A few, isolated Republicans have started to criticize Donald Trump. Bill Kristol and the useless boys over at National Review proclaimed, “Never Trump” back in 2016, and we see how much impact they had.
Equally useless, George Will announced to no fanfare at all that he was leaving the Republican Party in June 2018. You are excused for missing this announcement, since it was not at all newsworthy.
Now a state legislator from Iowa has switched parties, noting that the body he serves in has become notably more partisan since he first won election in 1978 and that he cannot support the Party’s presumptive nominee in the 2020 presidential election. If only because he is actually an elected official, his decision is more consequential, but still unlikely to change anything.
The core problem is that Trump, whining to the contrary notwithstanding, is a model Republican. Almost no Republican in Congress dares raise a voice against him because he gives Republicans what they want. He signed their unnecessary, irresponsible tax cut into law. He keeps nominating the most retrograde Republicans, including nominees who will not state that the landmark school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education, came to the right conclusion (!), to federal judgeships.
If you needed confirmation of the lingering racism in the Republican Party, other than only eight percent of African Americans voting for Trump, here it is.
Very little has changed in Trumplandia since last November, but notice that the Democratic takeover of the House has suddenly produced significant conflict between members of the House and the administration, far more than we saw when President Obama had to deal with a Republican House. Obama managed to negotiate, mostly successfully, with the Republicans who controlled the House during most of his presidency.
Trump is even more of a disaster with Democrats in control of the House because Trump has no idea how to be president, and because he got to spend the first two years of his term with entirely compliant Republicans controlling both Houses of Congress. Now that House members are actually living up to their responsibility to exercise oversight over the administration, fights are breaking out all over.
For Republicans finally to wake up and smell the cat food, and to call Trump out for the dumpster fire that he is, is a fine thing. We need more of that. Golf clap for every individual who does so. Welcome to the side of reason and light. We promise not to rub your nose in the obvious, unavoidable fact.
But obvious, unavoidable fact it is — every person who has identified publicly as a Republican since the Nixon administration helped Trump get where he is and do what he has done. Trump is just the logical culmination of cynical Republican politics and policy since Nixon. No matter what poor Candace Owens wants to think, Nixon won on dog whistle racism, and every Republican president since then has done the same, until Trump, who won on explicit racism.
Trump is a model Republican.