Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Republicans: It’s Too Late for Disavowals

Whether they knew it or not, before the nomination went to Trump, Republicans were called upon to make stand between decency or degradation, conservatism or convenience.

I’ve said it before: 

No turning back: The ordnance has been launched.
But when so few did that he became the face of a party that once valued free trade, moral fortitude and some speck of religiosity, the choice became even clearer for those facing down-ticket races: Either disavow him now and save some shred of cred, or be stained forever and lose the White House and perhaps your majority in Congress.  

For some reason, many failed to realize that the Donald had already thrust the choice upon them. They thought maybe, just maybe, Hillary was bad enough of an opponent that there was a way to ride it out, to survive until a Trump presidency justified their goal-line stand.  

She was almost unlikable enough, but the success of this strategy now looks increasingly unlikely, and those who clung to Trump as the levee blocking Hillary’s flood of liberalism will likely be doubly disappointed in November. They could now lose both the presidency and the only legislative bulwark they had against her agenda because of a terrible miscalculation. 

They thought that people like me, those who feel homeless in this election, would eventually come around to supporting their imperfect choice, that their lesser-of-two-evils argument would hold true as it has in years where their candidate may not have been a shining star, but at least was remotely competent. But his complete lack of substance on the issues and the further revelations about his character, I believe, has proved them wrong. The supposed “evil” of the one has somehow been Trumped by the volatility and crassness of the other. We're still homeless. 

Some Republicans were shaken from their fantasy this week when Trump’s lewd video emerged. They then disavowed him as if the “p-word” somehow made the chauvinism oozing from his macho persona and checkered history with women officially unacceptable: 

Others even continued their balancing act. Paul Ryan, the party’s best tightrope walker, continued to straddle the line between abhorring the candidate and walking away from the party’s nominee. The best he could do? “I’ll no longer defend him.” Funny enough, Ryan had already bent over backwards to avoid defending him for the entire campaign. 

Sadly, the damage is done for Republicans who couldn’t find their backbone. The grenade has already been lobbed into their midst. The question is whether they will run and perhaps survive for the battles ahead, or fall on it for the man who pulled the pin in the first place. 

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