CNN’s Tal Kopan reported last night that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus convened an RNC call to say everything is fine between the two men and “the party is firmly behind Donald Trump.”
Reince Priebus has had an ambivalent relationship with Donald Trump from Day 1. Not his first choice for Republican nominee, Priebus has nevertheless gone with the flow and willingly worked with the man doing his level best to destroy America via a nightmare mishmash of incoherent policy positions, ranging from economics; foreign policy; and nuclear nonproliferation; among others.
Of late, theirs has been an on again, off again sort of arrangement. Just a couple of days ago it was reported that Reince Priebus “directed the RNC to cut off all cash and support to Donald Trump and direct resources to down ballot candidates.”
That was Saturday. Come Monday, Priebus is saying of Trump, “We have a great relationship.”
In other words, as CNN’s Dana Bash translated his remarks,
“[T]o put it bluntly: @realDonaldTrump didn’t meltdown last night so the RNC is sticking with him.”
And yes. That’s how desperate the RNC is. Of course, there is the old expression “in for a penny, in for a pound.” They’ve already printed the ballots after all.
In the call, which lasted 14 minutes and did not allow any questions, Priebus said,
“Nothing has changed in regard with our relationship. We are in full coordination with the Trump campaign. We have a great relationship with them. And we are going to continue to work together to make sure he wins in November.”
We are not supposed to see this as a defense of Trump’s words in the 2005 sexual assault tape that has so damaged Trump’s reputation and kinda/sorta cost him Speaker Paul Ryan’s support. Priebus said they support Trump, if not his words (the less said about his actions, apparently, the better):
“Like all of you, I don’t condone what was said in the video. In fact, the campaign itself doesn’t defend the words in that video.”
Priebus wants to pretend Trump’s “apology” was sincere (it wasn’t even really an apology) and the offensive words, after all, were Trump bragging about engaging in the sexual assault of women, even if Trump won’t admit grabbing a woman’s genitals is sexual assault.
And it sounds like the money pipeline to Trump is open again. According to CNN, Priebus “said efforts were ‘ahead of budget’ and donations were still strong.”
“Everything is on course.”
If Donald Trump has a Priebus problem – in other words, he needs Priebus because the RNC is a source of funds a broke Donald Trump and Trump campaign badly need – Priebus also has a very big Donald Trump problem. This latest turnaround amounts to little more than a suicide pact between the two men.
Priebus’ phone call marks a break between the Republican National Committee Chairman and the Speaker of the House. Ryan has made it clear he won’t defend Trump but he won’t un-endorse him either, preferring instead to protect his power base in the House. Priebus has the entire GOP to think about, and he has clearly panicked and lost his mind.
With just a month to go before Election Day, the two men have agreed to go down together. They have climbed atop a metaphorical funeral pyre and Trump holds the torch. If this were Hollywood, Priebus’ face would show some trepidation. Trump’s would look…well, crazy.
Election Day, then, will be Götterdämmerung (“twilight of the gods”), the perfect, fiery end for what has become a deranged Wagnerian opera. In the original Old Norse, the conflagration is supposed to result in a renewal of the world.
The German Richard Wagner was not so optimistic. Neither should be Reince Priebus.