Amid reporting that Republicans are trying to halt presidential front-runner Donald Trump's progress in the primary campaign, media are explaining that the GOP has only itself to blame for having “created this monster” with Republicans' “wild obstructionism” of President Obama and by fostering a “climate of hate” that Trump has thrived in.
Republican Leaders Seek To Halt Trump
CNN: Trump “Faces Accelerating Efforts By Conservatives And Establishment Figures Alike To Thwart His White House Dreams.” CNN reported in a March 2 article, that Trump now “faces accelerating efforts by conservatives and establishment figures alike to thwart his White House dreams at the 11th hour,” adding that GOP leaders are giving Trump “the cold shoulder” after his wins on Super Tuesday, because they “see him as a toxic influence that could cost them the White House and Senate”:
Any other candidate would be embraced by his party as a conquering hero after Tuesday night's wins. Instead, he's getting the cold shoulder reserved for an especially obstinate unwanted guest from GOP leaders who see him as a toxic influence that could cost them the White House and Senate -- and leave a stain on the party of Lincoln, if not tear it apart.
Trump might have cemented his role as front-runner in the GOP race, but he now faces a tricky period as he tries to put the nomination truly beyond reach of his rivals, and not only the ones on the ballot. He faces accelerating efforts by conservatives and establishment figures alike to thwart his White House dreams at the 11th hour.
Some lawmakers are also beginning to break with precedent and repudiate the party's front-runner. Nebraska's Republican Sen. Ben Sasse said over the weekend he won't vote for Trump even if he becomes the nominee.
And Virginia GOP Rep. Scott Rigell warned on “The Lead” with Jake Tapper Wednesday that he would not vote for Trump either, arguing that he lacked judgment on foreign policy and was not fit to be commander in chief.
As an anti-Trump movement gathered force Wednesday, former Republican nominee Mitt Romney scheduled a high-profile speech on the race on Thursday in which he's expected to criticize Trump. GOP candidate Ben Carson pulled out of Thursday's Republican debate and told supporters in a press release Wednesday that he saw no path forward, in a move that could help Trump rivals Cruz or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who dropped his own presidential campaign before the Iowa caucuses, said he would back Cruz over Trump because Trump is an “interloper” and not a real Republican. [CNN, 3/2/16]
Media Explain That Trump Is “The Monster” The GOP “Created” With Its Anti-Obama Extremism And Exploitation Of Hate
Fox's Julie Roginsky: The Republican Party Is “Essentially Dr. Frankenstein” Because They “Created” Trump. On the March 2 edition of Fox News' Outnumbered, co-host Julie Roginsky, referring to Trump, said that the Republican Party “created this monster” by embracing and riding the Tea Party wave, adding that the party is “essentially Dr. Frankenstein”:
JULIE ROGINSKY: In 2008, John McCain ... put Sarah Palin on the ticket. Then you had the tea party wave in 2010, which these guys cynically rode to the majority. And I remember going to some of those town hall meetings with some of these congressmen and seeing the tea party and what they were saying. And the Mitch McConnells of the world and the establishment rode that wave to a majority. They exploited them. They used them. They ginned them up. And now the manifestation of that, Donald Trump, has essentially taken over the Republican Party and they can't believe it. Well they created this monster. They are essentially Dr. Frankenstein. And now they can't control Frankenstein and they don't know what to do about it. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 3/2/16]
Boston Globe's Renée Graham: Donald Trump Is “The Destructive Spawn Of [Republicans'] Own Bigotry, Anti-Intellectualism, And Puerile Political Pouting.” On March 2, Boston Globe columnist Renée Graham wrote, “The GOP presidential campaign is playing out like Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein.'” Graham criticized Republicans for behaving as if Trump is unwelcome or unexpected, noting that the Republican Party has “spent nearly the last decade coarsening political debate and appealing to its base through their own base instincts and obsessions”:
The GOP is unraveling like a cheap suit, and we're well into the part of the horror story where gobsmacked conservatives try to destroy the monster they've created -- Donald Trump, the candidate of white supremacists, NASCAR, and the occasional New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.
The GOP presidential campaign is playing out like Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein.” Instead of pitchforks and torches, Republicans have Mitt Romney, rising like the Ghost of Failed Presidential Campaigns Past, hinting of a “bombshell” in Trump's not-yet-released tax returns. There's Senator Marco Rubio, with all the comportment this campaign deserves, making locker-room cracks about various Trump body parts. There's even a trending Twitter hashtag, #NeverTrump.
Trump is the clear GOP front-runner, and his own party is going after him like a pack of wild dogs.
In the midst of all this plotting and teeth gnashing, the GOP is behaving as if Trump crashed through its front door, soiled the couches, and smashed the good china. Republicans forget they've spent nearly the last decade coarsening political debate and appealing to its base through their own base instincts and obsessions.
Any Republican surprised by Trump's success is either delusional or a revisionist. Trump is the destructive spawn of its own bigotry, anti-intellectualism, and puerile political pouting. What began as a malicious scheme to derail from day one the presidency of Barack Obama has mushroomed into a party front-runner whose caustic joke of a campaign isn't funny anymore. Trump can't race toward the bottom; he has no bottom. He's taken his party's nasty politics from a dog whistle to a scream, plunging to levels that would make former presidential candidates Strom Thurmond and George Wallace flinch.
This is where unrestrained spite, avarice, and intolerance have brought the GOP. Forget the White House; the party is fighting to survive, and its most feral enemy is itself. Republicans have made their bed. Now they can only hope that Trump, the creature they created, doesn't smother them in it. [Boston Globe, 3/2/16]
Mother Jones' David Corn: Republicans Fostered “The Climate Of Hate In Which Trump's Candidacy Has Taken Root” And “Only Have Themselves To Blame For Frankentrump” In a February 25 article, Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief David Corn explained that “Republican insiders, pooh-bahs, and bigwigs only have themselves to blame for Frankentrump” because they “fomented, fostered, accepted, and exploited the climate of hate in which Trump's candidacy has taken root.” Corn concluded that “the GOP elite laid the foundation” for Trump to build his campaign:
Whether possible or not to de-Trumpify the GOP at this point, Republican insiders, pooh-bahs, and bigwigs only have themselves to blame for Frankentrump. In recent years, they have fomented, fostered, accepted, and exploited the climate of hate in which Trump's candidacy has taken root. For the fat-cat donors, special-interest lobbyists, and elected officials who usually run the Republican show, Trump is an invasive species. But he has grown large and strong in the manure they have spread across the political landscape.
It's been a long run of Republicans accepting, encouraging, and exploiting uncivil discourse, anti-Obama hatred, and right-wing anger. (Republicans also welcomed nearly $300,000 in campaign contributions from Trump since he went birther.) The GOP raised the expectations of its Obama-detesting base and primed the pump for Trump. There is not much wonder that a xenophobic and misogynistic bigot and bully who bashes immigrants and calls for a Muslim ban--and who also slams the Republican insiders for rigging the system--should now find a receptive audience within the GOP's electorate. For years, Republicans gave their voters a taste for the reddest of meat. That increased the appetite for more. And here comes Trump the butcher with a heaping plate.
Oh, the clichés abound. You play with fire. The chickens come home to roost. Hoisted on your own petard. You reap what you sow. The call is coming from inside the house. The GOP elite laid the foundation on which Trump is building the biggest, classiest--really classy--most beautiful insurgent presidential campaign in all of US history. And there may be no emergency exit. [Mother Jones, 2/25/16]
Washington Post's Robert Kagan: Trump Was “Brought To Life By” The Republican Party. In a February 25 column, Washington Post contributing columnist Robert Kagan pointed out that Trump is the “creation” of the Republican Party due to its “wild obstructionism” that “taught Republican voters” the government and its institutions were “things to be overthrown” and “laughed at” as well as its “exploitation of the bigotry in its ranks.” Kagan dubbed Trump the party's “Frankenstein's monster,” noting that Trump was “brought to life by the party, fed by the party and now made strong enough to destroy its maker”:
Let's be clear: Trump is no fluke. Nor is he hijacking the Republican Party or the conservative movement, if there is such a thing. He is, rather, the party's creation, its Frankenstein's monster, brought to life by the party, fed by the party and now made strong enough to destroy its maker. Was it not the party's wild obstructionism -- the repeated threats to shut down the government over policy and legislative disagreements, the persistent calls for nullification of Supreme Court decisions, the insistence that compromise was betrayal, the internal coups against party leaders who refused to join the general demolition -- that taught Republican voters that government, institutions, political traditions, party leadership and even parties themselves were things to be overthrown, evaded, ignored, insulted, laughed at? Was it not Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), among others, who set this tone and thereby cleared the way for someone even more irreverent, so that now, in a most unenjoyable irony, Cruz, along with the rest of the party, must fall to the purer version of himself, a less ideologically encumbered anarcho-revolutionary? This would not be the first revolution that devoured itself.
Then there was the party's accommodation to and exploitation of the bigotry in its ranks. No, the majority of Republicans are not bigots. But they have certainly been enablers. Who began the attack on immigrants -- legal and illegal -- long before Trump arrived on the scene and made it his premier issue? Who frightened Mitt Romney into selling his soul in 2012, talking of “self-deportation” to get himself right with the party's anti-immigrant forces? Who opposed any plausible means of dealing with the genuine problem of illegal immigration, forcing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to cower, abandon his principles -- and his own immigration legislation -- lest he be driven from the presidential race before it had even begun? It was not Trump. It was not even party yahoos. It was Republican Party pundits and intellectuals, trying to harness populist passions and perhaps deal a blow to any legislation for which President Obama might possibly claim even partial credit. What did Trump do but pick up where they left off, tapping the well-primed gusher of popular anger, xenophobia and, yes, bigotry that the party had already unleashed?
Then there was the Obama hatred, a racially tinged derangement syndrome that made any charge plausible and any opposition justified. [The Washington Post, 2/25/16]
Slate's William Saletan: “The GOP's Opposition To Obama” Is “What Caused Trump.” In a February 29 post, Slate's William Saletan explained that the Republican Party has “become the party of Trump.” Saletan pointed out “what caused Trump was the GOP's decision to negate Obama in every way,” adding “the Republican Party decided to be what Obama wasn't” and “In Trump, Republican voters have found their anti-Obama”:
What caused Trump was the GOP's decision to negate Obama in every way, and thereby become the party of Trump.
In Trump, Republican voters have found their anti-Obama. Trump spurns not just political correctness, but correctness of any kind. He lies about Muslims and 9/11, insults women and people with disabilities, accuses a judge of bias for being Hispanic, and hurls profanities. Trump validates the maxim that in presidential primaries, the opposition party tends to choose a candidate who differs temperamentally from the incumbent. Obama is an adult. Therefore, Republicans are nominating a child.
The GOP's predicament isn't just that Trump is leading the fight for the nomination. It's that his only viable opponents are men who claim he's not conservative enough. In rallies and interviews, Cruz and Rubio call Trump soft on immigration and gun control. They denounce him for praising Planned Parenthood's work against cervical cancer and breast cancer. They're outraged that Trump has said he supports government-funded health care to prevent sick people from dying in the streets--as though there were some way other than government-funded health care to guarantee that sick people don't die in the streets.
How did the GOP end up in this madness? By twisting itself to thwart and vilify Obama.
So, yes, Obama led to Trump. But that's only because the Republican Party decided to be what Obama wasn't. And what Obama wasn't--insecure, bitter, vindictive, xenophobic, sectarian--is what the GOP, in the era of Trump, has become. [Slate, 2/29/16]
Politico's Michael Grunwald: With Trump, “Republicans Have Reaped What They Sowed.” In a series of tweets on March 1, Politico senior writer Michael Grunwald explained, “Republicans have reaped what they sowed” in part stemming from “the decision by GOP leaders to oppose everything Obama did before he even took office.” Grunwald further explained that because Republicans reflexively opposed Obama on everything, “Republican voters are about to nominate the ultimate anti-Obama” in Donald Trump. [Storify, 3/1/16]