Either during or at the end of his first term, Trump’s presidency will end, voluntarily or not.... When the party — or what remains of it — looks for leadership, where will it turn?I don't see it that way at all.
Not to the likes of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who opportunistically backed Trump after declaring his unfitness. Not to the likes of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who became Trump’s palace guard, vouching for Cabinet secretaries and refusing to denounce conflicts of interest and possible violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. Come to think of it, any Republican who failed in his or her constitutional duty of oversight, continuing to turn a blind eye toward wrongdoing and to rationalize Trump’s conduct, should be disqualified from high office, if not shunned by conservatives....
If the GOP is to survive at all after Trump, it most likely will need to turn to governors or ex-lawmakers who did not carry Trump’s water or attempt to defend the indefensible. I raise that now because it will reflect on the actions of Republicans on Capitol Hill for the next couple of years. Keep in mind how self-destructive their behavior is as you wince watching Capitol Hill Republicans flack for Trump.... As painful as it is to watch these performances, some satisfaction can be derived from knowing that these Republicans are doing incalculable damage to their ambition for future leadership in the party.
As I said in the previous post, I believe Trump could well be brought down without ever becoming tarnished in the eyes of the 38% of Americans who support him now. Doing deals with the Russians? Hey, so what? He's a businessman -- deals are his specialty. Are we at war with Russia? And can't the president fire an FBI director? He's the president, right? And how do we know the evidence of Russian election interference is legit? What about Seth Rich's death? And what about Hillary's emails? And the Deep State? And Donna Brazile giving Hillary those debate questions? And and and and....
Maybe members of Trump's inner circle will be unelectable in the future, but Republicans outside the inner circle who defended Trump will be fine -- Tom Cotton and Paul Ryan will get do-overs. (We'll be told that Ryan, especially, experienced great pangs of guilt while backing Trump.) If anything, the many Trump diehards in the voter base will probably reject the Rubio and Cruz because they weren't supportive enough of Trump.
I'm certain that future GOP leaders will be those who stayed on Trump's good side but who aren't generally identified with him -- the political establishment will demand the latter, but deplorable voters will insist on the former. Ask yourself: Did Nixon's presidency lead to ""the downfall of a generation of Washington Republicans"? Hell, if Gerald Ford had received 50,000 more votes in Ohio and Wisconsin, he'd have won the Electoral College in 1976.
A former RedState editor, now at Glenn Beck's Blaze, tweeted this today on the subject of the conservative movement:
It's going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for this movement to pick up the pieces after Trump. 10/— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) May 19, 2017
I responded with a point I've been making on this blog for years:
@LeonHWolf No, you'll be fine. You'll get the same do-over you got after the implosions of the Gingrich "revolution" and GW Bush presidency.— Steve M. (@nomoremister) May 19, 2017
I was seconded:
That's the truth. It's never doomsday for the GOP.