As we near the end of the first year for the GOP administration and GOP control of Congress, the "hostile takeover" of the party by the Trump insurgents has not materialized. Maybe sometime within the next three years, they will relent, but for now they show no signs of compromising with their anti-Establishment populists and nationalists.
It's not simply that the Trump revolution hasn't taken over the GOP agenda 100% -- we know change doesn't happen that fast. But the GOP hasn't done anything to appease us, and are continuing to implement the same ol' Republican BS that we voted against during their own party's primary, where we whooped Lyin' Ted by 20 points, Boy Wonder by 25 points, and everyone else by even yuger margins.
The GOP is a party intent on blowing up their own headquarters rather than allow it to fall to a hostile takeover by the Trump legions. OK, blow it up, and we'll bulldoze the rubble and build a new second party over the foundations of the old one. Not exactly Plan A, but we can go with Plan B as well.
For some perspective on what non-suicidal parties look like, let's see what the Democrats have been up to after getting shut out of all branches of government, and subject to ever greater cries for radical change coming from the Bernie revolution.
They formed a Unity Reform Commission to address how rigged the Democrat primary system is against insurgent candidates. The URC has recommended slashing the number of superdelegates by 60% and making them bound instead of unbound. That still has to be voted on by the full DNC, along with other potential changes to make the primary process easier to participate in.
The GOP primary was just as rigged, only it was through a subtler form of delegate theft, threats to re-write the rules, etc., in order to block an insurgent like Trump and choose some party-approved puppet through a contested convention. Party Chairman Reince Priebus kept making these threats through late April, long after it was clear Trump would win the nomination among voters -- and by a landslide.
The GOP also deliberately fielded over a dozen candidates in order to break up support for everyone but the anointed one -- supposedly Jeb Bush, but as it turned out, Donald Trump.
And has the RNC formed a unity commission with Trump supporters to hammer out changes to the nomination process, to prevent these sabotages from happening again? Nope.
When it comes to throwing dead weight people overboard, the Democrats for the most part have shut out the Clintons and the broader Clinton world from the party. The Bernie people were already opposed to the Clintons for ideological reasons, but they're getting shoved out also by the Obama camp, who are closer in policy to the Clintons but who are at war with them for control of the Establishment wing of the party.
Have the Republicans as a whole -- politicians, media figures, donors, etc. -- made a decisive break with the Bushes or the Romneys? No: Romney is angling for a Utah Senate seat if the elderly Hatch retires, and from there a presidential run again. So far it is Trump himself who is trying to woo Hatch into staying in office, rather than 2/3 of the GOP telling Romney to go get lost. Plus his niece is the head of the RNC; even if she's better than her uncle, it shows that their clan is still in power in the party.
And the Bushes and the broader Bush network have not been disavowed and thrown under the bus by another Establishment camp like the Romneys or the Kochs or the whoevers. It's only the dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporters who want to see the Bushes and their cronies sent into exile -- and we are not getting help from any Establishment faction like the Bernie people are receiving from the Obama camp, in tossing out the Clinton camp.
The various elite GOP camps are all united in not wanting the Trump camp to gain an inch more of territory within the party, even if one elite camp were to gain at the expense of a rival elite camp.
Donna Brazile, from the Obama camp, has not only thrown the Clintons under the bus -- she wrote a tell-all campaign book about it, and has done long interviews with Bernie-supporting reporters like Nomiki Konst for Bernie-supporting media outlets like The Young Turks.
Where is Reince Priebus' tell-all book that throws the Bushes or the Romneys under the bus, in order to boost his own Wisconsin Mafia camp? Where is he telling that story and ceding ground to Trump-supporting reporters like Roger Stone for Trump-supporting outlets like Infowars?
On policy, the Democrats could have done the easy thing and just go into reactionary mode -- preserve what we already have won from the GOP attempts to roll it back. And yet 17 members of the Democrat caucus in the Senate -- Bernie and 16 Dems -- have signed onto single-payer healthcare. Not a far-left change -- every other modern country has it -- but still a fundamental change to the American system of getting raped to death by healthcare monopolies (HMOs, pharma, etc.). Much more of a change than Obamacare, which did not even offer a public option to buy into a single-payer system.
Where in the world is the GOP counterpart to this? Something that GOP legislators normally wuss out on, but have decided to compromise with the insurgents of their party and acknowledge which way the winds are blowing within their party and the nation? Where are the 18 GOP Senators who want to slash legal immigration numbers, a la the RAISE Act? Or any big change on immigration, for that matter?
In fact, there are just 2 Senators supporting it, Cotton and Perdue. This is even more of a slam-dunk policy for Republican voters than single-payer healthcare is for Democrat voters. But the GOP refuses to serve its customers -- when it isn't trotting out politicians reviled by the party's own voters, like George W. Bush, who proceed to call them all bigots for voting for change.
Democrats could have played it safe and made identity politics the basis for their attack on the Republican government, but they have largely opted for the critique that their insurgents would resonate with -- based on class and economics, rather than race, gender, and gayness.
Where are the Republican politicians who are attacking Democrats for not being populist enough or nationalist enough, to make their partisan attacks resonate with their own voters? Instead they are doing just the opposite -- slamming Democrats for not caring enough about wealthy people and gigantic corporations ("job creators" AKA slave drivers), and for not letting America take on a greater "role in the world" (globalism, not nationalism).
And as I reviewed here, the insurgent Dems like Bernie and his people are not only trying to understand the insurgents of the other side (us), they are holding rallies to try to win them over by acknowledging their concerns and treating them seriously. Bernie alone is doing more to talk to Trump voters about populist policies than any of the Republicans are -- including Trump himself, unfortunately, who has decided (hopefully just for the time being) to be the public face of the corporate elitist agenda of the GOP.
Obviously Bernie is not sincerely trying to convert them away from nationalism, but he is finding common ground on populism and trying to get something done on this overlap area. I've noticed a similar postmortem on 2016 from far-left revolutionary types like Michael Albert from ZNet -- the white working class wanted populism, and Trump was preaching it more credibly than Clinton was. Trump voters aren't evil racists, and we need to reach out to them sincerely and win them back to not voting Republican.
The GOP is not reaching out to the white working class who voted Trump for populism and nationalism, but nor are they trying to win over people who voted for the other party. At best, they're trying to assuage some of the McCain / Romney voters who defected to Clinton -- yuppie scum who prevented the party from winning either of those elections, and who it turned out were not crucial to winning the 2016 election either. Some group to try to win back.
They should be saying, "Why did only 12% of Bernie voters go for the GOP in the general? It should be 25% next time." And then go about trying to persuade these populists who voted Democrat that the GOP was truly, honestly in a re-alignment process toward populism and away from corporate elitism. Give them something concrete to point to from Congress or the executive branch.
But the Republicans are not trying to win over even more Bernie voters -- probably the craziest idea for party growth, in their minds. And yet 12% of Bernie primary voters chose Trump, vs. only 2% of Hillary primary voters. That's obviously where the growth potential is for the GOP, not the tiny handful of yuppie Hillary supporters who might switch if promised a big enough tax cut.
But bringing in more and more Bernie supporters would be worse than letting the Trump legions take over the GOP. The GOP does not want to become influential, let alone wield power -- they want to preserve the sanctity of their failed and rejected corporate globalist agenda.
This is not even to speak of the run-of-the-mill program of greater checks-and-balances on the Democrat side. There are numerous Democrat Congressmen who want to cut down to size the primary power faction that controls their own party -- Wall Street banks. And who form and staff new institutions to work toward that end, like Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Where are all of those Republicans who want to cut down to size their own party's primary power faction, the Pentagon? Rand Paul, and that's about it. And he hasn't created and staffed an agency that works to rein in the excesses of imperial expansion from the military brass.
It's not to say that the Democrats are anti-Wall Street -- they are controlled by Wall Street, but they at least push back somewhat, and allow more open discussion about what their controllers do wrong. You do not see any pushback, even rhetorically, against the imperialist Pentagon by Republicans.
The GOP is so opposed to wielding power when they supposedly have it, that they will not even attack the other party's institutions -- the banks, the internet tech companies, the media (other than rhetorically), the higher ed bubble and university administrators, and so on. They're too busy fighting their opposition on the other side of the globe. "America last", or maybe "America whenever we get around to it".
Lastly, it is Republicans who are trying to drive the insurgent choice of the people out of office. All chairs of the relevant committees in the Russia witch hunt are Republicans, since they control both houses of Congress. All of the heads of the relevant agencies are Republicans, like Sessions and the de facto AG Rosenstein at the DoJ. Comey and Mueller are both Republicans, and we see how well they're ceding ground to the Trumpian insurgency.
We can't compare that to how a Democrat insurgent like Bernie would be treated if he had been elected President. I'm sure he too would be subject to sabotage by leaders of his own party -- but I doubt it would rise to the level of trying to railroad him out of office, after purging every one of his populist appointees from the Cabinet. Maybe the Democrat power elites would only purge half of his populist appointees, and would not hold impeachment dangling over his head like the sword of Damocles.
The Democrats are not more moral or democratically inclined. They are simply willing to negotiate the terms of their surrender if it becomes clear they are losing, so they can save their own skins as much as possible. They are pragmatic and opportunistic. The Republicans are also not moral or democratically inclined -- but they're not even willing to negotiate when their Establishment agenda has gotten absolutely creamed in back-to-back elections (GOP primary and general from 2016). They are puritanical and dogmatic, hell-bent on self-destruction rather than serve another master.
So be it, then. In the meantime, populists who voted Trump should try to help the Bernie people take over the Democrat party and get some real results there. They're not going to give us a 50% reduction in legal immigration, or deport 10 million illegals -- but then neither is the GOP. We were hoping they would, but the verdict has come in, and they will not. Nationalism will have to be the basis of a new second party after we repeal-and-replace the GOP.