Opinion Outpost May 10

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#NeverTrump

Now’s the time for backers of the #NeverTrump movement — from Mitt Romney to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse — to prove that their vows never to support Donald Trump were more than a bluff.

Rational options include cobbling together an independent candidacy, backing an existing third party contender, sitting out the election entirely, or backing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But if supposedly anti-Trump Republicans fail to do anything, and do it soon, the Never Trump movement will only prove that it was Never Serious.

— Editorial board

Boston Globe

 

. . . the never-say-#NeverTrump Republicans have a problem: In private, many of them — perhaps most of them — don’t think Trump can win the general election.

“The structural problem of the Trump candidacy is his ‘unfavorable’ numbers,” GOP pollster David Winston told me. “Among women, who — did I mention? — are the majority of the electorate, his unfavorables are in the 70s. Those aren’t easy numbers to turn around, particularly when a candidate has had as much exposure as Trump.”

That’s why even if, in the end, few Republican politicians will actively oppose Trump, many won’t actively support him either.

— Doyle McManus

Los Angeles Times

 

Last night (after the Indiana Primary) a longtime Republican operative emailed, “Tonight is the beginning, not the end, of the #NeverTrump movement.” What that entails is up for discussion. He laid out the main options (which are not mutually exclusive): “After tonight the #NeverTrump movement will be expressed in all or some combination of these three ways: 1) Trump and Hillary Clinton will face a direct challenge from an independent candidate, 2) Millions of Republican voters will stay home or, 3) Trump will be sabotaged before he knows he’s under attack.” He adds, “In any event, Trump will never be elected President of the United States.” We hope.

—  Jennifer Rubin

The Washington Post

 

Hillary vs. Sanders?

Millions of Democrats are voting for a presidential candidate linked to an FBI criminal investigation. These voters either don’t know there’s been a year-long FBI investigation of Clinton’s emails, don’t care, or would vote for Clinton even if she faced Espionage Act indictments.

Bernie Sanders has political momentum, grass roots support throughout the nation, and defeats Donald Trump by a wider margin than Clinton.

The FBI will eventually disclose its findings. To pretend like this will never happen, or that these revelations won’t have an impact, is ludicrous. Democrats will need Bernie Sanders, when Clinton faces the political ramifications of this scandal.

— H. A. Goodman

The Huffington Post

 

The Democratic Party and Mrs. Clinton are better off for Mr. Sanders’s presence in this race. His criticism, as Winston Churchill might say, was not agreeable. But it called necessary attention to unhealthy developments in the Democratic Party, including its at-times obliviousness to the lingering economic pain of the middle class and the young, and its drift toward political caution over aspiration.

— Editorial board

The New York Times

 

Dear Bernie:

Don’t drop out of the race; redefine it.

To quit or not to quit; that is not the question. The question is: Will you use your campaign to show Donald Trump how to attack Hillary — or to show Hillary how to attack Donald Trump?

Now that the GOP field has cleared for Trump, you can guarantee he will focus all his hateful, bitter vitriol on Hillary. If you continue to hammer her as well, she will be in the difficult position of receiving friendly fire from you, even as Trump is launching chemical weapons at her. You can either force Hillary to fight a two-front war, or force Trump to. I am urging you to choose Trump as your target.

— Paul Begala

CNN

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