The 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference was the funeral for the GOP as we have known it since the Reagan years. After it was over it was clear that Trump had thoroughly emasculated the Republican Party. The only way to avoid having your political manhood taken if you were a traditional Reagan Republican was to leave the party altogether (See, George Will) or to accept banishment by the new regime (See. John Kasich). All that was left for Donald Trump to do was to glare knowingly at Chris Christie and announce to his audience of mortified conservatives standing by watching “It looks like we got us a sow here instead of a boar…” They all saw the movie so they all know the horror that comes next. Even worse, they know that when Trump is done with Christie, they each will have their turn to suffer public humiliation and degradation because Trump is insatiable and their torment is his penultimate pleasure.
Only omnipotence trumps revenge for a man like this. He’s got their asses now, literally and figuratively- those who put up no fight at all, falling in line early to curry favor and those who rushed to his side late in the game hoping to survive the political apocalypse that was bearing down. Regardless of how or when they came under his power, when Trump turns his perverse gaze to them and orders them to drop their pants, their subjugation and marginalization will be complete- individually and collectively.
Chris Christie was merely the first of many G.O.P figures that will squeal like a pig on Trump’s demand. He has already had his round with Newt.
Then Mitt came next. Rudy weaseled his way into a somewhat different role in this depravity. He is like the sickening, snickering, toothless ghoul holding the shot-gun on the victims during their waking nightmare: gleeful in his participation but even more so because he is not on the receiving end of the sick ordeal. The assaults and the squealing have become so pervasive in G.O.P.-world that many of us who must bear witness have attempted to normalize this trauma as just a normal part of politics. But Trump was a decidedly abnormal candidate, and now that he has all of the power he has ever dreamed he would have and always believed he deserved, he has proven himself to be an abnormal president.
As harrowing as that imagery may be, it is as accurate as it is just. On the west-side of Detroit back in the 80’s a phrase you would hear rather often is “it’s rough but its fair”- and this ugly visual is most definitely that.
As a leadership culture, conservatives invited this assault- and like the “legitimate rape” that one of their infamous members once referenced, the body of their party will lurch violently inside to “shut that whole thing down.” Lord knows, the last thing the GOP wants is to be impregnated by Trump’s merciless and unrelenting assaults. Empowering and propping up a figure like him was a sin for which they are now damned.
The late great writer James Baldwin once wrote “People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply by the lives they lead.” Baldwin must have peered into the future and been forecasting the fate of career GOP politicians and pundits who now have to pay for their transactions with Trump since 2009. These fools obviously failed to read the fine print or check to see if they had the treasure to pay what they now owe him. We can cut to the chase now that the election is over and conclude that they didn’t have it and now they have to pay out of their flesh. Every principal conservatives have claimed to hold dear has been betrayed by Trump’s crowning and their culture has been exposed as a fraud. The only surviving principal we all recognize is their commitment to service and allegiance to their tribal identifications no matter what person or policy takes center stage.
To win their unconditional compliance to his ascension, all Trump had to offer conservatives was repeated satiation of their perverse desire to diminish the impenetrable dignity of Barack Obama- undeniably one of the most impactful, influential and awe-inspiring figures in the entire history of not just America, but the
And thanks to the Twitter machine, Trump could bring the G.O.P. base to ecstasy repeatedly like one of those new turbo-charged sex toys that are so powerful that women who use them can’t even feel a real man anymore. That perpetual state of ecstasy afterglow accounts for the lamb-like quality that has washed over the rank and file G.O.P. voter. Trump has rocked their world so well, that he can literally do or say anything and they will gaze up at him wistfully, bat their eyes, and nod their approval obediently- keeping silent on any objections that may be swirling in the back of their minds. The same people who wanted nothing less than blood from Hillary Clinton over the mere appearance of self-dealing while in government service, simply do not care anymore- because Big Daddy Donald is doing it and it upsets the press and the Democrats. So for him, its “thank you sir, can I have another.” And his answer is always yes, you can have another- I’ll appoint my son-in-law as a Senior White House Counsel, let my daughter sit in on meetings with foreign leaders, and let my sons sell access and curry favor all over the world- and still never show you my tax returns so you can see what the hell I am up to.
The G.O.P. faithful used to foam at the mouth at the mere mention of the name Vladimir Putin. Now? It’s a mutual admiration society between him and Trump. I am waiting for the pictures of these guys feeding each other chocolate covered strawberries in a heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub in some tacky Trump hotel to emerge.
But ask any G.O.P. voter about Putin now, and you get nothing. They now give Putin a higher approval rating than Barack Obama- which says a helluva lot more about them than it says about President Obama. Trump compliance requires silence and they give it to him. The same shrill and self-righteous choir that actually questioned a mortgage loan for the Obama’s Hyde Park home just elected a self-proclaimed billionaire who refused to show the world where his financial interests lie. And even though the media has normalized this event but this could prove to be the greatest political embarrassment in American history. And the G.O.P. voters who have made it a part of their culture to talk tough at the gun range or the country club have become as meek and quiet as the sheep waiting to find out what their shepherd wants to do with them next. Does he want to lead them to graze or to drink? Does he want them to migrate to another field, or does he want something else from them? It is all about what the shepherd wants and the sheep just go along as led. But these folks should be warned- the squealing pigs in G.O.P. leadership may make more noise when Trump collects his due from them, but you are going to get yours too. It just won’t be as loud, and there won’t be cameras pointed at you capturing your debasement.
I almost feel sorry for you- almost. Because in that horror film classic that provides the second half of this title, we learn that the sheep didn’t start to scream until the moment when they were actually being led into the slaughterhouse- when it was far too late for them to do anything to save themselves. But instead of pitying you for having to sleep in the bed you made, I will check out some new recipes for pork-chops and lamb-chops. I suspect I’ll be able to get the meat pretty cheap over the next four years.