I think the 2008 Presidential Election can be your model. Substitute “Trump” for “Palin”.
I foresee no real changes. The GOP digs in their heels and attempts to make it a one-term Presidency, probably with a lot of Congressional investigations into “scandals”. Trump gets his own news network. In 2018, the Democrats once again fail to go to the voting booths and the whole hideous clusterfuck continues.
I don’t mean what will the party do, in the house and senate. I mean, I get they’ll blame Hilary and obstruct, of course.
But what about his rabid supporters, in who’s eyes he can do no wrong. Those screaming crowds?What will they say over thanksgiving dinner? How will they take it? What will they think of him? If the party abandons him? Will the party abandon him?
When you say “crumbles” and “shambles”, are you picturing the GOP retaining a majority in the House of Representatives – along with a majority of Governors, and a majority of state legislatures – plus maybe keeping a majority in the Senate?
The rabid Trumpians will of course think they were robbed and that ACORN stole the election. They won’t accept Hillary as president any more than they accepted Obama. There will be a period of a little more than two years where they won’t have a focal point, Trump will go back to being Mr. Haney (Green Acres) in a nicer suit, he won’t be giving speeches because there’s no money in it. In early 2019 a new firebrand will emerge as the voice of the oppressed white Christian males.
Republican pols will head for the nearest vomitorium and purge Trump from their internal organs. Guys like Ryan and McConnell will swear they never heard of the guy. Ryan will be the de facto head of the party after McConnell finds himself minority leader.
In the short term immediately after the election, probably extending to a few weeks or months of Clinton’s term, it’ll be all about anger and rejecting the results. There will be calls from all Republicans about lawsuits and a rigged system. This is the grave they’ve chosen to die in, and they have to at least give it cursory lip service. In the immediate aftermath, I suspect the more cynical ones will use this to position themselves for 2018 and 2020, or to raise month, or both.
After the immediate anger has subsided, it depends. If Trump is going to seriously move to create an opposing news network to Fox, then his supporters, most of whom will still be racist, sexist, and angry, will flock to him. They will internalize the belief that the GOP establishment never really supported Trump, and they need to be destroyed, and Trump is the best person to do that. This sets up a continual fight between Trump and the establishment that will hurt the GOP brand for years to come, though I suppose they will still be motivated enough to vote in a big bloc in the midterms
If TNN doesn’t appear and Trump exits stage left after the loss, the GOP will probably do another autopsy report (and probably still ignore it). In it, I suspect that they will point to much of the same thing as 2012, only this time, they will think they simply need to find the next Donald Trump but without the idiocy (not overt, dog whistleblowing, openly racist, can’t stay on message idiocy). As has been mentioned in this election, Trump showed a possible working playbook for the next GOP demogogue. Cruz is smart enough and calculating enough to take that, tweak it, and run with it. Not to mention the likes of the other racists given an open home in the post-Trump GOP. The guy who takes over Trump is going to pivot so fucking hard to the right in the primary that we’ll all be wondering if its Trump 2.0, after all he destroyed all 16 of his opponents. But smart money will be that this guy, whoever it is, will be able to stay on message, not pick stupid Twitter fights, and at least most of the time, seem like a human being competence enough to put his own pants on. That’s the danger.
What I don’t think will happen, and I have 100% confidence in this, is that the GOP will realize the hateful populism its been spreading for decades and actually become a mature, adult party, or even move in that direction. That will require too many GOP Congresscritters to lose at once and with gerrymandered districts that simply won’t happen. The angry white racist base is still going to be white and racist and angry, and natural selection is too slow of a killer to affect cataclysmic political change. Being finally openly courted by Trump, they will be unwilling to slink back into the shadows, they will want to be the face of the franchise. When Trump loses, the worst job in the world will be Reince Preibus’s (there’s a 100 point Scrabble name if I ever heard one) as he tries to corral the loud openly racist bloc and the establishment GOP who only practice racism behind closed doors into a coherent, winning party. Hopefully, some winnable Republican seats will be primaried and lose to Dems in 2018.
Pretty much what others have said. The Republican Party won’t take a long term hit from Trump’s campaign - they haven’t embraced him as a standard bearer so they’ll have an easy time walking away from him. The theme will be “We didn’t lose. He lost.”
But I’ve also gone on record predicting that within a few months the Republicans will begin rewriting history on this campaign. Once Trump is defeated and out of the spotlight, the conservative media will get to work on rehabilitating his image. They’ll downplay all the stupid things he said and did and begin claiming he wasn’t as bad as people remember - he was just the target of unfair attacks by the liberal media. They’ll start claiming that this imaginary President Trump would have done all kinds of great things if he had won.
It is not at all like 2008. Palin was not that important, and McCain was the natural choice, having been the runnier-up in 2000. The real problem for the GOP was Bush and a tanking economy. I don’t recall any Republicans jumping ship back then.
Today we have a significant number of major Republicans refusing to support the candidate with some even supporting Clinton.
What happens depends on the reaction of the far-right to this, once the smoke clears. Do they turn on the not-Trump representatives? Are those people more willing to work with Democrats? Will McConnell be partly blamed for losing the Senate? Will Ryan be blamed for losing seats in the House? And will the far right be discredited for nominating such a loser?
I can see a civil war on the GOP side. And what happens to them depends on how the war comes out. They’d be wise to dump the extremists and start appealing to the new demographic, but they haven’t been smart so far so who knows?
Don’t forget the importance of the nomination contests.
We may well see a rash of Republicans who have seen that they can grab the nomination by appealing to the core racists, who can be motivated to come and vote in the primaries if the candidate stops the dog-whistles and starts shouting. The party won’t be able to dump the extremists if the extremists take over the nomination process.
I can see Trump losing- I ain’t convinced yet, but would love to see it. I don’t, however, see the Republican party in shambles. They’ll just rally around the next crazy intolerant Christian types, and those who promise the moon to corporate folks. Business as usual for them, only they’ll probably demand of any new loonies that a resume of serving in Government, at some level, is required. They’ll push for the same things they push for today, only Trump won’t be a part of it. If he loses.
(This is not a slam at Christians in general, just those crazy intolerant Republican ones who wish to legislate through their own personal relationship with the Bible, and what they interpret it to say.)
What the Republicans have learned from this year’s election is the danger of letting the extremists pick a candidate: shouters may get nominated but you need a dog whistler to win the general election. Next time, they’re going to rewrite the rules so the party can make sure a nice safe mainstream conservative gets the nomination.
For the presidential ticket perhaps, but I can’t see them re-writing the rules for senate congress etc. Expect a lot of the downticket nomination races in 2018 to feature lots of screaming about “those people here to take your jobs and blow you up”
Not necessarily so much a shambles. They’ll likely still have the House and possibly the Senate. Minimally be within striking distance of having both after the next mid-terms.
His rabid supporters? He’s done running, they don’t dump him but he’s not someone to support either. They go back to what they were doing before: mostly not voting and complaining a lot. If the party rebuilds as a less exclusionary entity then they either stay home more often or they vote GOP as what they see as the lesser of two evils and feel disenfranchised as the country is ever increasingly not “theirs.”
1984 is a good comparison here. The Democrats were smashed in the presidential election but still had both houses of Congress.
The Republicans won’t keep the Senate this year, but they won’t lose the presidency by anywhere near 1984 margins, either. So it’s perfectly possible that they will be in good shape to retake the presidency in 2020 as a reasonably united party, especially given that the Democrats would have had the White House for twelve years by then and voters tend to want change and variety at that point.
In a perfect world [del]Trump and Clinton would both spontaneously combust on live TV, allowing both sides to hit the reset button. [/del] I say let the rabid right keep the Republican name, let the looney left keep the Democratic name, and let’s form a centrist party of sane people to actually run things. Call it the Pragmatist Party. Balance the budget, fix the roads, make the trains run on time. Don’t tell people who to fuck, what to smoke, or what kind of guns they can have.