So no doubt you’ve heard the sound of America recoiling in disgust at the recently-released tape of Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States of America, making various vulgar comments about women in general, and one particular married woman he tried to “fuck” back in 2005. It’s all pretty gross and distasteful, and none of it is a surprise.
This has resulted in several prominent GOP politicians and officials finally running for the hills to get as far away from Trump as they possibly can. They’ve revoked endorsements, and while I don’t know of any who’ve been brave enough to say, “I’ll vote Hillary for president and Republican for everything else, and you should, too,” this is at least progress.
Now for those of you who haven’t yet seen the video, here it is. Enjoy.
All of this has led to speculation that Trump will either voluntarily drop out of the race or be forced out. Well, not too long ago he announced that he’s not going anywhere. That’s not quite stopping the speculation.
The way I see it, there are three possible outcomes here. I’ll go over them from least likely to most.
LEAST LIKELY SCENARIO: TRUMP DROPS OUT
If this happens, it raises, just, a whole lot of questions. Starting with “who takes his place?” Pence is the most logical guess, with some Republican “outsider” likely serving as the VP choice. But there might be support for someone like Ted Cruz, though the idea of anyone supporting him fills me with confusion.
This also begs the question of what happens to all the early voting ballots that were cast for Trump. Do they automatically go over to the new GOP choice? Do they stay with Trump? I’d be inclined to think the latter, since people were voting for the person, and not the party, but it’d be interesting to see what the courts say. It’d be really interesting to see what the Supreme Court would say. I suspect a 4 – 4 decision, thank you, Mitch McConnell.
This is probably not going to happen, though, at least not with enough time for the GOP to actually act and do anything. Trump’s ego is too big, and his narcissistic personality won’t allow him to just drop out unless he can present himself as the victim. That’s hard to do here, though not impossible. I think it more likely, though still not very likely, that he’d drop out after the next debate, and do it “officially” in response to that.
MORE LIKELY, BUT STILL PRETTY IMPROBABLE: MIKE PENCE DROPS OUT
Pence has presented himself as a guardian of morals and virtue, and a good Christian man. Today he expressed the usual disgust and outrage over what Trump said, and, to his credit, skipped out on a campaign event in Wisconsin; one thrown by Paul Ryan who had disinvited Trump from it.
But will Pence’s levels of disgust and outrage force him off the ticket? Much as Chris Christie might hope for it, I don’t think so. Pence is a moral coward. All you have to do is look at the way he backed down on the anti-gay bill he signed into law back a year or two ago. He’s clearly more concerned with politics than with morality and decency, so I expect he’s staying on board. But…I could be wrong here.
PROBABLY GOING TO HAPPEN: FUCK ALL
Realistically, both Pence and Trump will remain in the race, and will, I sincerely hope, lose and lose big in November. The GOP won’t learn anything from this, of course, though they might put super delegates in place. But they gave Trump and his kind a seat at the table, and it’s going to be hard to take that way.
So Trump will remain in the race, Pence by his side. We’ll probably see a very awkward debate performance tomorrow, and likely have at least two more major scandals before election day.