What has surprised you about the Republican presidential nomination battle? Anything? Do you think you’ve learned anything about the Republican Party that you didn’t know earlier?
I knew from long personal experience that the Republican Party was entirely lost to hope, and had wondered if the reality of it would be sufficient, once encountered in a national campaign, to defeat its candidates even on behalf of an incumbent rendered vulnerable by a peculiar political-economic conjuncture that rewarded his opponents for obstructing his efforts. I hadn’t quite anticipated that the Republicans would produce a slate of candidates so odious and yet ludicrous that the country and the world would go to any length, even manufacturing some semblance of an economic recovery if that’s what it takes, to avoid bringing the eventual nominee to presidential power. The other alternative would be some unifying national trauma, war or other disaster, but maybe we’re luckier than we deserve to be, or deserving because at least sufficiently aware to recognize the American conservative movement as catastrophe enough already.