Steve Schmidt -- John McCain's spectacularly poor campaign manager -- appeared on Chris Hayes's show on MSNBC to size up this year's presidential race.
I think he nailed it. Tell me what you think:
First off, the crisis in the Republican party is not caused by Donald Trump; Donald Trump is the result of the crisis in the Republican party. You have a party that has lost the popular vote in five out of the last six elections. You look at a party that is shrinking. Every single demographic that is growing the Republican party is losing market share. Its leadership has been complicit in the prosecution of an incompetently prosecuted war.
It has been complicit in spending the country into $19 trillion in debt, abdicating its claims to being the party of fiscal responsibility. And all of the conservative institutionalists and the establishment conservatives, the professional conservatives in Washington have stood idly by during this season of collapse.
There are no new ideas in the Republican party. There are not fresh policies. There's not the intellectual rigor and vigor that you saw out of conservatism in the 1980s. And on top of it all we live in a country where trust is collapsed in nearly every institution with the exception of the U.S. military. And you see this playing out additionally on the Democratic side with the rise of Bernie Sanders.The parties are realigning. Most of the dimwits in Washington think it is demographics, the skin color game, which conveniently allows them to push the Chamber of Commerce anti-American amnesty program that makes U.S. citizenship worthless. But the battle is more basic: Capitalism versus socialism. You do not easily get capitalism from the political class. Trump versus Sanders would be a perfectly fair way of settling the matter.
By the way, neither the Weekly Standard nor the National Review make money. They are subsidized by sugar daddies. They don't have to please the public, for they answer only to the guy who writes the check. If that is conservatism, then to hell with it.