Humiliation fetishists cling to Trump

“There is nothing I love more than honest, working people, especially when you swarm like an insect mass that in no way makes my skin crawl even slightly!” Photo via facebook.com/hillaryclinton.
“There is nothing I love more than honest, working people, especially when you swarm like an insect mass that in no way makes my skin crawl even slightly!” Photo via facebook.com/hillaryclinton.

BY MAX BURBANK | Hot on the heels of last week’s Indiana win, Bernie Sanders bested Hillary Clinton in West Virginia, a state she won over Obama by a large margin in 2008. That has to sting, but only metaphorically, since her delegate lead remains, in the words of every single media platform, “insurmountable.” But you don’t care. Nobody wants to read about the Democrats. I only wrote this paragraph to create an appearance of balance — which, by the way, is false.

Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. That sentence or some variation of it began every political article you’ve read for the last week. Enjoy the shock and horror while you can. From here on, every news outlet is going to treat this hideous mess like it’s some version of normal. There’s only one ironclad rule to reporting, and that’s “Journalistic Equivalency.” You don’t take sides. When you’re covering a Zombie vs. Human Apocalypse, you’re duty-bound to point out that while Zombies are bad, really both sides are pretty much equally soulless, undead monsters relentlessly compelled to devour human brains. Except they’re not! Not every contest is 50/50! Sometimes, one side is actually significantly worse than the other! Like when one of the sides is Zombies!

Donald Trump is a very bad man. Not because he looks like a shaved orangutan in a suit, not because of his wee little baby hands, not because that thing on his head would make William Shatner blush, but because he is an egomaniacal skin bag of greed, suspicion, and bile. Everyone knows this, because we all went to kindergarten; we all read Little Golden Books; we all had Scouts or Sunday School or a Grandmother — and at some point, they taught us how to behave and what being bad looks like. Would Captain America like Donald Trump? Would Superman? Come on. Even Zack Snyder’s Superman would hate Donald’s guts.

 “Watch me clap. I clap so good. I’m the best clapper.” AP photo by Chris Carlson.
“Watch me clap. I clap so good. I’m the best clapper.” AP photo by Chris Carlson.

So how is it possible he’s the nominee? Is the Republican Party that top-heavy with Klansmen, Neo-Nazis and crazy-ass, woman-hating, Comment Section Trolls? No. I mean, sure, there’s a lot of those folks in the GOP, but not enough. I wouldn’t say that everyone who voted for Trump is a racist. But they’re at least okay with racism. It might not be their personal cup of tea, but if that’s what’s being served, they’ll drink it and not make a fuss.

For those who still have a human soul, it’s clear we’ve reached the point where principles and decency have to (forgive me) trump tribalism, so it has to particularly suck to be Reince Priebus. As head of the RNC, party loyalty is all his job is, and what’s he supposed to do, quit? If tomorrow Donald Trump strips naked, smears himself with his own excrement and sodomizes a chicken on the set of “Morning Joe,” Prince Rebus will have no choice but to endorse those actions. Poor old Rinse Pubis is stuck right where he is. Even Jesus wouldn’t expect a man to walk away from a high-profile job and a good salary just because it required you to do things that were unequivocally morally reprehensible.

Not all Republican notables are falling in line, though. The Royal Bushes won’t be attending the convention. Romney still hasn’t changed his mind about changing his mind about Trump. A slew of conservative pundits have registered Independent; some are even #ImWithSheWhoMustNotBeNamed. Every notable Republican with absolutely nothing to lose is taking a super-brave stand. Those with skin still in the game though? Ouch.

Bottom-feeding humiliation fetishists like Chris Christie and Ben Carson are already officially on Trump’s payroll, but what about Pols who still want to occasionally look in a mirror without vomiting? New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte is in a tight Senate race. She says she “supports” Trump, but doesn’t “endorse” him. Maybe somebody should buy her a “thesaurus.” Rick Perry, who once called Trump’s candidacy a “cancer on conservatism,” has decided he kind of likes cancer, and coyly speculates that Cancer might ask him to be Vice Cancer.

Design  by Michael Shirey.
Design by Michael Shirey.

And John McCain?

John, John, John. Here I thought he sold 100% of his soul when he personally made Trump’s previously unthinkable candidacy possible by introducing the non-Alaskan world to Sarah Palin. Looks like when it comes to soul, he has 110% to sell. While still miffed about the whole “prisoners of war aren’t heroes ’cause they got captured” thing, McCain says Republicans should line up behind the nominee and described Trump as a “capable leader.” Faint praise, sure. I guess he forgot he could have said, “If this is what the Republican Party is, I don’t want to be a Republican anymore.” But if he said that, it could jeopardize the election that Trump is probably going to cost him anyway. I mean, It’s not like retiring with intact dignity at 79 is a physically possible thing a person could actually do, right?

As of press time, good old frowns-instead-of-smiling Paul Ryan still wasn’t “ready” to endorse Trump. He just wasn’t “there yet” even though he really, really wanted to be. He’s just so torn, facing the kind of ethical decision a reasonably bright six-year-old would have no trouble making. So Donald and Paul are going to have a sit-down on Thursday, and it’s clear what a man with a spine and a moral compass would do. I think Trump will get to coin a brand new nickname: “Ready” Paul Ryan.