covers his extreme lack of self-esteem with grandiose gestures and barnyard bellows. He's very much the beta male trying to convince the rest of us- and most of all, himself- that he's an alpha male, whose hands are as big as anyone else's.

He still has no sense of either responsibility or accountability. He will make a show of conforming to the conventions expected of a presidential nominee, at least at first, and maybe even be adhering to the letter of the party platform. But it won't last. Before we're very deep into the fall campaign, he'll revert to being Donald Trump again. He can't help it. It's who he is.

And when the Democratic attack machine gets going- a fearsome predator every bit as deceitful and malicious as Trump himself and infinitely more sophisticated and disciplined- all resemblance to the new and improved Trump Priebus and the others are trying to sell us will vanish. We will once again see the real Donald Trump in all of his infantile glory. That, again, is who he really is.

On one hand,  that's a large part of the reason why I'm confident that Trump will never be President of the United States. On the other hand, that's the reason why we absolutely do not dare let him be.

HT: Real Clear Politics


Popular Posts