From The Washington Examiner:
“Populism has spent years knocking on the door of the Republican Party. Next week, it may knock the door off its hinges—or burn down the house. …
The GOP could have harnessed the emotion, and steered it towards conservative policy goals and Republican victories. But populism has always seemed uncouth or foreign to much of the GOP elite, and it could upset the donor base and the K Street class.
But the populism didn’t go away, and on Monday across the prairies of Iowa, it could shake the Grand Old Party to its foundations, toppling conservatism, and erecting authoritarian identity politics in its place. …
The Tea Party carried Republicans to a House majority in 2010, but then the party clamped down on the populism. Notably, they pushed an immigration bill coveted by the business lobby. …”
Here’s another key excerpt from a must read article in The Huffington Post: 1 out of 4 Democrats are backing Trump.
“WASHINGTON — Here are some scary findings for anyone who doesn’t support Donald Trump for president.
Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO union federation, just spent five weeks canvassing in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas, focusing on likely voters who live outside the city and have household incomes at or below $75,000 (read: white and working class). The group’s canvassers spoke to 1,689 people, 90 percent of whom cast ballots in 2012. While the report serves as a non-scientific “front porch focus group,” rather than a representative sample of the states’ voters, its findings offer a glimpse into some voters’ minds.
Of the entire Democratic and Republican fields, the most popular single candidate was Donald Trump — and it wasn’t even close. Thirty-eight percent of people who had already made up their minds said they wanted to vote for the Republican real estate magnate. The candidate with the next highest share was Democrat Hillary Clinton, with 22 percent. …
And that would partly explain this troubling finding for Democrats: One in four people who identified as Democrats said they were backing Trump.”
Trump is beating Hillary Clinton, 47-43, in Michigan, and Cruz, 51-15.
“An exclusive Mitchell FOX 2 Detroit Poll of Michigan finds that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton hold large leads over their nearest GOP and Democratic opponents, respectively.
In a head to head matchup, Trump holds a 47 – 43 percent lead over Clinton with 10 percent undecided.
The latest Mitchell poll data has Trump holding a 3-1 lead over his two closest opponents in the Michigan Republican Presidential Primary.”
Charles Krauthammer sees a fight “over the soul” of the GOP:
“The 2016 presidential race has turned into an epic contest between the ethno-nationalist populism of Donald Trump and traditional conservatism, though in two varieties: the scorched-earth fundamentalist version of Ted Cruz, and a reformist version, represented by Marco Rubio (and several so-called establishment candidates) and articulated most fully by non-candidate Paul Ryan and a cluster of highly productive thinkers and policy wonks dubbed “reformicons.”
Jonathan Chait says it is becoming a white identity party:
“At the same time, Trump is offering something genuinely transformational. His candidacy would reshape the Republican Party as more of a European-style white-identity party, rather than a party rooted in opposition to big government. Far-right parties in Europe organize their politics around opposition to immigration and defense of cultural traditionalism. Unlike the Republican Party, they do not take notably right-wing positions on taxes and spending. Indeed, they fuse together social traditionalism with populist economics in a political style some call herrenvolk democracy — a welfare state whose benefits should be restricted to people like us.”
If Hillary ends up defeating Sanders, union members are poised to bolt for Trump:
“In expressing her concern, Ms. Henry reflected a different form of anxiety that is weighing on some union leaders and Democratic operatives: their fear that Mr. Trump, if not effectively countered, may draw an unusually large number of union voters in a possible general election matchup. This could, in turn, give Republicans a boost in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which Mr. Obama won twice.
The source of the attraction to Mr. Trump, say union members and leaders, is manifold: the candidate’s unapologetically populist positions on certain economic issues, particularly trade; a frustration with the impotence of conventional politicians; and above all, a sense that he rejects the norms of Washington discourse.
“They feel he’s the one guy who’s saying what’s on people’s minds,” Thomas Hanify, the president of the Indiana state firefighters union, said of his rank and file. …”
Note: For the moment, Trump is the greatest thing since sliced bread, at least until he has served his purpose, which is to kill off a certain parasite.