About once a week I ask myself how in God’s green earth we got to this predicament. A year ago I was concerned that we might end up with another Bush/Clinton race. Yawn. Lots of murky liberalesque, compassionate conservative ideas would be plated up to a bored and distracted electorate while Rome (New York, Georgia, take your pick) burned, metaphorically speaking.
Then I was somewhat excited that we might get the ideological battle for all times since Lincoln ran against Douglas. A Cruz/Sanders race would pit the respective bulldogs of conservatism and socialism against each other.
After that, there was the prospect of a Republican unity ticket with Rubio/Cruz, or Cruz/Rubio. I believed (and still do) that Rubio might have the best combination of policy chops and people skills to excel as president. But Cruz was the smartest and most disciplined of the bunch.
But for 365 days now, we’ve heard, read, and seen nothing but Trump, Trump, Trump. I feel like the man who insulted the chief of a primitive tribe and was sentenced to a year of BOHICA as the daily punishment was dished out.
And in the end, we’re getting what I feared from the beginning. Trump is morphing into Bush Lite, with half the calories and no taste whatsoever.
In 73 days, this election will be over. But for me, it’s over now. The RNC should shift every dime to undercard races, because they’re going to need it. When Republicans don’t show up to vote, then every red state that goes for Hillary becomes a handicap for senators and congressional candidates.
This is going to be a nightmare, and the GOP might lose both the House and the Senate. A year ago I would have said that’s impossible.
In 2018, there might be a chance for some small recovery, but it’s equally possible that the GOP’s collapse will continue down to the state house level and below. Remember, even in states like Georgia, where the legislature and governor are reliably Republican, Democrats still wield a whole lot of influence in a variety of areas. Gov. Deal would not pass any form of RFRA. Democrat Mayor Kasim Reed rules Atlanta.
Indeed, of the top 10 largest cities in America, 9 have Democrats as mayors. Of the top 25, only 3 have Republican mayors. In the second-tier cities like Miami and Albuquerque, Republican mayors face a 2017 re-election. Democrats rule the cities, and they very well could rule the federal legislative and executive branches, as well as the judiciary, by 2018. This, after 8 years of Obama expanding the power of every federal agency, could be more than just a political swing to the left.
Looking at 2020, either the GOP will rebuild from its own ashes, or it’s time for a new party. Given where we are, in 73 days, I suspect we will know the answer, or have a fairly clear idea at least. The Whigs were gone by 1854, and the Republicans took over in 1860. Perhaps it’s time to look at what will be next.