The Clown Car Is Parked and Ain't Going Anywhere

[Content Note: Bigotry; guns.]

I love everything about this Washington Post article by Dave Weigel and Jose DelReal, hilariously headlined: "Why aren't the GOP's presidential stragglers dropping out of the race?" HA HA GOOD QUESTION!

The article is largely about how it's because they all think they can win, by hanging on through the early primaries in which they hope voters will flinch when it comes time to vote for Donald Trump or Ben Carson and instead vote for a professional politician instead of a "celebrity candidate." Maybe! That could happen!

The less obvious reasons are, of course, that most people who run for the presidency are also running for the vice-presidency, in case the whole presidential nomination doesn't work out. And that running for president can eventually land you a sweet sinecure at a Beltway lobbying firm with all kinds of cool perks and sillymoney compensation, if you can prove you're a breathing organism whose pants don't generally fall down during public appearances.

But what I love most about this article is the further insight we get into what a cool cat Rand Paul is:
"I'm for the other nine quitting and just coronating me," Paul said, adding, "We'll actually have votes, and the votes will determine who the winner is."
That first part is supposed to be a joke, with the second part a serious commentary on his ability to win this thing. But, in reality, it's the other way around. He definitely wants to be "coronated," and ha ha nope you will never have the votes to win.

His supporters are pretty awesome, too:
"With so many people still in the fray, it feels like you have to hang in long enough to let the others fall to the side," said Paul backer Vern Brooks, 40, a Second Amendment activist whose belt buckle was a fully functional .22-caliber pistol. "When I sit down and talk to people and we go over what they know and what they don't know, it's very easy to spread the message. There's no fundraising problem with this campaign. It's about getting over the shouting from Trump."
I'm sorry, what were you saying? I couldn't concentrate when your belt buckle was threatening to kill me.

This is a common refrain among Paul supporters, and Paul himself has said as much: The issue is that Trump is sucking up all the oxygen in the room, and the media are too busy reporting his odious antics to pay attention to the Serious Candidates. All of the second- and third-tier campaigns are trying to figure out how to steal the spotlight, and it looks like Rand Paul has a plan: "Rand Paul Says He'll Filibuster Debt Ceiling Bill."

Of course he will.

None of the GOP presidential stragglers are dropping out of the race because they believe once people find out more about them, they'll win. It's convenient to blame the monster coverage of Trump for their woes.

But maybe it's time they considered that they're straggling because they're all terrible candidates. Just a thought.

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