Today, Bruce Bartlett, a former Republican bureaucrat in the Reagan and G.H.W. Bush administrations, published an op-ed that appeared on CNBC, explaining that he voted for Donald Trump because the Republican Party must die.
I believe that Republicans made a deal with the devil in 2009 when they embraced the Tea Party, a populist group who were just mad as hell and weren’t going to take it anymore. In Congress, the Tea Party has been aggressive in destroying all the norms that made it work for more than 200 years.
Flush with such “victories,” extremists of all shapes and sizes were attracted to the Tea Party ranks—Christian religious fanatics, gun nuts, anti-gay bigots, nativists opposed to all nonwhite immigrants, secessionists, conspiracy theorists and, of course, racists.
What binds them together is hatred. Hatred of government, yes, but also hatred of liberals, minorities, homosexuals, non-fundamentalist Christians, environmentalists, feminists, and many other groups.
I believe that only when the GOP suffers a massive defeat will it purge itself of the crazies and forces of intolerance that have taken control of it. Then, and only then, can the GOP become a center-right governing party that deserves to occupy the White House.
I wonder what this massive defeat might entail that would supposedly purge the party of crazies.
Perhaps it might be like the massive defeat in 2008 in which establishment candidate McCain lost to Obama in a landslide and a Democrat super majority was ushered into to Congress. Or perhaps it’s the massive defeat in 2012 when a beatable Obama soundly defeated the “most electable” Republican establishment candidate.
Of course nobody can credibly fault McCain for losing. After all, the economy was suffering its largest NGDP collapse since Herbert Hoover was president while GW was on his way out the door. Certainly one could not expect any Republican to do well under the circumstances of having to eat their own dog food. If I remember correctly, the Tea Party arose out of the ashes of the 2008 crisis.
And it was too bad that Mitt Romney’s moment of indiscretion about the infamous 47% was allowed to see the light of day right before the general election in 2012. Such a pity that what the candidate really thought about his potential voters grew legs and destroyed his chances at the White House. Though I really think the rude and condescending comments toward the plight of average people in economic crisis might have been a turn off even before hand. I had to hold my nose in the voting booth.
Really, I have a problem understanding what Bartlett is talking about here because if “The Donald” is nominated and defeated, everything will remain roughly the same as it was after 2012. Nothing in the party will change. The far right crazies will still be around. The stodgy, righty-tighty, crony capitalist establishment crazies will still be around. And they will still be going at each other’s throats, blaming each other for the miserable hand they’ve been dealt.
My guess is that if the establishment wants to rid themselves of the “crazies”, they should, by all means, press ahead and nominate an establishment candidate instead of the actual winner, perhaps Romney 3.0, at the convention. The party will then simply implode because there are far more rank and file than there are establishment creeps, and robbing Trump of a nomination that he fairly won at voting booths across the country will not escape their notice. I doubt they would feel thankful or relieved and it would be a guarantee of defeat. If the rank and file wanted an establishment candidate, they would have voted for Romney in 2012 instead of staying home and would have voted for one in the primaries. But they didn’t and they haven’t.