Trump's Takeover Of The Republican Party Meets Continued Resistance

Tuesday brought fresh evidence President Trump has taken over the Republican Party, but pockets of active resistance remain as the tension and creative destruction that began with his upstart campaign continues over ten months into his presidency.

Trump began the day clashing with Sen. Bob Corker R-Tenn., who described him as an "untruthful president." Hours later, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., abruptly announced he would not seek re-election next year, decrying the "coarseness of our leadership" from the Senate floor.

But sandwiched between those two events was the Senate GOP policy luncheon, where Trump was greeted "without fireworks" as the party's leader. Flake cited the president's rebranding of the party along more nationalist and populist lines in his decision to forgo a second Senate term.

"For now, like it or not, the GOP is the party of Donald John Trump and Sen. Jeff Flake just flat out refused to accept it," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "Couple that with the fact that Flake wrote a book trashing Trump and continued to thumb his nose at the president and the will of the voters in his own state, and Flake really has no one to blame but himself for his current political predicament."

"Flake's impassioned speech before the Senate about ‘principle' misses the mark given the current political environment we are in," said O'Connell. "Trump's supporters know that the president has flaws, but they still believe that he is truly the last best chance to get things done. And if it comes down to Flake or Trump, Flake must go."

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy