Donald Trump has, to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama, changed the trajectory of the GOP, contended Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall in a Thursday post. “The white ethno-nationalist party which Trump has brought out of the shadows and mobilized,” wrote Marshall, “is now and will continue to be the Republican party…This seems like a transformative event.”
Even if “committed Trump supporters” constitute only “10% to 20%” of the party, argued Marshall, it doesn’t matter: “If Trumpism were simply a loud and radical faction within the GOP, there would be some comparable faction opposing it…But there's not. In other words, the size of the Trumpite faction within the GOP (and I'd argue it's quite large) is beside the point because it demonstrably rules the GOP.”
Marshall mentioned that he’s one of those who’ve “argued for some time that the current GOP was already the functional equivalent of one of…Europe's rightist-nationalist parties…much more like France's National Front than the British Tories,” and that maybe “we're just seeing it more clearly now.” He went on (bolding added):
But [the party] still nominated John McCain and Mitt Romney, two fairly conventional center-right politicians. It had congressional leaders like John Boehner and Paul Ryan. Now Trump has said out loud what was already rumbling underneath the surface of 21st century Republican politics…He has activated the voice of GOP white nationalism, spoken its language out loud and in so doing made it conscious of itself and expanded its ambitions.
Marshall opined that it’s “astounding” that Republican leaders such as Ryan and Mitch McConnell are still “active endorsers” of Trump in spite of his frequent missteps and posited that it's a "big deal" that “each of these people believe that the center of gravity in the GOP is pro-Trump and that their political futures would be damaged by turning against him.”