Has Trump actually accomplished a hostile takeover of the GOP?

Before the election, and in anticipation of Trump’s loss, discussion was all about the fracture of the GOP. In fact when I used that phrase in conversation with a long time Republican orthopedist I know who is a devout hater of all things Clinton (but preferred Kasich and was only voting Trump because not Clinton) he objected: “Just plain fracture implies intact parts. This is a comminuted fracture.”

Now of course discussion is all about how the Democratic Party possibly regroups and talking heads are on about Trump’s redefining of the GOP with all coming in line - a more nativist protectionist populist party.

But has he? Or are the fractures still extant? Now that the elites are not the elites do they take the role of a resistance?

This was the existential crisis for the older school GOP. Do they accept their defeat and get into Trump formation? Or does the fight for the GOP brand continue?

I believe so, essentially, yes. Every politician in DC is afraid, or should be. Regardless of which side of the aisle they sit on.

The GOP needs to evolve. There was a lot of evolving on Tuesday. More to come.

Who are the factions of the GOP? There are probably at least 3.

[ul]
[li]Libertarians who are socially liberal and fiscally restrained[/li][li]Social conservatives who want to use the state to enforce their morality and are repelled by multi-culturalism[/li][li]Business conservatives who want a business friendly environment[/li][/ul]

Now thrown in the mix are working class whites who are hostile to free trade and pro-welfare (as long as it is their welfare like medicare and social security).

Working class whites tended to lean GOP because they are social conservatives and subscribe to the nationalist, racial and religious views of the GOP. But this should create a wedge between the white working class on one hand, and the libertarians and business class on the other.

I wonder if 2016 was a fluke. The GOP is used to totally ignoring the economic interests of working class people, and Trump is the first candidate on the GOP side to speak to their fears (free trade, immigration lowering labor costs and competing for jobs, keeping the social safety net, etc). However I doubt he does much for them, if anything and I assume they end up like all the Obama voters in 2008 who voted for change and didn’t get it and sit out on the midterms 2 years later.

That energy will get redirected the same way it got redirected away from Obama and into people like Warren and Sanders.

So after Trump fails to do anything for them, I think the white working class will rally behind other GOP candidates who actually do believe what they say on economics and immigration rather than just say it to get votes like Trump did.

I guess I don’t see the business class and to a lesser degree the libertarians losing to the white working class anytime soon.

I believe 2016 woke up a lot of working class people who want their economic interests reflected, but I’m not sure where they will direct that energy. Maybe the democratic party learns from this and pushes more for ways to reach them.

Bumping this to see if in the wake of the Obamacare repeal we can update the condition of the above.

Is Trump succeeding so far in defining a new Trump brand for the GOP as a whole?

How does his recent attack on the Freedom Caucus fit into where the party identity goes from here?

Will Trumpism help traditional Republicans successfully primary House Freedom Caucus members?

Or will the anti-establishment our way or we blow the whole place up wing successfully primary those who supported Trump on healthcare and other elements of his agenda that do not mesh with theirs?

Will there be a big enough group of Republicans that offers enough compromise to the Democrats that legislation can pass without the Freedom caucus and the smattering of others getting on the train? If so how does that change the GOP brand?

No, I don’t think so. The fractures in the GOP are widening, if anything, especially after the Obamacare fiasco. You can see that the GOP isn’t even able to come to a consensus about something they have been talking about repealing for years now…and Trump’s effect and input into it was pretty underwhelming. Right now I think everyone is waiting to see what the fallout is going to be wrt the Russian involvement with the Trump campaign and the election. Depending on how that plays out I expect Trump’s stock to drop (figuratively and literally) and him to be basically a lame duck president before his first year is even out. Got to be a new record.

Something like 95% of the specific actions (repeal regulations…) Trump has done are in line with hard-core conservative Republicans and something like 5% are in line with working class whites. The latest thing I read was about NAFTA; a truly horrible agreement according to Trump during the election. Now he just wants minor changes–much like Obama’s ideas:

You had me scared for a moment there. You meant the attempted Obamacare repeal, right?

Uh yeah. :smack:
I’m not even sure what the main divergent ideologic strands of the current GOP vying for brand dominance are at this point.

Did Wesley Clark get it right, four? Recapping -

[ul]
[li]Libertarians (inclusive of but not restricted to the Freedom Caucus supporters)[/li][li]Social conservatives/Religious Right[/li][li]Business conservatives, who are most of the traditional power of the GOP. [/li][li]Working class whites, who were attracted to Trump’s nativist protectionist populist schtick and who want entitlements cut … except the ones that they benefit from … which are most of them[/li][/ul]

Some of this I’ve posted elsewhere in different forms.

I think Trump proved himself very capable of signing his name while smiling smugly into a camera. And his party loved it, they handed him hardline partisan EO after EO and he signed and signed and signed - I don’t think he had much grasp of what he was signing, which was fine by the GOP.

Then he got his first real test. I was astounded by what I saw and read. Donald J Trump, erstwhile author of “The Art of the Deal” is a horrible negotiator that made every mistake in the book.I really do have to wonder what goes on inside the Trump Organization but I bet he’s held a largely ceremonial role for a long time and just comes in to sign papers after the deal has been struck.

He went into the negotiations with absolutely NO information, he didn’t know what was in the bill and he was surprised by the Freedom Caucus and their agenda. He has no idea of strategy. Then there was the time he let Skeve Bannon open his mouth.

(Hint - saying you are going to work with Democrats is a good ploy, but you have to work it. Take a few meetings with them and cancel some with your own guys. Listen to what they want and talk publicly about including it. Maybe, if you really want to bluff, you could postpone signing a couple of those executive orders because you want input from the other side.)

And I laughed and laughed at how they pretended to give up -Ryan said “ObamaCare was the law of the land, and they were moving on” They spent a week standing in the parking lot waiting for the car salesman to come running after them with a better deal, and it didn’t happen. So now they have to slink back into the sales office and try again.

And this time he’s resorted to threats and bullying, which will make it impossible for the FC to vote with him without looking weak.
All of this wasted political capital has been spent on Ryan’s POS “health care” bill. A bill that would break his promise to buck the GOP and deliver a healthcare plan that covers everyone.

And not to mention, the real estate genius campaigned on this stupid wall without looking at, you know, a MAP and apparently didn’t realize that If he builds a wall he’ll either give away 1200 miles of river or start a war.

So, no he hasnt performed a hostile takeover of the GOP. He’s not capable of performing a hostile takeover of his own pants.

All of this is theatre, or so I’m told. It’s to give reporters and the public something to chew on while Goldman-Sachs takes over your country. And I do mean ‘theatre’. Trump’s use of Twitter is vetted by media experts and timed exquisitely to keep people occupied, Trump is a patriot in the Republican sense of the word, playing the clown for the sake of corporate masters, and so on. This is what I’m told.

I don’t buy it for a second. Not because Goldman-Sachs isn’t taking over your country, but because they don’t need to cause distraction to make it happen. They’re in, they’ve been for years, everyone knows it. I have a hard time seeing my inestimable colleague’s point of view, because I don’t see how “let’s get everyone to turn their attention to the White House and argue for our president’s impeachment/imprisonment/pillorying” is a path to success. I’d be doing everything I can to make Trump appear the savior he thinks he is so the happy public thinks everything is fine and goes back to watching Pawn Stars or whatever.

How does the idea that this is all worked out in advance to clear the way for your corporate overlords strike you folks? Asking for, yes, a friend.

That would assume competence not otherwise in evidence.

Well, there sit Exxon-Mobil and Goldman-Sachs in your cabinet, and you have to admit Trump’s silly antics do draw the eye. That would indicate that if such a plan existed, it’s been successful.

Yea, there was never really much to “Trumpism”, and even if there was, Trump himself seems to scatterbrained to pursue it, and there aren’t really a coherent body of people he could draw on to do it for him. Instead he’s left with a bunch of ex-Breitbart bloggers, weird conspiracy theorists and ex-Nazis, none of which are really reliable to formulate policy or get it through the legislature (or even write workable Executive Orders, apparently). So that makes it pretty hard to “takeover” the GOP, when you don’t have anyone to do the actual taking over.

On the otherhand, there are literally tens of thousands of Conservative apparatchiks from various thinktanks, GOP State gov’ts, Congressional staffers, etc, who have gov’t experience, well developed policy ideas, experience selling legislation to the public, etc. So its not really surprising that the Trump admin has basically ended up pursing a traditional Conservative wishlist of tax cuts, regulatory rollback, climate denialism, etc.

You forgot Priebus, the toothless secretary who’s only there as a sop to the establishment.

What he’s performed is not a takeover, but a coup. He’s successfully outed the old leadership. He just hasn’t supplied any new leadership to take its place, with the result that the Republicans are unled and acting like it.

Although not as powerful as when I first registered as a Republican, and more leaning towards the neo-con side of the house, there’s also push back in some of the more foreign policy leaning elements withinin the Party. In the Senate the Armed Services and Intelligence committees are not friendly ground for Trump. It’s easy to forget, since they are closed door hearings to deal with classified information, but it’s the Senate Intelligence committee that is holding hearings on Russian involvement into the election.

Even if it’s a smaller piece of the overall party, we especially shouldn’t ignore the folks currently digging into Russian ties. McCain, as chair, and others on Armed Services will likely continue to hound him on other foreign policy related issues as well.

True that I forgot the neocons … and I suspect the neocons actually feel less unease with mainstream Democrats than with Trumpism! His ploy to increase the military budget even as everything else is supposed to get serious cuts may play well to some of them. But cutting funding to the other tools that all interested in world security (inclusive of neocons) would like to use (even if they differ in how they are used), diplomatic and foreign aid programs, and having sold a more isolationist Fortress America product, really has diminished “strong American presence in international affairs” as GOP branding.

As you said earlier - the Republican party has no problem with Goldman and Exxon taking over the country. They don’t need anyone to play the clown. If Trump were abducted by aliens, the Republicans would be perfectly happy with the people he’s already put in place (aside from his children, and even they would be welcome, assuming they could adjust to not having Daddy to promote them.)

Donald Trump is not deliberately humiliating himself in order to draw fire for the Republicans so that they can appoint their favorite corporate CEOs, whom none of them object to.

Republicans like Donald. They think he’s clever. They think he’s a boss. Republicans, including Donald, like the people he’s appointed. There is no real opposition to Donald Trump, except in the details.

This is not a cunning plan. This is just Republicans being Republicans, doing Republican things.

Which actually pushes into internal issues with members of his own administration if it’s just more money for the military. Mattis and McMaster came from a maneuver background and achieved flag rank in an era when stability operations (especially counter-insurgency) were at the forefront. In one of the almost obligatory public letters from generals and admirals at this point they referenced Mattis commenting when he was CENTCOM Commander.

Graham and McCain (they both sit on both Intell and Armed Services committees although McCain is an ex-oficio/non-voting member on Intelligence) don’t seem likely to be bought off with mere DOD budget increases when they were among those that disagreed with the travel ban EO on foreign policy grounds. They were thinking in terms beyond just spending to give CENTCOM and AFRICOM more stuff for ongoing, kinetic, counter-terror campaigns.

McCain has gone as far as joining Schumer to propose legislation that would have required Congressional approval to lift Russian sanctions. It never went anywhere but it does highlight the friction point on foreign policy if things continue on the current path. It may also highlight the stupidity of attacking a very senior Senator for being a POW. :smiley:

Yes, that’s how I see it. “Let’s make everyone hate us” isn’t just a bad plan, it’s an unnecessary one. The fact that these things the conspiracy is allegedly designed to distract us from are the US’s political noise floor and not secret at all doesn’t seem to faze my conspiracy-minded friend.

(Before the election, he also claimed that Trump was an anti-ringer designed to push primary voters towards Jeb Bush. I haven’t asked if the same people were behind both conspiracies.)