It seems odd that after an overwhelming litany of crude, demagogic insults over the course of the last year, Republican leaders have suddenly recognized that Donald Trump is a racist whose reckless rhetoric is likely to destroy the Republican Party. Evidently, the “Mexicans are rapists” comments in his announcement speech a year ago didn’t ring any alarm bells. But better late than never. Party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both decided they needed to denounce his blatant bigotry although they made clear it wasn’t a deal breaker. Better an unfit, racist, authoritarian megalomaniac than a Democrat in the White House. You go to Hades with the devil you have not the devil you wished you have.
There have been a few prominent Republicans who have publicly withdrawn their endorsements. Senator Mark Kirk said he could no longer support Trump because he doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. This has also been obvious for the last 12 months but again, it’s to his credit that he’s belatedly decided that it’s a disqualifying characteristic. He’s decided to write-in the name of General David Petraeus which he may want to re-think considering the news this week that Petraeus was not only found guilty of “mishandling” classified information by sharing it with his mistress, he also shared Top Secret information with reporters. It’s really tough finding a decent Republican to vote for these days.
(click here to continue reading Trump panic on the right: They’ve created this monster — and some are getting more desperate to find a way out – Salon.com.)
The GOP were fine with Trump up until very recently, and if you examine their various statements, very few are going as far as saying Trump shouldn’t be the GOP standard-bearer, they just want him to tone down his language a bit so as to not rile up the rubes and television bloviators. Not his ideas, not his actions, just his language describing GOP shibboleths like we must be very, very afraid of undocumented Mexicans pouring over the border by the millions, and other fact-free positions.
Or else what?
The problem with this scenario is that these elite Republicans are failing to take something very important into consideration: their voters. It’s certainly possible that they are in danger of losing some faction of the party over Trump’s repugnant behavior. But there is little reason to believe it’s a majority. This week, millions of them went to the polls and voted for him even though he had already won the nomination. Granted, he’s not the electoral juggernaut he pretends to be, but he is the legitimate winner of the Republican nomination and his voters will not take kindly to having their wishes ignored.
Moreover, the Republican rank and file doesn’t agree with the premise that Trump is out of bounds in the first place. This YouGov survey done after Trump made his bigoted comments about the judge show 81% of Democrats and 44% of independents believe they were racist. But only only 22% of Republicans agree. In other words, 78% of GOP voters are just fine with Trump and seem to agree with his statement that “people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine.”
(click here to continue reading Trump panic on the right: They’ve created this monster — and some are getting more desperate to find a way out – Salon.com.)Footnotes:
- and I’m in no way claiming she reads this blog, because why would she? Simply that we had the same reaction to recent political news [↩]