How Much Will Trumpism Damage The Republican Party?

Even if Donald Trump isn't the Republican nominee in 2016, he could still end up causing real harm to the party's chances of winning the White House and holding on to the Senate.

donald-trump-microphone

If Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is any indication, it looks as though the Republican Party is starting to embrace Donald Trump:

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus says he thinks Donald Trump is a “net positive” for his party.

During a TV interview on WISN’s “Upfront” this weekend in Milwaukee, Priebus, who has previously asked Trump to tone down his remarks on immigration, now says the “Trump show” is a good thing for the GOP.

“It brings a lot of interest in the Republican field. I think it’s a net positive for everybody and I think it’s an indicator that there’s a lot of folks out there who are sick and tired of Washington and Trump has tapped into that,” Priebus said. “When you have 30 million people watching [the first GOP debate], not to mention the fact that we have 16 other incredible candidates out there, I think we are showing America that we are the young, diverse party, offering a whole slew of options for people and that’s a good thing.”

The RNC chair said he would be comfortable with Trump being the Republican nominee and does not question his loyalties to the party, despite the real estate mogul’s previous support for liberal positions on issues like abortion and universal health care.

“He says he’s a Republican and I take him at his word,” Priebus said.

To be fair, of course, it’s worth noting that it’s unlikely the Priebus would say anything differently about Trump or any other candidate. Under the RNC’s own rules, the Committee and the Chairman and are not permitted to take sides in primary elections, at least not officially and publicly. This is true in the Democratic Party as well. While other party committees, such as those tied to the elections of members of the House and Senate or Governors often do take sides in primary fights, usually over the strong objections of those representing “insurgent” candidates, The national committees typically stay out of the primary fights and concentrate on building the party organization for the General Election. Additionally, the reality of the situation is that if Priebus did start attacking Trump the way that some of the other candidates have done, it would end up inuring to Trump’s benefit as part of the “anti-establishment” campaign that he has been running since getting in the race. Although, yes, it is absurd for billionaire who has been cultivating relationships with politicians in both parties for decades in order to advance his own business interests to be branding himself as an “anti-establishment” candidate, but such is the absurdity of the political circus that we’re dealing with for the 2016 election.

Keeping all that in mind, I suppose one can dismiss Priebus’s positive comments about Trump as the same kind of thing he would say about any other candidate. The difference, though, is that Donald Trump isn’t just any other candidate. Both in style and in substance he is pushing the envelope for all the Republican candidates and threatening to take the party in a direction that could cause problems for Republican politicians for years to come. His insulting rhetoric is bad enough, of course, but that’s something that we’ve come to expect from Trump the entertainer for years. Now that he’s actually proposing policy ideas, though, he threatens to have a different kind of impact.

Trump’s immigration plan, for example, is pretty much everything that the right wing of the party has been proposing for years on this issue, except on steroids. The most radical part of the plan, of course, is the idea of eliminating birthright citizenship in whole or in part and deporting millions of people, apparently without the due process that immigrants sent into the ICE system are entitled to now. This aspect of the plan is so radical that it has been condemned by many on the right, including former Bush Administration attorney John Yoo as well as pundits and political strategists such as Ben Domenech, Robert Tracinski, and Brian Schoeneman. Yesterday, George Will was out with a particularly forceful column arguing that Trump’s plan would be the ruin of the Republican Party and The Altantic’s Molly Ball wonders if the Republican Party can survive Donald Trump:

As Trump evinces surprising staying power atop the Republican field, nervous party members increasingly fret that he is hurting the image of the GOP and damaging its eventual nominee—who most assume will not be Trump. The most obvious problem is Trump’s outspoken opposition to immigration and immigrants, which has offended Hispanics—a fast-growing voter demographic the party can’t afford to lose ground with—and dragged other candidates into a discussion of inflammatory ideas like ending birthright citizenship.

But many Republican strategists, donors, and officeholders fret that the harm goes deeper than a single voting bloc. Trump’s candidacy has blasted open the GOP’s longstanding fault lines at a time when the party hoped for unity. His gleeful, attention-hogging boorishness—and the large crowds that have cheered it—cements a popular image of the party as standing for reactionary anger rather than constructive policies. As Democrats jeer that Trump has merely laid bare the true soul of the GOP, some Republicans wonder, with considerable anguish, whether they’re right. As the conservative writer Ben Domenech asked in anessay in The Federalist last week, “Are Republicans for freedom or white identity politics?”

“There is a faction that would actually rather burn down the entire Republican Party in hopes they can rebuild it in their image,” Rick Wilson, a Florida-based Republican admaker, told me. For his outspoken antagonism to Trump, including an op-ed calling Trump voters “Hillary’s new best friends,” Wilson has received a deluge of bile from Trump’s army of Internet trolls; his family has been threatened and his clients have been harassed. He worries that the party is on the brink of falling apart. “There’s got to be either a reconciliation or a division,” he said. “There’s still a greater fraction of people who are limited-government conservatives than people motivated by the personality cult of Donald Trump.”

(…)

the establishment feels embattled—and helpless. A Politico survey of Republican insiders in Iowa and New Hampshire, published Friday, found 70 percent saying Trump’s immigration plan was harmful to the party’s image. “He’s solidly put an anchor around the neck of our party, and we’ll sink because of it,” one Iowa Republican said. The right’s leading writers—George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Barone—have excoriated Trump, to seemingly no avail. Trump doesn’t need them; he has his own cheering section in the likes of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart.com. Trump’s rise has highlighted the distance between the Republican establishment that favors cutting Social Security, increasing immigration, and expanding free trade, and the party base that, like Trump, wants the opposite.

Many analysts blamed Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss on his rightward tack on immigration during the primaries, when he urged “self-deportation.” That was a major conclusion of the Republican National Committee’s postmortem report after Romney’s loss. “In 2012 we were talking about electrified fences and self-deportation; in 2016 we’re talking about birthright citizenship and forced, mass deportation,” Peter Wehner, a former aide to George W. Bush, told me. “That’s not a step in the right direction, and we’re doing that because of Trump.”

Party elites can already envision the attack ads of sad-eyed children being torn from their parents. The harsh immigration rhetoric doesn’t only offend Latino voters, they say—it hurts the party with other minority groups, with moderates and independents, with young voters and with women. And as other candidates have been pushed to take sides on Trump’s plans, they, too, have wandered into problematic territory. Several have said they agree with parts of his immigration agenda.

In a similar piece, conservative pundit Ben Domenech wonders whether Trump’s supporters are trying to remake the Republican Party into a “white nationalist” party:

For decades, Republicans have held to the idea that they are unified by a fusionist ideological coalition with a shared belief in limited government, while the Democratic Party was animated by identity politics for the various member groups of its coalition.This belief has been bolstered in the era of President Obama, which has seen the Democratic Party stress identity politics narratives about the war on this or that group of Americans, even as they adopted a more corporatist attitude toward Wall Street and big business (leading inevitably to their own populist problem in Sen. Bernie Sanders). What Trump represents is the potential for a significant shift in the Republican Party toward white identity politics for the American right, and toward a coalition more in keeping with the European right than with the American.

“Identity politics for white people” is not the same thing as “racism”, nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist, though of course the categories overlap. In fact, white identity politics was at one point the underlying trend for the majoritarian American cultural mainstream. But since the late 1960s, it has been transitioning in fits and starts into something more insular and distinct. Now, half a century later, the Trump moment very much illuminates its function as one interest group among many, as opposed to the background context for everything the nation does. The white American with the high-school education who works at the duck-feed factory in northern Indiana has as much right to advance his interest as anyone else. But that interest is now being redefined in very narrow terms, in opposition to the interests of other ethnic groups, and in a marked departure from the expansive view of the freedoms of a common humanity advanced by the Founders and Abraham Lincoln.

(…)

There is a slim possibility that what’s happening in the GOP primary campaign this summer is actually healthy and salutary, as conservative intellectual Yuval Levin argues here. But it is also possible that it represents one more way America is becoming more European. A classically liberal right is actually fairly uncommon in western democracies, requiring as it does a coalition that synthesizes populist tendencies and directs such frustrations toward the cause of limited government. Only the United States and Canada have successfully maintained one over an extended period. Now the popularity of Donald Trump suggests ours may be going away. In a sense we are reverting to a general mean – but we are also losing a rare and precious inheritance that is our only real living link to the Revolutionary era and its truly revolutionary ideas about self-government.

Many of these fears may be premature, of course. As Steven Taylor pointed out last night, and as I’ve argued myself, the strength of Trump’s lead is somewhat exaggerated by the size of the Republican field at the moment. Both because of his celebrity and his bombastic personality, Trump appears to the public to be standing far above a field of candidates that looks relatively Lilliputian by comparison. In a smaller field where there were maybe two or three more mainstream Republicans opposing him, it’s likely that Trump wouldn’t be faring so well and that Republican who oppose him would be able to unify behind a single candidate rather than stretching themselves over a field that is big enough to field two baseball teams.

It’s also possible, though, that the nativist populism that Trump is appealing to is something that will have a long lasting impact on the future direction of the party. In the short term, at least, it’s likely that whomever the Republican nominee in 2016 ends up being will find themselves having to deal with the legacy of the negative impressions that Trump’s comments about Mexicans, immigrants, and others have left with a large segment of the American public. Four years ago, Mitt Romney’s rather mild-mannered reference to “self-deportation” as a solution to the problem of undocumented immigrants ended up causing the GOP to get the lowest share of the Latino vote it had seen in many election cycles. Next year, it’s possible that Trump’s remarks will have a similar impact even if he isn’t the one at the of the ticket. If that happens, then Republicans like Priebus may come to regret their decision to welcome Trump into the party.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2016, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    How Much Will Trumpism Damage The Republican Party?

    If other candidates fall into the Trump cesspool a lot.

  2. legion says:

    The question is not “how much damage will Trump do to the GOP?”, the question is: “how much of the damage Trump does will be recognized by the GOP?” With a corollary of “how much will be recognized as being entirely self-inflicted?”

    Spoiler: none. On both questions. Any Republican who even voices either of those questions out loud will be declared a RINO and forced out of the party altogether.

  3. Steve Hynd says:

    As far as I can see, Trump’s racist supporters and the GOP’s primary voting base are just about congruent sets. The other GOP candidates have by and large echoed Trump’s xenophobia because they recognise this sorry state of affairs. 2016 is shaping up to be the year of the xenophobic white bigot election – which is the only hope the GOP has of winning, because they’d lose the massive economic inequality election. I don’t think that folk like Priebus are all that upset by Trump – he’s a feature, not a bug.

  4. CSK says:

    I’m not sure if Priebus is welcoming Trump or trying to placate him him in the vain hope that he’ll do less damage between now and 2016. As loathsome as Trump is, you have to give him credit for being a very shrewd operator. I have no doubt he’ll run as a third party candidate if he’s not the nominee, which will effectively hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton or whoever the Democratic candidate ends up being.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t think Trump wants to be president, but I do think he wants to own–or at least think he owns–whoever becomes president.

  5. grumpy realist says:

    A very good article in the New Yorker looking at the sort of people Trump has swept up into his net.

  6. Jack says:

    Even if Hillary Clinton isn’t the Democrat nominee in 2016, she could still end up causing real harm to the party’s chances of winning the White House and regaining the House and Senate.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: Has Hillary Clinton scooped up a huge amount of support from the left’s equivalent of White Power types?

    No?

    Then don’t compare Trump with Clinton, please.

  8. Jack says:

    @grumpy realist:

    left’s equivalent of White Power types?

    You mean the black lives matter people? Yeah, she has.

  9. dazedandconfused says:

    Is Trump a symptom or cause?

    Not just of the GOP but of all political parties, which are subject to our money-driven media. The media is, after all, where the massive river of political money winds up. They want entertainment and drama for ratings: Populism.

  10. Grumpy Realist says:

    Donald Trump: Il Douche…

  11. michael reynolds says:

    It’s not Trump. Jesus H. Christ, people, Trump is not the cause, Trump is the symptom. Not to repeat the ill-tempered rant I just laid down in another thread, but for God’s sake, how can people not get this? It’s the people, people. It’s the frightened, panicked white people terrified of losing their privilege. Trump isn’t causing any of this, Trump is just eating it up. You are reversing cause and effect because you look at policy and you look at logic and you look at the media and you look at economics and you look absolutely everywhere but at the humans involved.

    People are losing their preferred status. People are losing their idiot belief systems. Trump isn’t creating his supporters, they’re creating him. They’ve summoned him like a golem. If it wasn’t Trump it would be someone else, because scared losers need a man on a white horse. Trump is just the actor who got the role written for him by frightened humans.

  12. Slugger says:

    I think that Trump is like the slutty girl in high school. Everybody is vulnerable to her visceral charms which resist rational analysis. However, in the end they’ll marry Susie Trueheart. JEB will the nominee eventually; right now people want to get into the backseat of the car with Trump.
    I hope my metaphor is not too sexist nor too stuck in my 1960’s adolescent culture.

  13. Tyrell says:

    @Steve Hynd: It is not racism. I hear that all the time. Are all of his supporters racist ? And they are not all Republicans. I know a lot of independents and disaffected, disenchanted Democratic voters who agree with Trump’s tell it like it is, shoot straight, unpolished talk. He is saying things that other candidates are feeling, but afraid to say. People are fed up with the tip-toe, warm fuzzy, be careful what you say you might offend someone, please everyone, apologist, pc crap !
    That does not mean that all these people will end up voting for Trump, but a lot of people have been waiting for a leader who says the things he does.

  14. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    You mean the black lives matter people? Yeah, she has.

    Never open your mouth until you know what the shot is.

    Clinton talked to the BLM guys. It did not go well. Guess you were wrong…..

    Again.

  15. An Interested Party says:

    You mean the black lives matter people?

    Ohhhh….so because they’re trying to point out that black lives matter in the face of some racist, trigger-happy law enforcement types, they must be black power racists, is that it? You sad little confused person…

  16. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Tyrell:

    Wow…

    Are all of his supporters racist ?

    No, not all his supporters are racist… however, if one is racist, then he or she is likely a Trump supporter.

    And they are not all Republicans.

    No, I’m sure he also has those who self-identify as Tea Party. Also those on the right that chose to identify themselves as “independent”… which is a group that went up in numbers following the Bush debacle presidency.

    That does not mean that all these people will end up voting for Trump, but a lot of people have been waiting for a leader who says the things he does.

    To Godwin that comment is too easy a target.

    Still, Trump is not GOP as he is Nationalist. And that is just one weird position for a country with such a short history as ours, that was built by constant waves of immigrants.

  17. al-Ameda says:

    The Republican Party – like cockroaches – cannot be damaged by anything.

    They, the Republican congress delegation, shutdown the federal government twice in 5 years, said that the effects of a federal default was nothing to worry about, the approval ratings of the Republican congress cratered at about 9%, and they ended up adding to their majority in the House, took over the Senate, and are positioned to take over the federal government.

    How could Trump ‘damage’ the Republican Party any more than their own regular professional politicians?

  18. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Tyrell:

    He is saying things that other candidates are feeling, but afraid to say.

    Really?
    How many Dem candidates want to bomb the hell outa the Iraq oil fields right away?
    How many Dems have decided that it’s best that the US military place it’s men and women in harm’s way to turn over the oil to Exxon/Mobil?
    How many Dem candidates think that Mexico will pay for a 200 billion, 60 foot high wall almost 2000 miles long?
    How many Dem candidates consider MOST undocumented Mexicans as rapists and murderers?
    How many Dem candidates are in favor of massive increases in the US military forces and costs?

    You are saying that the Dem candidates secretly want these things but are afraid of saying them out loud?

  19. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tyrell: This is the problem–Trump is saying the things the other candidates want to say! What they don’t want is to carry the political baggage of those statements into the general election. Alas Tyrell, most of the nation is probably not as afraid and frustrated as you and your friends at the diner are.

    Stay away from the donuts, Tyrell, they be messin’ wif yo’ mind.

  20. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell:..People are fed up with the tip-toe, warm fuzzy, be careful what you say you might offend someone, please everyone, apologist, pc crap !

    More astute political commentary from someone who…

    Tyrell says:
    Friday, August 21, 2015 at 16:21
    I had never heard the term ” anchor baby” before this week. It has no negative images to me. What is wrong with the term anchor ?

  21. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: @Bob @ Youngstown: In light of Bob’s comment, I should note that my comment refers only to the GOP side of the spectrum. Maybe the donuts be messin’ wif my mind, too.

  22. Liberal With Attitude says:

    Michael is on target here.
    It’s the base that is driving the party here, not the politicians or even the plutocrats.
    It reminds me of the Terror phase of the French Revolution where no extreme is enough and no one could stand against the mob.

    Even the past radicals like Erick Erickson have been pushed aside and can only chase after the mob and pray it doesn’t turn on him.
    If Trump were to vanish tomorrow 16 others would step forward to grab his banner.

  23. Console says:

    The conservative political coalition isn’t the least diverse by accident. Only in America can you have essentially the white people party and the everyone else party… and have the latter accused of playing divisive identity politics. We always have to go out of our way to avoid the idea that white people just might be racist. Like Reynolds said, Trump is the symptom, not the cause.

  24. Andre Kenji says:

    I don´t know.

    The Modern Republican Party was created when White Voters disaffected with the Democrats fled to the GOP. These voters were people that voted for FDR and Kennedy. They thought that the Democrats were spending too much money with Minorities, they did not like to pay taxes. That does not mean that they wanted the government to spend no money at all.

    Paul Ryan, that wanted to privatize Medicare, was a favorite among Washington Elites, but he never managed to attract crowds to his speeches. Trump is not saying that he wants to privatize Social Security or Medicare – he is not even defending repealing Obamacare. In fact, he stands to his support to Single Payer. He does not say that he wants to end Unions nor that he wants to flush the government in the toilet. He says that he does not want Planned Parenthood to be paid to perform abortions, but he does say that their funding should be cut.

    Trump is not popular because he is saying what Republicans always said. He is popular because he is not saying the same things that other Republicans always say. He is popular precisely because he defends some level of Big Government – that´s why he is more popular among Republicans than Ted Cruz or Rubio.

    I don´t even need to mention Paul Ryan.

  25. Todd says:

    If Trump isn’t the nominee, then yes his antics now almost certainly will hurt whoever eventually is nominated … because they’ll do the normal politician thing in trying to defend the stuff they’re saying now, and/or trying (likely unsuccessfully) to distance themselves from some of the more outrageous things Trump has said.

    If Trump himself is the nominee, I’m not so sure.

    Best case scenario (from a Dem perspective) is that the eventual nominee is a damaged Jeb Bush.

  26. de stijl says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    Hey what’s with the mixed case? Upper case G upper case R?

    I’m used to your being all lower case @grumpy realist like a normal person like me.

    I think you’re hanging out at Rod Dreher’s joint too much. Mayhaps getting confused by all is word-stylings and such.

  27. de stijl says:

    What Trump has wrought is a 1964 Goldwater-style beat-down on whomever the eventual nominee is. If I’m betting, I’d say it’s going to be Trump unless he bails.

    The base is het up and fed up with these RINO pretenders like McCain and Romney. They want – they need – someone who tells it like it is and to get those gott-danged furriners offen our land.

    The base is stirred. They’re not going to get unstirred. They’re going to nominate some cry-baby, woe-is-me, the-sky-is-falling idiot yahoo who couldn’t win the general election if he bought it because brown people are scary. I mean, they congregate in the parking lot of The Home Depot like some sort of scourge. Wake up, sheeple!

    2016 is 1964 redux with Trump (or another dick weed) as the Goldwater stand-in. Fella’s gonna get about 42% of the total vote. He’ll win the Old South and the Plains states.

    Those folks want scalps and they think that being fully con, out and proud, is the winning strategy. They want scalps but what they’re gonna get is their own. They’re going to finally get their wish – their dream candidate – and it will fail. Badly.

    What happens next?

  28. Grumpy Realist says:

    @de stijl: blame whatever the computer decides to throw out plz….

    Looks like Trump is picking a fight with Megyn again. She hasn’t said anything, he sneers at her and calls her a bimbo.

    I think a lot of the appeal of Trump is that he is acting like an eight-year-old brat and gets away with it. The percentage of adult Americans who want to act like brats is large.

  29. de stijl says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    I think a lot of the appeal of Trump is that he is acting like an eight-year-old brat and gets away with it. The percentage of adult Americans who want to act like brats is large.

    Obnoxiousness and a-holishness is the primary driver of R voter behavior right now. They want to clearly see it in their candidates and they want to be able to say imprudent things without consequence in their private lives. They are ham-strung by polite society and it galls them. It’s why Chris Christie got off the block in the first place back in the day; he was an a-hole, and being an a-hole is a good thing.

    The whole “un PC” thing is the locus.

    Within their world that is the winning argument. The obnoxious majority.

    They are so gonna get schooled when they try to take that into the real world.

  30. de stijl says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Tyrell says:
    Friday, August 21, 2015 at 16:21
    I had never heard the term ” anchor baby” before this week. It has no negative images to me. What is wrong with the term anchor ?

    I’m glad that you’re hyping this. I kinda feel bad about dissing Tyrell all the time because he seems to be a decent fella, but then again he says those things in his Mayberry RFD neo-fascist style.

    What do you say to a brown-shirt who doesn’t realize he’s a brown-shirt?

  31. Scott says:

    @Tyrell:

    People are fed up with the tip-toe, warm fuzzy, be careful what you say you might offend someone, please everyone, apologist, pc crap !

    What exactly is the problem with having good manners?

    Why would you go out of your way to offend someone?

    Why do you have a problem with basic civility?

    Please don’t buy into this anti-pc crap. Unless you really just want to continue yelling at the TV and don’t want real people to talk to you.

  32. de stijl says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    She hasn’t said anything, he sneers at her and calls her a bimbo.

    She’s supposedly on vacay.

    But that is the utter definition of Trump. Kick down, call yourself and your works “classy” and your enemies “losers.” Pencil in the stink-lines and call it a day.

  33. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    2016 is 1964 redux with Trump (or another dick weed) as the Goldwater stand-in. Fella’s gonna get about 42% of the total vote.

    I would quarrel with your reading of 1964. Sure, Goldwater was a terrible candidate. But LBJ would have won in a landslide against any Republican that year. He was extremely popular and boosted by the good will from Kennedy’s death. And the parties weren’t anywhere near as polarized as they are today. If the GOP had nominated a moderate, pro-civil rights Republican from the Northeast like Nelson Rockefeller or George Romney, they may have done better than Goldwater–but they’d still have lost, and likely by a substantial margin too. Heck, barring a third-party run by some segregationist, LBJ would probably take the Deep South in that scenario, albeit offset by losses in the Northeast.

    Moreover, if Goldwater had been the GOP nominee in 1968, he’d probably have lost–but it’s highly unlikely it would have been by anything remotely approaching 1964 margins. Indeed, it’s likely the election would have been close no matter who the candidates were. The Democratic Party was in disarray at that point, weighed down by the Vietnam War and the disintegration of LBJ’s presidency.

    And you know what? If Goldwater had been the nominee in 1980 against Carter, then the history books would probably include someone named President Barry Goldwater.

    This notion that Goldwater was destined to always and eternally be beaten in a 60-40 rout no matter what the year is nothing more than a myth. Candidates matter, but they aren’t the only factor that matters. And there are absolutely no indications that the Dems face anything close to the favorable conditions which LBJ faced in 1964. They can win, but it’s not going to be by margins of that level (which almost never happen to non-incumbents anyway), and if you expect it to, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.

  34. de stijl says:

    @Scott:

    Why would you go out of your way to offend someone?

    Because you can. What’s the point of having privilege without using it to your advantage?

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Identity politics for white people” is not the same thing as “racism”, nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist,

    Let me help you out here Ben, “Identity politics for white people” is code for “Policies that reinforce the Racist Status Quo”. And here is another clue, it doesn’t matter one damn bit if your preferred policies are intended to keep racial minorities in socio-economic purgatory, it only matters if that is the end result. And it is.

    Ben Domenech, another name to add to the long list of complete and utter morons I can ignore for ever more.

  36. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ben Domenech, another name to add to the long list of complete and utter morons I can ignore for ever more.

    Not just a hack, but a plagarist. Got sacked from WaPo for swiping material. Check his wiki.

  37. CSK says:

    @Liberal With Attitude:

    The mob already has turned on Erickson. And on Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Bill Kristol, the entire Fox News operation, and anyone else who hasn’t professed undying love for Trump.

  38. Kylopod says:

    Note to administrators: all my comments are being sent to the spam filter for some reason, and not being posted. Please rescue the comments and allow me to start posting again. Thank you.

  39. ernieyeball says:

    @CSK:..The mob already has turned on…

    Boston Men Beat Immigrant in Trump’s Name; Trump Responds that His Followers are “Very Passionate.”
    Explains that his backers “want American to be great again.”
    Brownshirts?!?

    http://reason.com/blog/2015/08/20/boston-men-beat-immigrant-in-trumps-name

  40. Barry says:

    @Grumpy Realist: “Looks like Trump is picking a fight with Megyn again. She hasn’t said anything, he sneers at her and calls her a bimbo.”

    There’s a term, ‘the bitch-slap theory of US politics’. The idea is to do something extremely rude and aggressive, and then to dare the other side to do anything about it. Megyn is in the role of the slapped b— now. And Roger Ailes definitely does not have her back.

  41. CSK says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Trump later issued a statement “deploring” this incident, but probably only because the blowback was so intense.

    @Barry:

    His fans love this. It shows how tough he is.

  42. CSK says:

    Well, according to PPP’s latest, Trump is now polling at 35% in New Hampshire and 30% in South Carolina.

    Someone at the Trump rally in Mobile held up a large red, white, and blue sign reading: “THANK YOU, LORD JESUS, FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

  43. Blue Galangal says:

    @de stijl: I think you’re so right about that. Since 2008, I’ve noticed increasing numbers of people who are willing to say things in public that they wouldn’t have dreamed of saying ten years earlier. On Facebook, in restaurants… it’s just bizarre. In that sense, Trump seems to be channeling an id (and it seems to be a conservative leaning white male id, at that).

  44. ernieyeball says:

    @CSK:..Trump later issued a statement “deploring” this incident…

    Of the few items I can find concerning Don John Boy’s later statement on the beating this post by the Christian Science Monitor provides more subtance than the others. (Why am I not surprised?)
    Citizen Chump tweets “…but we must treat each other with respect,..”
    After all the other statements he has made I can not take this seriously.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2015/0822/Trump-changes-tone-on-homeless-man-beaten-in-Boston

  45. CSK says:

    @ernieyeball:

    Of course you don’t take it seriously. That was just a sop to convention. His poll numbers have gone up since then.

  46. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: this. I recently read this observation: there has never been an historical non-malevolent white identity movement (referring to those organized around whiteness, rather than a white ethnic identity such a Irish).

  47. Pinky says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Trump is not popular because he is saying what Republicans always said. He is popular because he is not saying the same things that other Republicans always say. He is popular precisely because he defends some level of Big Government – that´s why he is more popular among Republicans than Ted Cruz or Rubio.

    Good point. Most political movements have promised government goodies to their followers. The US has been lucky to have a party that promotes prosperity for all through good policies and small government. How much longer can that last? It’s not a natural thing. Trump could turn the Republican Party into what the Democrats think it is, just another alliance of special interests. The Democratic Party for whites.

  48. An Interested Party says:

    The US has been lucky to have a party that promotes prosperity for all through good policies and small government.

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

    No offense, sweetie, but you’re living in a dream world if you think the GOP has actually done anything about good policy and small government…ever since Obama has been president, the party has been about opposing him on just about everything…hardly “good policy”….oh, and when Republicans controlled the Congress and the White House they certainly didn’t do much to make government smaller…funny that…the rot set in long before Trump was bloviating…

  49. Matt says:

    @An Interested Party: Doubly amusing after Republicans lead the way to the biggest expansion in government seen since the great depression.

    Triple amusing because after losing the Presidency Republicans now bitch about that expansion (DHS)