Republican Efforts To Disavow Trump Now Are Too Little, Too Late

With just over three weeks before Election Day, efforts by top Republicans to disavow their party's nominee are quite clearly too little, too late.

Trump And GOP Elephant

Top GOP donors are issuing a warning to the party, but it seems like it’s far too little, far too late:

WASHINGTON — Several of the Republican Party’s most generous donors called on the Republican National Committee on Thursday to disavow Donald J. Trump, saying that allegations by multiple women that Mr. Trump had groped or made inappropriate sexual advances toward them threatened to inflict lasting damage on the party’s image.

To an elite group of Republican contributors who have donated millions of dollars to the party’s candidates and committees in recent years, the cascade of revelations related to Mr. Trump’s sexual conduct is grounds for the committee to cut ties with the party’s beleaguered standard-bearer, finally and fully.

“At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters,” said David Humphreys, a Missouri business executive who contributed more than $2.5 million to Republicans from the 2012 campaign cycle through this spring.

Bruce Kovner, a New York investor and philanthropist who with his wife has given $2.7 million to Republicans over the same period, was just as blunt. “He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president,” Mr. Kovner wrote in an email, referring to Mr. Trump.

“Even for loyalists, there is a line beyond which the obvious moral failings of a candidate are impossible to disregard,” he wrote. “That line has been clearly breached.”

Mr. Kovner argued that the Republican National Committee should shift its attention to candidates who reflected its core values, like free markets and limited government. “I hope the R.N.C. sticks to candidates who articulate these principles!” he said.

Outrage among the party’s largest financiers over Mr. Trump’s behavior has also stirred questions about the leadership of Reince Priebus, the national committee’s chairman, who has remained loyal to Mr. Trump even as dozens of Republican elected officials have abandoned his candidacy. Mr. Priebus told members of the committee on Monday that the party was enthusiastically supporting Mr. Trump, reassuring some of them.

But to some leading Republican benefactors who have advocated a tougher line with Mr. Trump, the party should have distanced itself from his candidacy well before the publication of a recording last week in which he boasted profanely about committing sexual assault.

“The R.N.C. long ago should have cut ties with Donald Trump,” said William E. Oberndorf, a California investor who has given more than $3 million to Republicans since 2012. “Reince should be fired and replaced with someone who has the competence and leadership skills to rebuild the R.N.C.”

Even some of Mr. Priebus’s longtime associates in his native Wisconsin appear to have reached their breaking point.

“Reince Priebus has to ask, how much of his soul does he want to sell for Donald Trump at this point?” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative talk show host in Milwaukee, calling on Mr. Priebus to “man up.”

Mr. Sykes also alluded to Mr. Trump’s repeated denunciations this week of Speaker Paul D. Ryan — another Wisconsinite and a close friend of Mr. Priebus’s — who said Monday that he would no longer defend or campaign for Mr. Trump. At a fund-raising event in Florida on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump told donors that he did not respect Mr. Ryan.

(…)

Even some of Mr. Priebus’s allies believe that Mr. Trump is certain to be defeated and that it is time for the party to protect its image by disavowing him.

“We’re headed for destruction,” said Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman and a longtime Florida donor, who plans to host Senator John McCain of Arizona at his house for a fund-raiser this week. “I just hope we can find a group of conservatives and moderates who are rational thinkers to re-establish the party.”

But other leading Republicans believe the party has little choice but to prop up Mr. Trump, fearing that excommunicating him would be catastrophic for other Republican candidates and all but hand over control of Congress to Democrats. And in some parts of the country, Mr. Trump has been a boon to the party.

While some Republican donors and elected officials have had it with Mr. Trump, another constituency dear to Mr. Priebus remains committed to the nominee: the 168 members of the national committee. In a series of emails shared this week with The New York Times, some Republican state chairmen and chairwomen and national committee members affirmed their support for Mr. Trump and saluted Mr. Priebus for standing by him.

“He is our candidate,” Rosie Tripp, the Republican committeewoman from New Mexico, wrote to other members of the committee. “I am dismayed by our own Republicans who are bailing like rats off a ship. He who is without sin can cast the first stone. I am sure they are not as pure as the driven snow, either.”

As the article alludes to, the reality that these warnings are far too little, far too late in the game, and that there seems to be little to anything the Republican Party can do to avoid the calamity that will come at the end of this process. As at least one donor makes clear in the excerpt above, it should have been clear long before now that Trump would become a danger to the party if he were permitted to proceed unchecked and unchallenged through the Republican primaries. It was self-evident on the day that he entered the race for the nomination via a speech that was so deeply offensive to Mexican Americans that it led to the loss of broadcast deals with Univision for the Miss Universe and related pageants, the loss of sponsorship deals with companies such as Macy’s and television deals with NBC, and the loss of at least one restaurant at Trump’s new hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. While business group and others walked away from Trump, though, the Republican Party seemed to tie itself more closely him and to do so even more the more controversial Trump became. Instead of fighting back against him, though, Republicans basically let Trump be Trump as he solidified his support and, slowly but sure, knocked candidates who otherwise seemed as though they would be far more viable candidates in a General Election contest out of the race. The fact that they now find themselves three weeks away from what is looking more and more as though it will be a disaster for the GOP not only on Election Day but for years afterward should not be a surprise to anyone.

In retrospect, it’s clear now what should have happened. Trump’s primary opponents should have been much more aggressive about attacking him and pointing out the danger he posed for the party as a whole even if it would have meant angering Trump’s die-hard supporters. They should not have let him get away with his attacks on Mexicans, women, disabled people, Muslims, and other groups, nor should they have let him get away with his childish attacks on his primary opponents, most of which focused on physical characteristics rather than substantive policy differences. They should have forced him to provide detail on his own policy positions rather than get away with the generalities that he peppered throughout his speeches. And, most importantly, they should have done their opposition research and not been afraid to reveal the truth of what they found. Imagine, for example, if a candidate or SuperPAC had uncovered the Billy Bush tape, or the recent revelations regarding Trump’s alleged predatory behavior toward women not three weeks before the General Election, but three months before the first Republican Party. Imagine if Trump’s Republican opponents had held his feet to the fire rather than cowering away in fear at the first sign of an attack from this man. Perhaps Trump would have survived all of this if it had been unleashed a year ago, but it’s also possible that it would have been enough to blunt his momentum and save the party from the damage Trumpism threatens to do the GOP.

The same goes for the GOP donors now fretting about the impact that Trump will have on the party, many of whom stood on the sidelines during the early months of the primary season rather than rallying behind a single candidate who, with the right resources, could have taken Trump on. If they didn’t want to commit to a candidate, they could have formed a SuperPAC for sole purpose of taking down Trump by any means necessary, including publicly airing the kind of accusations against Trump that now seem to be doing so much damage to his campaign. Yes, there was such an effort made eventually but it didn’t manifest itself until the spring of 2016 by which time Trump had vanquished most of his viable opponents and was coming close to wrapping up the nomination as every day went by. Given all of this, the warnings now seems to be absurdly too late. Once Trump clinched the nomination, the GOP was stuck with him and no amount of disassociation is going to change that in the mind of the average voter. The only question in November may be what price the GOP pays for waiting so long to deal with the threat that Trump presented.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Stonetools says:

    Another way to look at it is that the Republican VOTERS picked Trump-over the admittedly not very strong objections of the Party elite. If you look at it that way, the Republican Party has a much bigger problem than candidate Trump. How do you disavow not one candidate but the base of your party?

  2. CSK says:

    As Jen and i and others have pointed out, far too few people took Trump seriously until it was too late to stop him. I can’t begin to count the number of people who said, “Oh, he’ll get bored and drop out,” or “He’ll make a fool of himself and no one will vote for him.” It was pretty clear to me early on that he was a serious threat.

    It still boggles my mind that 15 million alleged sentient beings could vote for this “scat-covered baboon” (thank you, Michael Reynolds). But they did.

  3. MarkedMan says:

    There’s an old expression in business ‘the horse was already dead when he bought it, it jus hadn’t hit the ground yet.’ Essentially trump is just the body hitting the ground. If the GOP had been capable of mounting the offense you describe, it would have been healthy enough to prevent him in the first place.

    In my five cent analysis, there are three crucial
    GOP decisions that led to this:

    1) Nixon and the party establishment making the deliberate choice to try to recruit southern bigots into the party
    2) Gingrich’s 50% + 1 rule
    3) The Hastert rule

    The first meant that the party ingested a racist element that slowly poisoned the party from within

    The second meant that the party inevitably bought constant and bitter division as a permanent feature of the Congress

    The third meant that they were putting themselves at the mercy of the most extreme elements of their own party, since they can’t afford even a single defection

    And so they have literally become the home of the most racist and divisive people, and trained them that the battle is all that matter and results that involve any whiff of compromise are evidence of treachery. So this party is incapable of actually being for anything or accomplishing anything, and it’s member rise to prominence by portraying every issue as the battle to save civilization where no quarter can be given. Inevitably, they Now routinely spurn truth and facts themselves as they clash with the worldview they have trained the party members on.

  4. barbintheboonies says:

    Everyone should have shunned him from the start. Kicked him aside like an old shoe. The media ate him up. They loved all this drama, and the crowd went wild. Him being like a little boy ate it up and got even more outrageous. Now the media bosses are getting told stop it`s not funny anymore. The Trump supporters investor`s now are afraid they won`t get the return. I say WAH WAH to that. Now what to do, OH yea there must be someone who called fowl on him before we`ll just use that .Ya think? He`s a rich dirty old man of course he has lots of dirt. They did not even dig far, because they already had it and thought most people wouldn`t notice. Give the people some credit, we are not all idiots. What I`ve been saying all along, They want things to change in Wa. and this was their chance to set a fire under their ass`s. They got what they deserved.

  5. Pch101 says:

    They should not have let him get away with his attacks on Mexicans, women, disabled people, Muslims, and other groups

    You want the Republicans to stop being Republicans?

    “We have put a man on the moon, we can build a fence! Now, my fence might be part Great Wall and part electrical technology…. It will be a 20-foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top, and on this side of the fence, I’ll have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!” — Herman Cain, 2011

    “Many Hispanics, as a matter of fact, you know what culture they are assimilating to? The rap culture, the crime culture, anti-cops, all the rest of it.” — Pat Buchanan, 2006

    This is the party that looked the other way and lent tacit support for birtherism, and that keeps banging on about “radical Islam” as if alienating every Muslim on the planet is a bright idea.

    Trump isn’t some outlier, he just lacks certain social graces that one is supposed to have when one is demeaning minority groups and women.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    far too few people took Trump seriously until it was too late to stop him.

    Yeah, that was me. My argument was that Trump couldn’t be serious as he would never allow his tax returns to be released, nor would he want his sexual past dredged up. It is this kind of thing that keeps me humble.

  7. Lit3Bolt says:

    Trump ditched the dog whistles. That’s what did his opposition in. He was racist and sexist and fascist and proud of it. And now the socially conservative “religious” GOP base is proud of it, too.

    So my question to fiscal conservatives, do you really want to be stuck associating with conspiracy-peddling Neo-Nazi crowd or can you suck it up and accept some compromise on legislation and regulation with Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and a liberal Supreme Court?

    Because associating with these insane elements of the GOP is the price of keeping your taxes low.

    Stop flirting with fascists.

  8. Mark Ivey says:

    “I love watching “The Don” pouring gasoline on the burning Republican party though.

    🙂

  9. al-Alameda says:

    He is our candidate,” Rosie Tripp, the Republican committeewoman from New Mexico, wrote to other members of the committee. “I am dismayed by our own Republicans who are bailing like rats off a ship. He who is without sin can cast the first stone. I am sure they are not as pure as the driven snow, either.”

    If only Republicans had done ‘opposition research’ – aka vetting – on their own candidate back in November 2015, folks like Rosie Tripp wouldn’t be dismayed by the rush to jump ship now.

    Republicans have done 25 years of opposition research on Bill and Hillary Clinton, and it seems that they could spare 25 hours of time to look into Donald Trump.

    One thing seems very clear now, 18 months ago as we were going into this campaign season, Republicans were telling any one who cared to listen, that this was the deepest field of potential candidates they had in many years. Well, a mile wide and an inch deep would describe that field. It was a weak field that could not handle an outsider like Trump.

  10. barbintheboonies says:

    I`m sorry stonestools I clicked the wrong button I did like what you said.

  11. Mu says:

    This is just the outcry of the people that still think there should be a property ownership requirement for voting. For centuries they made up for it by funneling “the voter” through paid for parties. And suddenly all their money is going down the drain, years of brand creation wiped out by a single populist who managed to do an end run around the system they sunk a lot of money in.
    They know this year is lost, and with the American propensity to reelect, probably 2020 too. But they want to salvage something from this to at least be back in charge by 2024.

  12. barbintheboonies says:

    Oh Donald won`t go down without a fight I`m sure. The only thing that will make him just go away is ignore him. He lives for attention, adoration.

  13. Pete S says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Trump ditched the dog whistles. That’s what did his opposition in. He was racist and sexist and fascist and proud of it. And now the socially conservative “religious” GOP base is proud of it, too.

    Good luck to the GOP getting this toothpaste back in the tube. This voting block of the base is quite large and I cannot see them supporting any candidate who does not pander to their idiotic beliefs. This effectively gives them the power to control most nominating contests.

  14. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It’s still difficult to come to terms with the fact that everything that’s loathsome about this creature–his racism, misogyny, xenophobia, vulgarity, and appalling ignorance–is what made him appealing to fifteen million.

  15. dxq says:

    “You claim the mantle of the party of family values and this is the guy you nominate?”

    -President Obama, yesterday

  16. dxq says:

    Obama also criticized Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott for fueling a conspiracy theory that the president was attempting to launch martial law in Texas, pretending they didn’t know about a military training exercise.

    “What do you mean, you don’t know? What does that mean? Really? You think that like, the entire Pentagon said, ‘Oh, really, you know, you want to declare martial law and take over Texas? Let’s do it under the guise of routine training missions,’” Obama said. “They took it seriously. This is in the swamp of crazy that has been fed over and over and over and over again.”

    POTUS DGAF

  17. Grumpy Realist says:

    And you go over to TAC and discover that tons of people are justifying their support for Donald Trump “because Hillary’s worse!!!!”

  18. barbintheboonies says:

    @CSK: If a monkey would have been able to run, they would have voted for that too. The people are sick of being mistreated. They want something back on their investment too. We pay taxes on things that are taxed over and over. The rich get to put their money in tax shelters. When we get a break the local tax man comes in and taxes that too. People are fed up. One thing though one person is not promising anything, so we know we will be getting nothing. That`s the truth.

  19. dxq says:

    “They don’t get credit for, at the very last minute, when finally the guy that they nominated and they endorsed and they supported is caught on tape saying things that no decent person would even think, much less say, much less brag about, much less laugh about or joke about, much less act on,” Obama said at the dinner.

    “You can’t wait until that finally happens and then say, ‘Oh, that’s too much, that’s enough,’ and think that somehow you are showing any kind of leadership and deserve to be elected to the United States Senate,” he continued. “You don’t get points for that. In fact, I’m more forgiving of the people who actually believe it than the people who know better and stood silently by out of political expediency.”

  20. Andrew says:

    Republicans do not have a long term problem. Sorry, but they do not. If their base is so gullible as to fall in line behind a blatantly pathological liar such as Trump. Where every week they have to come up with new justifications for him…The GOP will have them back in line within a couple of years. If not sooner.

    They know they have a large group of Dug’s. The GOP will give them a new squirrel to chase.

  21. dxq says:

    “If your only agenda is negative — negative’s a euphemism — crazy — based on lies, based on hoaxes, this is the nominee you get,” Obama said about the Republican leaders. “You made it possible.”

  22. PJ says:

    @Stonetools:

    How do you disavow not one candidate but the base of your party?

    You grow a spine and do what the Democrats did in the 60’s.

  23. slimslowslider says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    I cannot get enough of TAC these days. So much twisting and frothing! I can hear the teeth gnashing! Still have no idea what Elitecomminc is talking about though. Always enjoy your posts over there, by the way.

  24. cian says:

    They should not have let him get away with his attacks on Mexicans, women, disabled people, Muslims, and other groups,

    To be fair, Doug, they were kind of confused. He was saying out loud what they’d being whispering for years. It took them a while to realize this wasn’t maybe a good idea and overcome their temptation to go Trump too.

  25. MBunge says:

    So, these donors were perfectly fine with a Republican Party that…

    1. Denied climate change because Al Gore is fat.
    2. Was, almost universally, unwilling to admit the Iraq War was a mistake even in 2016.
    3. Had taken the world economy to the brink of destruction by refusing to raise the debt limit.
    4. Had its most prominent members implicitly egg on the racist Birther nonsense by specifically and repeatedly rufusing to denounce and condemn it in clear and plain English.
    5. Had demogogued the issue of immigration for 20 years.
    6. Gleefully destroyed the budget discipline achieved during the 90s.
    7. Embraces a neo-feudalist economic theory that so-called job creators are the source of all prosperity.
    8. Is currently subverting our Constitutional order by denying the President his right to nominate someone to the Supreme Court.

    And the list could go on and on and on.

    Donald Trump is not the problem. He is the response to the problem these rich jerks helped to create.

    Mike

  26. Loviatar says:

    Just a reminder:

    James Joyner is still a Republican

    Doug Mataconis is a Libertarian who claims to only vote Republican

  27. grumpy realist says:

    Here’s a good article on Trump’s continuing supporters.

    The only thing that comes to mind is: “you can’t fix stupid.”

    I hate to be crass, but is it at all possible that the reason these people aren’t succeeding in life (and looking around for a “savior”) is BECAUSE they’re the sort of gullible idiots who would fall for a conman?

    Naah, impossible…..

  28. Blue Galangal says:

    @PJ: David Frum, to his credit, warned about this in 2010 and got drummed out of the party for it. Letting the conservative infotainment complex wag the GOP dog is great for the individual entertainers’ bank accounts but ultimately devastating to the party qua party. There is no clear leadership. There is no equivalent to LBJ, no one to whom the denizens of the fever swamps will listen. There’s no Wm. F. Buckley. There are no elder statesmen or even middle-aged statesmen who can command the ears of the fever swamp or who display anything resembling principles and leadership. For years many people, including commenters here, have been warning about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. That is essentially what’s happened. The iceberg was hit a while ago. The damage is becoming only too clear now.

    I don’t know how the GOP comes back from this.

  29. cian says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    The people are sick of being mistreated.

    Yeah, but, if you’re being honest, and we’re talking Trump supporters here, mostly white people, from southern states. And not so much ‘mistreated’ as not being treated better then those ‘others’ anymore.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @slimslowslider: EliteComminc has made a fetish out of his celibacy and it has rotted his brain to the point that he has no idea what reality is or how women are in fact treated in the world.

    That’s my take on it, anyway.

  31. Pch101 says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    There’s no Wm. F. Buckley.

    _______________

    Again, let us speak frankly. The South does not want to deprive the Negro of a vote for the sake of depriving him of the vote…

    …The central question that emerges–and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal–is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes–the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the median cultural superiority of White over Negro: but it is fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists…

    …So long as it (the South) is merely asserting the right to impose superior mores for whatever period it takes to effect a genuine cultural equality between the races, and so long as it does so by humane and charitable means, the South is in step with civilization, as is the Congress that permits it to function.

    National Review, 1957

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/10/from_national_r.html

    Oh, the Republicans have plenty of William F. Buckleys.

  32. SenyorDave says:

    @barbintheboonies: Oh Donald won`t go down without a fight I`m sure. The only thing that will make him just go away is ignore him. He lives for attention, adoration.

    Can’t ignore Donald. The whole tone of his campaign, his alt-right connection has to be addressed. When he starts talking about the “international bankers” and the attempts to plot destruction of US sovereignty” he’s using classic antis-semitic code words. Combine that with his past racist remarks and you rally start to see he’s a classic White Nationalist. Other than not actually joining the klan, I don’t see much distance between Trump and David Duke.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Loviatar: I think I understand James’ sticking with the party–he’s still trying to reform it from the inside. If all the decent people leave, then you really are dealing with the crazies.

    The problem is–what is your snapping point? At what point do you realize you’re just being used as a Useful Idiot to cover up what will be a party going totally over the edge? When Trump’s followers riot when their Il Duce doesn’t get elected? When the future Republican party writes a policy for concentration camps for Muslims? What will be the Bridge Too Far? At what point does one get out of Berlin?

    Right now, the people with financial clout in the Republican Party are the Establishment Republicans. Then there’s the Base, which is composed of people off the deep end, people who the leaders of the Republican Party have been stringing along for years with all sorts of promises while passing tax cuts and keeping the borders open.

    This is the year that the Base realized it has been lied to over and over again, and it is FURIOUS.

    So of course they fall into the clutches of another con-man…..

    Figures.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    In order to stand by their principles Republicans would have to know what their principles are, and that’s hard when all your stated positions are lies.

    See,”small government” was never anything more than “Stop civil rights.” “Family values” was never anything more than “maintain white male dominance.” “Pro life” was largely just “anti woman.”

    When you lie about what you believe, and what you actually have in your heart is racism, misogyny, bigotry and a hunger for scapegoats, it’s very hard to remember which principle you’re supposed to defend: the bullshit principles you mouth to stop people knowing what a pig you are, or the things you actually believe.

    Republicanism – Bullshit = Trumpism.

  35. Argon says:

    This concern troll questions the timing of this news. Clearly it’s being foisted by Killery and the librul media in October to hurt Trump’s chances. Just because Trump’s behavior was well known months before the GOP primaries is no excuse for choosing until now to reveal how many in the GOP would like to distance themselves him.

    Plus, first class seats in 1980 didn’t have folding armrests, Trump has his own plane, they never punished JFK for his infidelities and never investigated Bill Clinton even once. Therefore conspiracy!

    … Is that an approximate summary of the current wingnut o’sphere?

  36. Blue Galangal says:

    @Pch101: Believe me, I’m not holding Buckley up as anything but an example of how even a dyed in the wool racist was willing to ban the denizens of the fever swamp from the party because of the threat they represented to his mainstream political party and his political goals/aspirations.

    Ultimately, however, he played a pivotal role in creating the modern-day Republican party by that action; some could argue that he only prolonged its demise as we watch them turn on each other. “There’s no one left but thee and we, and we’re not sure of thee.”

  37. Gustopher says:

    @Stonetools: “How do you disavow not one candidate but the base of your party?”

    By endorsing the opposing party’s candidate? If the Republican leadership — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, etc. — were to publically announce that Trump is unfit and unacceptable, and that everyone should hold their noses and vote for Clinton, it would drive the racist, misogynist rabble out of the Republican Party. (to the Constitution Party? Not sure)

    It would end up triggering a political realignment that would give us political turmoil for the next decade, and who knows where things would end up.

    Not that I think there is any chance of the Republican leadership doing that, but it would effectively disavow the worst elements of the base.

  38. barbintheboonies says:

    @PJ: Yes we took to the streets, but if you noticed Occupy was demonized in the press, and now Black lives matter movement getting the same treatment. When the media chose to divide us they had a plan in mind. I should say the press did as they were told. Keep the masses occupied fighting each-other, and they can go on abusing us all. I know I sound very cynical, but I`ve been around a long time. I have never seen us so divided before. I guess it is like Germany just before Hitler took over. First Demonize, create fear, arrest anyone who opposes too strongly. Make them out to look like nuts. Then when they are arrested they have a record, if they choose to make these felonies, they take away your rights. No voting, you see where this leads to. I hope I am wrong.

  39. Loviatar says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I think I understand James’ sticking with the party–he’s still trying to reform it from the inside. If all the decent people leave, then you really are dealing with the crazies.

    I tend to agree with your thesis, however that leads to my real question; what next for these “decent people”?

    In my opinion they’ve shown they’re not that decent. They’ve shown that they are willing to sell the country to a fascist demagogue for nothing more that a return to white male privilege (James Joyner) or a marginally lower tax rate (Doug Mataconis). That doesn’t seem very decent to me.

    Also, for those who will claim that James and Doug never supported Trump, yes you are absolutely correct. What I am saying is they have and continue to support Trump’s ideas, his philosophy and his ideology. As the President said in his speech yesterday, they (the Republican elite) built this, all Trump did was move in and slap his name on the front of the building.

  40. barbintheboonies says:

    @Gustopher: Or maybe they will just vote for another candidate someone less crazy. There still are a few alternatives, so what if they lose, they`ll escape, well not completely the ridicule they would otherwise endure.

  41. Pch101 says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Buckley opposed the Bircher’s antisemitism and he was obviously a lot more genteel than Trump.

    But conservatives ultimately default to heritage and tradition, as adoration for the past is the essence of what makes a conservative a conservative. Since American heritage is so deeply tied to race — this country began with about one-fifth of the population in chains — racial issues go hand-in-hand with much of the movement.

    At their most liberal, conservatives claim that racism is bad while denying its existence in the modern era. They make natural allies for the bigots who take advantage of that apathy.

    Now that the major parties are aligned along left-right lines, it is no wonder that Trump’s rhetoric flourishes. There is virtually no one with the GOP who genuinely cares enough about it to do anything. Speaking out vigorously against racism gets one labeled as a “social justice warrior”, and God forbid if anyone expresses any concern for social justice.

  42. barbintheboonies says:

    @cian: I guess I mean lied to. I vote for things to make things better most of us. It`s hard to please everyone. Most of the time I get to pay for things I call a big waste of money, that I do not have much of. Some of us are just hanging on. Why should I pay for a lifetime congressman or woman for their service that is up They are all millionaires. I can hardly pay for my health insurance, but I pay for theirs. Angry YOU BET

  43. Moosebreath says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “”small government” was never anything more than “Stop civil rights.””

    I am going to narrowly disagree with you on this point. “Small government” was always about class warfare on behalf of the upper classes. “Law and order” was always about stopping civil rights.

  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher: If the Republican leadership — Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, etc. — were to publically announce that Trump is unfit and unacceptable, and that everyone should hold their noses and vote for Clinton, it would drive the racist, misogynist rabble out of the Republican Party.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t what would happen. There wereRepublicans in the leadership who felt this way – and they were primaried out of the party. The road to this GOP hell is paved with literally hundreds of decent courageous Republicans. All that is left are those that will go along to get along. If one of them finds a backbone, they’ll be primaried out. If Ryan and McConnell were to disavow the Hastert rule, they would lose his chairmanship inside a week and his seat at the next election.

  45. DrDaveT says:

    @Pch101:

    At their most liberal, conservatives claim that racism is bad while denying its existence in the modern era.

    Not quite. At their most liberal, conservatives admit that racism is bad and still exists, but claim that any kind of government response to racism is counterproductive and only makes the problem worse and is itself racist. It’s closely analogous to recognizing that extreme wealth inequality is not a good thing, but saying that the government should never do anything about it, because Socialism.

  46. gVOR08 says:

    @Stonetools: @barbintheboonies: After the second debate I commented here that it looked like Trump had given up on Plan B, winning, and had fallen back to Plan A, the TRUMP political infotainment network. I see this morning VOX has an interview with Republican strategist, and rational person, Steve Schmidt saying the same thing. Trump will declare he lost to Crooked Hillary because of a Rigged System ™ and he and Ailes and Bannon and Hannity are going to take the rubes away from FOX.. They may well call it a Party and nominate a prez candidate. In that event the Republican Party doesn’t have a choice about how to deal with the base, TRUMP will take them away. The GOP establishment will then face a period in the wilderness deciding whether to go with TRUMP, join the Dems, or try to carve back enough from left and right to form a viable center right party. Most likely fracture and some of them go each way.

    The future of the R Party is becoming a much more interesting subject for discussion than Trump.

  47. dxq says:

    Loviatar says:
    Friday, October 14, 2016 at 11:31
    Just a reminder:

    James Joyner is still a Republican

    Doug Mataconis is a Libertarian who claims to only vote Republican

    we think they’re capable of learning, though, so we’re being patient with them. If we just wanted to laugh at idiots we’d go to Gateway Pundit, WND, the WSJ Editorial Page, Brietbart…

  48. MarkedMan says:

    In this journey the GOP took into the mire, even the sane Republicans deserve some of the blame. At the very least, they established a standard: If a fellow Repub said something that seemed to be racist or sexist or disparaging of the poor or weak, but through some twisted interpretation it could be taken as innocent, then that innocent interpretation had to be accepted as the default unless proven otherwise. No matter how many times it occurred. In this way the sane Repubs wrapped their mantle around the bigots and racists.

    And this is certainly something that can happen in the Democratic or any other party. It is an object lesson for us all.

  49. dxq says:

    If Ryan and McConnell were to disavow the Hastert rule, they would lose his chairmanship inside a week and his seat at the next election.

    Ryan’s gotta give up the speakership ASAP. If he works with President Hillary and doesn’t threaten to ruin the US economy in order to get insane House Freedumb Caucus shit passed, he’s a Collaborator and will never have a good run at the Presidency.

  50. PJ says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I think I understand James’ sticking with the party–he’s still trying to reform it from the inside. If all the decent people leave, then you really are dealing with the crazies.

    But the obvious question is then, what are they, and I’m talking in general, doing to try to reform it from the inside?

    Are they arguing on blogs and complaining on twitter and facebook? Or are they running for office or turning up to vote in primaries?

    Because if it’s the former then you won’t get results if in the end you will vote for almost any person as long as he or she is a Republican.

    The GOP failed to learn in 2008.
    The GOP failed to learn in 2012.
    Why would anyone think that it will somehow grow a spine and a brain after this election?

    Decent people need to leave the GOP and let it die, then the decent people can create something that isn’t rotten to the core.

  51. Blue Galangal says:

    @MarkedMan: If all of them did it? If they all turned their back on Trump? It could theoretically work – because there’d be no place to retreat. The Trump supporters would have to start their own party. But there’s no agreement or even acknowledgement that Trump is bad among those now calling themselves Republicans. The Tea Party caucus, or whatever they’re calling themselves now, is going to ride that Trump missile all the way to Russia.

  52. grumpy realist says:

    Oooh boy, there’s a few really nasty accusations coming out now….Can’t link to it, but look at what’s coming out at the WP right now.

    The dam broke, guys. The dam broke.

    I realize Trump’s Chumps will support him through anything, but I think a lot of Republicans (especially female Republicans) are going to be taking a look at themselves in the mirror and saying “no, I can’t vote for that.”

  53. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    They did not even dig far, because they already had it and thought most people wouldn`t notice.

    Who is the “they” in this sentence? Could you be a bit more specific?

  54. dxq says:

    the gop problem isn’t just trump. here’s what paul ryan said yesterday:

    “What vision to Hillary Clinton and her party offer the people? They want an America that doesn’t stand out. They want an America that is ordinary. There is a gloom and grayness to things,” he continued. “In the America they want, the driving force is the state. Where we are ruled by our betters, by a cold and unfeeling democracy that replaces original thinking. A place where the government twists the law and the constitution itself to suit its purposes. It’s a place where liberty is always under assault. Where passion, the very stuff of life is extinguished. That is the America Hillary Clinton wants.”

    First off, this is just horseshit. Second, how can people look at that and think Trump is qualitatively different?

    The republican problem goes to the roots.

  55. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You may drop the mic now. God damn.

    Honestly, post that everywhere, because that Shi’ite will go viral.

    I’m only mildly jealous. =) Go MR.

  56. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    See,”small government” was never anything more than “Stop civil rights.”

    I think there’s a lot more to it than that. John K. Galbraith, the Krugman of the 60s, talked about “countervailing power”. The only forces that could stand up to the power of large corporations were powerful unions and government. They’ve gotten rid of powerful unions.

  57. grumpy realist says:

    Great article by Matt Tabbi over at Rolling Stone.

    I can’t help but quote one of his comments:

    Trump’s shocking rise and spectacular fall have been a singular disaster for U.S. politics. Built up in the press as the American Hitler, he was unmasked in the end as a pathetic little prankster who ruined himself, his family and half of America’s two-party political system for what was probably a half-assed ego trip all along, adventure tourism for the idiot rich.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    Turns out the Cheeto-Jesus didn’t donate to 9.11 charities like he says he did.
    Appears the only thing he tells the truth about is sexually assaulting women.
    http://www.salon.com/2016/10/14/report-donald-trump-may-have-lied-about-giving-money-to-911-charities/

  59. gVOR08 says:

    @grumpy realist: Thanks.

    Everybody, worth clicking through if just for the illustration.

  60. Pch101 says:

    @DrDaveT:

    At their most liberal, conservatives admit that racism is bad and still exists, but claim that any kind of government response to racism is counterproductive and only makes the problem worse and is itself racist.

    That sounds like the Ayn Rand wing, not the “moderates.”

    I would suggest that the furthest left that the GOP goes is to say that racism is a thing of the past, so we should stop talking about it and focus on this wondrous meritocracy. Resources are unevenly distributed because some people are lazy.

  61. bookdragon says:

    @MarkedMan: There’s a lot of truth to that. Most of the Republicans left are basically spineless opportunists like Ryan.

    I can’t help but chuckle every time Pence uses ‘feckless’ to describe Obama. Talk about projection…

  62. DrDaveT says:

    @Pch101:

    That sounds like the Ayn Rand wing, not the “moderates.”

    Fair enough. It just highlights, though, that the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are useless for describing factions within the GOP at this point. There is no one left in the party who believes that government has any legitimate role at all, unless it is (faction A) re-establishing white male supremacy by force, or (factions B and C) making everyone else behave the way faction B/C thinks God wants them to.

  63. grumpy realist says:

    Whee–it’s becoming a total meltdown. So far, Trump has provided the defense of “all those women are liars, they weren’t attractive enough to grope!” and complaining that no one has heard anything about President Obama molesting someone (so obviously everyone is against him) and it’s obviously a conspiracy between the Clintons and the media….

    Holy sh*t. At this rate he’s going to get carted off in a strait-jacket before the election. Seriously.

    And this is the candidate your Base thinks is a brilliant genius, Republicans.

  64. Andrew says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Holy sh*t. At this rate he’s going to get carted off in a strait-jacket before the election. Seriously.

    Maybe even divorced…again.

  65. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Blue Galangal: Buckley was simply better at sugarcoating the message in a veneer of pseudo-intellectualism.

    No, I’m not racist, in fact I’m genuinely appalled and disillusioned at the fact that they are simply inferior to whites.

    The difference between him and Charles Murray, is that not everyone will listen to Charles Murray and not sagely any more.

  66. MarkedMan says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    If all of them did it? If they all turned their back on Trump?

    Sure. But I guess what I’m saying is that it can’t happen because all the Republican office holders who had that kind of principles and courage have been primaried out of the party.

  67. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist:

    complaining that no one has heard anything about President Obama molesting someone

    I don’t think that was a complaint. I think that was Trump being his clever self and trying to send the message “hey women who support me, go out and claim Obama molested you.” And he thinks he is being tricky and devious. My god, the French would chew him up and spit him out, never mind the Chinese or the oil states.

  68. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: Either that, or he thinks that all powerful men obviously grope women because they can get away with it. Look at his friends–Robert Ailes.

    I don’t know which mindset is more ick-inducing.

  69. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Spelling correction: “not” should have been “nod.”

  70. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    See, small government was never anything more than Stop civil rights.

    I thought about this, and I’ve decided that you’re not quite right. It’s worse than that, and more general.

    As best I can tell, a preference for “small government” translates invariably into a preference for corrupt local government over federal bureaucracy, and is in turned linked to a belief about which would best protect personal interests. This is what rich businessmen and poor white blue-collar workers have in common: the businessman knows his wealth has more influence locally, and the worker knows that the local power structure favors white males over others, at all levels of society, more than the federal government does.

    Conservatism is about protecting clout. ‘Small’ government does that more consistently and more effectively, by devolving more functions to the level that is most corrupt and most influenced by local culture.

  71. barbintheboonies says:

    Had to go out today thought I would listen to radio talk, and see how they were going to spin The Trump Saga. Rush says come on people this stuff happens every election. I`ll paraphrase. The democrats accuse the republican of some kind of scandal. Why are these women coming out now, and a lot more BS I cannot remember it all. The thing is they believe all the women who accused Bill Clinton, but not the women who accuse Trump. People called into his show and still think Trump is their guy. It was the same way on the Lars Larsen show.

  72. grumpy realist says:

    Yes, Donald, I’m sure someone who proclaims he procured children for British MPs sex orgies is a great witness to your not molesting the woman on the airplane.

    Do these idiots realize that, contrary to The Donald’s “nuh uh! I never was on the same plane with her!” they’ve now blown THAT defense up as well?

  73. JR says:

    @cian: This. We need to stop beating around the bush here when it comes to Trump supporters. On average, they make around 72K (median income in the US is 56K), and they all have jobs that is less likely to be effected by globalization.

    This people are just angry bigots. These are privileged, middle-aged white guys, who are upset because they aren’t first in line anymore and the country doesn’t look like it did when they were young.

    Seriously, screw these people.

  74. An Interested Party says:

    Wow, desperation breeds all kind of odious and stupid things

    GOP Mailer: We’ll Tell Your Neighbors If You Vote Democratic

  75. barbintheboonies says:

    Oh I just remembered one of the lines Lars Larsen through out.” Some call these women nuts and sluts” This is why more women don`t come forward, and sometimes wait for someone else to make the first move. You want it to all just go away when this is happening to you. After awhile it does, then you realize the person who humiliated you goes on and does it to someone else.

  76. Tyrell says:

    Whenever I see this Gloria Allred lawyer show up on tv, you can bet there’s big money to be made.

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @slimslowslider: By the way, thanks for your comment on my posts!

  78. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “Whenever I see this Gloria Allred lawyer show up on tv, you can bet there’s big money to be made”

    Having been on the other side of one of Allred’s more insane crusades way back in grad school, I have nothing but contempt for her. But if she can pry money out of Trump — that works for me!