Republican Party Down–Trump and the decaying GOP—58h.,b58
As the Trump campaign steamrolls ahead, most of us are still scratching our heads. How could this have happened? The usual answer focuses on the grievances of the Trump voter: economic anxiety, frustration with the status quo in politics, the desire to see somebody “tell it like it is,” and so on. Systemic institutional weaknesses, combined with a lack of leadership, have facilitated Trump in his takeover of the Republican party. The GOP is in grim shape, and Trump is a consequence of the party’s debility as much as he is a cause.
At the heart of American parties. On the one hand, they are supposed to be principled coalitions whose purpose is to advance the general welfare. On the other hand, they must remain rooted in public opinion. “Political parties, then, must be closely connected to vox populi, but they must also regulate it.
The organization is supposed to accomplish a lot of tasks: It formulates the principles upon which the party is based; it communicates them to the voters; it nominates and campaigns for candidates who will adhere to those principles in office; and it keeps an eye on how the victorious candidates perform in government, ensuring that they remain faithful to party principle
The rules of the presidential nomination process are a mess and have been for some time. Systematically tilted toward candidates who can raise the most money. hire the best consultants, and garner the most media attention, their purpose IS not to generate consensus within the party around the best messenger of the party’s platform, but to deliver a plurality victory to the front runner.
The fact that he fails to adhere to basic conservative principles, and is a sure loser in November, should put him at a disadvantage to win the nomination. But the rules do not disfavor such candidates.
In even-numbered years, when campaigning for office, the party’s congressional leadership makes all sorts of bold promises for changing government, soup to nuts. But those promises disappear in the odd numbered years, when they remember to counsel voters about the limits of action under divided government.
The bulk of the party’s leaders seem content to do little more than keep their heads down and hope for the best. For nearly a quarter-century. the party’s congressional leadership has usually refused to speak honestly with its voter. In sum, the Republican party is in a very bad way. Bereft of good organization—nationally, in many states. and in Congress—it is struggling to field and support principled, electable candidates for office and cannot hold them accountable to those principles after victory.
Grimes from 1870 is much closer to the mark: It looks at this distance as though the Republican party was “going to the dogs”—which, I think, is as it should be. Like all parties that have an undisturbed power for a long time, it has become corrupt, and I believe that it is to-day the [most] corrupt and debauched political party that has ever existed.
source–weekly standard, jay cost,