Donald Trump is only hastening the demise of the incoherent GOP

AP Photo / David J. Phillip

AP Photo / David J. Phillip

It’s usually easier in hindsight to see the seeds of war as they were sown, or to spot small rifts before they became empire-destroying fissures. The breakup of the Republican Party is recognizable in real time.

Tuesday provided the latest milestone on the road to GOPerdition. All three remaining candidates in the race disavowed their previous pledges to support the eventual Republican nominee. A former candidate, Marco Rubio, is taking the drastic, and reportedly unprecedented, step of trying to maintain control over the 170-plus delegates he won before dropping out of the primary.

What do you call a political party whose also-rans won’t rally ’round the winner? I don’t know, but it’s not a political party anymore.

Of course, the latest maneuvering and pledge-breaking revolves around one man. Donald Trump is the reason party officials instituted the pledge in the first place, as they feared he would bolt for an independent run. Now that looks like a best-case scenario, in which Trump would leave the GOP to rebuild itself absent the hateful, fact-challenged and increasingly violent rump of his support he not only attracts but encourages.

That Trump would blame his (latest) infidelity on a belief he has been “treated very unfairly” is just one more absurdity to come out of his mouth. In fact, the party has been far too fair to Trump — suicidally so, it appears.

Had any other candidate mocked a previous nominee for being captured in Vietnam, referred to one female journalist’s menstrual cycle, and made excuses when his campaign manager was charged with simple battery of another female reporter, among other outrages, the Republican Party would have banished him. Trump has been allowed to remain, out of concern his dismissal would tear the party apart.

Instead, it’s his presence that’s doing the job.

So much for the “establishment” against which Trump, like his nearest rival, Ted Cruz, rails. If there were such a powerful cabal of party leaders, they long ago would have cut Trump down. His very success shows he’s been attacking a straw man.

But if his success has shown just how vacuous the notion of a GOP “establishment” is, it has also revealed the emptiness of the “Republican” label itself.

Is a Republican for trade deals, or against them? For peace through strength and alliances, or for ditching NATO? For equality of opportunity (not outcome) for all, or only for some? For modesty about what the federal government can and should do, or for a Constitution-ignoring strongman as long as he’s our Constitution-ignoring strongman?

So far, GOP primary voters have signaled through their ballots that they’re for all these things, which really means they’re for none of them. For all the left’s portrayals of Republicans over the years as rigid ideologues, the irony is the Republican Party is falling apart because it no longer actually stands for anything.

Trump didn’t so much create this incoherence as exploit it. His mistake, and that of his supporters, is pretending his own incoherence represents a viable alternative.

Nope. When anyone believing just about anything can call himself a Republican, everyone’s a Republican In Name Only. And when that’s true, the name is no longer even worth anything. All that’s left now is to figure out what replaces it.

Reader Comments 0

207 comments
ODDOWL-1
ODDOWL-1

Mean Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are responsible for the fracturing of the Republican party...  In 2009 McConnell stated that the number one priority of the Republicans were to make President Obama a one term President... McConnell's act of obstinate obstructionism led America down a road to a place called perdition and led directly to the creation of Donald Trump...  Republicans cannot solve their problems with the same thinking process they used when they created them...

Obzervr
Obzervr

What's killing the GOP is its leadership's positions on immigration, for example E-Verify.

Obama and Congressional Democrats refuse to support E-Verify unless it's part of a grand immigration bargain that includes amnesty for the estimated 11-18 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

Last year, the House Judiciary Committee marked up Rep. Lamar Smith's Legal Workforce Act, H.R. 1147, that would require all businesses to use E-Verify within 3 years. All 13 Democrats on the Committee voted against final passage.

Even though it passed the Committee, former House Speaker John Boehner and current Speaker Paul Ryan refuse to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.

Of the candidates, all but Hillary Clinton have taken a position on E-Verify. Donald Trump lists it on his website as part of his overall immigration enforcement plan. Gov. John Kasich has only mentioned E-Verify in passing, and Sen. Bernie Sanders hasn't talked about it much, but did support its inclusion in the Gang of 8's amnesty bill. Sen. Ted Cruz's position is more nuanced.

But the bottom line is that the GOP establishment won't back even something as fundamental as requiring that workers be eligible for employment.

Obzervr
Obzervr

@xxxzzz @Obzervr 

Your "article" is self-serving nonsense from a law firm fishing for clients, not a major news publication. 

Ed Hallman
Ed Hallman

It seems like the Republican party chooses the leadership from a group of criminals. If they refuse to clean up their act, then this really is the end of the party.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Trump's comments were stupid AND killing unborn children because you were too stupid or too trashy to use a condom is disgusting and immoral.

lvg
lvg

@Lil_Barry_Bailout As if this is the primary reason women have abortions- birth defects, rape, family breakup,and too young to be a responsible parent. How many unwanted children has Mr. Lil Barry and his fellow Rebublicons adopted? supported?

James Hamby
James Hamby

It's called the, "I'm mad and I will not take it anymore" Party

MarkVV
MarkVV

If the issue were not so serious, it would be quite amusing to watch the hypocritical anguish of the Republicans over the Trump’s candidacy.

There is so much scorn and blame heaped on Mr. Trump. Why? After all, anybody (with enough money) can sign up as a candidate, regardless of how little qualified he/she can be, receive a few votes from his/her relatives and friends, disappear in the oblivion, and to the end of life claim that on his/her resume.

Thus the blame should be assigned first to the high level people who have from the start supported Mr. Trump knowing his lack of qualification, and then to the voters who voted for him in the primaries. But even people in this latter group, while most directly responsible, have a defense for their action.

For eleven years now they have heard and read the Republican lawmakers and the conservatives in the media to spread lies about the Obama presidency. The economic recovery was not good enough. Obamacare was a disaster. We were losing the war with ISIS. The country was on the verge of collapse. The list is endless. But those same voters did not see the Republican lawmakers in Congress to do anything to make things better rather than making it difficult for the President to do what people were elected him for.

And so there came Mr. Trump, not a member of that opposition class, promising to make all those things better just by the strength of his personality. And some voters believed him and some still believe.

So the conservatives now can reap what they have sown. But remember Mr. Wingfield, other conservative media people, and even you, conservative commenters on this blog, you have done some of that sowing as well.  

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Democrat leaders need to speak out and tell their sheeple that killing cops is wrong. Their silence signals tacit approval.

Try to remember what it's like to be Americans, Dems.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Most of your party need help purchasing food and are frightened by chalk.

lvg
lvg

@Lil_Barry_Bailout And this is based on what data? Oh I forgot Cons don't rely on facts they just make stuff up.

TheCentrist
TheCentrist

This incoherency is the primary reason that Obama and even their own party leaders have not and cannot work with social conservatives.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

rump of his support

Rump roasts can be tough but the braised leftovers delish.

Trump (D) epitomizes the Manchurian Candidate.

I don't know why his supporters can't see through him. 

Perhaps they've stopped caring about this grand experiment we call America and are seeking her demise? 

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Excerpted from this link:


http://www.lifenews.com/2016/03/31/when-abortion-was-illegal-women-were-not-jailed-for-having-abortions-heres-why/ 


For 30 years, abortion advocates have claimed—without any evidence and contrary to the well-documented practice of ALL 50 states—that women were jailed before Roe and would be jailed if Roe falls (or if state abortion prohibitions are reinstated).

This claim rests on not one but two falsehoods:

First, the almost uniform state policy before Roe was that abortion laws targeted abortionists, not women. Abortion laws targeted those who performed abortion, not women. In fact, the states expressly treated women as the second “victim” of abortion; state courts expressly called the woman a second “victim.” Abortionists were the exclusive target of the law.

Second, the myth that women will be jailed relies, however, on the myth that “overturning” Roe will result in the immediate re-criminalization of abortion. If Roe was overturned today, abortion would be legal in at least 42-43 states tomorrow, and likely all 50 states, for the simple reason that nearly all of the state abortion prohibitions have been either repealed or are blocked by state versions of Roe adopted by state courts. The issue is entirely academic. The legislatures of the states would have to enact new abortion laws—and these would almost certainly continue the uniform state policy before Roe that abortion laws targeted abortionists and treated women as the second victim of abortion. There will be no prosecutions of abortionists unless the states pass new laws after Roe is overturned.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I consider myself pro-life but this dust up from the Matthews interview of Trump makes me question the logic of the pro-life side.

Trump should have stuck with his first answer, here's why.

If abortion was illegal the pro-life side wants to punish the doctor who performs the abortion with no consequences to the woman.

The doctor did not drag the woman to the clinic.

She asked for the service.

As a fellow poster pointed out, if a woman is caught buying illegal drugs both the woman and drug seller suffer consequences.

Either abortion is illegal or its not.  If illegal, and excluding legal exceptions, the woman needs to suffer legal action as well.  She is not innocent.

DawgVoiceofReason
DawgVoiceofReason


Kyle, you don't entirely address the issue of WHY Kasich and Cruz (and for different reasons, Trump) won't continue to support the pledge to back the Republican nominee.  Like many others, Kasich and Cruz see what a disaster Trump would be as a nominee.  Trump isn't going to continue the pledge because he sees that the party is working against him to a large extent and believes he will be treated "unfairly".


Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Those 40 or so hard heads in the house are pure trouble and helped the GOP pissle.   Ryan made a big mistake taking that job.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

The GOP needs a candidate with strong support from Wall Street, someone who is not afraid to support deploying US troops abroad, someone who is treated favorably by the Media and finally someone who has support from people of color. I guess I can see why the GOP establishment would rather vote for Hillary than the Donald.

Agnostic_Queer
Agnostic_Queer

trump is not welcome at my bizness. niether r christians

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

The biggest, single problem with Trump is his inability, or unwillingness to precisely articulate his beliefs.  As soon as his " ... all illegal immigrants from Mexico are rapists, murderers and criminals ..." brain cramp, you knew it was gonna be an interesting ride.


There's a lot of truth, in my opinion, to many comments made below about Trump -  good and bad.  He's a successful businessman trying to transition to politics.  Leaving one cut throat endeavor where he's proven himself, into another where he's unproven.


He goes everywhere and answers all questions - including the inevitable "gotchas" posed by far too clever members of the media.


He's not yet deft enough to handle them.  The ridiculous hypothetical about  meting out punishment to women who seek and receive abortions in an America where abortion is suddenly illegal is but the latest "proof" to some of us that he's the poster boy for the litany of sins ascribed to anyone who's white and conservative.


The man's not presidential material.  But he's not all the evil the silly Left paints him to be either.







Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@CardiganBoy

 The ridiculous hypothetical about  meting out punishment to women

Ridiculous? Really? 

Given all the times we pro-choicers have heard the procedure called "murder", and practitioners called "murderers"?

Really?

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@CardiganBoy Yes.  Really.  Chris Matthews crafted a hypothetical gotcha question and requested essentially a 'yes' or 'no' response to it from Trump.


As Trump stated, it's a complex issue.  Indeed it is.  But he allowed himself to be drawn into Matthews' simplistic trap.  Bad on him (Trump).  


But the hypothetical situation upon which the question was based is ridiculous.


If the law of the land says an act is illegal, then committing that act is criminal and a perpetrator is subject to punishment as proscribed by law if arrested, tried and convicted.  


That's how it works right?  We're a nation of laws, correct?




Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

@CardiganBoy Lot of respect for speeding laws too...  you can only restrict what the public will allow to be restricted.

Rufus McGillicuddy
Rufus McGillicuddy

We've had 73 straight months of job growth. Now we need to deal with stagnant wages, the long term unemployed, and expanding healthcare. Despite unprecedented obstruction, the President continues to move the country forward. Could we be doing better? Yes, sure we could.  However, considering the rancid state of politics in this country, we're actually doing quite well. Thanks President Obama, your poll numbers are rising for good reason.  

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

"Trump would leave the GOP to rebuild itself absent the hateful, fact-challenged and increasingly violent rump of his support he not only attracts but encourages."

I was unaware the AJC had decided not to have a Conservative commentator to offset Bookman.

Take a look below Kyle what this piece has drawn.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JohnnyReb I'm the conservative writer, not the Trump or even GOP apologist. The fact is, Trump is a weathervane of a man -- making him far more of a "politician" than the career politicians we hear so much disgust for -- who can't be trusted. The conservative thing to do is to oppose him. If a few liberals enjoy that as sport, well, just wait until the Democratic Party deals with its own Trump problem (i.e. the Bernie-loving millennials) in the next 5-10 years.

Rufus McGillicuddy
Rufus McGillicuddy

@Kyle_Wingfield-- This maybe true, but that "5-10 years" should be enough for us to get a Supreme Court in place that is more representative of current realities. 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Kyle_Wingfield @JohnnyReb

That won't happen, Kyle, for a simple reason - the Democratic party is still a party of ideas, ideas aimed at improving the country and the lives of the people in it. Sounds like you're wishing for this to happen but I suspect you are going to find yourself a wee bit disappointed on that score.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Kyle_Wingfield @JohnnyReb Yes Kyle, I know you are the Conservative writer, or you are suppose to be.

It looks like you have bought into the hyperbole of Trump attackers and that you are attacking Trump supporters.

I will take a slightly misguided old red neck Trump supporter that sucker punches a protester who is giving the finger to Trump supporters any day of the week over, for example, someone who posts below that perhaps in 5 to 10 years there will be enough Libs to get a SCOTUS in place that rules on pop-culture instead of the Constitution.

No Trump is not perfect.

I will be happy with either Cruz or Trump.

But watching our side throw in with the Left in Trump attacks is disgusting.

You may not like him, but if he gets the most primary wins he should be the nominee. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JohnnyReb "if he gets the most primary wins he should be the nominee"

That's not the way it works. If he gets more than half the delegates, fine. But "most primary wins" isn't the standard. Maybe you didn't mean it this way, but I'm not prepared to see Trump supporters whine about the rules possibly being changed and then turn around and demand that some "rule" they invented be adhered to.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Kyle_Wingfield @JohnnyReb I see your point and understand it takes a majority of delegates.

What I don't want to see is the rules changed, for example not requiring winning in 8 states, just so the establishment can run in someone other than Trump or Cruz.

Kasich is depending on this, the only way he could get the nomination.

The bottom line is, if neither Trump or Cruz get the nomination the party will split and the White House given to the Dems.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JohnnyReb "What I don't want to see is the rules changed, for example not requiring winning in 8 states, just so the establishment can run in someone other than Trump or Cruz."

Here, too, understand what the rule says. It says a person must demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from at least eight states. It doesn't mean a person "won" eight primaries. It doesn't even mean a person entered any primaries. Let's say, for instance, that Condi Rice is talked into throwing her hat in the ring at the convention. All it would take would be for a majority of delegates in eight states (after the first round, when they're bound) to say they're for her. And voila, she's in the race.

The only reason I'm being a stickler on the details here is because these kinds of things may well crop up, and I want everyone to know there's a difference between breaking/changing the rules and taking advantage of what they actually say.

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @JohnnyReb You got a conservative senator from this state exhibiting same childish behavior as Trump. Says reason he will not consider any judicial candidates proposed by Obama is because Obama overstepped his bounds and has acted  outside the Constitution with executive actions. Maybe a true conservative journalist can educate  this Georgia raised buffoon that President is acting within the Constitution when he appoints Judges and that the buffoon we have as a Senator has a constitutional duty to have hearings and vote. He can vote down every judicial appointee because he hates Obama. 


Therein is the reason the stupid party has top candidates like Trump and Cruz. 

TheCentrist
TheCentrist

One thing for sure, the Bernie-loving millennial will not swing to the social conservatives platform. Besides, making education, women's rights and healthcare, among other public policy issues, a right rather than a privilege will haunt social conservatives in the next 5-10 years.

Colwest
Colwest

Trump only speaks clearly the GOP message of hatred, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and basic xenophobic fear amongst caucasians that has been whispered and implied by the party for years. GOP demise is the reaping of their own seeds sown. The entertainment value of their exposure for their true values is great. The angry ignorant base is shrinking. Good for the entire earth and all of humanity.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@Colwest You forgot homophobia and Islamophobia.  Or are they covered under the more generic sins hatred, bigotry and xenophobia? Amongst caucasians, I mean to say - as they're the only ones afflicted with such human frailties.


The GOP message?  Somehow I get the feeling you long ago decided what that is - if you ever really listened to it in the first place - and feel no need to waste your valuable time on anything that might contradict your shrill belief system.


You regurgitate simplistic, anti-GOP,  progressive talking points  like you're swinging around a bag of rocks you carried onto a crowded elevator.