From Peggy Noonan writing at the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Trump’s supporters don’t care if he’s classically conservative. Doctrinal purity is not the story this year. The GOP base is a big jumble.
Democrats are likely less unified than they think. On the rightward and leftward edges of both parties they hate political correctness, illegal immigration, Wall Street.
A new playbook is emerging while some contenders seem to be reading from the old playbook and wondering why the plays they’re calling aren’t working.
And the GOP is struggling. In Virginia the state Republican Party wants a so-called loyalty oath in the March 1 presidential primary. Virginia is an open-primary state—any registered voter can vote in either primary—but the GOP apparently wants to discourage independents and Democrats from voting for Mr. Trump. So they’ve decided voters should sign a statement of affiliation with the GOP before they get to cast a ballot. This is so idiotic it’s almost unbelievable. When Democrats and independents want to vote in your primary you should be happy. Politics is a game of addition! You want headlines that say “Massive GOP Turnout.” You don’t greet first-time voters with an oath but with cookies, ginger ale and balloons. Ronald Reagan reached out to Democrats in 1984: “Come too, come walk with me.” We still speak of Reagan Democrats.
I do not understand the inability or refusal of Republican leaders to take Mr. Trump seriously. They take his numbers seriously—they can read a poll—but they think, as Mr. Bush said, that his support is all about anger, angst and theatrics. That’s part of the story, but the other, more consequential part has to do with real policy issues. The establishment refuses to see that, because to admit it is to implicate themselves and their leadership. Political consultants can’t see it because they don’t think issues matter—not to them and certainly not to the dumb voters.
Read the rest of the story at the Wall Street Journal.