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Dowd: The perfect GOP nominee

August 22, 2016 GMT

Speaking of crazy. …

All these woebegone Republicans whining that they can’t rally behind their flawed candidate is crazy. The GOP angst, the gnashing and wailing and searching for last-minute substitutes and exit strategies, is getting old.

They already have a 1-percenter who will be totally fine in the Oval Office, someone they can trust to help Wall Street, boost the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, cuddle with hedge funds, secure the trade deals, seek guidance from Henry Kissinger and hawk it up — unleashing hell on Syria and heaven knows where else.

The Republicans have their candidate: It’s Hillary.

They can’t go with Donald Trump. He’s too volatile and unhinged.

Hillary is a reliable creature of Wall Street. Her tax return showed the Clintons made $10.6 million last year, and like other superrich families, they incorporated with the Clinton Executive Services Corp. (which was billed for the infamous server). Trump has started holding up goofy charts at rallies showing Hillary has gotten $48,500,000 in contributions from hedge funders, compared with his $19,000.

Unlike Trump, she hasn’t been trashing leading Republicans. You know that her pals John McCain and Lindsey Graham are secretly rooting for her. There is a cascade of prominent Republicans endorsing Hillary, donating to Hillary, appearing in Hillary ads, talking up Hillary’s charms.

Politico reports that the Clinton team sent out feelers to see if Kissinger, the Voldemort of Vietnam, and Condi Rice, the conjurer of Saddam’s apocalyptic mushroom cloud, would back Hillary.

But as David Weigel wrote in The Washington Post, the specter of Kissinger, the man who advised Nixon to prolong the Vietnam War to help with his re-election, fed a perception that “the Democratic nominee has returned to her old, hawkish ways and is again taking progressives for granted.”

Hillary is a safer bet in many ways for conservatives. Trump likes to say he is flexible. What if he returns to his liberal New York positions on gun control and abortion rights?

Trump is far too incendiary, throwing around dangerous and self-destructive taunts about “Second Amendment people” taking out Hillary, or President Barack Obama and Hillary being the founders of ISIS. And he still blindly follows his ego.

Hillary, on the other hand, understands her way around political language and Washington rituals. Of course you do favors for donors. And if you want to do something incredibly damaging to the country, like enabling George W. Bush to make the worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history, don’t shout inflammatory and fabricated taunts from a microphone.

You must walk up to the microphone calmly, as Hillary did on the Senate floor the day of the Iraq War vote, and accuse Saddam of giving “aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaida,” repeating the Bush administration’s phony case for war.

If you want to carry the GOP banner, your fabrications have to be more sneaky.

As Republican strategist Steve Schmidt noted on MSNBC, “the candidate in the race most like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a foreign policy perspective is in fact Hillary Clinton, not the Republican nominee.”

And that’s how Republicans prefer their crazy — not like Trump but like Cheney.