The moment that should and will probably crystallize forever how permanently broken and detached from reality the Republican Party is happened in the most recent GOP debate, when Donald J. Trump of all people dropped a truth bomb so big, so devastating, I have to just show it to you and give you a transcript, and remember he said all this to a room full of establishment Republicans, none of whom came there that night to be confronted with reality.
Watch the exchange here, courtesy of Slate:
For the listening impaired or those who are allergic to bloviating bullshit, let me give you a transcript, again, via Slate.
Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, All right. Now, you can take it any way you want, and it took—it took Jeb Bush—if you remember at the beginning of his announcement, when he announced for president, it took him five days. He went back, “it was a mistake, it wasn’t a mistake.” It took him five days before his people told him what to say, and he ultimately said, “It was a mistake.” The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives… Iran has taken over Iraq with the second largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. (source)
I mean, no one wants Donald Trump farther from the Oval Office than I do, but there is something really soul-satisfying about seeing him lay the unfettered truth on a room full of Republicans and Republican donors and hear them boo him, and ultimately, boo that reality. It’s not been that frequent of an occurrence for Trump to speak such unfettered truths, but I’m not surprised that when he did he got such blowback from Jeb!, brother of one of the chief fuck-up-artists of the Iraq War, but also Marco Rubio who made the painfully obvious and stupid quip that he was glad it wasn’t Gore in the White House on 9/11, because you know, Al Gore has a reputation for making stupid, irrational decisions based on lies.
It’s really kind of fascinating, watching Trump tap dance between obvious red meat platitudes for the base, and cold hard truth like what he spilled about Iraq and 9/11. It puts on display perfectly the fact that the conservative movement in this country has become completely insular. They live in a world where Benghazi is a bigger scandal than the Iraq War. They live in a world where undocumented immigrants and Muslim terrorists are more dangerous than how quickly and easily guns can be obtained in this country. They live, quite literally, in a backyards existence, and Trump’s piercing of the veil was a bridge too far for many in that room.
But what will be truly important now is how the base reacts. The establishment is going to really try to push them towards finally rejecting Trump. This is where we see just how truly disconnected from reality their base is. If they really are programmed to go with the conservative media message, then Trump is cooked. But otherwise, we may have just witnessed the moment that Trump pulled back the curtain on the Republicans’ sham of a foreign policy for the last few decades, and it might have tremendously strong, down current implications for the party’s viability.
Regardless of whether it really does impact the election or not, I hate to say it, but now is a rare time when I have to applaud Donald Trump. He even managed to defend Planned Parenthood in the debate from Republican attacks. So he’s either ready to declare this campaign as the satirical one it was meant to be, or he’s showing that the way to inject reality into the Republican Party is by first feeding them bullshit they recognize as truth, and then pivoting to the actual truth the rest of us know.
This is one clown car pile-up that I just can’t take my eyes off yet.