The GOP’s Problem Is Not Donald Trump - It’s Their Voters
As a way to counter Obama, the Republicans eagerly courted the tea partiers and other dissatisfied voters. They rode that tiger into the congressional majority in the low-turnout elections of 2010 and 2014. They whipped up the frenzy. (During the Obamacare fight, House Speaker John Boehner hosted a tea party rally on Capitol Hill, during which the crowd shouted, “Nazis, Nazis” when referring to Democrats.) Washington Republicans vowed they would take the country back from Obama for the tea party. They exploited the Obama hatred, but their often effective obstructionism was still not enough to feed the beast that had carried them into power.
Though Trump may beg to differ, Trumpmania is not about Trump. He’s merely supplying the rhetoric and emotion craved by a large chunk of the GOP electorate. That yearning won’t go away. Ben Carson, who in the latest Iowa poll tied for first place with Trump, is pushing a similar message—America is going to hell and the nation needs an outraged outsider to clean up the mess. His tone is kinder and gentler (and musical!). But like Trump, he is mining profound dissatisfaction and promising a national revival. Combine the Trump and Carson electorates at this point, and it’s close to a majority of Republicans.