Trump is ideologically gutting the Republican Party

This corruption goes beyond economics. Thus, we get Rush Limbaugh applauding the arbitrariness of Trump’s push to cancel a government contract with Boeing because the company backed the wrong politicians. A Trump tweet targeting Boeing shows how “smart” Trump is, you see, because Boeing has been in bed with the Clintons politically, hiring them for speeches and donating to their foundation and her campaign. So the implication is—what, that they should have supported Trump instead? Like I’ve been saying, Trump isn’t “draining the swamp.” He’s making “pay to play” an explicit policy.

(Then again, Limbaugh’s corruption began much earlier, when he tried to rehabilitate a racist founder of the “alt-right.”)

We also see that some of the same people who got the vapors over the cast of “Hamilton” delivering a politely worded message to Pence are now defending an obnoxious Trump supporter who got banned by Delta for his vulgar political rant at Hillary Clinton supporters. Apparently, speaking truth to power doesn’t include entreaties to the future vice president but does include shouting at ordinary people in coach.

These are all scenes from the ideological gutting of the Republican Party. As an experienced reality TV performer, Trump has an instinctive skill at emotional manipulation, a sense for how to appeal to people’s thoughtless impulses and play them off against one another. So he is harnessing the brute tribalism of partisan politics to get the rank and file of the party to back everything he says, simply because they like hearing the howls of outrage from their traditional tribal rivals, the Democrats.