Election 2016

Report: Former Trump Staffers Working for Paul Ryan’s Opponent

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.

  • Aynwrong

    I’ve been hoping that after a Trump loss, no matter how close the election might be, that the GOP would finally admit (at least to themselves) that they can no longer win elections by deliberately appealing to only one group of voters. The elites in the party probably know this very well. But after so many decades of doing exactly that finally metastasizing in the form of Trump and his voters this moral and responsible behavior would actually cost the GOP dearly. But that would require ethics and patriotism.

  • muselet

    Long ago, the GOP decided to play footsie with bigots and Lost Causers and Southern revanchists for partisan political advantage. The Southern Strategy has been successful in electing Rs, and no one much commented on what was actually happening as long as the R candidates in question used their inside voices.

    Donald Trump does not have an inside voice.

    Trump comes right out and feeds the angry pale people’s ressentiment, and they won’t be mollified by winks and nods after this election cycle. That doesn’t bode well for the GOP (karma is a bitch sometimes) or for the country as a whole (you just know in the wake of a Trump defeat at least some of his supporters will be out to start Civil War II: No Surrender This Time).

    I wonder if there are enough sane conservatives to start a viable political party.

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    You know, it has been obvious for a long time that trump is not a trustworthy ‘man’. What does it take for these people to wise up. Four bankruptcies in which he managed to fleece his investors and make himself whole, trump ‘university’. Those things alone should have had alarm bells going off in their tiny little GOP brains. ( Sorry, I can’t resist some snark. They have earned it.) The charities he stiffed. Everything trump has ever done in his life, everything he has done in this campaign tells you he is not to be trusted.
    And these are our sophisticated leaders that fall for his drivel? Jesus. A three year old could see through him.

  • Draxiar

    I’m hoping that Drumpf’s influence is so profoundly negative for conservatives it shatters all of the Republican-Libertarian down ticket offices and races from the town level all the way to the national level.

    • Badgerite

      These days, I’d settle for trump not getting anywhere near the nuclear button. Ever.