Is the Party Over For Republicans? (Part 2)

I feel it’s important to reiterate what I said in the beginning of the first part of this story. By no means am I a political historian, nor have I ever claimed to be a journalist (though for my senior year in high school my contributions to the county paper didn’t go unnoticed). The vaguely political articles I write on Medium are meant to get folks thinking. I mention this upfront because I’m recognizing and acknowledging my limitations when talking and writing about these subjects, while also acknowledging the inherent biases and political motivations behind some of the links being shared via mainstream news. I might not necessarily agree with some of the links, especially from mainstream news and talking head sources, but it is important to acknowledge the narrative being pushed. In other words, this is my perspective on the Republican Party shit show.

If you didn’t or haven’t read Part 1, which serves as an introduction looking into the burgeoning rift slowly breaking apart the Republican Party Establishment, you can find it here and at the very end.

Deafening Defectors

For the purposes of this piece, we don’t need to look at the aftermath of revelations about how Trump grabs women. That entire incident illustrated the mental gymnastics many hypocritical Republicans made in seeking to be both for and against Donald Trump, depending on convenience (like Paul Ryan). We also don’t need to look at the mental gymnastics many leaders in the Republican party are still employing in way that kinda sorta supports Trump when it suits their needs (i.e. talking to their constituents), yet simultaneously stalling many of his plans to an extent, while doing just enough to keep him in power despite his scandal prone administration of leaks. Instead, this section focuses on several key Republicans that may, or may not be seeking to do damage to President Trump and his Republican Administration.

It’s no secret Donald Trump upset some people along the way in his journey to the White House. What may or may not (depending on levels of cynicism) surprise some folks is how certain members of Trump’s own Republican party may be looking to derail his ambitions. This isn’t meant to suggest the following people are purposefully looking to malign the President. But, it does say something when members of the President’s own party are compelled to NOT brush certain things under the metaphorical rug.

Hell, it’s not even a year into Trump’s presidency and some Republican leaders aren’t sure if they want to be associated with him on their special election campaign trails. Usually, that happens a couple years into a president’s term, especially if one is part of a political party that keeps on winning.

We’ve already looked at certain squabbling factions and advisors that are possibly leaking info to undermine political rivals, while gaining the attention and ears of the President. What’s worse, however, is that according to the conservative-leaning Daily Caller, supposedly one other person (possibly from his own staff) is actively leaking info to the press as a means of undermining and damaging President Trump. If that is true, it would be a nearly unheard of act (that I’m aware of) from someone who is supposedly on the same side of the Republican President.

There are others within the Republican Party Establishment that are continuing to be thorns in the side of the Commander in Chief.

One of those is longtime Senator John McCain. The senator from Arizona was one of the key people involved in the handling and propagating of the now infamous dossier. He also hasn’t been afraid to essentially undermine the authority of President Trump abroad, especially to allied countries of the U.S. What’s even more startling, at least among Republican circles is that, according to an article in The Week, a former Chief of Staff to McCain said that Americans’ security may depend on a Democrat getting elected in the next election cycle. Ouch!

Then there’s this whole James Comey business. Maybe you’ve heard of him? I’m not going to get into the minutiae of the sour relationship between Trump and the now former head of the FBI. However, it should be of note that Comey, a Republican, is largely credited (recently by Democrats, but also Republicans in the past) as having swung the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor. So it’s interesting to see another Republican, especially one in the intelligence community, attempt to undermine the authority of a sitting Republican president. Not to mention, Comey was a well respected figure within both the Bush and Obama administrations. However even more telling now is how, just before Comey’s testimony, many Republican leaders tried to sink his credibility. Geesh! So much for a thank you note for the help.

Radical Radicals

Please note, I considered not including the following section in the story. I recognize not everyone who tends to align with the Republican Party Establishment (or conservative ideas) agree with the following people who most view as being on the fringe. However, President Trump (and some other Republican Leaders) have either kowtowed to these groups or, worse yet, legitimized them slightly without swift renunciation.

We all know what direction this is going; the alt-right. I’m not going rehash all the ins and outs of things that were widely shared over the media about the ‘exuberant’ support the racist alt-right gave to Trump and the Republican Party Establishment. We’re not even geting into how it took Donald Trump a few days to disavow David Duke and the KKK.

One doesn’t have to look at the alt-right at all. Trump and other Republicans have, to an extent, courted this mess by associating with people like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh (even though they’re not members of the Alt-right). Hell, Trump even visited Alex Jones’s ‘amazing’ conspiracy laden show and kinda started a bro-mance between the them.

The point I’m trying to make is excellently articulated in an Atlantic article by Conor Friedersdorf,

“So it no longer matters whether one thinks Hannity is a decent person or a bad person; an earnest broadcaster or a liar; or a figure who helps or harms the Republican base. Insofar as he spreads misinformation, he risks doing harm to the United States. And while that was arguably always true, it’s easier to see the import of a man’s words when a gullible president seems ready to credulously receive them. At the unlikely climax of his career, Hannity’s job is under attack because the most powerful man in the world trusts his words in a way no similarly powerful man ever has — and with that great responsibility, with that opportunity to inform the president about any matter in the world, Hannity indulges in half-baked conspiracies.”

I’m mentioning these people and others because some people within the conservative community are seeing that these folks might be bringing in some undesirables that have been, and continue to hurt the cause of the Republican Party — like another fringe microphoned supporter of Donald Trump who feels there should be internment camps for Muslims. It also doesn’t help when Donald Trump, then campaigning, seemed to encourage a certain amount of violence at his rallies by people who were more than happy to oblige in his rhetoric.

Trump and the Republican administration have, to an extent, emboldened these kinds of people to lash out. Trump uses the official POTUS account on Twitter to employ a lot of this, what some call bullying, while others call ‘tough talk.’ It’s not hard to imagine why someone would feel empowered to punch a black protester at a rally after reading the Trump/POTUS Twitter account. Although, support for the antics of the Tweeter in Chief may be starting to wane. If this Fox News Poll is t be believed, 59% of Republican voters wish Trump would chill out with the Twitter usage.

Granted, the bullying has been going on for some time. Just ask people like Ted Nudgent who got riled up about others making metaphors. It doesn’t really help when the leaders might not even believe what they’re saying even though heir supporters actually do.

Again, these people are being mentioned because of Trump and the Republican Party’s willingness to indulge them. Not to mention the fact that Trump, like Republicans in the past, have used these rather vocal supporters to energize the Republican base in general. The trouble is, as it’s already been touched on, that can sometimes backfire. Look at the Tea Party and Freedom Caucus as examples, which are continuing to create rifts within the Republican Party Establishment. Granted, Trump isn’t helping matters much either as he gets distracted by petty arguments with MSNBC hosts, among others.

And with Trump in charge of Republicans, trying to steer the ship in his own direction while everyone else vies for his whims and attention, one can surmise that the party isn’t going to be recovering anytime soon. Unless Trump wakes up to the dysfunction, or the Republican Party Establishment somehow forces him out of office and regains power.

In cased you missed part 1, I included a link at the top, but just in case, I’m including a link here too.

Don’t worry, I picked on Democrats too. There’s a whole other series looking at the dysfunction and infighting within the Democratic Party as well. Check out the first part below.

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is a writer that always seems to be working on at least five different projects while attempting to share musings and revelations on a regular-ish basis.

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Bryce Post

is a writer that always seems to be working on at least five different projects while attempting to share musings and revelations on a regular-ish basis.