President Trump’s hold on the Republican Party is overstated. But that doesn’t mean that his downfall would resolve its challenges.
Conventional wisdom holds that Donald Trump has taken over the Republican Party. That’s been the conclusion of articles in The New Yorker, Mother Jones, New York, The Washington Post, The Hill, Politico, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Telegraph, USA Today, Time, the New York Post, The Boston Globe, and beyond.
Most recently, the PBS show Frontline titled an episode “Trump’s Takeover.” In its telling, President Trump wasn’t yet in control of the GOP as recently as his failed effort to get a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare through Congress. Then, he succeeded in signing a tax-reform bill into law. In the celebration that followed, he was praised by Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Orrin Hatch, even as critics like Senator Jeff Flake were preparing to step away from politics.