Peter Wehner, a longtime Republican who announced this week that he would be leaving his party after being a member for decades, has written an essay in the New York Times with Brookings Institute fellow Jonathan Rauch begging the GOP to dump Trump before they get thoroughly demolished by voters.
In their essay, Wehner and Rauch admit that the idea of the GOP removing Trump from office seems crazy, especially given the thunderous applause he received from his own party members during his State of the Union address this week.
However, they believe that Trump’s support within his own party isn’t as lockstep as it appears, and they suggest the GOP can’t ignore the results of the 2018 midterm elections forever.
“Republicans lost significant ground among everyone except Mr. Trump’s core base of rural, evangelical and ‘noncollege’ supporters (and even among them, the Republican margin shrank a bit),” they write. “This happened with unemployment lower than at any time since 1969 and with Republican turnout at its highest level in a century.”
Wehner and Rauch then speculate on what events could conspire to finally make the party realize it has to either dump Trump or face electoral oblivion.
“Whether this happens depends on future events, the most ominous of which would be the discovery of clear criminality by the president or those closest to him (including family members),” they write. “Another inflection point might be an economic recession. A third might be Mr. Trump’s mismanagement of a crisis. A fourth would be the continued deterioration of the president’s behavior… And yet another might be the prospect that he will lead his party to comprehensive defeat in 2020, especially if he is weakened by a primary challenge. We would be surprised if one or more of these developments did not occur.”