Joe Hildebrand on the greatest outrage in American politics
It is said that you will never see a Rolls Royce broken down.
Should a driver experience any problems they simply call a discreet number and a covered truck is immediately dispatched to the scene. The vehicle is then quickly pulled inside and driven away to the sort of secret location the rich always seem to disappear to.
Indeed, even the acknowledgment that a Rolls Royce has broken down is politely forbidden. One celebrity owner revealed some years ago that when he called the mystery number to report his Silver Shadow had gone dead at a set of traffic lights the operator gently corrected him.
"So what you are saying sir," she said, "is that it failed to proceed."
The purpose of all this rigmarole goes far beyond mere roadside assistance.
The guardians of the world's most prestigious motor know that to see such a mighty machine steaming on the side of a freeway with a popped hood would do irreparable damage to the brand.
Not only would the Rolls Royce in question be broken but the very idea of a Rolls Royce would be broken.
And so the unmarked truck is instantly deployed and the car is spirited away before anyone realises that even the mightiest of machines can grind to a halt if it has too many dud cogs.
Unfortunately the US Democrats have no such insurance policy.
And so when the mightiest political machine in the world's greatest democracy imploded with such impotence last week, there was no covered truck to hide the wreck from view.
The Presidential Primaries are of course famously brutal and bruising and a living testament to the United States' fundamentalist devotion to democracy - or at least the illusion of it.
No other nation on earth has both the chutzpah and naivety to so nakedly expose the failings of its would-be leaders and have them thrashed raw by their erstwhile comrades only to later have both party and country insist with a straight face that there is no better person to tell the world what to do.
The theory is that it is only by surviving this baptism of fire that a presidential candidate can be braced for a presidential election. After all, it is surely better to have your skeletons unearthed and your weaknesses tested by your friends before they are turned against you by your enemies.
But this theory rests on the assumption that presidential candidates are already the best of the best and that when the rubber hits the road, the party machine has enough armour and ammunition to protect them.
The problem with the almighty clusterf*ck of the all-important Iowa Caucuses is that it demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that not one of these things is true.
Already the Democratic field of candidates looked about as appealing to voters as the buffet breakfast on the Diamond Princess. After nearly four years of frenzied hashtags and cries of "resistance", all they could produce were an almost octogenarian socialist senator, a white Harvard professor who thought she was Native American and a white former vice-president who was the closest they could get to a black man.
Little wonder the breakthrough hope has been an incredibly charismatic gay mayor from small-town Indiana who has somehow been criticised by left-wing hardliners for not being gay enough.
You honestly could not write this sh*t and be believed. By this stage the Democrats were no ordinary lemmings; they were building a ladder to climb over the fence at the Gap.
Yet even as they went through more contortions than a Russian porn star to produce the world's most unwinnable candidates they couldn't work out who won.
And even as a party official was explaining why their tally system had crashed, the official Democrat signage silently disengaged itself from his lectern and quietly crashed itself.
And who could blame it? The once greatest party in the world's once greatest democracy was now incapable of even governing a piece of cardboard. They were not only unable to win votes from other parties, they were unable to even count their own.
As a result, the betting odds for the next US President put Donald Trump at just over $1.50 and Sanders his closest rival at over 5 to 1.
Just to put these numbers in perspective, let us not forget that Trump is a man who the Democrats love to lampoon as a low-functioning moron, a grossly incompetent administrator, a corrupt crook and a sexual predator.
And there is probably not much in that assessment that I disagree with.
And yet after years of his supposed ineptitude and their supposed ingeniousness, they have not managed to advance a single person who is odds-on to beat him.
This is as great an embarrassment to the inner-city celebrity intelligentsia that has displaced the Democratic working-class heartland as any true soul could possibly imagine.
For the record I am half-American, and but for a fork in the road I would have been a US citizen and a registered Democrat voter. Yet even if I had made that choice, I wonder which of these candidates would be worth voting for, let alone capable of connecting with regular people and beating Trump.
Because the greatest outrage in American politics isn't that Trump got elected, it's that his opponents are so consumed by their hatred of the man that they've completely forgotten about the people who elected him.
And even if they don't really identify with them - which apparently they don't - and even if they don't really know them - which apparently they don't - and if they don't really care about them - which apparently they don't - they still need their votes to win.
And that's why the bookies have Trump on almost unbackable odds.
I am far too old and ugly to expect political parties or leaders to be morally pure or even come from the communities they claim to represent but they should at least be smart enough to know the people they have to please to win an election.
And on this measure the Democratic Party machine, its new dotcom-millionaire-slash-Hollywood-celebrity-slash-uni-student-socialist base and its desiccated candidates are even worse than a broken down Rolls Royce on the side of the road. They are a broken down Melbourne Cup runner and the big black curtain couldn't come soon enough.
If Trump's supporters are truly a basket of deplorables then these guys are a bucket of dipsh*ts.
And the smart people, like Elvis, have just left the building.
Joe Hildebrand is the editor-at-large of news.com.au and co-hosts Studio 10, 8.30am weekdays, on Network Ten | @Joe_Hildebrand