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Megan McArdle

Donald Trump Is the New Ron Paul

Their appeal to their ardent supporters is precisely why they won't get elected.
The GOP doesn't nominate crazy.

The GOP doesn't nominate crazy.

Photographer: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

I spent yesterday from 5 p.m. to midnight watching Republican presidential candidates debate each other -- well, mostly watching them give brief answers to predetermined questions. The second debate, aka The Big Kid's Table, was the best moderated debate I've ever seen, with serious, tough questions that targeted the weakest points of the men answering them. The questions gathered from Facebook were sillier, but provided great enjoyment for our intrepid band of debate-watchers, who were a mite fatigued after hours of talking points.

For me, the high point came when Donald Trump announced that he had made a donation to Hillary Clinton in order to ... get her to come to his wedding. Where to begin with such a statement? I have known brides and bridegrooms who cherished a vulgar belief that weddings have a three-figure admission fee, in cash or kind.  But outside of romantic comedies, I have never heard of an American wedding in which the payments ran the other way. Trump touts himself as a dealmaker, but if this is an example of his negotiating prowess, do you really want him in charge of your international treaties? "I'm afraid I won't even consider withdrawing our troops from your border unless you also allow me to give you a billion dollars, a weekend for two at the Maui Hilton, and a personal guided tour of the White House!"