Even Trump admits it: Ben Carson has a calming presence. Or in Trump’s backhanded compliment/slap-in-the-face: Ben lacks energy. In other words, Trump agitates an angry voter base, resonating in a magnified way with their frustrations at the political structure of their own party, the GOP, as well as with government in general in 2015. While Ben Carson provides a steady soothing voice that is in fact more conservative than Trump on issues like faith and taxes. And that provokes a big question: does Ben Carson have the grit – read negotiating skills – to take on the problems America faces?

It seems to be becoming clear that both Trump and Carson represent out-of-the-box approaches to politics; but ones that are diametrically opposed, in style more than substance. The question is: who is more likely and/or able to bring real change to Washington and the country at large? Perversely, it would seem to be the Donald, given the constant stream of invective his campaign brings forth from GOP political advisors and much of the conservative – and liberal – media establishment. Someone who gets people – important people in the GOP structure – that mad must be seen as a threat. Do they really believe he is a clown? Or is it his hard line on issues like immigration that make them worry that he will prove an unelectable GOP candidate, should he win the nomination?

Or maybe he is just a rank outsider who hasn’t paid his dues in the minor GOP leagues and worked his way up the establishment ladder, proving his worth with some real political accomplishments as a congressman or senator or governor. One wonders – if this is really why there is so much anger directed at Trump – if they still feel that all this voter anger is a passing fad. Do they take Trump’s (and Carson’s) surges in the polls seriously? Or are their gazes on the current nominee landscape weathered and skeptical, yet at the same time stubbornly hopeful that the normal rules of GOP nomination processes – you do your time and do it well, and we decide when it’s your turn – will rule in the end.

This is about more than electability – even if worries about electability are central. This is about how the GOP and it’s associated factions and lobbies and grassroot organizations and sundry supporters all go about deciding who will be their candidate. In the end, that process seems only capable of being managed to a limited extent in 2015. And that frustration at the lack of control over the process is producing more than a little anger and invective. Donald’s not the only one hurling a few insults around. The thing is: Trump loves being obnoxious. GOP insiders don’t seem to be having nearly as much fun when they have to aim a pitch at the big boisterous batter who’s crowding the plate. And to finish the metaphor, that zen catcher perched behind all that swinging and hurling, and who is not prone to take off his mask and mix it up, might prove to be a far better at bat than anyone thought. But it’s early innings yet.

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