Only One Person Can Save the Republican Party, and That Person is Hillary Clinton

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Only One Person Can Save the Republican Party, and That Person is Hillary Clinton

Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Rafael Cruz, Mitt Romney, Charles Krauthammer, Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, William Kristol, Richard Hanna, Meg Whitman, Richard Armitage, countless others… the “true conservatives” of the far right obviously feel the GOP is too precious a thing to let die in the hands of D.J. Trump. And make no mistake: that is precisely what would happen if Trump were to somehow become president; the GOP would die and stay dead.

With this in mind, the foregoing individuals—and thousands of their co-thinkers—have decided to play the long con. Many of them are actually voting for Hillary Clinton, and while prima facie this may seem strange, it couldn’t make any more sense.

First, let’s concede that it doesn’t require any great compromise for these villains of the pre-Trump era to pull the lever for the doyenne of the Democratic Party. Indeed, they’re voting for their interests: Corporate welfare, military adventurism, “free trade,” mass surveillance, Israel first, etc. The only painful element is having to temporarily part with the notion that the Democrats somehow present a threat to basic Republican principles.

Has there been a more preposterous myth allowed to survive so long? Granted, the GOP has gone off the rails on a number social issues (abortion, gay marriage, “religious freedom,” bathrooms), but let’s not pretend the majority of Republican officials actually care about such things. Some do, yes, like the bipartisanly-hated Mr. Cruz and silly old Mr. Huckabee; but most could hardly care less.

Issues like abortion and gay marriage are devices used by the right to secure the evangelical vote—an important demographic to mobilize. Decades ago, the GOP correctly calculated that, since no sane person outside the 1% could possibly support their economic policies (written for and by our corporate overlords), they had to appeal to voters in a different way. Hence, no abortion for Zika-infected women, and other equally immoral positions based on the precepts of the Bible.

This tactic very nearly backfired after the financial crisis, when the evangelicals and other conservative crazies, convinced that the political establishment was out to get them (they were/are), made a quasi-break from the GOP and started a movement of their own. The Tea Party was more organized than the leftist Occupy movement, but it fizzled out nonetheless, leaving the door open for a corporate ventriloquist like Jeb Bush to restore order.

It was supposed to be Jeb versus “Hil” this year—an oligarch’s delight. We all know what happened to that plan. Trump happened. An invasion. Shock and awe. Low Energy Jeb, and his protégé Little Marco Rubio, were exposed as puppets of the Chamber of Commerce, serving the interests of the moneyed minority at the expense of everybody else. Down went Jeb, more spectacularly than anyone could have anticipated, and into an existential crisis went the Grand Ole Party.

How to thwart the populist revolution? Little Marco was passed the baton and duly shit the bed, though not before engaging Trump in an adolescent pissing contest (very entertaining, and actually an improvement from the usual debate-stage drivel). Could John Kasich save the day? Maybe if he had a personality. Ultimately (and hilariously), the Never Trump movement was left with Cruz, who they loathe just as much as The Donald, if not more so. They got exactly what they deserved, in other words.

It was time, then, for the party loyalists to capitulate and regroup. They’d suffered a humiliating defeat at the short-fingered hands of a know-nothing real estate tycoon. The ignominy of it! But no time to dwell; there was a party to salvage.

The neoconservatives, sensing that Trump couldn’t be relied upon to blow to bits as many people as they would like, were first to jump ship. Back in March, Eliot Cohen, former official of George W. Bush’s criminal state department, called Clinton “the lesser evil, by a large margin.” Right around the same time, fanatical jingoist Max Boot contended that Hillary would be “vastly preferable to Trump,” while PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan asserted that “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The [Republican Party] cannot be saved, but the country still can be.” (Conveniently, the mass media never questioned whether Hillary accepted the endorsement of these rank apologists for US war crimes. But then again, why wouldn’t she?)

Kagan is wrong, however. The Republican Party can in fact be saved, and I think it’s safe to say that it will be saved—by Clinton.

It’s becoming crystal clear at this point that Donald Trump doesn’t want to win the election. He’s still “winging it,” making sure to jam his foot in his mouth at least once a week. Denigrating the parents of a dead Muslim soldier and joking about Clinton being assassinated by a gun fetishist are the two most recent examples. And this from the man who said, all the way back in April, that he would bore us with how “presidential” he was going to become.

All this is great news for the Bushites. They get to pretend their objection to Trump is a moral one—condemning his “divisive rhetoric” and so forth—while simultaneously pretending to be reluctant about supporting Clinton, their ideological ally. It’s cynicism epitomized, folks, OK? So, so cynical, tremendously cynical, believe me. Big league.

Once Hillary takes over the White House, the GOP has merely to sit back and wait. Given her knack for making a terrible mess of everything she gets her hands on, she’ll do a fine job convincing the American people not to give her a second term. And if for whatever reason they do (think 2004), she’ll guarantee that at least eight years pass before another Democrat sees the inside of the Oval Office.

It’s a win-win for the Republican establishment. For the next four, maybe eight years, they’ll be whining nonstop about a president who is doing exactly what they would have done (minus a SCOTUS pick and some pro-transgender legislation); meanwhile they’ll feign empathy with the millions of people whose lives are damaged by Clinton’s horrid neoliberal policies, which they wholeheartedly support.

When it comes time they’ll nominate a good, proper conservative of the Paul Ryan variety (complete with standard white-nationalist demagogy), and the disillusioned masses will vote for him because he’s not a Democrat, and around and around we go.

There won’t be another Trump in our time; no one else has the chutzpah to wage war on the GOP establishment the way he did. And since he’s almost certainly not going to win the general election and destroy the country’s faith in Republicanism forever, the GOP will live to fight another day.

All we can do now is hope (pray?) that Clinton isn’t as bad a president as we have every reason to believe she’ll be.

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