With Donald Trump’s easy win tonight in South Carolina, the Republican establishment’s chances of doing anything to halt his momentum are quickly dwindling.
Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich’s race to the right — a futile effort to siphon votes away from Trump — has left irreversible damage. Whether it’s tax giveaways to millionaires that blow multi-trillion dollar holes in the deficit, anti-immigrant platforms that refuse a pathway to citizenship, or backwards and dangerous rhetoric on women’s health, there is little difference between the far right and extreme far right Republican presidential candidates.
At each step of the way, GOP insiders attempted to explain away the significance of Trump winning. In Iowa, it was Midwestern evangelicals who didn’t represent the country at large. In New Hampshire, it was independents who don’t have as much sway as in other states.
Now, after South Carolina handed a commanding victory to Trump, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and his buddies are running out of excuses. Their anointed candidates have failed to find a legitimate path to the nomination. Marco Rubio spent more in the state than any other candidate, and picked up key endorsements from Senator Tim Scott, Representative Trey Gowdy, and Governor Nikki Haley — but even that wasn’t enough to stop Trump. Save a contested convention that’s looking less likely with each passing primary, the Republican establishment is straight out of answers — so they’d better get back to wooing Trump.
The Party of Trump continues to lurch onward, all while threatening the Republican’s slim majority in the Senate. No wonder the GOP establishment gets more nervous with every Trump win.