Frank Rich is money when it comes to using his encyclopedic knowledge of political literature, theater, and cinema to put Trumpism in its proper place in the American tradition. I also like the concise phrasing he uses here:

Republican potentates can’t fight back against him because the party’s base has his back. He’s ensnared the GOP Establishment in a classic Catch-22: It wants Trump voters — it can’t win elections without them — but doesn’t want Trump calling attention to what those voters actually believe.

I’ve seen a lot of fairly moderate Republicans who are uncomfortable with both Trump and the excesses of the far right pussyfooting around this core conundrum. And what I always wonder is if there is a point, or where that point might be for each individual, where getting what they want politically just isn’t worth having to associate with the Republican base.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at