April 11, 2016

You've probably heard about the stunt pulled by The Boston Globe this weekend:

The Boston Globe on Sunday will publish a satirical front page predicting headlines about a Donald Trump presidency alongside a “Stop Trump” editorial.

The fake front page will be the lead of the Globe’s Sunday Ideas section and "is a work of political satire and commentary produced by the Globe's Editorial Board, not the newsroom,” Globe Editorial Page Editor Ellen Clegg wrote in an email....

The banner headline on the fake page, dated a year from Sunday, reads: “Deportations to begin, President Trump calls for tripling of ICE force; riots continue.” The page includes full, realistic articles about Trump’s actions as president.

The main story includes mentions of an Attorney General Chris Christie, and Fox News’ Megyn Kelly tweeting from a bar because she’s been placed on a White House black list.


You can read the front page here. It's fairly clever (NASA halts the launch of an unmanned probe because of "fears that its new gold leaf trim would interfere with radio communications"; a glitch in bank financing for the president's border wall means he may have to "repay the short-term loans he arranged with government-authorized cement contractors working out of a social club in Queens, N.Y.") -- but take a look at the editorial that accompanies the front page. It's abundantly clear that the editorial isn't just about Trump. It's clear that there are specific Republican presidential candidates -- or, rather, non-candidates -- on the Globe ed board's short list.

Which ones? Here's a huge hint:

Realizing that the party faces a double bind, a few conservatives have been clear-eyed enough to see the need for a plausible, honorable alternative that could emerge from the likely contested convention. Names like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney have come up. If no candidate gets a majority on the convention’s first ballot, such a nomination might be theoretically possible.

And another, two paragraphs later:

House Speaker Ryan spoke to the possible long-term damage with which the party is flirting. “Leaders with different visions and ideas have come and gone; parties have risen and fallen; majorities and White Houses won and lost,” he said. “But the way we govern endures: through debate, not disorder.” The problem is that Trump has already crossed lines that a politician with a sincere commitment to democratic norms must never cross.

And then, two paragraphs after that:

When he denounced Trump, Romney said he wanted to be able to say he’d fought the good fight against a demagogue. That’s the test other Republicans may want to consider.

And then, just after that:

Action doesn’t mean political chicanery or subterfuge. It doesn’t mean settling for an equally extreme -- and perhaps more dangerous -- nominee in Ted Cruz. If the party can muster the courage to reject its first-place finisher, rejecting the runner-up should be even easier.

The Republican Party’s standard deserves to be hoisted by an honorable and decent man, like Romney or Ryan, elected on the convention floor.

Strictly speaking, this isn't an endorsement of Romney or Ryan -- though it comes awfully close.

The Globe has a reputation for being dogmatically Democratic, but it did endorse Charlie Baker, a Republican, for governor in 2014. (Baker went on to win, as part of that year's GOP rout.) Baker is a moderate, and the Globe may think Ryan is, too, and that Romney still is, even though he hasn't been one for a decade. Or this may be no more than a do-gooder effort to save the Republican Party from itself.

As for me, I still want the GOP to reap what it's sown for many, many years. I hope one of its probably unelectable front-runners has the juice to win the nomination, rather than a presentable phony right-centrist.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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