Next? Trump’s base will turn and attack the Republican Party
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is redirecting funds away from nominee Donald Trump to down-ballot candidates. Unlike Clinton, Trump has failed to create any ground operations of his own, meaning that this is the end of any hope the Trump campaign has of winning the election.
A week of missteps clearly initiated by Trump personally, which included doubling down on attacks against a previous Ms. Universe, implying a coming assualt on the Clinton’s marriage has led to an onging loss of support from increasingly wary Republican candidates. Mr. Trump already was falling in the polls when a 2005 tape emerged of Trump bragging he could sexually assualt women with impunity.
The outrage from women was not manufactured. It was not fostered by political convenience. Trump’s comments triggered a firestorm of rage. And for good reason. There is not a woman on the planet who has not been assaulted emotionally or physically by a man who thinks the way Trump clearly does.
It took the Republican National Committee a day to understand the scale of the backlash Trump had set in motion.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Saturday told party officials to redirect funds away from nominee Donald Trump to down-ballot candidates, according to an official informed of the decision. In practical terms, the party will be working to mobilize voters who support GOP House and Senate candidates regardless of their position on the presidential race.
That means the RNC will push Floridians who support both Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio to vote. Before today, the RNC wouldn’t have sought to turn out Clinton voters, leaving split-ticket voters for Senate campaigns to target.
It is impossible to understate the degree to which the final sentence of this excerpt is unprecendented. For the RNC to intentionally turn out split-ticket voters is a sign of a deep divide. The poltical damage to the entire Republican Party which has been created by the Trump campaign can not be contained.
Trump issued a 90 second video apology for his 2005 comments where he did EXACTLY what he was reportedly advised against. He attacked Hillary Clinton, making the apology appear to be a hallow exercise.
Women across the country collectively said, “He just doesn’t get it.” And they are right. Trump is now facing a national town hall debate against Hillary Clinton, having been stripped of the support of his party.
But let’s cut to the chase. The Republican base, as nurtured and grown via thirty years of carefully coded, incrementally escalated racial, class and gender warfare is now a hotbed of distrust of the very institutions that gave birth to it. The GOP base catagorically denies the validity of major conservative media outlets like Fox News, of governing institutions at both the state and federal levels, of the Republican National Committee, and of our system of elections. For them its all rigged. Its all corrupt.
They will now call for retribution. The white supremacist core of the GOP base will abandon the Republican Party. Their numbers are such that their exit will effectively end the Republican Party’s capacity to compete in national elections. If alt right activists start a far right party even more of the Republican base will bleed away. Given the kind of personalities involved and the culture of political aggression priviledged inside the GOP’s centers of power, I can only conclude an all out war is coming.
We are watching the voilent implosion of the GOP in real time.
I take no joy in the collapse of Republican institutions that have spoon fed misinformation, ignorance and hate to a generation of Americans. The collapse of the GOP comes at a terrible cost. It comes at the cost of the forty years of undermining our economic, political and social foundations that preceded it. We are deeply and horribly wounded by a culture of hate fostered by generations of GOP operatives. Cynical opportunists like Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell and hundred more, who have lined their pockets with millions while feeding on America’s vitality and diversity like vampires.
If the GOP remains strong enough to continue in its obstructionist mode, repairing our wounded nation will be very difficult to do. So, even as I wince at the ugliness of what is coming next, I’m holding out hope that a new more progressive Congress will emerge.
There is only one path out of this madness. We must repair our shattered economic and social institutions. We must move to create jobs and community and purpose for all Americans, including those who are so full of despair that Trump seems the only solution.
Photo by: Gage Skidmore