Last night it was Ted Cruz who suspended his campaign and then this afternoon John Kasich did the same, thus leaving Donald Trump - a man endorsed by racist groups and winning only in the working class white male category - as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. While the so-called GOP establishment has for years courted extremists, racists, raging homophobes and theocrats, few ever believed that the Frankenstein monsters they unleashed would ever go so far as to overthrow the party's leadership. Many conservatives don't like to be told that they are justly reaping what they sowed and/or that karma can be a bitch, but Trump is the creation of their own misdeeds and cynical pandering to those Republicans would have found abhorrent (I certainly cannot picture my late grand mother even trying to feign polite conversation with most Trump supporters). As a piece in Vanity Fair describes, the great GOP freak out has begun. Here are article highlights:
Turning around to hug his family after dropping out of the presidential race Tuesday night, Ted Cruz managed to both accidentally punch and elbow his wife in the face, giving Republicans the perfect metaphor for the state in which he’d just left them. Donald Trump, a lurid orange candle of narcissistic fire, is now the party’s presumptive nominee for the presidency, and conservatives everywhere were not taking the news well.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus put on a brave face in a tweet sent shortly after Cruz dropped out of the race. But on CNN the next morning, Priebus looked pained, saying he was “surprised” by Cruz’s “unexpected” move. “But now we have to say that it’s pretty obvious that Donald Trump is going to get to 1,237,” he told New Day host Alisyn Camerota.
Mitt Romney, who had attempted to reenergize the #NeverTrump movement with a well-received speech calling on Republicans to do everything in their power to deny Trump the nomination, took to Twitter to politely thank Cruz for his campaign, but remained silent about whether he would support his party’s standard-bearer.
Sen. John McCain hadn’t yet weighed in, but his former speechwriter, Mark Salter, immediately jumped ship, declaring “I’m with her [Hillary].”
Several prominent conservative leaders who had signed onto the National Review's “Against Trump” issue told the Daily Beast that, like it or not, they had to support Hillary Clinton now. “Hillary is ideologically not where I am,” said Leon Wolf, the editor of RedState, but argued that the former secretary of state would simply be a better president. “I wouldn’t go to bed every night worrying about a mushroom cloud opening up somewhere in the world because of some insane thing Trump had done.”
Erick Erickson, one of the first conservative commentators to speak out against Trump, told the Daily Beast that he would “de-register” as a Republican, saying that Trump’s nomination will rebrand the G.O.P. as the “party of white supremacists. . . . If Republicans aren’t going to stand up to having their party hijacked by a group of Aryan nation-types, then they get what they deserve.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had previously flirted with the idea of parachuting into a contested convention, declined to say anything overt about Trump’s victory, instead posting old videos of himself delivering patriotic speeches about America’s future and the true meaning of conservatism.
Erick Erickson - who I generally NEVER agree with - got it right in terms of what the GOP is becoming: a party of white supremacists and religious extremists who belong in mental institutions.