President Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party has been so thorough that the party is now unable to stand up to him.
Politico reporter Tim Alberta literally wrote the book on the changing of the old guard, when former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) resigned in 2018 as the GOP as he knew it collapsed entirely into Trumpism.
Writing for the Bulwark, Tim Miller described the new GOP as the group that has taken the worst accusations levied against them and put them on buttons and stickers.
“Is there anyone in the mold of Paul Ryan?” asked former Republican White House staffer Nicolle Wallace during her MSNBC show. “I remember all the careful reporting in your book about his policy-heart breaking as Trump came in and was obviously ignorant and indifferent to all those conservative principles that Paul Ryan adhered to, but are there any Paul Ryans left? Anyone who cares?”
The answer from Alberta was essentially, no.
“You know, Nicole, I’ll say this, it’s not an accident that Paul Ryan retired after 2018 as I reported about at the time and wrote about in the book, he talked to people around him plainly and said, ‘Look, I can’t be in office if this guy’s on the ballot again in 2020. I refuse to be defending what he’s doing or turning a blind eye, whatever one is worse,'” Alberta recalled. “When you look at the 2020 Republican Party compared to 2016 Republican Party, obviously there’s no question that the GOP as a whole is a far more concentrated Trump-friendly entity than it was four years ago.”
He named former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Justin Amash (R-MN) leaving the party along with Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). All of them have endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There’s been so many high-profile prominent Republican defections over the past four years it leaves you with a party that is, on the one hand, yes, certainly much friendlier to Trump and more disposed to being enabling of him,” he explained. “Also, it leaves you with a party that sort of lacks the intestinal fortitude to stand up, even at times some of these folks would otherwise feel compelled to because it would cost them their jobs. We’ve seen that play out time and time again. There’s a handful left with strong feelings about Trump and at some point will make those feelings known but for the majority of them right now don’t feel it is worth it because in large part some of them are convinced he will lose in November and there’s going to be a reckoning soon in the party, and if they speak out against them now they will be banished from the party post-November.”
See the conversation below: