Is Donald Trump the Republican Party's "Music Man"?
Is he the celebrity con man who's going to lead the GOP's parade of candidates from now all the way until next November?
I hope not, but so far that's exactly what the 2016 script is looking like.
Trump — a political novice -- has been leading the Republican's presidential marching band all over the political landscape. His campaign's theme song should be "Seventy-Six Trombones."
He's been calling all the tunes, attracting all the media attention and the biggest crowds, killing in all the polls and making a lot of professional politicians and their campaign managers look like a squad of high school baton twirlers.
Over the weekend Trump fleshed out his awful immigration policies.
They include erecting a "strong, strong" wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, making Mexico pay for its construction by docking remittances, deporting all illegal immigrants from the States and revoking birthright citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution.
Trump's policies for achieving "real immigration reform" have a populist appeal. They are music to the ears of GOP hardliners, too, but they're impractical, unrealistic, stupid and unconstitutional.
Yet when members of the Republican Party's elite corps of presidential wannabes were contacted by the media earlier this week, not one of them had the courage to really go after Trump or his bad policy ideas.
Chris Christie, the tough-guy governor from New Jersey muttered something like "Everything's on the table."
Scott Walker, the brave union-busting governor of Wisconsin, dodged a question about ending birthright citizenship for kids born in the U.S. to parents who came here illegally.
Carly Fiorina turned uncharacteristically soft, saying she agreed with some of Trump's tough positions on immigration but questioned his ability to implement them.
John Kasich, Ohio's no nonsense governor, didn't bash Trump personally, but at least he pointed out that hunting down people who are here illegally is not doable, right or humane.
At first Jeb Bush, a virtual liberal on immigration, barely took issue with Trumps' foolish and impossible promise to build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border.
But on Wednesday Jeb came out against "anchor babies," proving that Trump is setting the agenda and changing things.
No candidate I heard noted that deporting millions of illegal immigrant families would take years and cost billions in court costs, since every deportee would be entitled by law to a hearing and an appeal.
No principled conservative-libertarian candidate pulled out his pocket-size copy of the U.S. Constitution and pointed out that ending the birthright citizenship would mean having to first pass a constitutional amendment.
Republicans and conservatives are running out of time. Trump is already too off-the-charts to be hurt by anything he says, and he's too rich and egotistical to fade away. He's going to be around next fall causing trouble for the GOP.
Some Republican presidential candidate — Ben Carson? Carly Fiorino? Rand Paul? — needs to stand up now and separate themselves and the Republican Party from the Party of Trump before it's too late.
Some gutsy candidate has to step out of the GOP's marching band and pound home the truth about "The Music Man" — that he is an idiot and he and his ideas do not represent the Republican Party or conservatism.