Maybe it’s too early for hosannas after Donald Trump’s decisive loss in Wisconsin last night to Ted Cruz. After all, the stars were in alignment for the Texan while Trump had spent a week saying his usual stupid stuff only this time it hurt him (which was a surprise, probably even to him). But one hopes (or I hope anyway!) that this loss will finally break the guy’s momentum and overturn the narrative that he is a “winnah.”
His petulant “concession” message, issued after the media projections of his loss were in (and it was clear there was no longer a chance he would eke out the coveted victory he was hoping for) showed he didn’t even have the gumption to stand before the cameras in person and acknowledge the setback he was dealt in Wisconsin. His impersonal message, referring to himself repeatedly as “Mr. Trump”– a particularly grating affectation which all his supporters have deferentially adopted by the way — only reinforced the sense that he can’t handle setbacks like a mensch.
Instead he persisted in speaking of “Lyin’ Ted,” as if sophomoric name-calling is all you need to “message” your voters (suggesting the low esteem he has for his voting public); and he used the written format to accuse everyone in the GOP, from the so-called “Establishment” to the Wisconsin Republican organization, to the conservative Wisconsin media of conspiring to stop him. Maybe, just maybe, he managed to stop himself this time? If so, it’s not a moment too soon for GOP voters to finally start coming to their senses. No moment of graciousness from Mr. Trump in his moment of adversity. Instead he fell back, as he always does, on accusations, insults and bitter recrimination.
Republicans across the country owe a debt of thanks to their fellow GOPers in Wisconsin who woke up in time to do what the rest of us should have been doing before this. Now those of us in New York will have our chance to weigh in. Hopefully enough of us will have now had the opportunity to wake up from the trance The Donald has put so many of us in until now and choose another, better candidate to carry the Republican banner forward into November. John Kasich offers us more than Trump or Cruz can at this point and maybe, just maybe the GOP can still pull its irons out of this fire– a blaze of its own making — and go on to actually win the White House come November. Maybe it’s not yet too late to save us from ourselves!