The betting markets now say that the most likely Republican nominee for president is a man who mocks women, insults Latinos, endorses war crimes like torture, denounces party icons and favors barring people from the United States based on their religion.
He’s less a true-believer conservative than an opportunist, though, for he has supported single-payer health insurance, abortion rights and tighter gun measures. Lindsey Graham says he’s “crazy,” Jeb Bush says he would be worse than President Barack Obama, and the conservative National Review warned that he is a “menace to American conservatism.”
It’s Donald Trump, of course. He’s smarter than critics believe — he understood the political mood better than we pundits did — but I can’t think of any national politician I’ve met over the decades who was so ill-informed on the issues, or so evasive, or who so elegantly and dangerously melded bombast and vapidity.
So how did we get to this stage where the leading Republican candidate is loathed by the Republican establishment?