Firing Reince Priebus as his chief of staff has allowed American president Donald Trump to put even more distance between himself and the party that elected him, argues Tim Alberta at Politico:
More and more, Trump talks as though there are Democrats and Republicans — and him, a party of one.
With the exception of his vice president, Mike Pence, none of Trump’s remaining confidants have a history in the party.
Many, including the president himself, weren’t even Republicans until one or two years ago.
Republicans must start to wonder what, other than winning the presidency and putting a conservative, Neil Gorsuch, on the Supreme Court, Trump has done for the party?
Divide, weaken and hurt
Trump has done plenty to divide, weaken and hurt Republicans:
- He has publicly derided his attorney general, Jeff Sessions — a darling of the anti-immigrant right — for failing to protect him from the investigation into Russia’s support for the Trump campaign.
- He fired the director of the FBI, James Comey, a Republican, for refusing to drop the same investigation.
- His policies on Europe, NATO, Russia and trade are the opposite of what Republicans have advocated for sixty years.
- Trump, who divorced twice and bragged about sexually assaulting women, has made a mockery of Republican claims to be the party of family values.
- His disrespect for republican norms and the constitutional restraints on his office contradict Republicans’ devotion to limited government.
- Trump’s misogyny, racism, transphobia and xenophobia could set back Republican efforts to appeal beyond their core demographic of straight white male voters in the Southern and Western United States by a generation.