Should We Take Any of This Seriously?

The question of the moment seems to be, "Should we take Donald Trump seriously?" Eugene Robinson says yes. Kevin Drum begs for it to stop. Even the serious folks at The Monkey Cage are asking. But let me submit that this is a silly question, not because Trump is never going to be president but because it presumes there's something "serious" about not just campaign coverage in general but the bloggy musings of those of us who spend our time talking about presidential campaigns.

What, exactly, is Trump coverage crowding out? Lengthy examinations of Mike Huckabee's philosophy about entitlements? Detailed explications of Tim Pawlenty's economic proposals? Coverage of what could become the Bachmann Doctrine in foreign affairs? If you locate those, let me know.

The fact is, presidential campaigns in America are deeply unserious affairs. When faced with the prospect of a short-fingered vulgarian like Donald Trump becoming president of the United States, vigorous mockery may be the only appropriate response. And it isn't just Trump -- as Steve Benen pointed out, "It's problematic that a ridiculous reality-show host is leading some national polls, but it's also troubling that the Republican presidential field is so ridiculous, every few weeks we find ourselves wondering, 'Do we really have to take _______ seriously?'"

Is Donald Trump a ridiculous buffoon? Of course. But so what? The rest of the Republican field gets more buffoonish by the day as they fall all over themselves to appeal to their party's increasingly unhinged base. Before you know it, Trump will look like the sane one in the race.

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