The Nightmare Scenario

The Republican presidential candidates can be divided into two categories: Lying Panderers Who Are Deeply Wrong about Pretty Much Everything (LPs), and Actual Fascists.

LPs

  • Marco Rubio
  • Jeb Bush
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Chris Christie
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Rick Santorum
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich
  • Rand Paul
  • George Pataki
  • Jim Gilmore

Actual Fascists

  • Donald Trump
  • Ben Carson
  • Ted Cruz

(Note: I waffle on Huckabee. Perhaps he should be listed in Actual Fascists — but it doesn’t matter, as we’ll see in a second.)

Chances

There’s another way to categorize the candidates: those who have no chance to win the nomination and those who might win.

No Chance

  • Jeb Bush
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Chris Christie
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Rick Santorum
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Kasich
  • Rand Paul
  • George Pataki
  • Jim Gilmore
  • Ben Carson

Bush is a remarkably awful candidate. Fiorina gets some support after each debate, and then it vanishes as everybody forgets about her. Christie is a mean kid from New Jersey. Graham doesn’t excite anybody but John McCain. Santorum is a whiny has-been. Huckabee no longer seems like the nice evangelical that people liked last time he ran. Kasich is borderline not-insane, which is disqualifying. Paul doesn’t like killing people nearly enough. Pataki has a weird name and he’s from New York. Gilmore is completely unknown. Carson makes even crazy people worry about his mental faculties.

This leaves…

Might Win

  • Marco Rubio
  • Donald Trump
  • Ted Cruz

If their chances are equal, then that means there’s a two-thirds chance that the Republican nominee will be an Actual Fascist.

But their chances may not be equal. Slate posted a piece on Rubio that suggests he’s pretty bad at running for the nomination.

There’s your nightmare scenario. All it takes to get an Actual Fascist as the nominee is for Rubio to suck at this. And there’s some indication that he does.

Nightmare Scenario, Part Two

Let’s give the Republican nominee a made-up name so we can refer to him: Crump.

Crump wins the nomination and starts running a general election campaign against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

Clinton is kicking Crump’s ass all over the map (except for the South, and even there it’s close in a few states).

And then Something Happens. Could be something international, could be something with the economy, could be a scandal, could be a combination of things — we don’t know. But this Something sticks to Hillary and she loses the general election.

Here’s the thing: sometimes something does happen. Not always, but sometimes. And you can bet that there will be legions of well-funded people trying to make something happen.

And then we have President Crump, an Actual Fascist.

What separates where we are right now from that outcome is not damn much.

11 Dec 2015

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