March 8, 2016

On Sunday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus went on with George Stephanopoulos to assure the American public that there were no intentions to have a brokered convention if Donald Trump were to be the nominee. He also spent several agonizing minutes in trying to convince people that the Republican Party still were all about respect and integrity, despite the debacle that the last debate had turned into and all of the inflammatory and bigoted comments coming from all of the candidates, especially the front runner, Trump.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a story analyzing the Trump effect on the Wisconsin Triumvirate of Republican politics - Priebus, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan. These three were supposed to be the bringers of a new world order to America with their particular brand of teahadist politics and plantation economics.

But they weren't counting on Trump.

While some attribute Walker's short-lived campaign on Trump entering the race, the truth is that Walker was already starting to crash and burn. Undoubtedly, Trump helped fan the flames and sped up Walker's demise, he did not cause it.

What is interesting is the take on Priebus and Ryan having Hell Toupee:

It’s not just Walker who has been “Trumped.” It’s striking how closely linked Priebus and Ryan now are to Trump’s political fate.

When Priebus made it his goal early on to forestall a third-party bid by Trump, it’s hard to imagine he expected Trump to come this close to the nomination. The chairman has succeeded in keeping a certain level of peace so far with the front-runner.

“We don’t take sides (in this race), regardless of what you may think or read,” Priebus said.

In the final year of the longest tenure in RNC history, Priebus could see his party suffer in dramatic ways from the Trump phenomenon.

One is by waging a civil war over Trump, ensuring one side of that fight will walk away in disgust and leaving the party’s future under a massive cloud. Two is if a Trump nomination leads the party to a crushing defeat in November, dragging down GOP candidates for other offices. Three is whatever long-term damage Trump does to the party’s demographic imperative to expand its support among nonwhite voters, especially Latinos — an explicit goal of the 2012 post-mortem commissioned by Priebus.

But Ryan’s case may be the most illuminating. He has criticized Trump for proposing to ban the entry of Muslims into the U.S. and for doing too little to disavow support from white supremacists. Trump sent a shot across Ryan’s bow when he said last week that if the two don’t get along, the speaker “is going to have to pay a big price.” Ryan said that made him laugh out loud.

He and Trump have some glaring policy differences, including immigration, trade and entitlements. Ryan is an institutionalist and his party’s most powerful Washington politician. He views himself as a “happy warrior” who preaches tolerance and inclusion. He’s an ardent member of the conservative movement. He is in some respects the party’s “anti-Trump.”

After this year, Ryan could end up as the chief congressional partner — or foil — to a President Trump (if you assume Trump is electable). He could find himself on the wrong side of an angry GOP base. Or he could find himself left to lead a party that is in tatters or in seismic transformation.

It's almost enough to make one feel sorry for these three turdblossoms. Almost.

In the long run, barring Trump actually winning the presidency, he just might have done the nation and the world a favor by stopping these fools in their tracks.

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