Who will survive the GOP Purge?
July 21, 2016 by William K. Wolfrum
On Nov. 9, the purge begins. Donald Trump, his work utterly destroying the GOP completed, will move on to Trump TV, becoming a white nationalist leader or whatever third-rate scam he comes up with next. But what of those left behind?
The de-Trumpification process should be fast and furious (pun intended because they deserve to be taunted). A simple truth will become clear: A white nationalist movement led by a lunatic moron is no way to guarantee the future of the party. The beating that will occur on Nov. 8 will be akin to all the other times the far-right has been obliterated, going back to the Civil War. Every 50 years or so, the crap rises to the top and needs to be flushed. In order to survive, the GOP will need to cast out – or at least put clamps on – Trump sympathizers.
Guys like Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani went into all of this with nothing to lose, anyway, and they’ll be consigned to some dank corner of Fox News. Others, like Joni Ernst and Mike Pence, will continue to have success on the state levels because their brand of crazy will always sell.
But for those with national ambitions, this is a make or break moment.
First off, let’s give him the credit he deserves. Cruz smartly dropped out of sight after dropping out of the Presidential race, only to reappear with a vengeance at the Republican National Convention. Taking full advantage of the amateurish production, Cruz disrespected Donald Trump in the most delicious way – he completely ignored him, not endorsing him an iota. Extra bonus points for getting chased out of a GOP convention with his wife and then doubling down on all of it.
Theoretically, Cruz should dominate the post-Purge. But there is one problem – everyone on planet Earth think he’s the biggest tool in an overflowing toolbox. By far. The dislike of Cruz is the stuff of legends. And he just made it all worse.
Cruz is a young man with unsettling ambition and we’ll be dealing with him for eons, yet. But he’ll never be the leader of the GOP. He may use some Underwoodian tactics to gain temporary power, but the simple fact is that it’s not Cruz’s heinous beliefs and words that make him hated. It’s the fact he’s an unrelenting asshole.
For what it’s worth, the Jebster has been a solid Never Trumperer from the start. The bad news is that Jeberino let Trump go all Ramsay Bolton on him. It was ugly and unforgettable. It was Jebtacular (ok, ok) beat down. He left himself in position to come back, but he’s not getting elected to anything again. That level of weakness just won’t play among conservatives, cuck- or otherwise.
Here’s the thing with Christie: A lot of people are acting all confused about why he became Trump’s personal lap dog. As though this is some strange thing that is out of character. But I present you with this: I say this is exactly who Chris Christie is – an authoritarian bully who rolled over and showed his tummy when presented with a bigger and better bully. Thisi s who he is. This who he aspires to be.
Plus it’s possible that he saw Trump as a way to stay out of jail. Instead, his career is over as he will be considered the ultimate Trump sympathizer. And he’ll probably go to jail, anyway.
The Speaker of the House tried to play this right down the middle – keep Trump praise to a bare minimum, but keep himself in the game by doing his party duty. The result has been dismal. Ryan has come off as feckless and weak in trying to bring the party together. An opportunity for a Speaker to show strong leadership and not attend the Convention was there for Ryan. Whatever punishment he’d have taken would have been minimal. He’s going to lose the Speaker position soon enough, anyway
Ryan is the ultimate missed opportunity here. He’ll never be someone who can inspire with words and his appearance. But here was an opportunity to show himself a leader who had strong values. The opening was there for leadership, but he instead chose the weakest route. Maybe all Ryan really wants is to be the guy to kill Social Security. Who knows? But he’s Mitch McConnell now.
Romney came out against Trump hard and early. He set his feelings in stone and never backed down. He still looks like Mitt Romney. He’ll be 74 in 2020. He seems like the most moderate of moderates now. Face it, the GOP will be Romneyland again. Because by the time Trump is done, the GOP will be happy with making America great again, like it was in 2012.