Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Donald Trump is not happy with his fellow Republicans:
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, speaking at a Tuesday fundraiser [in San Antonio], continued to call out members of his own party for not being fully supportive of him, including U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who he accused of "total disloyalty to the party."

... "I think they forgot that there was an election, because something happened in the last month where you didn't see them, right?" Trump said of some fellow Republicans, according to audio of the event obtained by The Texas Tribune. "You didn't see them. I said, 'Why aren't they on the shows? Why aren't they all over the place?'"

Earlier in his remarks, Trump said occasionally "our own party gets in the way" of his campaign. "Sometimes it's harder to beat our own party than it is to beat the person on the other side," Trump told donors.
GOP insiders and others think the party could be doomed because of this rift:
Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist and former aide to Mitt Romney who has not supported Trump, predicts that Trump will lose the presidential election and, "unfortunately, hurt several" down-ballot Republicans.

Beyond that, it's difficult to predict what will happen after Nov. 8, especially when it comes to Trump's next moves, Williams said.

"Who knows what he does? I think he's going to be mad like a wounded animal after the election, just looking for the next thing to go after," he added, noting that Trump will "still have sway over a certain amount of people who will believe anything he says."

"The fissures in the party will extend long beyond Election Day, and it's going to be extremely difficult to unite the Republican coalition, going forward," Williams said.
But here's the thing: Trump could be getting his revenge right now, and he's not doing it. He could be telling crowds at every rally that they shouldn't vote for Paul Ryan or John McCain or anyone else who's criticized him. He could say, "Vote for me. Don't go down the ballot and vote for that bozo."

But he's not doing that. Why? Maybe he's so self-involved and so uninformed that he literally doesn't realize that some of his critics are also on the ballot in November. Maybe he doesn't know because the right-wing media, from which Trump gets all his news, doesn't actually want Republicans to go to defeat in November. Trump was aware that Paul Ryan had a primary challenger, and he flirted with endorsing that challenger before half-heartedly backing Ryan, but Trump's favorite news sources aren't calling for a Ryan defeat because that would mean a Democratic victory. Not even Breitbart, where Steve Bannon once made it his mission to destroy Ryan, seems to want that.

At this point, Trump seems to be focusing on Ryan and other Republican critics not because he plans to hurt them, but because he's lining up scapegoats in advance of his near-inevitable defeat in November. (A loss can't possibly be Trump's fault.)

What will Trump do after Election Day? He might want to hurt Ryan and others, but I don't think he'll have any idea how to do that. If he chose, he could build an apparatus that would identify challengers to his enemies and fund those challengers lavishly. But that would require patience, as well as real knowledge of the political system.

Trump lacks both of those things.

He knows how to attack people directly in the moment -- we saw that in the primaries -- and he knows how to ask his lawyers to file lawsuits (or, as a fallback, how to go to the media and use the threat of a lawsuit as an alpha-male dominance display). I just don't believe he'll manage any follow-though after November 8, even if he's furious. He'll just rant and rave and threaten, and then he'll go on vacation and come back and tell us he's got some shiny new venture.

More than that would require the attention span of an adult.


AllieG said...

You are almost surely right about Trump the man, but what about his acolytes? Christie, Gingrich, et. al. have no real future unless they keep the Trump train rolling. They are also pols who know how to do it.

Victor said...

I worry less about them, than I am about the bigoted and armed t-RUMPeteers!

If Wingnut Welfare survives the coming t-RUMPacopalypse, then those lesser assholes can have lucrative futures ahead of them.
And if not, fuck them!

Steve M. said...

I believe that Gingrich, Giuliani, and maybe even Christie (assuming he avoids all punishment for Bridgegate) will be welcomed back into the politcal establishment with open arms immediately after the election ends. They'll be Sunday talk show regulars again as if nothing happened. They were in the clique, and I think they'll want to rejoin it.

Lit3Bolt said...

Steve M.

You're forgetting that DIRTY AWFUL, POST CAMPAIGN TRUMP LAUNDRY they can drip out for years, teasing journalists with access with, always giving them just enough to keep them in the news, forever, for all eternity. Amen.

Pragmatic Idealist said...

The GOP is broken. Trump partly illuminated it and partly caused it. He has advanced the demographic shift which spells doom for the GOP by perhaps a decade by motivating registrations, voting and driving the remains of minority groups out of the party. He is driving women out of the GOP. This is not a one cycle event, it has a lasting impact particularly because the GOP was shown to be complicit in his misogyny and racism. Do you think the core he has energized is going to get back in line to vote for whoever the GOP nominee is? His war on the GOP is being carried out by many of his minions, enough to make a difference.

sdhays said...

But what about people just getting disgusted and disheartened by it all? Trump feuding with Ryan and McCain, Ryan desperately wanting credit for being "principled" and standing up to Trump while continuing to "endorse" - without being told "don't vote for X", we're really getting to a point where people throw up their arms in disgust and not bother to vote for either Trump OR down-ticket. With the Trump campaign's non-existent GOTV operation there was already an excellent hypothesis that Trump (and Republicans) would underperform at the polls, just as he apparently did in many of his primary contests.

With the extra disgust and discouragement, that could destroy the House majority. Heck, it could cost Paul Ryan his seat (it was only R+3 in 2012, after all).

Another thing I keep trying to remind myself is this: Trump is the symptom, not the problem. He's white-hot burning bright, but the disease is embedded deep inside the conservative base. In this election, the white-supremacists have taken their rightful place as the leaders of the conservative movement. They won't go away quietly.

Even with a devastating loss (which now looks possible, including the Democrats even retaking the House), the neo-Nazi wing of the party will not be any mood to go back to its corner. While the Republican leadership (what's left of it) and the media will be desperate to go back the way things were, I don't think they'll be able to engineer a buttoned-down "responsible" campaign in 2018. We may (finally!) be getting to the point where they're so out of control that the country forces them to spend several cycles in the wilderness.

Mart said...

Giant ass lighted billboard just north of Limbaugh's hometown on I-55 in rural Missouri, "TRUMP - STOP THE BULLSHIT". Gotta love it, until the guns come out.

CWolf said...

After election day, by his own criteria, Donnie will be a loser...
,,, a very, very yuuge loser,,, The yuugest, losingest, nobody on the planet.
He will have failed the quest and failed his followers.
Their disappointment will send them scurrying like roaches at sunrise to their dark, little, safe places.
With any luck, Donnie will just snuff it.

Steve M. said...

Republicans suffered a blowout loss in the 1964 presidential election running a scary ideologue who divided the party, but then did very well in the 1966 midterms and went on to win five of the next six presidential elections. Don't count these folks out.

Plebeian said...

Exactly right Steve, I thought the Republicans were finished after Watergate. They came back much stronger than before.

The BernieBros of my day all to easily morphed into bedrock Republicans. Power it's a drug.

Dave said...

> Not even Breitbart, where Steve Bannon once made it his mission to destroy Ryan, seems to want that.

Ace of Spades HQ has now come out and explicitly encouraged voters in WI-1 to vote for Ryan's Democratic opponent. And there's lots of chatter on the Trump subreddit about doing the same, although I have a hard time figuring out who there is a legit Trump supporter vs. a troll fucking around vs. a plant trying to make them look bad.

joegy said...

Trump likely has put out a ransom note to the RNC re "telling his supporters to not vote for ryan, mcain, etc". It likely states:

Deliver $150M to my foundation by 18 Oct or I start telling my troops to vote against you. everyday/all day.

KenRight said...

More analysis in the spirit of "Trump doesn't really want the GOP nomination, it's just a narcissistic gimmick for him." Even former organizers of his went public with long columns and got it wrong. Why shouldn't you?

Jim Snyder said...

@KenWhite: you appear to be a person whose native language is not English.

We all mock you, I dare say, but srsly, you should seek help from a native English speaker should you wish to have more influence here than a mosquito.

Well, that's unfair to mosquitoes. Gnats, mebbe...