Is the Republican Party Sustainable?

The jury in Manhattan has begun dliberations. I have been looking for details about the judge’s instructions to the jury, to see if there were any surprises, but so far I haven’t found anything. Trump and his lawyers are required to remain in the courthouse while the jury is deliberating, so they are available as soon as here is a verdict. Everything I’ve heard says the prosecution put together a solid case and the defense was throwing spaghetti at the wall, but there’s no knowing what the jury will decide.

Meanwhile, state Republican parties are getting crazier. There’s an accocunt of the recent Texas Republican state convention in the Texas Tribune that you have to read: At Texas GOP convention, Republicans call for spiritual warfare. It begins:

It gets scarier from there. And then there’s Florida. On Judd Legum’s Substack site, Popular Information, he describes how the Florida Department of Education is turning “civics” instruction into indoctrination of Christian nationalism and right-wing political ideology. See Florida educators trained to teach students Christian nationalism and Florida civics training links “cancel culture” to mass murder.

This, of course, is what authoritarians do — they take over institutions to use for their own purposes. There are stories like this coming from several states, but these are possibly the worst. And a lot of state GOPs are currently broke, or close to it, because Trump is sucking up all the donations and not sharing them. MSNBC:

A growing number of state Republican operations are either broke or perilously close to it. Last year, the Minnesota Republican Party reported having only $53 in the bank and over $330,000 in debt. In January, Michigan’s Republicans faced bankruptcy amid a brutal MAGA leadership fight. So much for being the party of fiscal responsibility.

Republican Party chairs know from Democrats’ past examples that starved state operations lead to electoral blowouts at the ballot box. But the Republican National Committee isn’t coming to the rescue with a fire hose of cash, and that gives Democrats a clear roadmap for capitalizing on the GOP’s historic weakness this November.

Republicans can thank Donald Trump for their current financial problems. Trump’s deal with the RNC requires the party to run its donations first through his Save America PAC — which already paid over $50 million toward Trump’s personal legal fees in 2023 alone. That was before RNC co-chair Lara Trump mused about skipping the middleman making the GOP pay Trump’s legal bills directly.

Meanwhile, on Trump’s recent fundraising tours he’s been telling wealthy donors he doesn’t want to hear about any measely million-dollar donations. Make that $25 million or nothing. He’s promising he’ll give them policies that will provide a good return on their money, including tax cuts, deregulation, and oil drilling approvals. He’s making explicit quid pro quo promises, in other words, campaign finance law be damned. It’s all about the money.

This seems to me to point to a future implosion. The question is, will the GOP take the nation down with it?

14 thoughts on “Is the Republican Party Sustainable?

  1. "will they take the country down with them"

    Yes. When they turned back to Stump after J6 that told me all I need to know. The GOP's only purpose is to hold power. No extreme ideology or destructive policy will be turned away as long as it helps them hold power. If Stump gets back in the WH (i dont think he will) it will be almost impossible for the country to recover. 


  2. "Is The Republican Party Sustainable?"

    Good question.  Answer: Maybe.

    If they can control enough of the levers of power to make it impossible for a majority of the people to throw them out, then yes. In other words, ask yourself this question: "For how long has the Chinese Communist Party been sustainable?"

    On the other hand, if the people can maintain the effectiveness of the institutions that are designed to make our democratic republic work properly, and keep public corruption at a low enough level, then the answer is: No, the Republican Party is not sustainable in the form that it has taken. In other words, don't elect people whose goal is to kneecap or corrupt those institutions. 

  3. I'm fond of the word "dynamic" as a noun in discussing politics. The cult dynamic of Trumpism means all in the GOP must bow to Trump. Why? Because about 80% of GOP voters are Trump cultists in varying degrees. Trump has one overreaching priority – to stay out of jail. A distant second is to wreak vengeance on his enemies. Does Trump "believe" in anything? I think there are a few tenets of Trump's religion. Based on what Trump has said and done over the long haul, he believes in racial superiority. He believes males are superior to females. And Trump believes rich people should be immune from consequences.

    IMO, abortion is not important to Trump except that a powerful block of leaders who can sway large numbers of votes DO care about abortion. The one aspect of abortion that IS important to Trump is that the people who have been against Trump since his first day in office were/are women who expect equality. Denying that equality in the most hurtful ways will appeal to Trump. 

    I think Trump hates Muslims because they are different from "normal" Christians. I think because Muslims are an "out" group that Trump does not like, he's fine about the poor ones starving or being bombed into oblivion. However, rich Muslims, like his friends in Saudi Arabia are OK and different. (I think Trump is conflicted about Jews since Kushner is family – I think for Trump there are Jews he likes and trusts and at the same time, if they are not present, Trump can slide into vulgar anti-semitism. That's totally an opinion.) 

    "Trumpism" does not exist as a cohesive political philosophy. It's a "big tent" composed mostly of fools who hate government and liberals. Within that mass of ignoramuses, there's a thieves' den of focused hate groups with overlapping agendas. The leaders of all these groups know Trump is a useful idiot but they think they should be in charge instead of having to placate the dummy, 

    There's a key group in the dynamic of politics that's not well represented by Trumpism and the sickos surrounding Trump – big money. Wall Street loves low taxes and lax regulation BUT they also recognize the value of order instead of chaos, riots, and a breakdown in civil authority. Yes, Trump is pitching to Wall Street and Trump is demanding big money, a billion from Big Oil, for example. I'm not reading that they are coming through for Trump. IMO, they would if Trump's Project 2025 was built around them but they are incidental to plans that resemble fascism, certain to produce large-scale disorder. Big Business is none too fond of Biden, but I'm not sure they are fans of Trump.

    Suppose Trump loses the election, tries to steal it (again), and fails, then faces two federal trials in 2025. Plus new trials for the election crimes he hasn't yet committed.  All the wanna-be dictators who moved into the big tent of Trumpism are going to try to be Trump's replacement. To go back to the "dynamic", the lid on the pressure cooker that is the GOP is the 80% of GOP voters united behind Trump.  That group does not merely splinter when Trump goes to jail, all the negative energy of all the different hate groups will simultaneously detonate when they see the throne of Trump is vacant.

    Will the whole country go down with the GOP? Watch Big Money. If they want the US Constitution and democracy to fail, we will see it in the flow of money. If Wall Street wants stability, they will throw their weight into opposing the chaos coming from the disintegrating GOP when it spills over into civil disorder. And there's another element – Big Money will want the winner to think that Big Money was always on their side. So expect a lot of neutrality until they know how the flying foo-foo will finally stick

    • "when Trump goes to jail" – much as I would love to believe it could happen, I'm fairly sure it won't.  Even if he's convicted in this trial, it will be appealed – and then appealed again, if necessary, all the way to the Extreme Court of the United States. 

      Alito – and Thomas, for that matter – have clearly shown their allegiance to Trump and his lies.  Barrett was never even a judge before being selected to the court and is likely to feel gratitude toward Trump for giving her a cushy lifetime position, so that makes three of them that are likely to be willing to overturn Trump's conviction.

      That leaves Roberts, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in play, sort of.  I have to think that Roberts would lean toward upholding the law and the conviction…which leaves Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, both of whom owe their cushy jobs to Trump, too.

      Aside from the gratitude factor, there's the menace factor – if they don't save Trumpenfuhrer from prison, his red-hats (similar to brown shirts) will be furious and likely to go after them…no different than what happened in the rise of the Nazis in Germany…and neither of them strike me as being particularly courageous, especially not Kavanaugh.

      Regardless of the final outcome, the final verdict will certainly not happen prior to the election in November…and, there's always the chance that there's a MAGAt on the jury, who will refuse to convict and cause a hung jury, which will be the end, because the government is unlikely to try the case again.

      I sincerely hope I'm wrong – but I believe in the saying I heard a long, long, long time ago and have found to be pretty universally true. "When it comes to politics, money and the law, no matter how cynical you are – it isn't cynical enough".

  4. Take a look at that picture of the convention.  What are all those mostly geriatric white people doing crammed in a big room like that.  The last time I was in a crowd like that was in a Judy Dench movie which had a fantasy view of people in their "golden" years. When the movie was over there was a stampede to the rest rooms that I was lucky to survive.  Can you imagine what it was like at this assembly.

  5. I can remember when people asked how the Republican Party could possibly continue after Nixon's resignation.  I expect it will continue somehow, for all the wrong reasons; thanks to their gross over-representation in the Senate, the blatant partisan takeover of the Supreme Court, their domination of too many state legislatures, and a complicit media happy to continue sticking a microphone in front of Kellyanne Conway's face.

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