The coming conservative “civil war” is going to be weird

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Jeb Lund writes about Trump’s Vile Game of Distraction, running the wargames for what happens to his party now that he has destroyed its "beautiful dream of a permanent Christian ethnocentric oligarchy."

The twitter-consensus is that there’s some kind of divide between principled conservatives and the Trumpkins who want to pick up his supporters after he’s gone. Ah, but:

Ordinarily, a rich and powerful man amplifying the anguish of powerless women who claimed to have been raped by another extremely powerful man would be a noble gesture. Out of context and devoid of sound, it would have been a silent, stunning reminder that Bill Clinton would be nearly unthinkable as a Democratic candidate today. … except, this time, it was done to distract from the very real possibility that the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States is a sex offender. That, and only that, was enough to arrest the endless forward movement of a party happy to glide on racism, religious discrimination, misogyny and xenophobia – profitably and seemingly forever.

Here’s Paul Krugman, writing that Trump and the GOP are Predators in Arms, that it’s naive to think Republicans care about sexual assault on any level other than its consequences for the horse race.

As many people are pointing out, Republicans now trying to distance themselves from Donald Trump need to explain why The Tape was a breaking point, when so many previous incidents weren’t. … Of course, we know the answer: The latest scandal upset Republicans, when previous scandals didn’t, because the candidate’s campaign was already in free fall. You can even see it in the numbers: The probability of a House Republican jumping off the Trump train is strongly related to the Obama share of a district’s vote in 2012. That is, Republicans in competitive districts are outraged by Mr. Trump’s behavior; those in safe seats seem oddly indifferent.

He adds: Trump "isn’t so much an anomaly as he is a pure distillation of his party’s modern essence."