October 11, 2016

By now most of us know that Donald Trump went on a tweetstorm this morning against House Speaker Paul Ryan. CNN's Carol Costello abruptly ended a segment with the now utterly unhinged Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson, and pivoted to CNN's Dana Bash to go over the current battlefield.

CAROL COSTELLO: Let's stop right here. I want to talk about something else with Dana Bash.

DANA BASH: I can't even hear you.

CAROL COSTELLO: I want to talk to Dana Bash now. Dana, can you hear me?

DANA BASH: I can hear you.

CAROL COSTELLO: That conversation was going nowhere, so I'm going to talk to you about the Republican civil war, because I do think this is important. I mean, really, all of America should be concerned about what's happening within the Republican Party right now, because it's important that we have two strong political parties in this country and, again, there's this civil war going on, something that Donald Trump said he was going to fix, that could unify his party, but it's quite clear this morning that he can't do that.

BASH: it's -- it's -- let's just be specific about what's going on, Carol. In the past ten minutes, Donald Trump has sent his second, at least second, tweet of the day specifically going after Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House. This is the first one. It says "Despite winning the second debate in a landslide, every poll,” -- which these are online polls, I feel the need to say this every time, it's up there, they were online surveys and they were certainly not scientific. Put that aside -- He said, "It is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support." Now let's go to the most recent tweet, which is even more -- a lot more pointed. "Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty." Carol, we are four weeks from Election Day. What is the Republican nominee doing right now? He is sending out tweets that you can see, he's getting angrier, angrier as he's watching us, even though he says he doesn't, report on the fact that Paul Ryan has effectively concluded that he doesn't think Donald Trump can win, and that's why he's told his rank and file that they should do what they have to do for their own political viability. And maybe -- and also for their own moral consciences.

Wait. Dana Bash is suggesting that NOW House Republicans are going to follow their own moral consciences?

So that's one aspect of this remarkable development this morning. The other is, again, I just want to underscore, the Republican nominee is going after his fellow Republicans four weeks before the election. That is his reaction on Twitter to this whole weekend, all the uproar and so forth. It kind of harkens back to after the first debate where he took to Twitter, went after Miss Universe. Very different circumstances. It shows his impulse when he gets angry and upset, clearly, he is, understandably, because Paul Ryan and his fellow House leaders have concluded effectively that he can't win, they need to protect themselves, it's all about self-preservation. He's lashing out. It's not just that, Carol. This is an important point Carol. He's also in that first tweet despite winning the second debate in a landslide, he said it's hard to do when Paul Ryan and others give you zero support. Remember, the reason Paul Ryan kind of let his people go and said he's not going to defend Trump anymore is because they're worried about Trump's spiral because of Trump's actions. What you see there is Trump trying to lay the groundwork for him blaming Paul Ryan for abandoning him if he loses and loses big. So this is stunning on all of those levels, and it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out. As I was waiting for you to come to me I was texting with an aide to Paul Ryan, asking if there was any reaction. Their answer was, “No.” They’re just not going to engage with him because that will just keep this going.

Whoops, bad news, Republican Congressmen. The Plum Line is reporting that it's way too late for you to back away from Trump. If you did it back when he announced he was running and Mexicans are racists, Trump voters are furious at you already.. But if you do it now, you look to everyone like, to coin a phrase, a pu$$y.

...this Trump Trap was created in part by GOP lawmakers’ willingness to stick by him even as he sank deeper into madness and depravity. The swing voters in these relatively-Obama-friendly districts may now see Trump as being more toxic than ever, perhaps rendering Dem efforts to tie them to him more potent. Meanwhile, the very fact that they stuck by him for so long could make it harder for them to evade such attacks.

But at the same time, the Trump voters these lawmakers also need are perhaps growing angrier as the clock ticks down and victory seems to be slipping away. They may not look kindly on GOP lawmakers who are perceived to be deserting him and in so doing making a Trump loss more likely. And Trump is going to do all he can to feed that rage on his way down.

The media is highly likely to start calling this civil war a battle with "Trumpism," and let the Republican Party off the hook in order to preserve their both siderist Beltway Village. Don't ever, ever, fall for that. Donald Trump got more Republican primary votes than any other candidate in history. Don't ever forget that this is a Republican problem, these are Republican voters, and Trump is the duly elected Republican nominee for President.

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