Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why the GOP Is Sticking with Trump

Well, well, well.  Get a load of this: RNC Says It's Sticking With Trump

This above is an excellent article and well-worth reading. But it doesn't really answer the question of why the chair of the Republic National Committee, i.e. the de facto GOP, has just chosen to stick with Trump.

As the article notes, there was a lot of buzz about 10 days ago that party officials and the Trump campaign (absent Donald) were meeting for a "come to Jesus moment" — their term — about reshaping Trump. Absent his transformation, the RNC was reputedly threatening to withdraw support from him and switch its party dollars to down-ballot candidates for the Senate and the House who are now endangered by the sinking Trump.

But none of that happened.

Why not? It makes good sense to salvage what you can as the ship goes down. Why hang on to Trump?

Well, actually he belongs to the GOP.  Trump is its very own wild man on the loose, the wild man it created through decades of coded racism to fire up working class whites and lure them away from the Democratic party that had been their home since FDR. Beginning with Nixon's "Southern strategy" and then through Reagan's racist scorn for "welfare queens", the GOP created the perfect audience for Trump with decades of feeding them lies and hatred so that it became a diet increasingly easy for them to swallow.

Now the GOP dares not let go of him. It dares not repudiate him.

Because Trump is more than Trump. He is 30% of the electorate. He not only speaks for and to them; he is them. The GOP leadership recognizes this. Trump is not just their base. The 30-40% now supporting him is actually all of the 23% of the electorate who are registered as Republicans, plus some wedge of "independents". He is therefore virtually the entirety of the GOP.  As one of his followers put it, "He is me."

We have been mistaken in saying Trump wrested away control of the GOP, as if he invaded a foreign land. He just took what was already his.  He just claimed the audience and devotees that the GOP had painstakingly prepared for him.

When (and if) Trump is repudiated in the fall election, that's not enough. The GOP and its hate-filled and deceitful program must also be repudiated. The GOP itself must renounce racism, anti-feminism, and anti-immigration. It must stop telling lies about our government being dysfunctional and weak. It must stop telling lies about voter fraud as an excuse for disenfranchising millions of our felllow  citizens. It must make the legislative branch work again and work for all of us, not just for the rich.

The GOP owes America a big debt of restitution for what it has done in creating not only Trump but the twisted blindness of his supporters.

Trump has of course outwitted the GOP leaders. He too heard the buzz about a party attack coming at him. So he neatly blocked it by jabbering about the election being "rigged" and about "cheating".  Everybody thinks he meant cheating and rigging by the Democrats, and for now that's likely his target. But the leaders of the GOP know that if they try to oust him or diminsh him or change him, the 30% to 40% of the electorate that suppport him will see the GOP as rigging the election against him.

His supporters will be very angry. And the leaders of the GOP will be in very big trouble. Because in disavowing Trump they are disavowing the whole of their own party.

It is a catastrophy of their own making. In this world there is in fact some justice.

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