As was anticipated per leaks from his campaign, Trump endorsed Paul Ryan in his primary fight at a rally tonight. Now, Paul Ryan does not need Trump’s endorsement – polls have him leading his joke challenger by over 60 points in spite of (or perhaps because of, who knows) his challenger’s much more enthusiastic embrace of Trump, and in spite of the enthusiastic backing of Ann Coulter, et al. It turns out that he also endorsed John McCain, who is running a much more competitive race against Kelli Ward and on whom many of Trump’s most fervent supporters were pinning hopes of a toppling one of the most hated Establishment figures of the last 20 years.
But Trump felt it necessary to do this, I guess to heal rifts with the party establishment, in spite of the fact that his most fervent voters were basically desperate for him to strongly back Nehlen (and Ward) and they hate Ryan (and McCain). Trump has decided, however, that he needs the public backing of the Establishment enough to risk alienating his supporters – which, let’s be honest, they really would not go anywhere if he shot someone on 5th avenue. Even the person he shot would still probably vote for Trump, if he lived. Self-respect is not exactly a priority in Trump-land.
This particular fight, though, shows what an absolutely chaotic breakdown of order is occurring within the GOP. Believe it or not, this is Trump’s second endorsement, ever. His first went to Renee Ellmers, one of the worst, big government establishment toadies in the whole Republican caucus. Ellmers lost fantastically because of conservative fury over her betrayals of conservative principles.
Meanwhile, you know who else is angry as hell at Paul Ryan these days? A lot of #NeverTrump people, who are angry that Ryan did essentially nothing to protect Tim Huelskamp – a man who represented a district more conservative than Ellmers and who did all the right things from a conservative perspective. Huelskamp was targeted by the Chamber of Commerce for his role in the Boehner ouster and his opposition to Ag subsidies, two areas where Huelskamp made a courageous stand for conservative values – plus, he intentionally stuck his finger in the eye of the establishment Trump and his supporters purport to hate. However, Huelskamp was personally opposed to Trump, which should have endeared Huelskamp to Ryan, but opposition to the Establishment turned out to be the bigger deal.
What’s happened here is an all out war of total chaos. It’s basically Game of Thrones (SPOILERS AHEAD) – Robert Baratheon is dead, Trump is playing the part of Joffrey (the illegitimate child of his wife’s incestuous relationship with her brother) who is nominally ruling a kingdom that is in fact devolving into total chaos, with ever shifting alliances that are allowing centuries-old grievances to boil to the surface. Political observers are right now watching the American equivalent of the Red Wedding, stupefied and unable to even comprehend what is happening in front of them or the forces that brought it to this. A whole lot of bloodshed later, the end result is going to be that the American version of Cersei is going to be on the throne and then we’re all screwed.
Oh well, at least it will be entertaining to watch.