At some point, even the Republican base has to wake up and see reality, don’t they? Maybe not. But the rest of the Republican Party will. A problem is, there is little “rest of” the GOP.
It’s been a slow march, but many in the Republican Party are either withdrawing officially (changing their registration) or withdrawing emotionally and not engaging in giving money or supporting the GOP national candidates. I know, I know: everyone pretty much has his or her own billionaire or two to provide the money – but they can’t deliver the votes.
It does mean that the GOP cannot win with Donald Trump or Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina at the head of the ticket. Many pundits are now pointing out that politics is a game of addition, not subtraction – the more voting blocs you tick off, the fewer potential voters you have. If Trump became the candidate, he won’t get the support of women (more than half the population), Hispanics (the fastest-growing demographic) or men and women who support a woman’s right to the abortion. And that’s just for starters.
The other knock on those three contenders is none has experience in government. Some in the base think that’s a plus. They are wrong. The measurement in the private sector for success is different than the measurement in the public sector. Private sector: you make deals (Trump has made it clear he believes he’s the best deal-maker ever born). Public sector: you also make deals (or we will get back to it some day, I hope) but the back and forth isn’t over money, for special interests – which could be people supporting women’s health or better education or a focus on college costs etc. Trump may think that’s the same, it isn’t. The same with "making deals" with foreign leaders. It ain't gonna be done on the force of personality. It takes policy positions to back up what you're proposing. These folks hold up President Reagan as their guiding light, but they clearly have not studied his presidency to see how he accomplished what he accomplished, including seeing the Soviet Union break up and the Berlin Wall come down.
You don’t measure success in the public sector in dollars or cents; you do in the private sector. If the President of the United States was going to be judged on whether he had a balanced budget, he’d have a balanced budget. That’s not the measure of success. That's clearly not what gets presidents re-elected. What does get them re-elected is providing services for those who need them and providing security for the nation. You can’t put a precise price on those things. Thus, it’s nearly impossible to live within a budget and be a successful president.
I do think the tide began to turn in the last GOP debate. Already governors Perry and Walker have “suspended’ their campaigns. There was a time Walker was odds-on to be the candidate. The winnowing has begun. It will continue. The fewer the candidates, the more attention on more candidates and not just one. The fewer the candidates, the more votes those fewer candidates can get.
That’s when Mr. Trump, Dr. Carson and Ms Fiorina will see that their politics of subtraction was a big mistake. They may have captured more of the base of the party – but that’s a losing mathematical proposition.