Following yesterday's news that Donald Trump will not endorse Speaker Paul Ryan, Politico reported this morning that a small group of former Trump campaign staffers and a larger group of Trump volunteers are actively campaigning for Ryan's primary challenger Paul Nehlen (pictured above).
Nehlen’s relatively small campaign appears to have collected the largest concentration of former Trump staff and volunteer advisers, with some acknowledging they see the effort to defeat Ryan as a continuation of the bitter fight Trump waged against the GOP establishment.
The migration to Nehlen’s team also suggests that Trump’s presidential campaign may be spawning a new crop of operatives outside tight-knit GOP consulting circles.
That last part should be emphasized because Trump did not become the Republican party nominee by accident. A significant portion of his campaign was based on attacking sitting Republicans and Republican party leadership.
When Trump loses, as I firmly believe he will, it's not as if the party will quickly revert to its prior form, if ever.
Trump's Republican party is a white nationalist party and while Trump himself may slink away to Trump Tower and start his own news channel when this is all over, the breed of openly-racist, engaged supporters he created will not go away.
Whoever Trump decides to blame for his defeat, his supporters will as well even if its the Republican party itself. Years of backlash against establishment Republicans could follow even if Trump himself disappears from the public radar.
As you may recall, Ryan's primary challenger Paul Nehlen is the guy who challenged Ryan to arm wrestle in his first campaign ad.