Et tu Brute, et tu? Julius Caesar
Well, this is shaping up to be a whole lot more interesting than I thought it was going to be. My original vision of the rest of 2019 and pretty much all of 2020 was that the Democrats would fumble around into next March or April, like the Chess Club trying to elect a new team captain, and then we could all put our hazmat suits on for a full body immersion into the 2020 general election toxic sludge extravaganza. But what I see forming on the horizon looks like it will be tons more fun!
I have previously written that whether it was on November 4th of 2020, or in the summer of 2023, the next time the presidential primary season rolls around, the Republican party was going to have to start coming to terms with what the party was going to look like after the reign of Emperor Numbus Nuttus. Bill Maher’s paranoid fears notwithstanding, at 12:01 on either January 20, 2021, or January 20, 2025, the Secret Service will take Donald Trump by the elbows and perp walk him out to Marine One, so that the cleaning crew can hose the place down with Clorox before the new arrival checks in.
But it’s starting to look like we’re not going to have to wait that long, and as my wife Teri likes to say, “Dis gwan be some fun, choo bet!” Look what’s happening right now in the GOP. Former Massachusetts governor William Weld is running a proxy primary campaign against Trump for the nomination by going on MSNBC and CNN all the time. Omarosa is testing the waters to see if there’s any appetite for the sale of slightly used audio tapes. Nikki Haley is coyly inflating her ego by tweeting that of course she doesn’t want to replace Mike Pence, not with 2024 so close you can almost smell it. Mark Sanford needs to get back into office again, so he can meet women on “fact finding missions” to foreign countries. Joe Walsh is tired of getting screamed at by Trump supporters on the radio, and figures he may as well check out some 5 star hotels and restaurants on supporters money and get screamed at there instead. And “The Mooch” wants to set up a Super PAC to try and bury His Lowness in “key battleground states.”
The Democrats have barely started waling away on Trump, and there’s a whole rugby scrum of Republicans that want to pile on. Remarkably, what is left of the “mainstream” Republican party has decided not to wait at least another year to see if The $1 Store Caligula leaves them anything but smoking rubble, they’ve decided individually to launch a preemptive strike to save what’s left of their clubhouse.And what a motley crew this band id disaffected ruffians are.
There is something to like for everybody in the GOP with this band of resisters, just as long as you have low moral standards. With Weld and Sanford, you have what I like to call “Jurassic GOP,” you know, your grandfathers GOP. With Haley, you have the face of what was called the “New Republican party” on the blackboard. With Walsh, you have the Tea Party 2.0 version of stuff and nonsense, and with Omarosa and Scaramucci, you have the useless leeches that latch onto any passing craze.
None of these people are going to beat Trump in the primaries of course, or even seriously challenge him individually, but en masse, they are a definite threat. For one thing, they will drive the Cheeto Prophet absolutely insane, and while he’s busy reacting to every stupid thing they do, he’s ignoring the Democrats who are nipping at his heels to excite their base, and using sound bites from “real” Republicans in attack ads against him. And if one or more of them, say a Weld from the left, and a Walsh from the right get any traction, he’ll look like a chickenshit to his base for refusing to debate them in the primaries.
But if they really do go forward with this kamikazi mission, they actually represent an existential threat to Trump. First, they provide an active resistance to Trump, and a valid threat to the assumption that this is now “the party of Trump.” And second, they remind the deflated conservative base of the “traditional” Republican party that there will be a morning after, and that maybe taking one for the team by sitting out 2020 means that they can start restoration on the party once Trump’s band of mouth breathers and bed wetters crawl back under their rocks.
And if it succeeds, this won’t just affect Trump, it will spread to the party writ large. RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel could find a revolt on her hands about the RNC continuing to support this destructive poltroon. Major GOP donors, visions of a resurgent mainstream GOP twinkling in their eyes, may sit out 2020 in order to hasten the revival. Subservient lackeys like Moscow Mitch and Leningrad Lindsey may suddenly find anger at their perpetual fluffing of Mushroom Dick boiling over as traditional Republicans start the process of “cleaning house.”
All of this is of course, pure speculation at this point. But one thing is not speculation at all. If this misfit box of broken toys actually gets off the ground and running, we aren’t going to have to wait until November 4, 2020 or January 20, 2025 to find out whether or not there’s still a viable Republican party hiding in the cellars of the bombed out GOP. How much trouble this particular pack of rats causes Trump and the RNC will be a pretty good indicator of how strong the GOP’s will to survive is. Don’t touch that dial.