The meaning of Trump

Many people seem to think that Mr. Trump dominated the latest GOP candidates' debate but can't win the nomination, while Ms. Fiorina came in second but can.

There are three things to bear in mind while thinking about this:

1) Either of these two (or almost any of the 40 or so declared candidates) would make a better president than any of the Democrats either running or waiting in the wings – including Warren, Biden, Clinton, Brown, Sanders, and Malloy.

2) The devolution of the national GOP nominating convention's responsibilities to state primaries has given Democratic strategists ever increasing control over the GOP nomination through the media's ability to manipulate the electorate's perception of the candidates.

In 2008, for example, they liked McCain for his eight-year record of stabbing President Bush in the back at every opportunity and wanted him nominated because he could easily be pictured as old, white, and indecisive.  Similarly, in 2012 they wanted Romney because his record is really that of an honest Democrat committed to public service (i.e., a RINO) but could easily be misrepresented to picture him as an arrogant, super-rich exploiter.

So far this year, their preferences seem to be for Fiorina (because her record as an affirmative action hire at HP and Lucent will let them destroy her during in the election), Cruz (because he can be caricatured as extreme and destroyed on eligibility), and Trump (because he's seen as a billionaire buffoon running on a demonstrably false persona created largely by his PR staff, his role on TV's "The Apprentice," and his willingness to say out loud what almost everyone is thinking).

3) The March 1 "Super Tuesday" is still more than five months away – and, in that context, Mr. Trump's current lead is much more informative than it is decisive.

Specifically, you can bet that every serious candidate currently has people doing oppo research to determine the safest way to jump aboard Trump's truth in politics bandwagon and declare that he too sees the migrant emperor and other Obamacon programs as attacks on the American idea – and, when that happens, the media will go berserk with rage, but Mr. Trump will find himself trumped.

Some people, of course, have too much history to make the switch – Jeb Bush, for example, would be laughed off the national stage – but others seem ideally positioned to take over Mr. Trump's role as spokesman for the people.  Chris Christie, for example, could easily rebrand himself as Mr. Trump's more nuanced soulmate.

In a perfect world, the GOP primaries would select a Republican candidate and not the person the media think the most vulnerable to electoral attack.  That means not Trump, not Fiorina, not Carson (who seems a decent guy but wouldn't get a look if he were white), and certainly not Bush.

So what's the bottom line?  Among those now running: Scott Walker followed, at some considerable distance, by Chris Christie, because both, but particularly Walker, have survived in largely left-leaning states despite having everything the media, the unions, and the nominal Democratic Party could find, say, or do thrown at them.