Donald Trump is desperately trying to hit the reset button. But John Cassidy, writing in the New Yorker, believes it may be too late:
There was particularly bad news for Trump from the battleground states. According to the latest surveys, he’s trailing Clinton by six points in Florida, nine points in Michigan, eleven points in Pennsylvania, and fifteen points in New Hampshire. The polls are also running strongly against him in Virginia and Colorado, two swing states that have been trending toward the Democrats, and there was even a survey a few days ago that showed Clinton ahead in Georgia, which has voted Republican in seven out of the last eight Presidential elections.
Given the fundamentals—the state of the economy, the President’s approval ratings, and the fact that the Democrats are seeking to win a third term in the Oval Office—history suggests that this should be a close election. But Trump’s self-destructive antics, coming on top of what was a pretty effective demolition job on him at the Democratic Convention, have, for now at least, taken the pressure off Clinton. While one hesitates to cite Newt Gingrich as an authority on anything other than zoos and his next book contract, there was a good deal of truth in what he said to the Washington Post a few days ago about Trump and Clinton: “The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable. Trump is helping her to win the election by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”
The Republican Party grandees are just as desperately trying to separate themselves from Trump, fearing that they'll lose the Senate. And that prospect has the Koch Brothers worried.
The truth is that the Republican Party has brought all of this on themselves. William F. Buckley used to boast about the crazies he had managed to keep out of the party. But, in 1968, Richard Nixon invited White Supremacists into the party. In 1980, Ronald Reagan offered evangelicals salvation. And, in 2000, George W. Bush invited Tea Partiers to party with him. Charles and David Koch's father was a card carrying member of the John Birch Society -- which held that Dwight Eisenhower was a Communist agent. And Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy's counsel during his Senate hearings, was a family friend of the Trumps.
The Crazies are now the party's base. They put Trump where he is. He's a symptom, not a cause.