Jeb Bush to “Take Down” Trump. Right.

Well, I got a much-needed laugh this early morning when I saw the headline at Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire: “Bush Will Try to Take Down Trump.”

Unbidden, this line about Ed Muskie’s chances against Richard Nixon from Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972 emerged from some crease in my brain: “That’d be like sending out a three-toed sloth to seize turf from a wolverine.”

While the idea of Jeb winning a round of verbal fisticuffs with Trump is a bit laughable, it’s possible his folk have something else entirely in mind: the Right to Rise Super-PAC devoting a significant chunk of its $110 million or so to carefully crafting and focus-grouping attack lines on the wily real estate mogul and then buying saturation ads in two or three key markets to show that he can indeed be buried with sheer malice and cash. If Team Bush did that, and particularly if it showed some results, the Republican Establishment’s rather attenuated love for the former front-runner might flower anew with the intensity of a second honeymoon.

If that’s what we are talking about, prudence would suggest a broader look at the implications. Such a Bush strategy would bring great joy to other candidates’ camps, such as Marco Rubio’s, where every Right to Rise dollar spent in volley and counter-volley against Trump is a dollar that will not be spent on some room full of vipers slithering through Rubio’s checking account statements since high school, looking for financial dirt. And then if the Trump/Bush fight reaches nuke-em-til-they-glow dimensions, murder-suicide scenarios are entirely in order. It would be a fine environment for, say, Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina, both of whom more or less stand for conservative unity against the satanic Alinskyite Clinton Conspiracy.

We’ll see. But if this really is about Jeb personally taking on Trump in a sort of Privilege-palooza, I would not put a dime on the personification of the Republican status quo.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.