The Atlantic: A ‘Come to Jesus’ Moment for the Trump Campaign
In case you missed it yesterday, 70-some GOP members signed an open letter to the RNC chairman and current Trump wrangler, Reince Priebus, demanding that he take the RNC’s resources away from Trump and devote them instead to House and Senate races.
Doing that is a big move, politically. It’s basically the GOP admitting (three whole months out from the election, no less) that their guy is losing. Not only that, but the way it’s happening is admitting that Trump is a massive disaster, so much so that the GOP fears he’ll drag everyone else down with him, ushering in a possible landslide victory for Democrats in November.
Some time this evening, the Trump campaign will be meeting with the RNC to discuss… things. Trump and the RNC are characterising this as “just your typical meeting,” obviously. Insiders who claim to know more have characterized it as a “come to Jesus” meeting where the cards will be slapped down on the table for all to see.
It’ll be interesting to see how this resolves. Trump and his campaign have no particular staff or resources of their own. His campaign has been relying on RNC staff and money since he became the presumptive nominee. He doesn’t have anything like the kind of political staffing you need to mount a campaign. Political analysts seem to doubt that Trump is even capable of mounting any kind of serious campaign effort on his own, both monetarily and organization-wise.
If everything falls apart tonight and the RNC yanks their resources, Trump’s campaign would appear to be all but over. I’d think then the danger would come from the temper tantrum Trump might throw.
Even if he doesn’t have money or staff, the media loves to put him on the air, and it would be easy for Trump to trash the GOP establishment. Something like that – three months of that – could devastate RNC efforts, no matter what kind of money they put into down ticket races.
The RNC might be forced into the position of completely disavowing Trump, coming out strongly against him, joining the chorus of “OMG, that man is crazy” that everyone else is singing. That would alienate Trump’s base which is, somewhat embarrassingly, a fair chunk of the RNC’s base, too. The RNC would keep the Christian fundies, because they never liked Trump that much anyway, but their ignorant, racist core might defect.
In the long run, admittedly, that’s not bad. It’s a chance to clean out the GOP and regroup, and maybe in ten or twelve years, they can be a competent political party again, instead of the White Nationalist party they’ve become. It would take several years of careful handling and pruning, and a willingness to lose, a lot, for a while, but it could be done.
However, I’ve seen no real indication that the current GOP has the kind of fortitude necessary to manage such a transition.
I dunno, guys. It feels hyperbolic to say this, but we very well could be watching the end of a major political party. I’m not sure this bunch can come back from this. It’s going to make for some interesting times.