Hillary Clinton swept Bernie Sanders in the five Democratic primaries held yesterday. She crushed Sanders in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. She edged him in Illinois and Missouri. This is what tends to happen in a landslide.
For the Democrats, it’s all over but the (monotonous) shouting and repeated enumeration of rights purportedly to be achieved (“equal pay for equal work!”) or to be advanced (“LGBT!”) (video below). Conspicuous by their absence are the right of free speech, the right of peaceable assembly, the right to keep and bear arms, and the right to be left alone. This is your future. Get used to it.
Donald Trump had a good and impressive night last night. John Kasich’s victory in Ohio spoiled a perfect game, but Trump cleaned up in Florida and otherwise prevailed impressively in Illinois. He also edged Cruz in North Carolina and Missouri. It seems unlikely that Trump will secure a majority of delegates before the convention, but he also seems likely to be the party’s nominee. (Sasha Issenberg takes a close look at the possibilities if Trump falls short of a majority of delegates.) Listening to John Kasich’s victory speech in Ohio temporarily reconciled me to Trump’s eventual nomination, but just for a moment.
Trump’s smashing victory over Rubio in Florida compelled Rubio to suspend his campaign. Rubio gave an eloquent concession speech. Nothing became his campaign like the leaving of it. Rubio’s participation in the Gang of Eight with Chuck Schumer et al. proved to be an insuperable obstacle; the Reaganite optimism that is his natural key also proved to be out of joint with the times. (Jonathan Last takes issue with these points here.)
Anger pervades the medium of our politics. The anger is Obama’s truest legacy.
RealClearPolitics collects yesterday’s results here. I think after last night it’s Clinton versus Trump. So does John Cassidy. I think Republicans are practically handing Hillary the presidency. So does John Podhoretz.
In 1960 Norman Mailer took a now-famous look at the Democratic convention that nominated JFK for president in the Esquire essay “Superman comes to the supermarket.” Jay Rosen recalls it here. As Rosen notes, the title “intend[ed] to say that the man of the hour, Kennedy, was about to send a powerful (and erotic) jolt into mainstream America — if he won the election.”
Nurse Ratched comes to the asylum. That’s my take on last night’s proceedings. Hillary Clinton is Nurse Ratched. See the video above. Has there ever been a more joyless or minatory victory speech in American politics?
Nurse Ratched will be administering the meds come January 2017. Short of an intervention by the FBI, on election day Clinton has a dose of humiliation in store for the mania afflicting Trump true believers. She will administer a shellacking in November.
Among Trump’s true believers the will to believe is overwhelming. The reality principle operates on election day. Cognitive dissonance sets in the morning after. The true believers will resolve the dissonance by declaring defeat a great victory. Or so it seems to me.