Thursday morning, Donald Trump woke up, shuffled around the White House for a bit and then decided to kick off a civil war within the Republican Party:
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Having previously threatened the House Freedom Caucus if they didn’t bend the knee before his throne, Trump appears to be getting ready to make good on his word to crush them.
I am being completely and utterly sincere when I say, “Good luck with that, Mr. President.”
Trump is clearly still pissed off that the GOP’s most extreme members cost him a big win after they torpedoed Ryan and Trump’s abomination of a health care bill. And, frankly, he should be. They hated it not because it stripped 24 million people of their healthcare, they hated it because it didn’t strip enough people of their healthcare. If Trump wants to truly get rid of “bad hombres,” he can start with what Bob Cesca has previously dubbed “The Flying Monkey Caucus.”
If I were a Democrat, I would be quickly toasting Trump and then getting right to work finding qualified candidates to run in the HFC’s 30 districts. Best case scenario, Trump and the people Steve Bannon selects to run against the Flying Monkeys will split the vote enough for a Democrat to slip in and take the seat. They’d almost certainly lose it in the 2020 election since those districts are so heavily gerrymandered in favor of Republicans, Ronald Reagan’s skeleton could win over the most conservative Democrat you can imagine. But until then, it would be a giant neon sign that the GOP is vulnerable.
Another fun scenario to consider is that Trump succeeds to outing most or all of the Caucus. The only people capable of doing this would be Trumpsters to the right of the incumbent and the only thing to the right on them are full blown white nationalists. I’ve been saying for years that the Republican Party is doomed to become the party of open white nationalism and the election of Trump to the presidency is only going to accelerate that trend.
As openly racist as the Tea Party was and the House Freedom Caucus is, they stop short of openly advocating for removing Those People from America (Steve King being an exception). Trump candidates will not be using coded language. Steve Bannon will hand pick candidates that will make your rank and file neo-Nazi weep with joy. We’ve already seen that there is a powerful appetite for white nationalism on the right and that might just be enough to bump even the most rabid Tea Party candidate out of office.
What’s great about that is while the GOP’s core may love the idea of goosestepping, moderates will be nauseated while independents and liberals will be enraged. The quickest way to electoral suicide is to be the party with the Nazi Caucus.
Another aspect to consider is that being anti-establishment is only useful when the other side controls the establishment. Conservatives tend to like the idea of a monarch running the country and if the Flying Monkeys are interfering with the king’s rule, they may suddenly find they’re not so welcome anymore. This might allow the Republican establishment to get their own people in, essentially primarying from the left. Anything that makes the GOP less extreme has to be good for the country in the long run, even if it makes it easier to pass the Republican agenda in the short run.
Finally, there’s the distinct possibility that the House Freedom Caucus will decide that if it’s war he wants, it’s war Trump shall get. Say goodbye to anything on the Republican agenda that Trump wants. That wall on the border? Good luck finding the money to build it because it won’t be in the budget. Tax cuts? Yeah, they’d like to do it but only if Trump agrees to privatize Medicare at the same time. Infrastructure? We don’t need roads where we’re going. Did someone say something about the debt ceiling? Oh, that won’t be getting raised unless you get the Democrats to play along. Best of luck with that one.
This is not a fight Trump should be picking and if he (assuming he’s still president by the midterms) fails to oust the Flying Monkeys (the most likely outcome), he will be seen, rightly, as the single weakest president of the modern era, forced to his knees by 30 completely unaccountable extremists.
There is almost no downside for the Democrats here and a whole lot of potential gain. At the absolute least, the campaign commercials write themselves and Trump is forced to waste valuable time and what little political capital he has left to fight his own party. We just have to hope that Trump doesn’t suddenly decide that he can’t win this fight and pretend it never happened. But even the status quo is benefiting Democrats so it’s pretty much a win-win-win-win situation for the left.
Maybe the Dems should take an extra moment to give two toasts to Trump for being so phenomenally bad at his job.
There are 585 days left to the 2018 elections.
– This article kills fascists
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