Thursday, August 11, 2016


I keep telling you that the rest of the Republican Party is going to come out of the Trump moment virtually unscathed. Yes, he may lose in a blowout, and he may take enough downballot Republicans with him to flip the Senate, and he may say and do things between now and then that will be even more horrifying than what we've experienced so far. But after that, the political establishment will agree that no Republican other than Trump can possibly share the blame for Trumpism, however much any party member may have enabled him. Adviser, endorsers, hangers-on -- all will be rehabilitated.

Don't believe me? It's starting already. Check out a Politico story titled "Saving Mike Pence." While it focuses just on how Republicans will feel about Pence in the event of a humiliating loss, it provides a taste of what insiders and mainstream journalists will say about every Republican we expect to carry a permanent Trump mark of shame:
... barring a sharp turnaround, Pence’s allies will need to focus on minimizing the damage by association the Indiana governor will face if he aims for a political career after Election Day.

“Mike has done a good job distancing himself from Trump even as his VP choice, and as odd as that is as a campaign dynamic, it’s showing that his principles come first, however much some think he has compromised his principles,” a former Pence adviser wrote in an email, communicating on the condition of anonymity. “When this campaign is all said and done, people on all sides of Trump in the GOP will think [Pence] did the best he could given the circumstances. And I predict most of my anti-Trump friends will at that point at least admit that trying to unite the party against Clinton by joining Trump wasn’t entirely without its merits.”

... “I wasn’t disappointed [that Pence accepted]. I was gravely concerned,” Charles Lake, Pence’s former pastor, said a few days after Pence took the job. “I think the thing that’s going to happen is Mike is going to balance Trump. … Mike’s not going to become a carbon copy of Trump.”

... Rick Tyler, a former communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign for president ... [said,] “I just think people will understand Pence is on the ticket, he was a good soldier, he did his job.”

... no one will be tied to Trump as much as Pence. At the same time, he is not well-positioned to take on Trump’s mantle as bombastic populist warrior: It simply does not fit with the persona of the humble Hoosier who still refers to himself as a “B-list Republican” and eschews Trump’s penchant for belittling rivals.

... Pence, who has a deep base among evangelical conservatives, may indeed be able to argue that he provided a seat at the table for that group and did what he could to keep Trump on track....
Pence isn't just some high-profile enabler, like Paul Ryan -- he's Trump's running mate. He chose to be, officially, the Republican mostly tightly yoked to Trump's campaign -- and, if it happens, Trump's presidency. But all these people are discussing him as if he has nothing to do with Trump, as if he just took one for the team, as if his decision to affiliate himself with an infantile demagogue-wannabe bigot doesn't say anything about him personally, as if the fact that he's not like Trump absolves him of any responsibility for being a partner to Trump, as if he somehow dilutes the Trump movement by making himself a part of it. Joining the ticket was an act of charity! Surely no one can question Pence's character!

That's what's going to be done for the whole damn lot of Trump-enabling cowards by the insider cabal. They'll all be given a blanket pardon. The "Which side were you on?" question regarding Trump will never be asked. The notion that offering support to Trump was a sign of moral cowardice will be disappeared down the memory hole. That's because we're never, ever allowed to say that the Republican Party has completely lost its moral bearings -- not even now.


Raymond Smith said...

The real problem for Pence is his record in Indiana was and still is so bad that all know that he would of lost.
As for the GOP not being held accountable for their horrible actions and choices. That one is on anyone that casts a vote for any GOP member. Thus lets not mix words here the total responsibility on the sad state of the GOP and the disgraceful way the USA looks to the world right now. Is because of the VOTERS that vote for the GOP.
The GOP knew what they were doing years ago when they abolished the CIVICS classes in all of the public schools. A whole generation has no idea about any of the following. How the Federal Government works. How the House of Representatives works. How the Senate works. How a Bill is passed and becomes a law. How Bills are funded.... I could fill a book with what American voters do not know. The GOP counted on having vast amounts of uneducated voters for the less education the more FEAR there is in them thru lack of understanding.
This is the major problem in the USA!

AllieG said...

I disagree Steve (bet you're surprised). Videotape and the Internet ate forever. It might not WORK as an attack angle, but not even the Democrats are feckless enough not to use it.

Yastreblyansky said...

I absolutely agree the press is going to give them a complete pass and it's already starting with this Pence idiocy.

On the party's interior, though, as a political organization I think they're in very deep long-term trouble, from the contradictions among the various rationalizations they've used since the 70s to gather votes, libertarian to theocrat; I think they've been gradually losing all coherence for ten or eleven years, and that's what made them unable to pick a nominee this year in the first place, allowing Trump to step in and take it. Now in addition to not having a line they can agree on after Trump's gone, they all hate each other with the passion of losers who blame their narcissistic teammates for their loss (none of them have mirrors).

Meanwhile the Trump voters having tasted the freedom to be open racists and nativists aren't going to be predictable any more. But I bet they won't like the de-Trumpification. See Booman's new post.

One thing we can be sure of, if the GOP were really in collapse, the media would be the last to know.

Feud Turgidson said...

Small self-selected group recently created website and chose close to purrfect Gen Eric R.E. Publican style white Scots-Irish heritage former KGB- check that: CIA, male human bearing identifying nom Evlandimir McPutllin.

By glorious pure virtue of selection process / total outside character of any demos-based vetting process at all, Comrade McPutllin is simultaneously one hundred per cent pure politically untarnished / unvarnished / unspoiled Republican body paint woodland wet dream creature, without cantilevered hair, overfed pink pudginess or embarrassing complicated deposition-filled mass banging and / marrying of super models type historical past -- is like McPutllin was mcformed spontaneously iin Lego Land, held together by Kragl -- McPutllin will only be available for democratic type ballot selection porcess by prolotariat in limited states including / roughly conforming to voter characteristics of Utah. Sad! But will save speakers of genuine frontier GOP gibberish from facing soul-destructive horror of voting for Hilda-Beast.

First initiative of first post-Mad Madam Presidency will be for full funding of 100 per cent authentic gunless-free Republican Game preserves to be located in all red and sufficent purple states. Must Preserve Heritage!

sdhays said...

The thing is, the real world isn't just the nonsense that the lamestream media decides - Republicans are seeing the betrayal of Trump with their own eyes; a few are cheering it on, some are wringing their hands, and others are enraged. This will have real-world repercussions beyond the election, despite whatever narrative the media decides on.

Just like the fact that the mainstream media doesn't want to remember that the Tea Party dumped that nice John Boehner last year because Republicans "came to their senses" and chose that nice Paul Ryan to be their leader, the "facts on the ground" didn't change, and now we have Trump.

Feud Turgidson said...

Peter Wehner - old-time WFBuckley-compliant GOP wank-tank holy jumpin' Jesusite - tonight on O'Donnell:

A. Trump has lost, is losing, and will lose. End.
B. Only question left: Does Trump lose Light, or Lose Heavy, dragging down the GOP with him.
C. Wehner Solution: The Letter of 70.
Reinhold Priebus must pull all RNC funding for Trump & plead for the end to all GOPers funding Trump.
IOW Starve The Beast.
D. Problems I'm damned if I see:
1. how Priebus does this by RNC rules.
2. Priebus not effectively self-immolating if he does any other way, by rule or not, without overwhelming numbers in support arrayed in combat behind him.
3. said overwhelming support when Surveys Say that while 1 in 5 GOPers are Wehner Campers, 4:5 GOPers are still saying they'll be voting for Herr Trump, & the big GOP excitement is still out there cheering on every barking crazy murderous seditious thing Trump says.
E. Wehner response: Not saying it'll work - it won't.
F. Then, New Problem: this joint is still a democracy largely under Rule of Law due criticall to the Principle of Orderly Succession [a.k.a. The Mercy of Fat Al Gore].
If the GOP sides with the Wehner Campers, no way Trump 'goes quietly' - he never goes anywhere 'quietly', & beside, there's nothing in it for him in leaving.
H. I've seen the future and ...

Give us back the GOP
Gingrich, Hastert & Johnny B,
It's scarier now they've no one else to torture.
Hand 'em back their gridlock pleasure
Over every prudent measure
Put lobbyists back in charge again:
That's an order!
Return to fossil fueled denier crack
Put balancing budgets above fresh water, Jack
And capitulate in full to Duke Energy ordure
Give 'em their southern border Wall
Concede to McConnell and St. Paul
We've seen the future, folks:
It is murder!

Danp said...

share the blame for Trumpism, however much any party member may have enabled him.

Enable him? He wasn't even a Republican 8 years ago. He thought Hillary and Obama would be a "dream ticket". To win the Republican nomination, he took on the persona of a Republican super-hero. The party itself never accepted him until the convention (and even then, it was more appearance than reality).

The bigger problem is the zombies they created over the last 16 years. Trump supporters are largely those who realize that Republicans don't actually do what they say they will do, but Trump isn't the loser/phony that McCain, Romney, McConnell, Boehner, Ryan and others are. He's the BOSS - the guy who transcends laws, political correctness, tolerance toward "them". For his supporters, the GOP exposed itself as unloyal phonies. The GOP's real problem may be low turnout in future elections.

More interesting than how Republicans react to gaffes like the Kahns, Second Ammendment solutions or sexual harrassment, will be their reaction to his willingness to multiply the national debt or befriend Russia. Their whole story falls apart if they continue to support him.

Meanwhile, Hillary should not agree to debate him. She should simply say, "I think we've heard enough. The guy will say anything and mean nothing." More importantly, she should set out to prove that Republicans don't stand for any particular principle. We may not all agree on everything, but the GOP arguments are pure intellectual fraud.

Unknown said...

"Endorsed Trump" "Endorsed By Trump" will Scarlet Letters around the neck of every Republican for many years to come.

John Reinan said...

"... as if the fact that he's not like Trump absolves him of any responsibility for being a partner to Trump, as if he somehow dilutes the Trump movement by making himself a part of it. "

Brilliant and so true. I'm also convinced that there will NOT be large GOP losses in the Senate and House. People may not vote for Trump, but a longtime GOP voter is still going to pull the lever for the senator or congresscritter they've been voting for the last 20 years.

Steve M. said...

Thanks -- and I agree with you about the House and Senate.

Cirze said...

Best comment site today. You win the web!