The Republican Party has, collectively, lost its mind. They have flipped; they are no longer playing with a full deck. They are off their rockers. They have finally gone off the deep end. They have taken leave of their senses. It was a shock for me to realize this today, but really I can come to no other conclusion. It was the inevitable conclusion to reach if you read an article from Simon Malloy called: “GOP’s dangerous Trump gamble: Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan insist that Trump, as president, can be controlled.”
When people talk, it is sometimes up to us either to get what they are saying or let it blow by and accept it at face value. But when Malloy writes an article like this, it is clear that the Republicans are out of ideas and have nothing. Malloy writes: “With House Speaker Paul Ryan’s pathetic and inevitable capitulation to Donald Trump, the presumptive 2016 GOP presidential nominee now has the official backing of the two top Republican elected officials in the country.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, offered his pro forma backing for the Republican nominee over a month ago, immediately after Trump had bounced his last remaining rivals from the primary. Both men are, to a certain degree, forced into this position – neither could risk the political damage and controversy that would come with an outright refusal to back their own party’s presidential nominee. But they still had to come up with some sort of rationale for throwing their support behind a manifestly unqualified and dangerous presidential candidate. The answer they’ve both settled on is essentially ‘we can control this guy.’”
Have you figured this out yet? I have. In Malloy’s words:
It may seem like a plausible rationale, but the assumption they’re making is a dangerous one. Right now Trump seems to act on impulse and with little consideration for the broader impact of his actions, but what he says carries no weight or ultimate significance in terms of policy. Ryan and McConnell seem to think that the way to constrain him is to give him the authority to make his words and actions meaningful. He’s an unprincipled and ignorant goon who lusts for power, and the way to make him behave is to empower him?
Well, it makes sense to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.
What you and I ought to get out of this word salad (no reference to Malloy) is that the Republicans are now admitting that a Trump candidacy is most likely going to be a disaster. But hey, don’t forget that disaster is okay if you are a Republican. Let Trump do his damage to America and they will try to see that he doesn’t go too far. I mean, he’s a Republican so we must vote for him! Things like this are okay for Republicans.
It seems to me that the Republican Party has arrived at a place from which there is no going back. I have predicted for years in another column that the future of the Republican Party must include re-organization. By that I mean the creation of a new party for the hard right (which will crumble in a few years), with what is left of the Republican Party embodied in old men who hope to attract disciples who will accept the Eisenhower-Nixon visions of conservatism. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this soon, because if Trump thinks that he can muscle Republicans, he has forgotten that he is dealing with men who do not flinch at torture, repression and even treason to achieve their ends.
I foresee that if the real Republican establishment wants to get Trump out of the way, he will be sidelined one way or another.
Meanwhile, as Malloy writes:
And if you look at the between-the-lines message Ryan and McConnell are sending here, you realize that their argument is self-defeating. By insisting that they can control Trump, they’re tacitly acknowledging that there’s something inherently wrong with Trump that, left unchecked, would make him unfit to hold the office of the presidency. And yet, here they are arguing that they’ll both support his candidacy, even though he has these dangerous flaws. When McConnell talks about the party changing Trump, the question to ask him in response is ‘what if you can’t change him?’
Isn’t it a lot more likely that Trump will continue to change the party by pandering to the worst people in America, unless and until he is stopped? And who is going to stop him – McConnell and Ryan? I don’t think so. This pathetic argument tells you that it is better – better, they say – to vote for an unprincipled, dishonest hustler than to vote for someone who is eminently qualified to be President. It is better to vote for any Republican than to vote for a Democrat. And this year, when they say, “Any Republican,” they are saying a lot. They are saying much too much to be taken seriously.