Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Republican Party Is Becoming a Bloodbath

Donald Trump is causing conservatives to turn on each other, and it's not pretty

By Brian Beutler, TNR

The political media tends to process each Donald Trump controversy anew, or if not anew then as the latest in a series of contretemps, any one of which would have ended the candidacy of a more traditional politician. Trump began the race as a birther, then slandered Mexican immigrants as rapists, then belittled Senator John McCain for being captured and tortured in Vietnam, then attacked conservative media darling Megyn Kelly, with various smaller dustups sprinkled in between. In each instance, or for the totality of these iconoclasms, we have been told that Donald Trump is defying “political gravity.”

There’s a logic to covering Trump like this, particularly if you operate under the assumption that he won’t be the GOP presidential nominee—that something he says or does or did in the past will eventually cause his poll numbers to collapse. If his demise is baked into the plot, why not grab some popcorn and pass it around till it finally happens?

Of the many drawbacks to this kind of myopic voyeurism, the biggest of all is that it obscures the carnage his candidacy is creating on the right as he mows down its sacred cows. Within the conservative movement, the fight over Trump is being waged mostly by surrogates, but surrogates can’t elevate or ennoble it. Instead it has degenerated into a vulgar farce befitting its main object—Trump himself.

(More here.)

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