The Washington Post’s editorial board last night forcefully criticized RNC Chair Reince Priebus and other GOP leaders
over their refusal to meaningfully condemn Donald Trump’s offensive rhetoric, fear-mongering, and xenophobic demagoguery.
Priebus and the establishment have for months refused to interrupt the Trump Show, merely averting their eyes and hoping that Trump will somehow just disappear. Today news broke that a top Koch adviser, Marc Short, is joining Marco Rubio’s campaign, as the establishment grasps at straws, hoping to somehow slow Trump’s rise. But it very well may be too late.
As Politico reports this morning, Priebus and the GOP establishment are increasingly terrified that they’ve already run out of time to act. That’s understandable. After all, Trump has huge momentum after successive wins in both New Hampshire and South Carolina, winning over 32% of the vote in each primary. And, remember: No Republican candidate has ever won both states and failed to end up the party’s nominee.
What can GOP leaders do? To go after Trump and openly criticize his extreme and inflammatory rhetoric and proposals risks alienating not just him, but also Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have consistently echoed his positions.
Most importantly, though, in criticizing Trump, Priebus and Co. would further jeopardize their already contentious relationship with a rabidly anti-immigrant party base hungry for the red meat that Trump’s consistently thrown their way. Remember: 68% of Trump’s supporters have said they would leave the GOP to follow Trump if the party pushes him out and he’s forced to mount a third-party run.
The GOP establishment is being held captive by an anti-immigrant, Trump-loving base that it hates. Something’s got to give, and Reince Priebus is all out of options.
Published: Feb 23, 2016