Is the G.O.P. T.O.X.I.C.?

I wrote about the hijacking of the Republican party three years ago in Grande Old Party, I Hardly Knew Ye.  Here are a few excerpts:

I remember the GOP positively as a teen as the party of economic opportunity.

According to Bring Back the Party of Lincoln,  the change in the GOP isn’t new.  Republicans are historical flip-floppers.  Author Heather Cox Richardson concludes:

Twice in its history, the Republican Party regained its direction and popularity after similar disasters by returning to its original defense of widespread individual economic success. The same rebranding is possible today, if Republicans demote Reagan from hero to history and rally to a leader like Lincoln, Roosevelt or Eisenhower — someone who believes that the government should promote economic opportunity rather than protect the rich.

Change is inevitable, especially amid a changing electorate that reduces the Republican power base every year.  The only question is when.

While anything is possible, it’s unlikely to happen soon.  The Super Recession was nearly as bad as the Depression.  It had no effect on the party.  There have been various Republican branding initiatives.  They’ve gone nowhere.  The party has virtually shut down Congress.  Not a budge.  And there is no savior in sight.

Instead the party has used its power to enfranchise its legitimacy by redrawing voting maps and giving the rich even more influence.  It’s drawn the Democrats far right of where they were 30 years ago, thus providing far less GOP maneuvering room.

I suggest nothing is going to happen until the party runs out of all its tricks and loses both houses of Congress and the Presidency at the same time and that’s probably 20 years away at best.

It’s now three years later.  A new GOP President promised Main Street populism.  Did he lead the party and reinvigorate it?

Of course not.  Trump is no Lincoln and didn’t keep that and many other promises.  Lyin’ Donald and his billionaire cabinet are the embodiment of protecting the rich. Republicans own all 3 federal government branches.  Trump’s ratings are the lowest of any modern President at this point in their term.  Trump’s brand is toxic. And the GOP has embraced him, making that stain theirs as well.  A Democratic whiplash appears increasingly likely in the midterms with a Democratic presidency in 2020 a good bet.

When will the GOP return to being the party of Lincoln? Apparently they’re still not toxic enough.  Based on the 2017 Tax Bill, there’s no hint of change yet.  We’ll check back in another four years.

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