The Buzz

Take your Xanax, party leaders, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump win again

Which tchotchkes will define the 2016 election? Donald Trump swag or Bernie Sanders saucers?
Which tchotchkes will define the 2016 election? Donald Trump swag or Bernie Sanders saucers? AP

The day after late night host Samantha Bee declared him “the backfired wish the Republicans made on a cursed monkey’s paw,” Donald Trump scored yet another win.

It’s Trump’s reality show, and we’re all just living in it.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders completed the never-would’ve-believed-it-a-year-ago scenario by beating Hillary Clinton in Michigan, extending the Democrats’ intramural warfare.

Sanders and Hillary Clinton meet again on a debate stage Wednesday night. The Republicans tee off on Thursday night. And a slew of states hold primaries for a nearly super Tuesday on March 15. Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio have must-win contests in their home states of Ohio and Florida, respectively. Voters will also weigh in that day in Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina.

It’s getting real.

For the real truth, fiction proves helpful. “Nation Not Sure What Signals It Gave Off To Make Candidates Think It Would Be Into Them,” The Onion declared this week.

“The whole situation is awkward, and I feel kind of embarrassed for them, to be honest,” a fake human told the fake news site in perhaps the most sincere expression of public sentiment to date. “I’m flattered and everything, but I just don’t see anything worthwhile ever happening between us.”

Former New York Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg decided this week not to get into the race. What wasn’t clear was whether he didn’t think he could win, thought his candidacy would accidentally help Trump, or if he just didn’t want the stink of this political season to ruin all his nice suits.

Let’s recap this bit of soap opera democracy. The Republican race now appears Trump’s to lose. His inevitability took a hit with two big wins by Ted Cruz last weekend. But taking Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii on Tuesday delivered more fuel to the Trump train. Rubio is falling fast. Clinton still looks like the most probable next president, per the betting markets. But those pesky email stories just keep filling up the ol’ inbox.

As long as she stays on top, she’ll also hold most of the superdelegates — think elected officials and other political insiders — for an extra edge. Still, it’s not encouraging when a self-described socialist beats you in a rust belt state such as Michigan.

Trump’s getting so cocky that in a victory lap press conference in Florida — coming after you, Marco — the real estate baron trotted out Trump Steaks and other ALL CAPS-branded consumer items that have been mocked as cheap hucksterism lately.

The Gilded One even promised to revive the much-derided, much-sued Trump University after its legal issues are settled, the campaign is over and he’s perched in the White House.

At the Trump-loathing conservative National Review — the place that devoted an entire issue to why Republicans should pick somebody, anybody, else — a Wednesday morning headline declared: “The Parties Are Over.”

“The two parties are already broken,” wrote Jim Geraghty at the magazine’s website as Tuesday’s results began to trickle in. “And neither one looks likely to be genuinely united any time soon.”

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Scott Canon: 816-234-4754, @ScottCanon

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