John Podhoretz writes in the New York Post:
Donald Trump was so awful, so horrible, so disgusting in the latest Republican debate — his lies, his distortions, his deceits, and his libels thicker and fouler than they’ve yet been—that he’s done us all a favor. If he wins easily in South Carolina after his monstrous turn, he’ll be going straight to the Republican nomination.
Such a victory in a classically conservative state like South Carolina after his romp in idiosyncratic New Hampshire will prove Trump’s repellent personality is the real key to his success. You want me to delineate his dishonesties? That would be like asking me to count how many breaths he took.
We will not be able to labor under any delusions after a win comparable to his triumph in New Hampshire. We will know for a certainty that the man Republicans want for their tribune in 2016 is a disgusting jerk they somehow believe will have their backs when the only back he’s ever had is his own.
South Carolina, a state filled with evangelicals and active and retired military, just listened to the Republican frontrunner blame George W. Bush for 9/11. And blame him again. And blame him a third time. We’re told the former president has an 87 percent approval rating in the state. So aside from saying something appalling and untrue and unjust, what Trump did would seem politically suicidal, no?
Well, no—or let us say, we don’t yet know. Since he began running he has demonstrated he knows things we don’t know about the emotions roiling in the American underbelly. Maybe he knows this too. Or maybe he knows he needed there to be a shadow hanging over the former president’s appearance in the state as he campaigns for his younger brother Jeb on Monday.
So you want to know how Jeb did? His best debate yet. And Marco Rubio? He was sensational. Did what he had to do. Got off the mat and got himself back in the fight. Winner on points. Ted Cruz was mostly off his game, but still had very good moments. John Kasich too, trying to play the “I’m positive” candidate. (Ben Carson? Whatever.)
Read the rest here.