Based on the returns from the various primaries around the country on Tuesday, the Republicans seem to be lining up behind Trumpism and setting themselves up for reckoning in November.
“It’s becoming a cultish thing, isn’t it?” Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters Wednesday morning. “It’s not a good place for any party to end up with a cultlike situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of — purportedly — of the same party.”
Mr. Corker — who is leaving the Senate when his term is up next January — is one of the few Republicans who have stood up to Trump; easy to do when you don’t have to run for re-election. But the rest of them are all heading for Jonestown.
Not that I’m in the habit of giving advice to people I’d like to see removed from both office and polite society, but when a party re-forms itself to comply with the vagaries and vulgarities of one man — and in doing do blithely abandons its core principles such as fiscal responsibility, family values, freedom (not that they having been breathtakingly hypocritical about all of them before) — they’re setting themselves up for a real turkey shoot. History — both here and abroad — is littered with the bleached bones of parties and movements that have aligned themselves behind a personality, and there have always been body counts of the innocent to go along with them. Political parties may unite behind the nominee or a candidate, but they don’t make their platform all about him. And there has always been a core of loyal, even cordial, opposition within the party to keep a balance and provide a home for the voters who may not have gotten their candidate of choice but still believe in the values that made them join in the first place. What seems to be the motivating factor behind this cult isn’t a unity of ideas but fear of a tweetstorm from the Dear Leader.
I’m not a great prognosticator of election outcomes, but if the last couple of midterms are any indication, the Republicans are in for a bit of a shock. Kellyanne Conway, the Wormtongue of this administration, noted the other night that Trump’s approval level rivals that of Barack Obama’s in 2010. And remember how well the Democrats did in the midterms then?