Like a lot of folks on the left, the minute it was certain that Donald Trump had taken advantage of the very rigged system he spoke about to ascend to the Presidency, I began looking to moderate Republicans to save our asses. With 48 Democratic Senators, we would only need two or three reasonable, sensible Republicans to put the kibosh on the cabinet appointment of hard-liners like Jeff Sessions, Mike Flynn, Kris Kolbach, and Mike Pompeo. My assumption was that we’d give Trump establishment figures like the Mitt Romneys and John Kasichs, but surely, the ever-shrinking moderate wing of the GOP wouldn’t let Trump appoint overt racists, would he?
What’s that, NeverTrumper Jeff Flake?
.@SenatorSessions is well like and well regarded, even by those who don't always agree with him. I look forward to supporting his nomination— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 18, 2016
Oh, but surely Susan Collins — who declined to endorse Trump — would side with reason, right?
So much for that.
Like Paul Ryan, the moderate Republicans are spineless, gutless politicians, and now that they have control of the executive and legislative branches, they’re all Mr. Burnsing their fingers and licking their lips while they plan their evil agenda to repeal Obamacare, cut Medicaid, overturn Roe v. Wade, cut taxes for the wealthy, and privatize the goddamn United States Postal Service.
But here’s the deal: Donald Trump is going to torch them. It may not happen next week, or the week after, or even in the next couple of months, but it will happen. Republicans are going to cozy up to the President-elect, they’re going to make nice, and they’re going to talk about making sweet, sweet love to one another. But as soon as Paul Ryan overreaches or Mitch McConnell fails to fully support a ridiculous, unrealistic Trump proposal, Donald Trump is going to light their asses up. Trump wants to pass a trillion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy and he wants to spend a trillion dollars on new infrastructure projects. That’s going to sit real well with establishment Republicans.
Look: White Nationalist Stephen Bannon hates no one in the world more than Paul Ryan, who he once said was a Republican politician grown in a petri dish. Bannon wants to tear it all down. He’s the racist, anti-Semitic, anti-establishment asshole in charge of Trump’s agenda, and all he wants to do is set the world on fire. He and Trump are going to exploit the GOP for as long as they need to, but once they have all stuck their necks out for Trump, Bannon is going to lower the axe. He’s going to ruin them.
Does Paul Ryan actually think that now that Trump is President-elect that he’s going to change? That he’s going to buddy up with the guy who yanked him from a Wisconsin rally last year, and pulled his support for Trump in the waning days of the campaign? Did Paul Ryan not see Trump go off on the cast of Hamilton? He’s not a changed man. He’ll never be a changed man, and the only thing he gives a shit about is loyalty (see, e.g., all of his cabinet appointments, almost all of whom endorsed Trump while he’s ignoring the more qualified, sane people who resisted a Trump Presidency). Hell, if Bernie Sanders had endorsed Donald Trump, he’d be the Secretary of Treasury now. Donald Trump DGAF, and he’s going to hold on to those grudges forever. He hates the Establishment.
Remember, this is the man who had planned to start a SuperPac after the election to go after Republicans who didn’t support him. Don’t think for a second that his mind has been changed by the outcome in the election. In fact, now he has even more power to destroy those people. Bannon and Trump are going to go after the establishment, and when the next election cycle rolls around, a lot of these moderate Republicans are either going to find themselves in very tough primaries against Trump Republicans or they’re going to find themselves trying to defend their loyalty to Trump against Democrats in the general.
I’m not saying that any of this is good for the country — nothing about a Trump presidency will be — but I am saying that, from a purely political perspective, cowardice will not be rewarded. Moderate Republicans — or the “cucks,” as the white nationalists call them — can stand up to Trump now while they still have a modicum of their dignity left, or they can wait a year and try to renegotiate the souls they lost when they made a deal with the devil. But rest assured: The most dangerous thing the GOP can do right now is hitch their wagons to Donald Trump. He’s a powder keg waiting to explode, and when he does — when he’s impeached, or when his approval ratings drop below the already dismal 30 percent they are now — there will be no take backsies. Everyone that put their arm around Trump is going to suffer for it.
And you know what? Fuck ‘em. Fuck every last one of them.