If last nights debate proved anything it’s that the GOP will not be able to push one of their favored candidates to the top with the strategy of a thousand tiny cuts.
The GOP thought was if they can get enough candidates in there to attack and siphon votes from what they see as a “conservative insurgency” their favorite or at least second favorite would rise to the top. Enter “the Trump factor”. Their strategy has backfired badly. They drastically underestimated the distaste for their ineffective performance once given the power they sought in 2010 and 2012.
Trump with a populist message and no real substance goes completely unchallenged in depth of policy. He’s dominating the field with little signs of that changing. Trump is Obama of 2008 and they just don’t get it.
With so many in the debates it allows Trump to just say something like “America will be great again” (I hear “hope and change”) without actually explaining how. The power of his hollow message is astounding quite possibly because I seem to have mistakenly assigned more depth of thinking to conservative voters. Being conservative albeit not as far to the right as many I have mistakenly projected my own skepticism and studious examination of issues on other conservatives in whole. My error is leading to disappointment. There are many conservatives actually saying Trump won the debate. I can only wonder what I missed.
This leaves the GOP in a difficult position. Unless they want to deal with Donald Trump as their nominee they have to change course. That’s going to mean abandoning their strategy that isn’t working (that never stopped them before) and accept the fact that they only have one “insider” candidate with any chance at all. They have to realize that four establishment candidates throwing jabs at Trump from the “under card” debate isn’t going to hurt him and having nine candidates in the main debate doesn’t allow any depth of substance that will unseat Trump from his perch. Only his blank stare and recitation of platitudes when pressed on specifics will do that. An answer of “I will just do it. We have to.” or “we will just get really really smart people to get it done” should raise red flags all over. It tells me the “great manager” will be farming out decisions. We already have a president with a pen and a phone and more unconfirmed “czars” than we know.
GOP it’s time to Cull the herd for the survival of the species. If there are weak hiding among the herd in a forced run they will fall back. The weakest already have they just hope the front will trip over a rock allowing them to live another day. When just grazing they mingle about and can appear to be strong while endangering the herd. If trump can hold the front under stress his position is deserved. If not the true leader of the pack will take the lead. Time to let them run. A field of six in the next debate would be the maximum if any clear voter opinion based on policy and record can be formed.