Donald Trump tells it like it is, they say. He fights for us, they say. He speaks things that we all were thinking, they say. He’s entertaining, they say.
Nearly seven out of ten Americans think Trump’s act has bombed. In fact, since polling began over a year ago, only one time has Trump’s favorable/unfavorable spread been less than minus 15 points, and that was the Economist/YouGov poll in September 2015.
Trump is Trump, and he cannot be anything else–there’s not a single pundit at this point who’s willing to bet on Trump becoming “presidential,” now or ever. Put Trump in front of a teleprompter, and he’s still doing the same schtick, but semi-scripted.
Even his fans are finding that schtick a bit worn. Remember Andrew Dice Clay? In the 1980’s Clay–the “Dice Man”–was the most controversial shock comic in Hollywood. Until 2011, he had the distinction of a lifetime ban from MTV for reciting X-rated versions of Mother Goose rhymes during the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.
Eventually Clay became as funny as a heart attack. Saturday Night Live cast members and singer Sinead O’Connor refused to perform with him on the show in 1990. Dice Man was a lout, a loudmouthed scumbag who was only funny for his shock value, and we got tired of gasping. (Yes, Clay still performs, doing small gigs and Showtime specials.)
Now Donald Trump is the GOP’s “Dice Man.” His shock value has worn off. Now he’s just offensive. The party has grown tired of a man who mocks disabled reporters, regularly bans the press (which is simply for show, since even without a media credential, reporters from banned outlets can still attend with the general public), and implies that Americans elected a terrorist as president.
GOP governors are beginning to bolt (Haslam and Hogan are the latest). Key Senators are withholding their even tepid endorsements. The GOP money machine is beginning to dry up, because surrogates are unwilling to put their names on the line for him.
It’s gotten so bad that Chairman Reince Priebus has resorted to tweeting “reports of discord are pure fiction.”
Flying to Dallas now with @realDonaldTrump…Reports of discord are pure fiction. Great events lined up all over Texas. Rs will win in Nov!
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) June 16, 2016
This is sad that the leaders of the party have sunk to self-affirming, nearly delusional public statements that nobody really believes. It reminds me of Kevin Bacon’s character in “Animal House” saying “Remain calm! All is well!” as he gets steamrolled by the crowd.
Panic has officially set in and the Trump campaign is bombing.
By the time we get to Cleveland, maybe it will be bad enough that the delegates will replace our headline act with someone who can still play in Peoria.