This may be Andy Kaufman’s greatest gag ever, but it’s getting away from him.
Some time back I floated the theory that Donald Trump is actually Andy Kaufman and I’ve suggested that this election is an elaborate piece of performance art. You may think I’m being silly, but that theory comes closer to explaining the last few months than most “serious” punditry we see.
This morning I see that at least one poll has him losing to Clinton by four points in Georgia. I repeat, in GEORGIA! That’s in the heart of freakin’ racist cracker Dixie.
If the goal were to destroy the GOP, what more could the man possibly do? No, hold on. That’s actually a real question. You can’t go too nuts because if you do you’ll give it away and spoil the joke. So nuking Disneyland is off the table.
But Kaufman – err, “Trump” – has to be wondering how far out on a limb that tipping point is. You court racist violence in rallies and it helps. You get some major fact wrong every other day and your base stays with you. You lie flagrantly. You attack beloved icons of your own party. You slander the parents of a soldier who died in Iraq.
You push the envelope. You ease out, trying to find the fine line of lunacy and tapdance on it.
And the worst that happens is that some Republican pols try to shame you. Stern, righteous lecturing it is, but here’s the thing: none of them retract their endorsements. Okay, okay, a couple with nothing to lose have, like one rep who isn’t running for reelection and Meg Whitman, who’s never been elected to anything to start with, plus a few staffer types. But the only big dog who’s stood up to you so far is Sen.
Eddie Munster Ted Cruz.
KaufmanTrump has to be baffled right now. I mean, the gag has gone on way longer than even he could have dreamed and been disturbingly successful. Seriously, what does he have to do? He’s probably the only GOP candidate who wouldn’t be leading Clinton right now. She’s the most unpopular candidate the Dems have had since … ummm … no, wait, I’ll think of somebody. Give me a minute.
Let’s come back to that. I don’t exaggerate when I say that Trump could have locked himself in a closet and refused to speak from the moment he wrapped up that last delegate all the way up to election day and had a better chance at winning. Hell, that might have been enough. Because every time he opens his mouth his support fades a little more.
But still, he hasn’t found the tipping point. He hasn’t figured out what he can do to once and for all dynamite the whole works. He could advocate bombing Canada and a return to lynching and he’d still win 25 states (the lynching plank might actually put him back out front in Georgia, now that I think about it).
Clearly he’s trying, though. Disneyland might not be off the table, after all.