The Republicans are suffering from an establishment power vacuum that has allowed a demagogue to very nearly take control of the party; and the Democratic establishment, constantly trailed by an air of scandal and suspicion, is unable to engender much enthusiasm from its base. It’s still not clear which of the two parties will win the demolition derby that the 2016 election has become. But it’s looking more and more that no matter which party ‘wins’ this bizarre election contest, the clear loser is the United States.I take that back -- I can argue one point. The last thing the Republicans need is superdelegates. In fact, that would simply reinforce the most legitimate concern for many supporters of the Donald and his campaign: the sense that the elites within the party haven't been listening to the voters, and won't unless they get an outer borough 2x4 upside their heads.
Our political system is in deep trouble, and while one can think of some procedural fixes that could help (superdelegates on the Republican side, stronger and more impartial enforcement of government rules on information security and conflict of interest in the case of the Clinton machine) the real problems are more dangerous and harder to treat: A moral and spiritual collapse that has frayed the bonds between the country’s ordinary people and those who seek to lead them, a hollowing out of institutions from Congress and political parties to local churches and civic life, and the disintegration of a shared national intellectual and cultural framework for discussing the issues that confront us. As we approach a critical presidential election at a time of global turmoil and disorder, the state of our union is not strong.
Other than that... well, it's spot-on. Consider the likely alternatives for the fall: a combover putz who likes to talk about his schwanz, facing off against the most thoroughly corrupt politician on the American stage. It's amazing that our political process can deliver such a freak show, yet here we are.
As for the debate last night, I doubt much changed. Ted Cruz was good and "Little Marco" had his moments, but there was nothing either candidate said that is likely to move people off their current positions. There also seemed to be some guy from Ohio on the stage, but I'm not sure who he was. He wasn't wearing a scarlet sweater vest, so it probably wasn't Jim Tressel. I'll have to do some research and get back to you.
As for Mitt Romney's cri de coeur? Useless. In fact, probably worse than useless, because it once again reinforced the Trump argument about out-of-touch elites lecturing the huddled masses, yearning to breathe something yuuge. Mitt Romney is correct in everything he said. No one cares.
It's no good, of course. None of it is. You can't change the list of particulars that Mead identified overnight. The hollowing out of our institutions has been a long, relentless process of rot, much of it going on for a half century or more. We're not going to be able to fix it from Washington. We need to look closer to home.