October 9, 2016

WHICH IS WHY THE FOLKS IN THE BUBBLE ARE AFRAID TO BAIL:

Puzzled About Republicans and Trump? Game Theory Helps (Tyler Cowen, 10/09/16, Bloomberg View).

The first question many people have been asking is why it took so many Republicans so long to condemn Donald Trump. After all, a pattern of racism and sexism from the candidate had been in place for a long time, and on the public record.

Game theory suggests some simple pointers as to why Trump's previous record wasn't enough of a danger sign to induce a rebellion. As Trump won more primaries and approached the nomination, there were strong pressures on Republicans to endorse him or at least not oppose him. Supporting the party choice was seen as the path to donations, approval from Trump voters and appointments and access in a possible Trump administration. A lot of Republicans yielded to this pressure. Some of those who did not perhaps had no political future in any case.

Once most of the party is on board, it is hard to stand alone in opposition. John Kasich and Jeb Bush, who did not endorse Trump, seemed to become irrelevant on the national scene, and Ted Cruz, who only endorsed Trump recently, was seeing falling approval ratings.

So the disgruntled Republicans were sitting around waiting for signs of rebellion from the other Republicans. The 2006 videotape that emerged on Saturday, in which Trump bragged crudely about groping women, wasn't so much news about Trump as it quickly became news about the willingness of other Republicans to jump ship. Republican women in Congress and politicians with large Mormon constituencies were some of the first to rescind their endorsements, and then it became evident that the public and party responses to the rebels were pretty positive. More and more Republicans joined the chorus of criticism and a bandwagon effect intensified quite rapidly.

That's much like the way creditors desert a potentially insolvent business and in doing so ensure its insolvency. Think of Ernest Hemingway's description of going broke: "Gradually and then suddenly."



Posted by at October 9, 2016 12:32 PM

  

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