I'm starting to see a real value in Trump running third party, if it should come to that. Because there's only one thing worse than Hillary as POTUS: Hillary with a Democrat house and senate. Which will happen if either Trump or Cruz heads the ticket. But if Donald runs third party, then more Republican choices = more Republican voters = more Republican seats saved in house & senate.
What's fascinating to me is to watch talk show hosts like Limbaugh, Ingraham, Buchanan march to Trump's tune without going so far as to endorse him. (At least that I've been able to glean - would love to be corrected if this is not true!)
These three are sharp enough to know Trump's a RINO (Trump's flip-flops make Mitt Romney look like the “severe conservative” he claimed in '12 to be). But they make their living on popularity with grassroots, everyday joes, and the grassroots (especially anti-illegal immigration folks) love Trump to death so it looks like these entertainers are wanting it both ways: wanting to live off Trump's popularity without sticking their necks out. (Kudos to National Review for being forthrightly against Trump from the start.)
As much as I loved Fox News when it first came into being I wonder now if it's not a mixed blessing. The inexorable domino effect has taken hold: mainstream media went left creating backlash. Fox News nourishes what is already a big chip on the shoulder of conservatives. Creates an opening for candidate Trump to blow up Republican party, securing Hillary as president and possibly a Democrat house.
“The enemy of the enemy is my friend,” goes the saying, and the mainstream media has become such an enemy that its enemy (Trump) now becomes our friend. It's as if the first plank of the Republican platform is not of limited government but “We are a party that is anti-mainstream media”. The problem is even a broken clock is right....
Seems likely that Republicans in the future will serve not any sort of visionary or agenda-setting role (not that they are any good at either of late), but as foot soldiers on the ground, doing the dirty work of mayors and state governors, picking up in places where the default (Democrats) have made a mess of things. We've seen it in Ohio where Gov Strickland (D) was absolutely abysmal, leading to John Kasich to mend the state. Which, I suppose, is not a terrible role.
Trumpbait: it's where we are.