Opinion: There’s only one path out for the GOP

The cover of the 2017 Lincoln Day dinner for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, held at the Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The Republican Party came to a fork in its road a while back, and it made a fateful choice.

“We’re with Trump,” House Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly acknowledged this week. “We already made that choice. That’s a choice we made at the beginning of the year. That’s a choice we made during the campaign, which is we merged our agendas. We ran on a joint agenda with Donald Trump.”

Ryan’s phrasing — “we’re with Trump” — is both appropriate and telling. Trump isn’t with the Republican Party; the party is with him. Wherever he goes, they must now follow. Ryan, Ted Cruz and others in the party who once dared to defy him now tread obediently in his footsteps, like hound dogs after their master. In fact, in the minds of supporters and enemies alike, Trump now defines the Republican Party more fully and completely than did Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower or any figure since Abraham Lincoln.

From the economy to foreign policy to health care, the Grand Old Party no longer has steadfast principles to defend or policies to enact. It has a personality to promote and please. It has devolved into a cult of personality, and the personality in question happens to be an erratic if charismatic bully, playing president with forces and powers that he does not comprehend.

As we saw this week in elections around the country, that allegiance comes with consequences. In Virginia, a governor’s race that Trump and his allies, including Steve Bannon, hailed beforehand as a test of “Trumpism without Trump” went very badly. You know the results by now: In what had been expected to be a close race, the Republican candidate, Ed Gillespie, got swamped, as did every other GOP candidate running statewide. The carnage was even greater in down-ticket races, with Republicans losing more seats in the state House of Delegates than any party had lost since the 19th century.

Just three years earlier, in a race for the U.S. Senate, Gillespie had lost by just 0.8 of a percentage point, or 18,000 votes statewide. In Tuesday’s test of “Trumpism without Trump,” the same candidate, running in the same state but on a Trump agenda, lost by 8.9 points, or 232,000 votes statewide.

What happened? Trump happened.

Although the Republican base and many of its elected officials are clearly with Trump at the moment, campaign professionals and some clear-eyed conservatives recognize the danger. They still hold out hope of somehow separating the party’s fortunes from those of its current leader, of finding a future fork in the road that will lead them away from the destructive, divisive brand of politics that Trump exemplifies.

There’s only one feasible way that happens, one path by which that divorce can be achieved, and it is illuminated by what happened in Virginia. The only path that leads to a more responsible, sober Republican Party, a party that might be capable of governing in a way that this version is not, that allows its leaders to lead instead of having their actions dictated by talk-radio entertainers and Fox News, is through resounding defeat.

There is no path but through fire.

Reader Comments 0

1576 comments
JK1951
JK1951

Opposing socialism is the only path they need. The rest is just fluff.

Corey
Corey

Deep red Dixie and the Mountain West Militia will never abandon Trump nor his political style. The rest of us are screwed.  

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Wow! Y'all got quite a love fest going on here. But Oh, the Humanity . . . the heartbreak of TDS. Those poor deranged people. Oh when oh when will it ever end? 


Just kidding. I hope it never ends since Trump, an expert at playing  a Dem/Lib/Lame Stream Stradivarius, will once again fiddle it right back into the White House. 


What happened? In one of the first mid-term elections (famous for leaning away from the President's party (See Obama, 2009), purple Virginia finally went red, that's what happened. The population growth in the more rural south and west can no longer keep pace with the continual growth in the northern DC suburbs fueled by Dem/Lib bureaucrats, lawyers, lobbyists, lame streamers, influence peddlers, influence buyers, and so on. Government industry is to northern Virginia, and also Maryland, as Ford and GM were to Detroit in the 50's.


And here's another real "shocker" that is really "hard to believe." New Jersey, a big believer in the more government the better - and those people put their state and local taxes where their mouths are - wait for it . . . you just won't believe it . . .  they voted in a Democrat governor - the days of the Republican anomaly, Christie, having finally come to end. No, really! It happened. New Jersey voted in a Democrat. You can look it up. 


I guess with all of the TDS out there, you grab on to what you can grab on to, blow it all out of proportion, and then make ridiculous predictions. And go on blog sites and have love fests.The next thing you know, Kumbya will be coming out of the speakers while checking on what Bookman is up to today. 

Corey
Corey

@Ficklefan  The only people Trump is playing are his unthinking base.

klatutheburnerofworlds
klatutheburnerofworlds

Technically, I don’t believe Trump has any agenda other than to feed his ego and net worth. Now, what Ryan and others meant when they said they were with Trump, is that they are with Bannon, Miller and others doing the bidding of Putin and the billionaire Mercer and Koch families.

TomGaff
TomGaff

@klatutheburnerofworlds Do you really think he needs any more money? If so, explain to me why he is giving his POTUS salary($400K) to charities?

rimsky
rimsky

When my boy was in cub scout I kept a close eye on him when he and other kids went out with older people even though these grownups were members of the church.

Moore IMO should be dealt with severely.  I don't get some of the cons are trying to justify or excuse his behaviour by saying "he touched.  You cons are plain sick people.

LilRichie
LilRichie

@rimsky What can you expect when their glorious leader is the grabber-in-chief.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@rimsky  If you are referring to me, I did not justify or excuse, and I do not condone it.  I just pointed out that your mention of rape against Moore was no where near true.

gotalife
gotalife

moore = weiner.


Lose his job, his wife and his freedom.


Period.

LilRichie
LilRichie

@gotalife If the depolorabillies voted for Chump who admitted on tape that he has sexually assaulted women, then why should ol' Roy drop out of the race.

Andy158
Andy158

@LilRichie @gotalife  The one thing you can count on is Roy absolutely will not quit. Only way to get him out is arrest him. Won't happen.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@LilRichie @gotalife  Trump NEVER admitted on tape that he sexually assaulted anyone - he said when you're rich you CAN grab 'em by the pussi - not that he had.  YUUUUGE difference.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

All jokes aside it's not a laughing matter, it's very troubling to hear of accusations of grown people (man or woman) molesting children.

rimsky
rimsky

@StraightNoChaser But but touching is ok as long as rape was not performed.

If I had a 14 yr girl and found a older man touched her he will be standing on the wrong end of my 45.

gotalife
gotalife

The right are doing a great job in destroying themselves and not America.


They hit the trifecta of self defeatism,.


They destroyed their party, media and religion.


Meanwhile the left made a comeback.

rimsky
rimsky

Now putin is saying that they had to interfere with our election because about the doping episode before last year.

So it is Hillary's fault that their own people squealed on their doping scandal.?

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

You're talking about the Olympics? No one had to squeal - all the positive tests talked for them.

weechie
weechie

If a guy can brag about sexually assaulting a women and get elected president, many perverts evidently feel that they have nothing to fear.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@weechie Exactly right. So long as it is consensual than go for broke. If you agree to "give it up" I can agree to give you a promotion. It's a win win. Whats the use of having power if you don't use it. 

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@weechie


These things were going on well before trump got any votes.

LilRichie
LilRichie

@weechie It funny that Chump would say that Roy Moore ought to drop out of the race if the allegations against him are true but Chump didn't drop out of the race when he admitted on tape of sexually assaulting women.

Paul42
Paul42

I'm kinda hoping an upcoming thread will be about how General Flynn was working with Turkey during the campaign to kidnap a person living in the USA and delivering them to Turkey for $15 million.

You know, Flynn.  The guy who was Donald's National Security Advisor.  The person Acting AG Yates warned Donald and his staff could be subject to blackmail and Donald's general counsel asked "why do you care about our appointment process?" 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Nothing to see in Alabama folks, just keep it moving.  LOL


Incestuous child group-sex ring uncovered in Alabama


BAY MINETTE, Ala. — The investigation that followed has publicly unraveled what authorities describe as a dark, twisted tale of perversion in the working-class neighborhoods and piney backwoods of coastal Alabama. Eight of Wood’s adult relatives and three family friends have been charged with dozens of felonies in two counties as the alleged members of an incestuous ring that authorities say shared children for group sex. Holland was the leader, prosecutors say, of what has been described as the largest sex ring ever uncovered in Alabama. Wood was a victim and likely a key witness.


http://nypost.com/2014/11/01/incestuous-child-group-sex-ring-uncovered-in-alabama/

Andy158
Andy158

@StraightNoChaser  What's the first thing a redneck girl in Al says after losing her virginity? "Get off me daddy, you're crushing my cigarettes!"

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Andy158 @StraightNoChaser

And ^^^ there it is!

A "progressive's" view of young girls in Alabama.
Can't act like you care about Moore's accusers with comments like that.