Is the GOP Going Up In Smoke?

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I had the weirdest dream last night. I was in this big room with American flags all around, and it turned out I was watching a presidential debate. But unlike the real debate, this one featured Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. It was totally surreal. The moderators were asking Trump about sexual assault and Trump was insulting someone or another—maybe Rosie O’Donnell? I couldn’t tell. But seriously, it was Donald Trump. Can you imagine?

Then I woke up. Whew. But it turns out the GOP is stuck in nightmare hell, and there’s no waking up for them:

The Republican Party was at the brink of civil war on Sunday as Donald J. Trump signaled he would retaliate against lawmakers who withdraw their support from his campaign, and senior party leaders privately acknowledged that they now feared losing control of both houses of Congress.

….A wave of defections from Mr. Trump’s candidacy, prompted by the revelation of a recording that showed him bragging about sexual assault, was met with boastful defiance by the Republican presidential nominee….In a set of talking points sent to his supporters Sunday morning, Mr. Trump’s campaign urged them to attack turncoat Republicans as “more concerned with their political future than they are about the country.”

….Much of the party appeared to be in a state of paralysis, uncertain of how to achieve political distance from Mr. Trump without enraging millions of voters who remained loyal to his campaign….The Republican National Committee took on the aspect of a fortress: Numerous Republicans who sought to reach the committee’s top officials said they were unable to get through, though Reince Priebus, the committee’s chairman, flew beside Mr. Trump to the debate in St. Louis, even as Republican elected officials rejected their nominee en masse.

On Saturday I pondered what the Republican Party would do when appeals to its white base were no longer enough to win. Perhaps this is the answer: they’ll go up in smoke. Maybe that’s what it takes to force a major party into the kind of profound change they need to survive.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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