Where are the GOP’s Brutuses, the Cascas, the Longinuses, the Minociuses today? Where are Senators John McCain or Lindsay Graham or Susan Collins? Where is ex-president George W. Bush? Where is ex–presidential candidate Mitt Romney? Where is New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, or California’s ex-governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger?
These men and women know what Trump is. They have to understand what is at stake here. They have to see that Trump and his followers have now crossed fundamental Rubicons, embracing such antidemocratic, such thuggish views—the mindset of the pogrom, the death squad, the race-and-religion war—that they now represent an absolute and existential threat to the Republic.
And yet not one of these political figures have come out and said they will dissociate themselves from a Trump candidacy—that they will vote for, and campaign for, anyone but Trump. Not one of them has said that democracy comes before party. Not one of them has dared to use the “F” word, calling Trump out for the fascist that he so clearly is.
Exactly which George W. Bush are you expecting to show up to denounce Donald Trump? The one who stood by while his campaign and its stooges implied John Kerry shot himself in the leg to give himself a better bio? The one who started two wars just because he could and acted like the dead people were bothering him out of spite? The one who refused to meet with Cindy Sheehan after her son was killed? The one who destroyed John McCain in South Carolina by implying his adopted daughter was conceived out of wedlock with an African-American woman? That one?
Speaking of McCain, which one are you expecting to show up to denounce Donald Trump? The one who joked that Janet Reno fathered Chelsea Clinton? The one who screamed at Tom Tancredo, the creature, for asking for support for a bill? The one who hired Sarah Palin and then pretended she was some kind of lone wolf when she accused Obama of terrorist ties?The one who wants to defund women’s health clinics? Maybe the one who welcomed the Tea Party senators into his caucus with open arms? That one? You think that one’s going to save the party?
Which Mitt Romney do you want to swoop in and, with one inspiring speech (THIS IS MITT FUCKING ROMNEY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE) turn the entire GOP base remorseful and serious? The one who said 47 percent of Americans were basically moochers, the one who said corporations were people, the one who got his largest majorities among the richest and whitest and most afraid? That one? That’s who you think would act in the public interest and overcome Trump’s message of fire and blood?
Which GOP senators, which GOP congressman, are you expecting to denounce Donald Trump and the mad throng of fools following him? The ones who haven’t profited from racists and lunatics for years? THERE AREN’T ANY OF THOSE IN CONGRESS. There are no adults in the GOP and there never have been, not in modern times. You have to go back before the Civil Rights Act to find any who haven’t counted the money and closed their eyes.
They all owe their positions, their power, to the people who follow Trump. They all take money from these racist idiots we presently are so horrified by and they all count the votes on election day. If you take away the racist idiots, if you take away the people who think black people should still be slaves and we should ban Muslims and gays and Mexicans from existing, Democrats win in a landslide every time, so no, the GOP’s senators and congressmen are not going to denounce Trump. Not enough of them. Not the ones with an inch of power to lose.
I mean, these are the people who cowered in fear of being primaried by the likes of TED CRUZ. If you are so fucked that you are looking to them for salvation, may I suggest praying to the Easter Bunny? It’s slightly less humiliating, and just as likely to work.
And you know this. If you’ve been paying attention, if you’re not dependent on denial to keep your head up, if you’re not invested in the status quo to the point that acknowledging your lack of shock at Trump would kick out one leg of the tripod of stupid you sit on each day, you know this. You know the GOP isn’t going to save itself, because the GOP isn’t in danger. The only people in danger are the ones who make their money convincing people not to figure this out.
This is the GOP. It doesn’t need saving. It doesn’t need to return to some imaginary principled time. It doesn’t need to assassinate Trump in the street (which, by the way, is what you’re talking about when you make Brutus-Cassius rhetorical feints, so watch your imagery because we’re all kind of jumpy these days) and it doesn’t need to shove him into some spare bedroom of American politics next to David Duke and pretend he never existed.
It needs to be defeated. In elections. From president on down to mosquito abatement district commissioner. It needs to be voted down and down and down and down, down past the lowest circle of the deepest pit in the darkest hole we have. It needs to be toxic as a brand. It needs to attain the social status of declaring yourself a sex offender or a Nickelback fan. It needs to be hung round the neck of its every modern functionary like a rotting piece of meat, warning people away with the smell. It needs to be BEATEN. Soundly. That’s all it needs.
The only reason to wish for the reformation of the modern GOP is to bank on it for a buck. And if you’re doing that, I’m not going to tell you your business. You should know by now what you are.