GOP insider Vin Weber: We have never before nominated someone so ‘fundamentally unqualified’ as Trump

REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Vin Weber on Donald Trump: “Is he a sociopath?”

If Minnesota had a Mr. Republican pageant, I think Vin Weber would be a serious contender, at least in the senior division. (I hope I can get away with saying that, since I’m slightly older than Weber.)

Weber was raised in a Republican family. His Republican grandfather was president of the Minnesota state Senate. He came up in politics working for a Republican congressman (Tom Hagedorn), then a Republican U.S. Senator (Rudy Boschwitz) then served (as a Republican, obviously) in the U.S. House himself.

For decades now, he has been a successful lobbyist and Washington insider but has stayed very plugged in to Minnesota. When I reached him yesterday, he was on his way to his Minnesota cabin.

So, although he is not the first prominent Republican to announce that he could not vote for the party’s presidential nominee this year, it was nonetheless a noteworthy indicator, especially on planet Minnesota, of the stress that the Trumpian experience has generated among the bred-in-the-bone GOP regulars.

Weber told me that he has occasionally voted for Democrats in down-ballot races in the past, although without going public about it. In presidential races, he has never strayed from his party’s choice before, but that, he said, was because the Republicans have never before nominated someone so “fundamentally unqualified” to do the job, nor one with whom he so “profoundly disagreed” on a number of key issues.

“I’ve known what I thought [about Trump] for a long time,” he said. This week he made it public.

The single most shocking word Weber uttered during our conversation was “sociopath.” He’s not a psychologist or anything, but in discussing Trump’s staggering inability or unwillingness to ever retract or apologize for horrible personal insults he throws at people, Weber wondered aloud, about Trump: “Is he a sociopath?” (That’s a term for a person who “lacks a sense of moral responsibility or a social conscience.”)

Anyway, I called Weber to specifically ask him to look down the road at the Republican coalition after this campaign. Trump has inspired a fierce loyalty in his most ardent admirers who, although they are less than a majority of Republicans, make up a significant chunk.

Trump continues to be at war with much of the Republican leadership, and has warned that the system  — and the election — may be “rigged” against him, in unspecified ways. Trump is currently slumping badly and trailing in most polls by a widening margin.

As one who freely admits he does not really understand how Trump got this far (although I’m trying to), I don’t assume that his current slump means he cannot win in November. Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report did a good job of issuing a warning to those who think the recent Trump Slump means that he has little or no possibility of winning in November.

I agree. But at the moment, the odds have shifted more than ever against Trump, and, as Weber pointed out, Trump has begun to lay the groundwork for arguing that the system is aligned against him. If he does lose, and he decides to blame the Republican establishment for doing the “rigging,” Trump’s large, loyal, angry following is very likely to blame the Republicans.

I can’t say what might become of that grudge. But it has begun to occur to me that if Trump loses — and feels like arguing that he was done by the old school Repubs — a considerable chunk of (white, male, working-class) voters who have been part of the GOP coalition may not forgive the party and fall back into line in future elections for much-less-Trumpy orthodox Republican candidates.

Vin Weber
Washington Institute
Vin Weber

The GOP coalition is complex and diverse in its views, but when all the elements are on board they keep the Republican Party competitive in national elections. If they start losing big elements of the coalition, that could change.

Weber said it was a serious possibility that the hard-core Trumpers will blame and punish the Republican party if Trump loses. He said that Trump has “preconditioned his supporters to believe that if he lost, that he was cheated,” not only by the Democrats and the media but by the Republican Party establishment, including guys like Weber who publicly came out against him.

But for the party to have any real future, Weber said, Republicans must follow the strategy in the so-called “autopsy” report that the party leadership developed after losing the 2012 Obama-Romney contest. That blueprint fairly explicitly called for the party to shed its image as the anti-immigrant, racist and sexist party of political incorrectness. That was the basis for the candidacy of several Republicans — Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio come to mind — whom Trump clobbered in the primaries.

Trump seemed to demonstrate in his rise to the nomination that a significant portion of the Republican electorate does not want to go in that direction. If the angry Trump backers see their guy lose under circumstances that enable them to blame the party regulars, and then see the party dismissing and rejecting the very elements that excited them about Trump, it’s hard to see how that group stays loyal to the party for future elections. But if they bolt — and either start their own party or simply stop participating or even become Democrats — how can Republicans compete?

“I think we face a real difficult situation in that regard,” Weber said when I laid out that possible scenario. “We’ve got a situation that is almost impossible to deal with. I don’t know a clear way around that problem. But to rebuild our party we have to go out and appeal to minorities and women.”

“In England, in the Brexit vote, we see some similar kinds of thinking,” Weber said, and he sees similar working-class revolts in other European countries. “Those kinds of forces definitely exist, and it’s the definition of a demagogue to exploit that kind of situation.”

In the United States, Weber said, because of the power of the two-party duopoly, it’s been hard for an element like that have any success, because they are not a majority. But, he added, “the two-party system is under greater stress than it has been in a long time.”

Of course, the scenario could be great news for the Democratic Party, which — the anger of some Bernie Sanders supporters notwithstanding — seems to be more unified around its nominee. Some of them are less-than excited about Hillary Clinton, but very few big-name Democrats (off-hand I can’t think of one) have announced that they cannot vote for her in November.

It’s probably crazy to try to look past the current cycle, but if the Trump enthusiasts get mad and stay mad, the Republican identity crisis might have some legs. And so I asked Weber one last time if the big thinkers in his party were working on this dilemma.

“A lot of people are thinking about it at the policy and intellectual level,” he said.

Comments (33)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/05/2016 - 12:05 pm.

    The GOP has earned their current DISASTER

    Republicans do post election autopsies, but never implement them. That is what being leaderless will get them after every autopsy. The GOP’s trait of being none believers of science carries over to their disbelief of autopsies. They can’t fix the PROBLEMS until the GOP accepts the “FACT” they have PROBLEMS. Running around with birther conspiracies, he a Muslim conspiracies, that’s unconstitutional, without proof, trying to delegitimize the President does nothing to improve the image of the GOP. These are some of the reasons there were 17 GOP candidates in the field this time. The GOP has way too many loose cannons running around because they don’t have a leader. The GOP has worked long and hard to get where they are currently. They have been playing poison pill politics for the last 8 years. Proof the hard work of living off of fiction does get them exactly what they have earned – a disaster. With no real leaders on the GOP horizon nothing is going to change. Start your next autopsy right now, then do something about the autopsy results. Voters vote wisely!

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/06/2016 - 12:59 pm.

      Production Practices

      Very good points. The irony I see in all of this relates to the old view that Republicans represent management and the Democrats labor. That, of course, is not the modern demographic delineation. So, let’s look at this from a business standpoint, one of production model, say automobiles.

      Republicans seem to be rooted in old practices of custom building in smaller independent shops much like the early days of Buick, Packard, Duesenberg, etc. They simply do not embrace assembly line methods, as this year’s array of custom products revealed.

      Democrats long ago understood the process of supply chain management required in mass production of models in the Henry Ford fashion. While Republicans by nature defer to the entrepreneurship of local districts, even State organizations, the Democrats excel in developing their components all along the way, from small parts to integrated assemblies to national roll-out of fairly standardized product, with some model differentiation, of course.

      In addition, Democrats long ago embraced key components of various foreign manufacturers…social programs, wage parity, economic standardization, etc. Democrats also understood the Toyota Camry phenomenon far better than Republicans, embracing another modern business fundamental: it is more profitable to sell to a mass market than to engineer for it. If your customer wants a Camry, then franchise the product from the manufacturer and open lots of dealerships.

      I really see this competition as one of successful supply chain management and product standardization vs. rather customized niche marketing of too many models built by outdated production methods.

      Who truly understands the business of politics….? Certainly those who do employ the tried and true practice of “Management By Walking Around” [Tom Peters]

      2016 caution in Peters terminology: “If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.”

  2. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/05/2016 - 12:19 pm.

    GOP’s Future

    The Republican party has a lot of soul searching to do even if Trump does win the presidency. They’ve become the party that cannot appeal to women, minorities, nor the young. They spend money like the proverbial drunken sailors on shore leave, destroy the economy, restrict the rights of voters through silly bathroom laws, anti-gay laws, and discriminatory voting laws.

    Decades are spent telling people how bad government is, and, when they get into power, they prove it by trashing state economies, our national economy, and the world economy. They say they’re pro business, and yet we have to fight them tooth and nail to get a little light rail in place or some financial controls so we don’t have a a repeat of the Bush Recession.

    Morally speaking, they tell us all how they’re family people as the go through multiple divorces, cheat on their spouses, get a “wide stance” in the bathroom, “trade documents” in the parking lot, and go hiking the Appalachian Trail. Outright torture becomes becomes “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “college hazing” while their supporters cheer them on.

    I don’t mind what people do in the bedroom with or without their spouses’ consent, but then don’t try to legislate to me how I should conduct my private life.

    And now they give us Donald Trump. As if Bush and Cheney weren’t enough of a disaster, they thrust this monstrosity on the American people as their best and brightest candidate. Then they try to look shocked (shocked I say!) that the system they set up produces this man as the ultimate result.

    Morally and ethically bankrupt is the best and most accurate way to describe the Grand Old Party. I suppose you could add financially bankrupt too if you want to consider Trump’s campaign finances as well as those of the Minnesota GOP.

  3. Submitted by Kenneth Kjer on 08/05/2016 - 12:32 pm.

    Vin Weber

    What makes Vin Weber more of an expert than the voters? Have these idiots, like Weber ever thought that life long GOP voters are sick and tired of the Bachmann’s, the Ryans, and others who spout total ignorance on a daily basis. I have been a GOP member for over 50 years and I personally am sick of the way the GOP has become the party of “NO” and the way they turn on anybody who isn’t an insider. They also don’t represent the young people anymore with there opposition to gays lesbians and transgenders, women’s rights and think that by spouting nonscientific religious beliefs people will blindly follow the old corp. Well I am part of the old corp voters and I am, quite frankly, tired of people like Vin Weber and the rest the old school telling me how to think. More than half of the politicians from both parties rarely see there districts anymore and have lost touch with the voters. Why does he think Trump is so popular? Trump says what the average person is saying and most of it isn’t politically correct. Well, I think people are sick and tired of political correctness, I am and I think Trump is breath of fresh air. If you look back in history there never has been a president qualified for the job, because there is no job description. I predict Trump is going to win and many of the GOP incumbents who have competition and don’t jump on the Trump bandwagon will lose, either this election or in the future, because voters are sick and tired of the old school. Incidentally, please tell Mr. Weber that I have a PhD and can think intellectually also, as well as many, many voters. We are not all as stupid as the inner belt occupiers in Washington think we are.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/05/2016 - 01:20 pm.

      Bleat

      The question isn’t why Republican voters are unsatisfied with the Republican Party as it has become.
      It’s why Donald Trump ended up being the answer.
      And since you brought it up, is your PhD related in any way to the analysis of human behavior (mine is).

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/05/2016 - 02:37 pm.

      “Sick and Tired of Political Correctness”

      And I am sick and tired of the “political correctness” canard being thrown about as if the term meant something.

      What is “political correctness,” anyway? Is it not mocking a reporter’s disability? Is it finding a way to refer to women, especially those with whom you disagree, that does not involve a vulgar term for genitalia? Is it using terms to refer to ethnic or religious groups that do not offend members of those groups? Is it not deciding when it is appropriate for someone to be offended by your conduct or speech?

      Is it behaving like a nominally decent human being? Why is that so irksome to you?

      Perhaps it goes deeper. Does it mean getting upset when retail clerks say “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas?” Does it mean referring to uncomfortable scientific facts as “controversies?” Does it mean excusing discrimination, because the person doing it can cite a scriptural reason?

      Please, explain your terms.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/05/2016 - 10:06 pm.

        Important Recognition:

        “Political Correctness” is a term of irony. Far too many people seem to not understand that. Shouldn’t we place more value on “Social Correctness”?

        I refer and defer to the Latin “mōrēs” and the Greek “ethos.”

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/06/2016 - 01:52 pm.

          Irony Can Rust

          Overuse does not catch-phrase any good. Any sting the term may once have been had is now lost in the repetition.

          “Mores” and “ethos” connote a spirit of the times, or set of cultural norms. I like to think that our culture has become more willing to accept non-majority or non-plurality ideas and sensibilities.

          When my older brother was a Boy Scout, a popular game was a particularly rough form of “Capture the Flag” called “Japs and Marines.” Of course, you can’t call it that any more. “Political correctness,” to be dismissed with a derisive sneer, or better sensitivity to the pluralistic society that, like it or not, we live in?:

          • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/08/2016 - 06:54 pm.

            Oxidation Nation?

            Our culture seems less clearly defined, at least for too many citizens, creating positive feelings of hope and progress in many, but uneasiness in those wishing to retain their own traditions and comfortable views.

            America has been through this evolution many times, certainly since about 1850. In many ways, we are now working through what is pretty much just a far more visible and emotional example, not necessarily a more significant one. I believe electrons are to blame, moving everything faster with far greater resolution, thereby making most everything seem more important, more immediate and personal.

            In a fundamental way, we seem to be caught in all the sudden immediacy of another radio revolution from the early 1920s, when much that was not immediate to most anyone started coming directly into the farm kitchen or the front parlor. Maybe too many people simply believe they should know about everything “out there.” It has always seemed to me that those who don’t know all about such stuff are also more content. Can that even be possible these days?

            Is the business of politics destroying its own market…and customer? Is that why everything is now “pushed” at us? Like the Tin Man, we are given a little oil to keep us from permanently rusting in place…but only every few years, and just enough to get us to the ballot boxes.

            Fewer and fewer of us pose any real threat to the oilers, however…except those who still have their axes.
            Are the Trumpers pretty much those who just want more oil, maybe their own oil can?

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/09/2016 - 11:39 am.

              What the Trumpers Want

              “Are the Trumpers pretty much those who just want more oil, maybe their own oil can?” Pretty much, although I think most of it is resentment at seeing others getting oil. If Those Others are getting attention, it is a threat to them. Their fundamental grievance is that they are no longer able to perceive themselves as being on top.

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/05/2016 - 01:22 pm.

    How did Trump get nominated?

    Who else was there?
    A year ago, people were talking about the Bush vs Clinton dynasties. Jebbie was the heir apparent to the GOP throne.
    Then it turned out that unlike Bushes named George, Jeb, while smart, was totally charisma-deprived.
    This left a vacuum that was filled by an airhead.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/05/2016 - 04:15 pm.

      Image riddle

      “A vacuum filled by an airhead.”

      Wow . . . I’ve been sitting here trying to visualize that for about five minutes. I haven’t had a lot of luck, but it keeps making me laugh (every time it seems to start coming into internal view).

      All I can say about it so far is that it (the head) probably wouldn’t be very stable and, a person would think, couldn’t hold up very long . . . Sort of like an empty egg in a steadily tightening vice.

      (Or something like that . . . I’ll have to keep thinking about it. It’s a beautiful day and I need to go mow the lawn now. I’ll do it then. Maybe it will come all the way into view.)

      Good one.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/05/2016 - 06:41 pm.

        All I can say, Bill

        It’s a good riddle to be solved in the Black Hole. My idle mind immediately translated this as “a vacuum [cleaner] filled by an airhead.” Don’t exactly know why.

  5. Submitted by Daniel Mondor on 08/05/2016 - 01:40 pm.

    If you haven’t read this, you need too.

    If you care at all about conservative orthodoxy, this is seriously troubling foor for thought. Eric, you definitely need to read this article. It is all the long, but it is very thoughtful in a way that I haven’t seen from other conservatives before.
    http://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12256510/republican-party-trump-avik-roy

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/06/2016 - 10:48 am.

      From your reference

      “I think it’s incredibly important to take stock,” [Roy] says, “and build a new conservative movement that is genuinely about individual liberty.”

      I find the historical ignorance odd. Where, in all of history and geography, was there a society characterized by “individual liberty” with the culture dominated by big money and big capitalism ? The closest we have come to that mythical state is the current day where a reasonably powerful democratic government exists as a counterweight to the instinctive repression and control of those who are protecting their power and money. China and Russia show every day that big capitalism exists very comfortable with repression of liberty.

      So in the end, what really does a party genuinely about individual liberty do ? Do they tie themselves up with the interests of the wealthy and powerful? Or do they support a government powerful enough and caring enough to provide a sustainable, safe, secure free space for the liberty of individuals, free from the predatory forces of external and internal entities that want their bit of control over those free citizens ?

      Utopian, much ?

      Once again the question needs to be asked of these conservative intellectuals–what historical precedence is their for their dream society ?

      • Submitted by James Sandberg on 08/07/2016 - 07:01 am.

        Individuals

        It depends on how you define “Individuals”. Does the term include only wealthy property owners, as was the definition when this country was formed? Does the term represent al US Citizens? All those that aren’t gay or trans-gender?

        I think if you ask conservatives what the term “Individuals” means to them, you will find it only means “people like themselves” and is not inclusive of all society. This is what I believe is the problem with Conservatives today, especially Trump Supporters.

      • Submitted by chuck holtman on 08/08/2016 - 11:53 am.

        Very good point, Neal.

        If a system in which economic and political power gradually concentrate in a very few were reconcilable with “individual liberty” in a meaningful sense (i.e., equal opportunity), there would have been no need for the Republican party to exploit fear, resentment and social wedge issues as the chief means of retaining its base over these past decades. If there were a coherent linkage between economic freedom and equal opportunity, the platform would stand on its own. Endearing, in a way, that the intellectuals of the Right thought the base actually was in it for the ideas.

  6. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/05/2016 - 02:00 pm.

    Ever since the criminality of Nixon and the not-so-revolutionary Reagan revolution, the denial of the real world has become the fall back position of the Republican party (we are making the new reality…)

    Reality has not been kind to the Republican party, and it not surprising that the Republican party has on each cycle put forth even-more ludicrous candidates who can spout out the non-stop nonsense of the right-wing media complex, or at least wink and nod at the clown show.

    Its a benefit to the people who want to hobble a democratic, effective government in the interest of the powerful.

    Vin Weber, we’re looking at you.

  7. Submitted by Doug Wolter on 08/05/2016 - 09:20 pm.

    Vin

    As much as I understand and agree with much of what Vin said about Trump, I’m curious about whether he said anything regarding Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton. If Weber were really as thoughtful as Mr. Black claims him to be (liberals always say conservatives are intelligent when they diss other conservatives, though they’re shocked when Democrats do the same regarding other Democrats), he’d mention — at least in passing — that as bad as Trump is, he is probably a better option for America than the thoroughly corrupt and incompetent Hillary Clinton. The fact that Weber apparently chose not to critique the Democrat nominee tells me that he should turn in his so-called conservative credentials. Face it, we have two terrible choices. Why is it that so many Republicans want to maul Trump and ignore the worse danger on the other side?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/06/2016 - 09:46 am.

      The old equal coverage fallacy

      The fact is that we’ve got one imperfect choice and one terrible one.
      “thoroughly corrupt and incompetent” are far better descriptors of Trump (who doesn’t know Quds from Kurds and is facing multiple lawsuits) than of Clinton.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/06/2016 - 01:44 pm.

      Balance! Balance! Balance!

      “I’m curious about whether he said anything regarding Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.” Perhaps, since the discussion was about the Republican nominee, and Vin Weber is an old-line Republican, the topic was deemed tangential. I’ll wager Jill Stein and Gary Johnson also were not mentioned.

      “If Weber were really as thoughtful as Mr. Black claims him to be (liberals always say conservatives are intelligent when they diss other conservatives, though they’re shocked when Democrats do the same regarding other Democrats), he’d mention — at least in passing — that as bad as Trump is, he is probably a better option for America than the thoroughly corrupt and incompetent Hillary Clinton.” Here’s a thought: perhaps Mr. Weber disagrees with that assessment. It is entirely possible that a thoughtful person–even a thoughtful Republican–could measure the two evils and conclude that Hillary Clinton is the lesser.

      “The fact that Weber apparently chose not to critique the Democrat nominee tells me that he should turn in his so-called conservative credentials.” Political correctness? Ideological purity? Perhaps the FEMA camps can be turned into re-education centers.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 08/08/2016 - 03:21 pm.

      In another piece…

      Weber has publicly stated that if given the choice of Trump or Clinton and he were the deciding factor he would vote Clinton. Anyone who looks at the first 2 terms of Clintonism and see’s Trump as the lessor of 2 evils needs to study their history a little harder. Weber get’s it: he is a loyal Republican who consistently votes Republican and still sees the potential for disaster in a Trump presidency that simply will not happen with Clinton term 3.

  8. Submitted by chuck holtman on 08/05/2016 - 06:31 pm.

    Already I’m quite fatigued

    By the rueful and sober denunciations now starting to issue forth from respectable Republican quarters.

    The horror isn’t Donald Trump. The horror is that much of our citizenry supports him. And this support follows from an intentional Republican electoral strategy, over the unbroken course of nearly 50 years, to cultivate the authoritarian impulse, by appeals to existential fear, in as much of the population as has been susceptible to it. It has been a deeply immoral pursuit not only because of its incursion on the critical autonomy of those at which it has been aimed, but moreso because it is the primary cause of our civic dysfunction and now near-total paralysis with respect even to matters that threaten the viability of human society, and all in the interest of private power.

    If respectable Republicans are in horror at what Trump represents, they (and the establishment media/punditry that have abetted at each step) nonetheless have sat on their horror for many years, as what Trump represents has been obvious – and called out by the left – at least since the 1980’s, when it became clearly recognizable not merely as tactic but as institutional method. Which suggests that what prompts the horror is not what Trump represents but, rather more mundanely, the sense of panic that the desublimation to which Trump has given license may jeopardize that hard-earned and long-enjoyed sinecure of power.

  9. Submitted by Wes Davey on 08/05/2016 - 07:31 pm.

    Why is Erik Paulsen quiet about Trump?

    Rep. Erik Paulsen is fighting for his political life in the moderate 3rd Congressional District, yet his comments about Trump are limited to “He has to earn my vote.” It’s as if Trump’s bigotry, lack of basic Constitutional knowledge and foreign affairs, etc. doesn’t seem to bother Paulsen.

    Worse, Paulsen has been publicly mute concerning Trump’s inflammatory comments and tweets about the Muslim Gold Star family. Where is your sense of decency Erik? Where? Your silence effectively aids and abets Trump’s utterly rude behavior towards that Gold Star family. For that alone you deserve to go down with Trump’s ship in November.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/06/2016 - 09:29 am.

      Rep. Paulsen

      is quiet about Trump, because a substantial part of the Republicans in the 3rd District actually admire Trump,…

      especially those who have been attending and running Precinct Caucuses, County, and District Conventions.

      This has been the case ever since the “Moral Majority” and supportive clergy encouraged members to take over the Republican Party and local government, school boards, etc, about thirty years ago.

      Even though he might gain some admiration from non-conservatives, Mr. Paulsen has a great deal MORE to lose by criticizing Donald Trump,…

      and isn’t it delightfully hypocritical of Republicans, so many of whom are in the same uncomfortable position,…

      to project their own anxiety onto Hillary Clinton,…

      and accuse HER of operating by nothing but political calculation,…

      as if they, themselves, (with the exception of Mr. Trump, of course) are ever willing to speak a single word without first making those same calculations, themselves?

  10. Submitted by Jim Million on 08/05/2016 - 10:17 pm.

    OK Comment #3 by me:

    Citing Mr. Black: “For decades now, he has been a successful lobbyist and Washington insider but has stayed very plugged in to Minnesota.” [See also paragraph #2]

    Vin Weber is the “Republican establishment.”

  11. Submitted by Dennis Carlson on 08/06/2016 - 08:33 am.

    Turnout and Governor Ventura

    Turnout, as always, will determine who gets the White House and other seats on down the ticket. This is such a hard election to predict because who will be motivated to come and and vote is unclear when the “unfavorables” at the top of the ticket are so high. If Trump acts more like an independent than a Republican he may appeal to people who rarely vote – similar to the “seldom-seen-again-crowd” that elected Jesse. Those folks are often not considered in polling because they haven’t voted in years.

    If the Republican faithful oust The Donald in the next few weeks I suspect that the Take-No-Prisoner Trump campaign will run anyway as some kind of an independent (The Trump Party would be my guess), or even a write-in, just to retaliate against the Republican establishment and then shout from the rafters that the whole process is rigged (as he already is doing).

    I thought this was a timely, worthwhile article and was good to hear how a well respected Republican views this unprecedented campaign. I also have enjoyed watching Fox News lately (not something I say often) to see how they are struggling to deal with Trump. Do we support him or dump him – seems to be the dilemma. Republicans need to resolve this question quickly or are likely to lose more than just this election.

  12. Submitted by Steven James Beto on 08/07/2016 - 08:46 am.

    The Limits of Democracy

    To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, opinion reflects more the character of the opinion holder than of the subject. The subject here is not Donald Trump, but the character and mindset of those who believe he is qualified to be President of the United States.

  13. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/07/2016 - 11:13 am.

    Vin and his pals

    laid the ground work for a guy like Trump and now they’re all sitting there scratching their collective heads wondering how it happened. Their anti-government, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-women anti anti agenda makes Trump their ultimate candidate, he’s against everything they’re against, he’s one of them to the nth degree. Not one of his policies are outside the mainstream Republican platform. No Vin, Donald is all yours, he is one of you, the fact that you pretend not to see that says a lot more about you than it does him. Good luck in November, you and your down ballot pals are going to need it.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/08/2016 - 09:43 am.

    The most interesting thing about this article….

    Is the fact that all Eric and Vin talk about is the damage Trump might to the republican party, not the damage he is doing to the country or might do if he gets elected, which is why one should not vote for Trump in the first place. Sure Trump is unqualified but the truth is while some of the 17 republican candidates that entered the fray were more polished, none of them better options. Competence hasn’t been a republican requirement since Bush/Cheney got the nod. Does Weber really think Palin was “qualified”?

    Republican pointed their train at this cliff back in the 80s and no one should be surprised that they’re about run over the edge into the abyss, so who’s the sociopath? Weber might like to pretend that Trump is the lone sociopath that somehow took advantage of the party, but the fact is that the party became a magnet for sociopaths decades ago when it decided that wedge voting, and dishonesty were the path to political power.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 08/08/2016 - 04:59 pm.

      I’m sure you’re aware, but it never hurts to point out

      the obvious: Republicans have always cared more about the party and power than they have about the country. If you take a good hard look at their policies over the last 50 years, they haven’t built one damn thing, while they’ve destroyed a lot. No, they really don’t care about our democracy.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/09/2016 - 08:49 am.

        Exactly

        That’s why I pointed it out. The question is why isn’t Eric pointing it out? Are we pretending that Weber is now a rational guy who cares about the community simply because he says he’s not going to vote for Trump? And by the way, who’s Weber going to vote for if not Trump? I remind everyone that our ballots are secret, we’ll never know who any of these guys like Weber actually voted for once they got in the box. They can publicly distance themselves from Trump by claiming they won’t vote for him, but we’ll never know. These republicans have a long a documented track record of saying one thing and doing something else, or simply lying.

        In the end no one is going to vote one way or another because that’s what Weber said he was going to do so I’m not sure what the point is. This is obviously not a typical party line election cycle.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 08/09/2016 - 09:54 am.

        Hardly…

        …………………………………………………………………………………. a shared reality, but definitely a closely shared opinion.

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