Donald Trump hasn’t just destroyed the Republican Party. He’s nuked it. He is, as Hugh Hewitt put it this morning on The Morning Answer, a meteor that struck the Republican Party – and only now are the dinosaurs beginning to realize that the sky has turned red and the sun will no longer shine. Trump’s nomination would be an extinction-level event for the GOP.
That’s not a good thing.
The Republican Party has betrayed its principles for years. But hijacking the only plausible bridge to victory on behalf of a demagogic strongman narcissistic pathological liar means that conservatives are left with two choices: to burn that bridge, or to watch it turned into an asset for a man who will place the heads of his political enemies on its gates.
And Trump has gone further than that. He has pledged that should he not win the nomination, he’ll burn the bridge himself.
On CNN last night, Trump said his support for the Republican candidate would depend on the candidate. Since Trump believes he should be handed the nomination regardless of process, that’s a no. As I have maintained since the start, Trump’s promise to support the eventual nominee was meaningless; he qualified his pledge with the statement that he would have to be treated fairly. The minute he began to have trouble, he would whip that all-purpose excuse out of his pocket and use it. Which is what he did: “I have been treated very unfairly.”
Asked the same question by Anderson Cooper, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) answered, “Donald is not going to be the GOP nominee. We’re going to beat him.” He also said Trump would “be an absolute train wreck” and “hand the general election to Hillary Clinton.”
Ohio Governor John Kasich added his two cents: “If the nominee is somebody I think is really hurting the country and diving the country, I can’t stand behind them.”
Good. At least all the cards are now on the table. Trump supporters should know that if he is the nominee, there is no way that he becomes the president. They can whine and scream all the want that Trump deserves the nomination even if he doesn’t reach the requisite number of delegates, but if they push their luck, their man will end up getting blown out in a general.
This is called leverage. And it is a good thing, given that the alternative is handing the GOP over to Trump. So good for Cruz. Good for Kasich. Good for anyone willing to say truthfully that he or she won’t pledge to back an unnamed nominee simply out of loyalty to a party that created the groundwork for the Trump phenomenon through negligence and stupidity.