Valued commenter Rikyrah draws our attention to a post at No More Mr. Nice Blog in which Steve M argues that the Beltway press is setting Paul Ryan up to be the reedy voice of reason if the GOP goes down in flames in the coming election. An excerpt:
There’s a widespread belief that Democrats are likely to win this year’s presidential election no matter what, and that the GOP is utterly doomed if Donald Trump is the nominee. I don’t share that belief — but even if it’s accurate, even if a Trump-Clinton or Trump-Sanders race ends in a Democratic landslide, I can guarantee you that the GOP will recover from the Trump campaign almost instantly.
How? The press will do what it always does when Republicans stumble: It will give the GOP a do-over. Don’t believe me? Go to Politico today and read about Paul Ryan, who’s positioning himself to be the face of that do-over…
I think Steve is correct on both counts: 1) the upcoming election won’t be a gimme for the Dems no matter which hairball the GOP horks up, and 2) even if the GOP loses in a Goldwater-class epic fail, the political press will rehabilitate the party in time to regain any lost ground in 2018.
Recent history shows this to be true: The rebranding of the GOP in the wake of the Shrub’s utterly disastrous presidency is one of the most unheralded brand management feats of all time, and it couldn’t have happened without the enthusiastic participation of the Beltway media.
Think about the magnitude of that accomplishment: In just two short years, the DC press helped rehabilitate a party that had ignored warning signs and presided over the most deadly terrorist attack in US history, lied the country into a pointless war that cost upwards of a trillion dollars and needlessly killed tens of thousands and oversaw the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.
Of course they lost the subsequent election, but all it took to flush the GOP’s catastrophic failure down the memory hole was a handful of Koch-funded operatives in powdered wigs and moth-eaten Colonial togs and a scrum of shouty folks disrupting town hall meetings to shriek about socialized medicine, and voila! — a midterm landslide in the other direction.
Overcoming a Trumpism hangover will be child’s play in comparison.