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Gaming Out the Trump Nightmare Scenarios

We know now that Donald Trump is not only the numerical frontrunner in the GOP primary race but a very dominant one at that. And there's no sign his strong plurality showing in pretty much all the state and national polls is going to change any time soon - though it's important to remember there's almost 6 months until the first voting. So I've been trying to game out some scenarios for how this race unfolds.

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Xenophobia and Political Correctness Make Strange Bedfellows

It's almost sad to watch Jeb Bush try to hold on to his brand as the Republican who really likes Hispanics while also showing he can be just as big a xenophobe as the next presidential candidate - almost sad but more often funny. He's spent the last few days trying to come up with a palatable way to say "anchor baby." So yesterday down at the US-Mexico border he explained that "anchor babies" are really more a problem with "Asian people", not Mexicans.

Channeling McCain?

This is what's frightening about the instability in the Democratic nomination race: you could end up with a numbskull like Scott Walker as President. Either channeling 2008 McCain or perhaps just finding new forms of doofus militarism, Walker is calling on President Obama to cancel the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping's because the borderline collapse of their economy is pulling down our stock market.

Will Trump Rebrand GOP As White Nationalist Party?

Is Donald Trump a 'populist', the candidate of resentment and privilege or simply the final embodiment of the Crazy, the Crazy made flesh and coming amongst us, the Jesus who was foretold by Michele Bachmann's John the Baptist. One of the great injuries Trump has already done to America and our collective dignity is that we are now forced to take him seriously in terms of understanding what he represents in political terms since he's not going anywhere and only appears to be gaining strength.

Much of what has driven the GOP in the Obama era has been anxiety and resentment about losing out to rising forces in the American political-economy and culture - the decreasing white share of the national electorate (embodied by but also partly connected to Barack Obama's election), changing social and cultural mores (support for LGBT rights) driven by Americans under the age of 35, a renascent and assertive women's movement and the increasing defensiveness or even paranoia of organized wealth.

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