How The GOP Moves On After Trump

How The GOP Moves On After Trump
  1. How The GOP Moves On After Trump
    Gustavsson: How should the GOP should move on if there is a link found between Trump and…


President Donald Trump speaks at CPAC 2017. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump is in serious trouble. We do not yet know where the story will end, but we do know that he is being investigated by a special prosecutor, that his son, his son-in-law, and his campaign manager all had meetings with Russians, and that he by his own admission fired FBI director James Comey over “the Russian thing”. It seems more and more likely that Trump colluded with Russia, and we are left to ask who knew and who didn’t (Was Pence involved? Was Ryan?) and whether a GOP-majority Congress would under any circumstances impeach a GOP president. I hope that the answer is yes, as loyalty to the president – any president – has no place in Congress; Congress is meant to be a check on the executive branch, regardless of the party allegiance of the person currently in the White House.

However, assuming that Trump is in fact either impeached or resigns (more or less reluctantly) as the investigation proves beyond even a shadow of doubt that he colluded with Russia to win the presidency, how does the GOP move on? How do you ever recover from having elected a man like Donald Trump?  Here’s what I believe the GOP will do:

  1. “Trump never got a majority of the primary vote.” First of all every GOP representative will in the future point out that Trump did not win the support of a majority of GOP primary voters. Trump got about 45 %; a strong plurality for sure, but not a majority. “Most of us never wanted that guy in the first place,” they will tell everyone who will listen. This is true on paper, but it conveniently leaves out the part where the GOP went along with the coronation rather than freeing the delegates.
  2. “Trump was made nominee by newcomers.” Last year’s primary saw record turnout, mainly because people who had never voted in a primary before decided to go out and vote for Trump. Hence, the GOP can claim that Trump caused an infusion of people who weren’t “real” Republicans that hijacked the party and helped him win. Of course, real Republicans would never have nominated such a horrible man, but gosh darnit these new voters thought he was amazing. There is some truth to this, but the seeds of the movement that would elect Trump began much earlier – the idea that anyone who stands up for the establishment and bashes liberals is good is an idea that has been spread by many conservative talk radio hosts for decades, and the emergence of the Tea Party did not exactly make the situation any better.
  3. “The media created Trump.” This will no doubt be a part of the GOP post-Trump narrative. The idea that Trump is a media creation, fueled in the primary by billions worth of free media from mostly liberal outlets. Essentially the GOP will argue that the liberal media that bashes Trump and the GOP today actually wanted him to be nominated because it improved their ratings and they figured he’d crash and burn in the general election – or if he didn’t, they’d get a really entertaining president who would keep ratings high for years. There is some truth to this statement as well – without the free media that Trump received, he never would have been the nominee. It is also true that media didn’t really start fact-checking Trump until the general election and barely even then. Nobody really pushed him for details on his plans. However, this statement ignores that the most favorable media that Trump received was from Fox News, a traditionally Republican-friendly network whose journalists and pundits should have seen him for what he was and confronted the viewers with the truth.
  4. “It’s a conspiracy.”  This is not something that will be said out loud, at least not by “respectable” GOP representatives and pundits, but it’s something that will none the less be strongly implied and hinted at every once in a while. Trump was a democrat and a long-time friend of Hillary Clinton. During the primaries many people speculated that he could be a “pawn” working for the Clinton campaign to destroy the Republican brand and possibly split the party with a third party run, eerily similar to what happened both times when Bill Clinton ran for president and a billionaire (Ross Perot) showed up to split the Republican vote. Maybe this was the Democrats’ plan all along – their liberal networks gave Trump the free media he needed to get the nomination, Trump is approached by Russia (whom HRC/Obama “reset” relationships with a few years back), and accepts their help. Maybe Trump was even working with the DNC all along? After all, with Trump gone, whoever replaces him (and it might not be Pence) will likely be a lame duck president. The Democrats sacrificed the White House for one term, but they tarnished the GOP with the “traitor” label for a generation. Of course, this conspiracy is nonsense, but that doesn’t mean that the GOP won’t subtly hint at it to reflect some of the blame. It is also possible some may hint that since Russian meddled in the general election, perhaps they meddled in the primaries as well? Again, this (almost certainly) did not happen, but that’s irrelevant.

But if that’s what the GOP most likely will do, that begs the question – what should they do? What would be the best course of action for a Republican party desperate to move on from Trumpism? Here are a few of my ideas:

  1. Apologize. The truth is that if the GOP has in fact nominated and supported a man who colluded with enemies of the US to win the presidency, then the first thing to do is to grab the ash and sackcloth and go in front of the camera. There is really nothing to add here; whatever the Democrats may have done at some point or another, the GOP owes the American people a sincere apology without any reservations.
  2. Change leadership. We still don’t know how deep the ties go, how many people were involved and exactly what happened. However, the GOP leadership have done their very best to protect Trump from justice, and in doing so they have morally bankrupted themselves. In short, the future GOP must be led by NeverTrumpers – ideally socially conservative NeverTrumpers like Ben Sasse. Those who stood firm against Trump must inherit the party to give it a chance to rise from the ashes.
  3. Reform the primaries and introduce STV. STV or Single Transferable Vote, also known as Ranked choice voting, means that voters in a primary (or general election) vote by ranking the candidates. The First preference votes are counted first, and if no candidate has an outright majority, the candidate who receives the lowest number of first preference votes is eliminated and his supporters’ votes are spread out to the different candidates based on their 2nd preferences. In a scenario like last year when Trump would get 45 % of the vote in a state and Kasich/Cruz split the remaining 55 %, it would have been possible to stop Trump by having all Cruz voters list Kasich as their second choice, and vice versa. That way, if Cruz received fewer first preference votes than Kasich, his votes would be transferred to Kasich and likewise if Kasich got fewer than Cruz. Cruz/Kasich would just have to convince their supporters that whoever they preferred between the two of them, Trump was the worst option and so they should rank their votes tactically to avoid him winning. Of course, if there were say 5 candidates the candidate that finished fifth would be eliminated, then the candidate that finished fourth etc. until someone had a majority.I’m absolutely convinced that had STV been in effect last year, Trump never would have won. Even months into the primary Trump had terrible favorables among GOP voters; the problem was that while the NeverTrump faction was bigger than the Trump faction, the NeverTrump faction splintered among several candidates, none of whom could get a plurality and actually win. STV solves that problem and effectively means that a candidate has to strive to be “liked by many, hated by none” – in other words; get a sizeable chunk of the party to vote for you as their first choice, and the rest to have you as their second (or even third).
  4. Confront R…
  1. Jared Kushner Appears at House Committee Hearing on Russia - Politics
    07.26 / 08:33
    Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner testified in front of a closed-door House hearing Tuesday and appeared to satisfy lawmakers questioning him on claims of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election. Kushner appeared before the House Intelligence Committee for approximately three hours, a day after he testified in front of a closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Monday. Unlike Monday, Kushner released no formal statement before or after his latest testimony. But …
  2. House punishes Russia, blocks Trump from waiving penalties - Politics
    07.26 / 08:29
    Eager to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election, the House has overwhelmingly backed a new package of sanctions against Moscow that prohibits President Donald Trump from waiving the penalties without first getting permission from…
  3. McCain delivers a key health care vote, scolding message - Politics
    07.26 / 08:29
    Sen. John McCain has delivered a crucial vote in the Republican drive to dismantle the health care law and a scolding…
  4. Vote shows GOP's problems in replacing Obama health law - Politics
    07.26 / 08:29
    The Senate is plunging into full-fledged debate on the Republican effort to demolish the Obama health care…
  5. Rights groups ask Duterte to retract threat to bomb schools - Politics
    07.26 / 08:29
    Human rights groups have asked the Philippine president to withdraw his threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist…
  6. ‘Twilight’ Star Robert Pattinson Confirms He Is Still With Fiancée FKA Twigs

    IBTimes - Politics
    07.26 / 08:23
    Robert Pattinson and FKA Twigs are still together and very much in love. The “Twilight” star, who is very private when it comes to his love life, has finally opened up about his relationship with Twigs. On Tuesday, Pattinson told Howard Stern on his radio show that he is still with the British singer. When Stern asked him if he is still engaged to the “Two Weeks” singer, his response was, “Yeah, kind of.”…
  7. ‘Westworld’ Season 2 Spoilers: Creator Says Park Will Last A ‘Little Longer’

    IBTimes - Politics
    07.26 / 08:23
    After airing “Game of Thrones,” it seemed like HBO had pretty big shoes to fill when it comes to producing its next big hit TV series. But “Westworld” proved a pleasant surprise, since countless people immediately became engrossed in the sci-fi world created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Even if the show is still in its early stages, people are already asking: how long will the show last? How many seasons will it run?…
  8. ‘World Of Dance’ Season 1 Divisional Finals Top 6 Contestants Named

    IBTimes - Politics
    07.26 / 08:23
    The top six contestants who will be competing in the divisional finals of “World of Dance” Season 1 have just been nam…
  9. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Spoilers: Taika Waititi Explains Why Thor Uses A Gun

    IBTimes - Politics
    07.26 / 08:23
    Who is Thor (Chris Hemsworth) without his trusty hammer, Mjölnir? For the past two “Thor” movies, as well as the “Avengers” films, Thor used his hammer to defeat bad guys, both in this world and in Asgard. But “Thor: Ragnarok,” which is directed by Taika Waititi, will be quite different since Thor is going to be using a different weapon: a gun. When asked why, Waititi told IGN that they wanted to push Thor out of his comfort zone and let him experience something new. …
  10. AP FACT CHECK: Trump's tweets about Clinton, Sessions, FBI
    07.26 / 08:22
    Taken together, the tweets point to Trump's inability even now to turn his attention from Clinton, and also harken back to suggestions in the campaign that he might use the Justice Department as a mechanism to punish a political opponent. Paradoxically, Comey's treatment of Clinton — including a news conference where he criticized her and a public disclosure months later that the FBI was revisiting the Clinton case — was initially cited by Trump's White House as a basis for the pre…
  11. House punishes Russia, blocks Trump from waiving penalties
    07.26 / 08:22
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Eager to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 election, the House has overwhelmingly backed a new package of sanctions against Moscow that prohibits President Donald Trump from waiving the penalties without first getting permission from Congress. The 184-page measure serves as a rebuke of the Kremlin's military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed President Bashar Assad. Trump hasn't threatened to reject the bill even t…
  12. Parents, former Scouts alarmed by Trump's speech at jamboree
    07.26 / 08:22
    Standing before thousands of school-aged Scouts on Monday night, he began with a bit of profanity and then went on to rage for more than half an hour against the media and other perceived political enemies. Trump was cheered by the crowd, but his comments put an organization that studiously avoids political conflict in an awkward…
  13. Senate health care debate could be suspenseful and raucous
    07.26 / 08:22
  14. Parents, former Scouts alarmed by Trump's speech at jamboree
    07.26 / 08:22
  15. Arrest Nnamdi Kanu now – Yoruba Youth Groups tell Osinbajo - Politics
    07.26 / 08:02
    The Yoruba Youth Congress (YYC) and the Coalition of Southwest Youths groups have called on the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to order the immediate arrest of the leader of the Indigeneous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu. The groups accused Kanu of taking Nigerians for granted, stressing that the IPOB leader is attempting to…
  16. How Diezani lavished $100m on furniture, artworks — US - Politics
    07.26 / 08:02
    The United States of America has given the details of how a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, allegedly laundered about $144m, using part of the funds to purchase a yacht, landed properties, furniture and artworks. According to the US, while she held sway as the Nigerian petroleum minister, Diezani, who was otherwise…
  17. Gov’t Scientist Claims He’s A Victim Of Retaliation From Trump [VIDEO] - Politics
    LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST: By Tim Pearce A Department of the Interior (DOI) official appeared on National Public Radio and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, accusing the Trump administration of demoting him because of his political beliefs. Joel Clement, the DOI’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue senior advisor, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post last week claiming that his reassignment […] The post Gov’t Scientist Claims He’s A Victim Of Retaliation From Trump [VIDEO] appeared…
  18. State Department Denies Rumors Of Tillerson Departure - Politics
    LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST: By Will Racke Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert shot down speculation that Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson plans to quit his position in the near future, following reports that he has become frustrated over his deteriorating relationship with the White House. “That is false,” she told reporters at a […] The post State Department Denies Rumors Of Tillerson Departure appeared first on The Libertarian Repub…
  19. Wasserman Schultz’s IT Aide Arrested By FBI En Route To Pakistan After $300k Wire - Politics
    LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST: By Luke Rosiak Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s top information technology (IT) aide was arrested Monday attempting to board a flight to Pakistan after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to that country. He attempted to leave the country hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is […] The post Wasserman Schultz’s IT Aide Arrested By FBI En Route To Pakistan After $300k…
  20. With SD 40 Loss, the Diaz de la Portilla Political Dynasty Comes to an End - Politics
    07.26 / 07:44
    By: Allison NielsenDate: July 26, 2017 - 4:00amAlex Diaz de la Portilla's hopes for a comeback to the world of Florida politics were extinguished Tuesday, ending his dream of a return to Tallahassee and concluding the chapter of one of the most deeply-rooted political dynasties in Florida…