Will Donald Trump destroy the Republican brand? – The Washington Post

The party wasn’t that popular to begin with, but he could make things much worse.

For decades, the GOP has built its identity on what I call the Four Pillars of Conservatism: small government, low taxes, strong defense, and traditional social values. They provide an easy-to-understand template for every Republican running for any office from dog catcher to president, they bind Republicans with different agendas in common cause, and their constant repetition cements the party’s image in voters’ minds. But Donald Trump, now the leader of this party, has shown only sporadic interest in any of them, with the possible exception of a strong defense. Instead, he has built his candidacy on ethno-nationalist appeals, scapegoating immigrants and Muslims and making it absolutely clear that he is leading a movement of, by, and for white people.

It isn’t that this is foreign to the GOP, just that it’s so blatant as to remove all plausible deniability. Trump takes the ugly appeals they used to make with dog whistles and euphemisms, and puts them right out in the open. It’s the difference between a guy in a trench coat saying “Psst, buddy, want to buy some racism and xenophobia? Follow me into this alley…”, and a guy standing on a soapbox in the middle of Times Square shouting “Get yer racism and xenophobia here!”

More: Will Donald Trump destroy the Republican brand? – The Washington Post

Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump’s Vice President Nominee? | National Review

Evidence suggests that Donald Trump may name former House speaker Newt Gingrich as his vice-presidential running mate.

Over the last three months, Trump watchers have noticed that former House speaker and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been consistently advocating on Trump’s behalf in the media, on Capitol Hill, among K Street power brokers, and on social media. In fact, Gingrich has morphed into Trump’s unofficial ambassador for GOP peace and unity, while also seeking converts in hostile territory. Gingrich is the most recognized and respected member of the GOP establishment who is defending the insurgent candidate — even as Trump rails against that same establishment. But now, it has become apparent that Gingrich is waging an active campaign to become Donald Trump’s running mate.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/434897/newt-gingrich-donald-trump-vice-president-nominee

More: Newt Gingrich: Donald Trump’s Vice President Nominee? | National Review

Donald Trump isn’t going to be president.

Democrats plan to hit Trump with a fusillade of attacks from all directions. And they plan to exploit weaknesses that Republicans didn’t touch until it was too late to stop Trump. They’ll hit Trump for his open and vicious misogyny; they’ll publicize his history of racism and discrimination; they’ll attack him where he’s strong with stories of ordinary people he’sscammed and defrauded; they’ll emphasizethe fact that he doesn’t know anything about the world or governing.

Fed on years of anti-establishment rage and white identity politics, Republican base voters cheered when Trump toppled traditional politicians and rallied to his side when he called for a wall with Mexico and a ban on Muslims. Like Sharron Angle, Todd Akin, and Christine O’Donnell, Trump is tailor-made for a distrustful and angry plurality of the Republican Party. But the same polls that showed Trump at the top of the GOP primary also put him far behind in a general election. Like his predecessors on the fringe, Trump is anathema to ordinary voters.

More: Donald Trump isn’t going to be president.

Trump Has Won and the Republican Party Is Broken — NYMag

The surreal has finally become real.

Virtually the entire Republican apparatus will follow Trump sooner or later, because without the voters, they have no power. And those voters have revealed things about the nature of the party that many Republicans prefer to deny. Whatever abstract arguments for conservative policy — and these arguments exist, and a great many people subscribe to them earnestly — on the ground, Republican politics boils down to ethno-nationalistic passions ungoverned by reason. Once a figure has been accepted as a friendly member of their tribe, there is no level of absurdity to which he can stoop that would discredit him. And since reason cannot penetrate the crude tribalism that animates Republicans, it follows that nothing President Obama could have proposed on economic stimulus, health care, or deficits could have avoided the paroxysms of rage that faced him.

The paranoid mendacity of Joe McCarthy, the racial pandering of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and George Bush, the jingoism and anti-intellectualism of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin — all these forces have embodied the essence of American conservative politics as it is actually practiced (rather than as conservative intellectuals like to imagine it). Trump has finally turned that which was always there against itself.

More: Trump Has Won and the Republican Party Is Broken — NYMag

Why Hillary Clinton May be Doomed to Repeat the Obama Presidency

Two Two years to legislate, and then a big Republican victory that stymies her—and that’s if she’s lucky.

In any case, the best-case scenario for Clinton is that she gets her Democratic Congress in those first two years—with extremely small margins, particularly in the House. And then what happens in 2018? Presidents almost always lose ground in Congress in off-year elections, and given the more Republican-friendly cast of the off-year electorate (older and more white, for starters), Republicans would be highly likely to take back the House.

And what about the Senate? The Senate election in 2018 will be nearly a mirror image of this year’s, because the Democrats who won in 2012 will all be running again. Twenty-five of the seats up in 2018 are currently held by Democrats, while only eight are held by Republicans. Included in that number are Democratic seats in the Republican-leaning states of Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia, plus swing states like Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. Even if Democrats take the Senate this year, it will be very hard for them to hold on to it.

But maybe Clinton will enjoy a new era of cooperation with the Republican opposition, as they decide that it’s better to work together to solve America’s problems in a spirit of compromise and common cause than it is to just throw sand in government’s gears and make life difficult for a Democratic president.

I’m kidding—of course they won’t do that. And why should they? The calculation they’ll face next January is the same one they did eight years before. And when they decided on total war with the White House, it worked out pretty well for them. They took back both houses of Congress and stopped Barack Obama from enacting much of his agenda. Sure, they ended up with Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, but they’ll tell themselves that the two had nothing to do with each other.

And Republicans may despise Hillary Clinton even more than they do Obama. So whatever she can accomplish will be only over their most fevered and absolute opposition. Getting anything through Congress won’t be easy—and she’ll have precious little time to do it.

More: Why Hillary Clinton May be Doomed to Repeat the Obama Presidency

Zero Trans People Have Been Arrested For Bathroom Misconduct—But These Three Republicans Were | NewNowNext

According to Media Matters, there haven’t even been any reports of men “pretending’ to be transgender to gain access to women’s spaces and commit crimes against them.”You know who have been arrested in public bathrooms for sexual misconduct: Republican politicians.Without even diving too deep, we found three GOP legislators who were picked up for lavatory indiscretions. Obviously we need laws against senators using bathrooms, not trans people!

More: Zero Trans People Have Been Arrested For Bathroom Misconduct—But These Three Republicans Were | NewNowNext

Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. Don’t ever get used it.

It’s not that he’s vapid and ill-informed about the world. Warren G. Harding was president, after all. And the history of American politics is riddled with men who climbed far beyond their abilities.

Nor is it that he’s an outsider—so were William Jennings Bryan and Ross Perot.

It’s not even that he’s racist or nativist or violent in his rhetoric. So were presidents Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. So were candidates George B. McClellan and George Wallace. It’s only in the last generation that American politics has filtered out the explicitly prejudiced, Trump notwithstanding.

No, what makes Donald Trump something new in American political life is that he’s all of these things at once: a racist, nativist demagogue with few ties to government, no experience in public office, no service in the armed forces, and little to no knowledge of anything involving governance, from policy to basic questions like, “What is the Supreme Court, and what does it do?” If you conjured all the ignorance and arrogance in America and gave it human form, you would have Donald Trump, give or take a spray tan.

More: Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. Don’t ever get used it.