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The Great Doofus Rebellion of 2016

Almost identical percentages of Republican voters say that they will refrain from voting for a 2016 GOP nominee who is or who is not Donald Trump. Some of the polls, of course, say that the percentage who would not vote for Trump is even higher.

But either way, for a third of the party rank-and-file to desert it in November would certainly doom it to a crushing defeat which would probably cost it at least one and possibly both houses of Congress, as well as numerous governorships and state legislatures. And no matter what happens at Cleveland, at this point, such a rebellion appears inevitable. An election the Republicans simply could not lose has been transformed by Trump and the Great Doofus Rebellion of 2016 into a certain disaster.

I am one of the anti-Trump crowd. And our opposition to Il Duce goes far beyond simply not voting for him. It's hard for me- and for a lot of us- to imagine continuing to consider ourselves Republicans if Trump is the nominee. An authoritarian, racist, radically unqualified demagogue would not simply be a dangerous man to have in the White House. I- and many others- simply want no part of an association with a political party that would nominate such a person. The moral stain on the Republican brand inflicted by the nomination of Trump might linger for a generation. It might never go away.

I had already switched my registration to Independent in disgust at the absolute nuttiness of fellow Republican activists after serving on the County Central Committee. On Caucus Night here in Iowa, I filled out the papers to switch back. But a few weeks ago I got them back in the mail. I had forgotten to sign them. I was instructed to do so and mail them back to the county elections office.

Well, I'm hanging on to them. If Trump is the nominee, they go not into the mailbox but into the garbage. And I am not alone.  Large numbers of Republicans all over the nation are determined to stop being Republicans if Donald Trump is the nominee.

It seems clearer now than ever that what I wrote so sadly last month is true: the Party's over. Not only is this election already lost, but it's hard to see how Trump supporters and those of us  in the #NeverTrump camp can share a party going forward.

I can understand the angry voters who support Ted Cruz. I really can. I disagree with them, but I can understand them. Cruz is the symbol of the kind of aggressive, uncompromising "in your face" conservatism so many of the Republican rank-and-file have pined for in recent years. But the Trump phenomenon is another animal. It's wholly irrational. All this support for an erratic, unstable demagogue who  thinks that judges sign bills, says irresponsible and even ridiculous things with predictable regularity, and probably couldn't pass a test to become a U.S. citizen is explicable only if we see him as nothing more or less than an outlet for the evil in the human soul. I, for one, have no desire to share a party with the people who support him- who can support him. No matter what the electoral consequences, they are a cancer on the party the GOP  cannot live with. The trouble is that it's not at all clear that it can survive the operation to remove it.

And so the Supreme Court will be lost, possibly forever. Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges, and a host of other logically indefensible examples of amendment of the U.S. Constitution by judicial fiat will be set in stone. The Constitution itself will be in mortal danger. Hillary Clinton will be president for at least four years, and it's not at all clear that there will be a coherent opposition to her either during that time or when the 2020 election rolls around.

The consequences of the Great Doofus Rebellion of 2016 were not so serious, the whole thing would be funny.


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