Prominent conservative magazine The Weekly Standard declared in an editorial Friday that the Republican Party has largely surrendered to President Donald Trump.
Trump’s insurgent primary campaign to become the Republican presidential nominee infuriated many conservatives and led to talks of a contested convention in order to grab the nomination away from him.
“But now it’s 2017. The base is said to be unhappy with dissent. Breitbart.com will criticize you. Steve Bannon may fund a primary challenger,” The Weekly Standard editors wrote in an article set to be published in the magazine’s November 6 issue.
“Dissent is so 2016,” the article states.
The New York Times recently pointed out a similar trend in an article titled “As G.O.P. Bends Toward Trump, Critics Either Give In or Give Up.” The piece highlighted the retirement announcements of establishment Republicans such as Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.
“It is much the same outside of government,” the Standard wrote. “A day after Trump addressed the Heritage Foundation, the think tank’s president, Ed Feulner, waxed rhapsodic in a pitch to donors. ‘This morning I woke up still in awe of what I heard last night. As you know, President Trump addressed a group of Heritage members. He confirmed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is on our side.'”
The piece goes on to say: “The current transformation of the Republican party is more confusing. At times, it seems the GOP might be becoming a Bannonite nationalist party. At others, it seems more simply a Trumpian cult-of-personality. The result, right now, is a party that is simultaneously corrupted by Trump and disfigured by Bannonism.”
Allies of Trump strongly deny that the party is transforming due to a cult-of-personality. “There’s no constituency for open borders, endless war and these international trade deals that are skewed against the United States,” conservative radio host Laura Ingraham told the Times.
The Weekly Standard’s editor-at-large Bill Kristol has been at the forefront of the “Never Trump” movement, and his magazine asked for a continued fight against the president.
“Readers of this magazine won’t be surprised to find that we think going along to get along is not in the interest of Republicans, conservatives, or the country. Corker and Flake spoke up, but they’re retiring from the Senate,” the Standard’s editors wrote. “What’s wanted is for those with something more at stake to step up. Robert Frost famously described a liberal as someone unwilling to take his own side in a fight. Will that be what is said of conservatives and Republicans?”