This week Richard Posner, the conservative icon and intellectual on the Seventh Circuit, shocked many by saying that he was estranged from the Republican Party and becoming less conservative due to the “goofy” direction that the GOP has taken in recent years. As if on cue, the Sarasota Republican Party has decided that this year’s “statesman of the year” is none other than Donald Trump. That’s right, according to the Sarasota GOP, Donald Trump is the greatest statesman this year. Some would call it “goofy,” some would say “delusional.” I am honestly curious is GOP leadership in Sarasota are just out to sell tickets at any cost to their own credibility or whether they honestly believe this widely ridiculed character is a statesman in some parallel universe.
Tickets will be sold for $150 for general admission or $1,000 for a private meeting with Trump.
Of course, prior world statesmen including the 2011 recipient former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (given the award by that other Benjamin Disraeli of world leaders, Herman Cain). Unfortunately for the GOP, the party is split with members who embrace clownish figures like Trump and serious folk who believe deeply in the principles that once shaped the GOP under leaders like Goldwater and others. The Sarasota GOP appear to prefer the model of Trump to true statesmen like Nelson Rockefeller. It is signs of brain death for a party. As many of you know, I have equal contempt for both parties and their abandonment of principle. However, it is hard to imagine a greater self-indictment than this award.
What is clear is that the goofy factor is not improving this week for Judge Posner.