An­other view We must keep Trump afloat

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Froma Har­rop Froma Har­rop is syn­di­cated by Cre­ators Syn­di­cate.

It seems ages ago, but re­call when the sec­ond pres­i­den­tial de­bate was deemed the sinkor-swim mo­ment for the can­di­dacy of Don­ald J. Trump. The slob­ber­ing sex tape had just come out, caus­ing many fear­ful Repub­li­cans to un­en­dorse him. One more as­tound­ing melt­down on the de­bate stage and Trump would be out.

The post-de­bate con­sen­sus held that Don­ald stopped the heavy bleed­ing and Hil­lary Clin­ton was cau­tious. She didn’t bait him with any­thing new, thus help­ing the Trump can­di­dacy live to self-de­struct an­other day.

That’s ex­actly what hap­pened. And whether by de­sign or not, that’s ex­actly what Clin­ton and other Democrats should have wanted. The im­por­tance of keep­ing Trump at the top of the Repub­li­can ticket could not be over­stated.

Demo­cratic wish come true, Trump again bub­bled up from the black la­goon and turned his malev­o­lence on the Repub­li­can Party. Un­leash­ing new chaos in the elec­toral ranks, he blasted Repub­li­cans who had bro­ken with him over the tape. He poured hot new in­sults on Paul Ryan and John McCain. Cowed by the dis­play, some Repub­li­cans who had dis­graced them­selves by not drop­ping Trump long ago dis­graced them­selves again by ped­al­ing back.

In sum, Repub­li­can can­di­dates are faced with an un­en­vi­able choice: They can back a can­di­date whom most in­de­pen­dents and many fel­low Repub­li­cans re­gard as re­pel­lant. Or they can drop him and risk the wrath of Trump sup­port­ers vow­ing re­venge on any Repub­li­can dis­loyal to The Don­ald. Some Trump­sters are threat­en­ing to not vote for down-bal­lot Repub­li­cans.

The Democrats’ strong hope of restor­ing a Se­nate ma­jor­ity has grown stronger thanks to The Don­ald. As a re­sult, Repub­li­cans Pat Toomey of Penn­syl­va­nia and Richard Burr of North Carolina face ti­tanic bat­tles — ti­tanic as in the RMS Ti­tanic. And the pre­vi­ously im­pos­si­ble Demo­cratic dream of tak­ing the House now seems pos­si­ble.

GOP lead­ers should draw no com­fort in a poll sug­gest­ing vot­ers are mak­ing lit­tle dis­tinc­tion be­tween Repub­li­cans for Trump and those who re­nounced him when times got tough. As for the sec­ond group, Trump prom­ises to make their political lives as painful as pos­si­ble.

And more Oc­to­ber sur­prises could be com­ing. The month be­gan with the rev­e­la­tion that Trump may not have paid fed­eral in­come taxes for close to two decades. Then came the giftwrapped tape in which Don­ald spoke freely of his an­i­mal mag­netism with women and will­ing­ness to grab that which is not of­fered. The month is still young.

The bright spot here is an elec­toral rout might force Repub­li­cans to do some­thing they should have done long ago — cast off the deliri­ous mobs of their so-called base and re­place them with in­de­pen­dents open to sane con­ser­va­tive ar­gu­ments. Many prin­ci­pled con­ser­va­tives have gone so far as to her­ald a Trump-driven elec­toral col­lapse as the shock ther­apy their party needs.

Dr. Born­stein, please keep Don­ald healthy. He can’t lose it if he’s not in it. Amer­ica needs Trump to plunge head­first into the black la­goon — and stay there.

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