Saturday, March 05, 2016

Trump throws the GOP into an identity crisis

By Karen Tumulty March 4 at 6:30 PM WashPost

Only a year ago, Republicans were congratulating themselves on having the strongest field of presidential candidates in a generation — diverse, highly credentialed conservatives who might be the salvation of a party that had lost the popular vote in five of the past six elections.

But now, the question is how close the Grand Old Party will come to annihilating itself and what it stands for.

Donald Trump — dismissed by GOP elders for months as an entertaining fringe figure who would self-destruct — has staged a hostile takeover and rebranded the party in his own image. What is being left by the wayside is any sense of a Republican vision for the country or a set of shared principles that could carry the party forward.

A substance-free shout-fest billed as a presidential debate Thursday night marked a new low in a campaign that has seen more than its share of them.

The increasingly prohibitive front-runner and his three remaining opponents spent nearly the entire two hours hurling insults back and forth, with Trump at one point making a reference to the size of his genitalia.

But now, the question is how close the Grand Old Party will come to annihilating itself and what it stands for.

Donald Trump — dismissed by GOP elders for months as an entertaining fringe figure who would self-destruct — has staged a hostile takeover and rebranded the party in his own image. What is being left by the wayside is any sense of a Republican vision for the country or a set of shared principles that could carry the party forward.

(More here.)

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