OUT, OUT, DAMNED SPOT

1. It’s Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

2. The Republican establishment has gone two ways in the wake of the Trump takeover.

Last week, the guy Trump called “Little Marco” folded like a cheap tent. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who will go down in infamy for making penis size a campaign subject, decided that Trump wasn’t so bad after all.

Now, Rubio says, he will campaign for Trump, make speeches for Trump and apologizes for any bad things he said about him. 

He joins New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the capitulation camp and gets back into the speculation about who Trump will pick for a running mate.

3. Then there’s the #NeverTrump movement. Right now, the leader is William Kristol, publisher of the conservative Weekly Standard, who says an “impressive” third-party candidate is on the horizon.

He won’t say who he is (I’d bet a lot of money the candidate isn’t a she), or how he’ll run a campaign that can defeat both Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Kristol joins such prominent GOP figures as Mitt Romney, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse and the Bush family as unwavering in their refusal to bow before Trump.

At first glance, there’s some admirable about these holdouts. They understand the threat to the nation that Trump poses, that the alienation of all the groups Trump seems compelled to attack, will destroy the Republican Party as the nation’s demographics continue to change.

4. But here’s the thing: It’s one thing to understand the threat. It’s another to have enabled it. Maybe they all seriously believed that what the Republican Party stood for was diminished government, and not for a return to the kind of racism and bigotry that scarred America for generations.

It turns out you can’t have one without the other. And try, like Lady Macbeth, to wash their hands of this responsibility, it ain’t happening.

5. Here’s what Democrats have to remember: They hold the cards. As long as the people who support Bernie Sanders don’t do anything stupid, Hillary Clinton can win this thing pretty easily and put Trump and the too-late-and-too-short #NeverTrumpers away.

Trump might have helped with his statements that he would withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement and that the California drought is a hoax. Given the rightful emphasis Sanders has placed on the climate change issue, any Sanders supporter who says he or she would vote for Trump before Clinton is a hypocrite.

Democrats have the numbers in their favor. They have to unite and they have to get all the people who Trump has insulted to the polls. 

6. To that end, California Gov. Jerry Brown today endorsed Clinton. Given his prior battles with her husband, that seems like a big deal. 

Brown paid respect to Sanders and the issues he’s raised in the campaign.

But here’s how he ended his letter to Democrats and independents: “Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.”

“Next January, I want to be sure that it is Hillary Clinton who takes the oath of office, not Donald Trump.”

Amen.

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