He's only been presumptive "GOP" nominee for three days, but his corrupt, thuggish influence has been corroding the party for long before this week. This is the Corleonesque endgame.
Take Mike Huckaburger, for example, an ordained Baptist minister, no less, who is now sounding with regard to conservatives who are putting principle before the party that left us like President Bush43 addressing al Qaeda fourteen years ago:
Speaking on Fox’s America’s Newsroom Thursday, the former Arkansas governor dismissed the notion that he could be up for the VP slot — “He’s never said anything to me about it,” he said — but averred that he would do everything in his power to make sure that Trump becomes the next president, even though the party was not be supporting him in unison yet.
“When we nominated people over the past several election cycles, some of us had heartburn, but we stepped up and supported the nominee,” he said, and told any Republicans not backing Trump to leave the party. “This isn’t Burger King,” he said. “This is an election. And you don’t get it all the time just like you want it.”
“You’re either on the team, or you’re not on the team,” he added. [emphasis added]
Well, as I say, Gomer, the party has already left us, and if you had any integrity (or three brain cells to rub together), you'd realize that it left you as well. But then Huckles never did have much of a brain to wash in the first place, did he?
There are two possibilities here: Either he's been corrupted (remember that he was one of the first former candidates to hop aboard TrumpTrain) or he is literally a three-watt bulb incapable of grasping that this isn't the standard case of "wah, my candidate didn't win" syndrome. It's the difference between browsing an online dating site and choosing between, say, Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker - smokin' hot and faux hot Oklahoma two-bagger, but still passable female - and choosing between Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Bruce Jenner....
....not the same gender, and maybe not even the same species.
My candidate, once again, was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and he was the first one out of the race. And, once again, I could have "heartburnedly" gotten behind any of the other fifteen candidates - even Hucker - that were actual Republicans if nothing else. But not Trump. Because Trump is not a Republican (as that used to be defined). Trump is a liberal Democrat. And I thought Republicans didn't support liberal Democrats. That, evidently, has now changed (or changed back, going back to the pre-Goldwater GOP). But true conservatives still do not, and never will. Which would speak to the need for Huck to head to the exits if the OTHER "team" wasn't running the party now. Why is he shocked that we don't want to be on it?
If Huckabuckle wasn't such a witless oaf, he'd have just said, "You are with us....or you are with the terrorists". It's what he wanted to say, after all. Apparently he didn't have the balls to do it.
But other Trumpidians, like campaign spokesgal Katrina Pierson (who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, BTW), equivalently do:
A spokeswoman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign said Friday that House Speaker Paul Ryan shouldn’t be speaker if he can’t get behind his party’s presumptive nominee.
” If the speaker of the House doesn’t come around to supporting the Republican nominee, do you think Paul Ryan is still fit to be speaker?” CNN’s John Berman asked Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.
“No, because this is about the party,” Pierson responded. “We were told to hold our noses and vote for the sake of the party.” [emphasis added]
That's a...unique definition of "fitness", Kat. Given that she infiltrated the Tea Party after her Obama dalliance, I could understand her saying something that imperiously insulting, if not condone or agree with it, coming in that context. But this? The Speaker of the House of Representatives not reflexively endorsing a liberal Democrat who has torn the GOP limb from limb (as Pierson herself is illustrating) as the Republican presidential nominee? That makes Ryan supremely fit for his post, if the party still standing for conservative principles that Pierson once claimed to represent still means anything. If, however, it's just a bunch of corrupt, mercenary, turd-in-every-pocket hacks - ironically, what the Tea Party has falsely accused the GOP "establishment" of being - then knock yourself out, I guess. Which is why that is not a "team" on which #NeverTrumpers wish to "play".
And then there is the quixotic, erratic, too-brilliant-for-his-own-good Ryan-predecessor Newt Gingrich, who has yo-yo'd between conservative orthodoxy and anti-conservative heresy for years, leading the Gingrich Revolution in Congress, then paling around with Bill Clinton, then winning the first government shutdown showdown with Slick in the winter of 1995, then overplaying his hand and losing the second one (which is the only part 'Pubbies ever remember), then becoming a political eunuch after Clinton's re-election, then finally resigning the Speakership and retreating to pundit-dom. Only to resurface fourteen years later with a GOP presidential run of his own in 2012 that saw him (along with Rick Santorum) sound like Bernie Sanders in his hysterical leftish attacks on Mitt Romney, a "Republican businessman" with far less (alleged) wealth, but far more humility, decency, goodness, and personal character than the one for whom he's flacking now:
How did Ryan make a "mistake", even in the context of the rest of Newt's comments?:
“He can sit down and negotiate very toughly with the nominee on specific issues. That is why the constitution has a division of powers, and I encourage that kind of tough-minded negotiation. But it has to be done in a framework that we’re all Republicans. We’re all on the same side…
The Speaker of the House has a lot of tools. He can defend whatever position he believes in by the power of whether or not he even brings it to the floor. So he has enormous leverage over the President of the United States if he wants to use it.”
First of all, isn't "toughly negotiating with the nominee" pretty much what Ryan is doing by withholding his endorsement? Ryan didn't declare himself a #NeverTrumper, but a #SkepticalOfTrumper. He said that if Trump wants his backing, he's going to have to earn it, not have it handed to him for free. If The Donald is such a great negotiator himself (and he isn't, as his business track record dismally shows) I would think he would recognize and appreciate that. Just as I would think Gingrich would be able to figure that out. Maybe his "brilliance" is overrated, seeing as how he is blind to the fact that Trump is on nobody's side but his own...or Hillary Clinton's.
Perhaps Il Douche recognizes the Speaker's opening gambit for what it is....or perhaps he's going full-Godfather:
Sometime in the next week one of these....
....may show up in Ryan's bed.
There is another plausible motivation for Speaker Ryan playing hard to get. Exit quote from Chris Cillizza:
Lost somewhat in the maelstrom of press coverage of Ryan’s announcement — it came during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper — was the “why” behind Ryan’s decision to not simply get in line behind Trump.
The answer is important and telling about where Ryan sees both himself and the party not just in this election but in 2020 and beyond. He is not running for president. Instead he’s working like hell to preserve a Republican Party that can be viable in future national elections. …
Seen through that lens, Ryan’s unwillingness to simply throw his support behind Trump makes perfect sense. Ryan knows the numbers. He gets that Trump is an underdog against Hillary Clinton in the fall. And what he wants to avoid is sacrificing (or appearing to be sacrificing) the core principles of the Republican Party for the easy expediency of backing the party’s nominee. [emphases added]
UPDATE: #IStandWithGraham? In this case, yeah, I do.