The New York Times on Friday and Saturday let its readers know that the Republicans were getting what they deserved for pandering to right-wing extremism and xenophobia, while Hillary Clinton had successfully gained the sensible center. Friday’s lead editorial, “The G.O.P.’s Monster in the Mirror,” began with a little implied Trumpian vulgarity, then smeared the two Republican senators in the presidential race as extremist. Paul Krugman doubled down, calling the field racist, while Ted Cruz was heckled and Hillary Clinton hailed on Saturday's front page.
Holy Mitt, what a meltdown.
Add this one to Donald Trump’s lengthening list of firsts: He’s forced a Republican Party reckoning overdue for years, all in a few days. It took the Trump-dominated Super Tuesday contests to awaken Republican leaders to the fact that the darkest elements of the party’s base, which many of them have embraced or exploited, are now threatening their party.
Last week, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, elected to the Senate partly on their appeal to extremists, seemed to realize that they weren’t attractive enough to win Mr. Trump’s crowd.
That same day, columnist Paul Krugman’s "Clash of Republican Con Artists” also carried the idea that all the Republicans are as scary and racist as Trump. The text box: “Trump Isn’t the Only Fraud Running.”
So Republicans are going to nominate a candidate who talks complete nonsense on domestic policy; who believes that foreign policy can be conducted via bullying and belligerence; who cynically exploits racial and ethnic hatred for political gain.
But that was always going to happen, however the primary season turned out. The only news is that the candidate in question is probably going to be Donald Trump. Establishment Republicans denounce Mr. Trump as a fraud, which he is. But is he more fraudulent than the establishment trying to stop him? Not really.
Actually, when you look at the people making those denunciations, you have to wonder: Can they really be that lacking in self-awareness?
Mr. Ryan also declares that the “party of Lincoln” must “reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry.” Has he ever heard of Nixon’s “Southern strategy”; of Ronald Reagan’s invocations of welfare queens and “strapping young bucks” using food stamps; of Willie Horton?