Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Oct. 06, 2019 3 min read

Republicans believe Trump will break the party in two, and permanently destroy its political capital in the U.S., if they betray him. What you're seeing from Trump, Barr, Giuliani, diGenova, Graham, McConnell and others is *literally* a global effort to save the Republican Party.

1/ I've on multiple occasions heard this theory⁠—regarding the basis for Republicans' historic treachery against the US⁠—referred to as "schism theory." The idea is that the only thing that'd cause the GOP to betray America like this is an existential threat to the whole party.

2/ In recent weeks we've heard several reports that behind the scenes at least 30 Republican senators have no love whatsoever for Trump, and would vote to impeach him if they could do so anonymously. But I think there's a still greater fear for the future of the Republican Party.

3/ Never forget that Trump threatened to run as an independent if the Republicans did not nominate him. It was this threat that made it impossible to unseat him as the nominee at the 2016 Republican National Convention, even though many establishment Republicans wanted to do so.

4/ I'm of the opinion we should stop saying on TV/radio that we don't understand why Republicans are acting this way. I get a bit nauseated when I hear folks scratch their heads about it. What we're witnessing is an attempt to forestall the collapse of the GOP. Period, full stop.

5/ McConnell could've gotten all the judges he wanted from Pence. And Republicans would've had an easier time passing legislation and maintaining longstanding Republican domestic/foreign policies on the budget and America's role abroad. The issue was being unable to betray Trump.

6/ The Republican Party has been unsustainable for a long time. It lost the vote in 1992, 1996 and 2000. It moved around voting machines in Ohio in '04 to win the WH by 50,000 votes. It lost the vote in 2008, 2012 and 2016. It's on its last legs, so it cheats and betrays America.

7/ I don't know what the solution is. I just know the GOP died when Bush Sr. lost in 1992. Since then the party has not supported the rule of law, free and fair elections, easy ballot access, transparent government, an unbiased media, or anything else that America now stands for.

8/ So none of this should be a surprise to anyone. The Republican Party has been dying for nearly 30 years, and like a hideous giant flailing its arms about wildly as it falls into a bottomless abyss, it has grasped for *everything* Americans love to take with it as it goes down.

9/ The problem is, our system of government lacks a mechanism to allow one of its two great political parties to die. The GOP is "too big to fail," so it maintains access to the levers of justice and the corridors of media attention that artificially prop it up and give it power.

10/ I think in 100 years historians will say everything that happened in this period of U.S. history was the result of no one being willing to accept that one of America's great political parties had failed, thereafter becoming a threat to rule of law and American democracy. /end

PS/ None of this is to say that the Republican Party was always tragically flawed in this way or that the Democratic Party doesn't have its own problems. But the Democratic Party isn't presently inconsistent with the continuation of America as a nation of laws and free elections.


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