I am not. He’s always seemed like a nice guy and he was dealt a bad hand by primary voters with Trump, but no matter what happens in November, the party needs a fresh start. If Trump wins, let him purge the ancien regime of the old GOP and install his own cronies at the top to remake it as the National Front that his fans seemingly want it to be. If he loses, especially if he loses badly, let’s be rid of the “leaders” who not only enabled Trump but who worked behind the scenes at the convention to crush anti-Trumpers’ efforts to head off a rout by replacing him as nominee.
Seemingly the only point on which all Republicans agree these days is that they’re unhappy with the Republican Party. Not optimal conditions for the guy in charge to be renewed for two more years.
[I]n recent weeks, Priebus has begun telling friends and allies that he’s seriously considering running for reelection. During last month’s Republican National Convention, he approached Henry Barbour, a loyal ally who is the nephew of former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour, and told him he was thinking about a return…
One state party chairman who talked with Priebus over the last week said he was convinced that the chairman wanted to come back, and that he was motivated by a desire to prove that the RNC has never been in better shape than during his tenure — despite polls suggesting his party’s nominee, Donald Trump, is headed for a crushing loss in November…
“I’m sympathetic to the challenging atmospherics during his tenure, but he took this job voluntarily and has failed on every objective measure. We are on the verge of losing a presidential election by a landslide,” said Matt David, a former top aide to Arnold Schwarzenegger who ran the super PAC supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential bid. “Not only does the RNC not lead, there’s nothing left behind the curtain. It’s the Wizard of Oz and Reince is the ‘Wizard.’”
He’s already the longest-serving chairman in party history. Imagine the message, after everything that’s happened over the past 15 months, if the Republican establishment crawled out of the rubble in November and decided that business as usual is the way to go. It was Reince’s RNC, after all, that helped light the fire for Trumpism in its 2012 election “autopsy” by encouraging the party to make the Chamber of Commerce happy and embrace amnesty. So disengaged were they from their own base that they floated an idea that created political space for an “outsider” in 2016. Then, after Trump caught on last year, Reince threw the “autopsy” and whatever private objections he might have to Trump’s politics and basic fitness for office out the window and decided to become his dutiful aide de camp. If Trump goes down in flames, Priebus will probably be back out there the day after the election preaching amnesty again. There has to be some accountability for terrible managerial choices. To reward someone who first alienated populists and then alienated everyone else is a telegram to the world that there’s really no electoral debacle so terrible that Republican VIPs can’t be immunized from the consequences of it.
Here’s the punchline, though: Trump is going to solve this problem for the party, in all likelihood. If things continue to deteriorate, Priebus will have no choice but to pull the plug on Trump’s funding. Once he does that, Trump will turn on him viciously and will probably single Priebus out personally as the figurehead scapegoat. If that happens, the RNC will probably conclude that it has no choice but to bounce him after the election as a goodwill gesture to angry Trumpkins who’ve been convinced by their leader that Reince is a manservant of the “rigged system.” Meanwhile, the longer Priebus delays the decision to cut Trump’s funding to try to keep him happy, the angrier anti-Trumpers will be that he’s squandering a chance to save the Senate by kowtowing to Trump. If, say, Pat Toomey ends up losing by three points in Pennsylvania and the Senate flips, the RNC will be blamed by many Republicans for cowardly catering to Trump’s whims instead of doing what’s best for the party by cutting him loose early. The result will be that Trumpers and anti-Trumpers alike will want him gone. The amazing thing is, all of this is highly foreseeable and yet Priebus still wants to come back for two more years allegedly. Why not retire to a luxurious life on K Street and let Carly Fiorina or someone else try to dig the party out of the hole?