WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is nervous, and if you catch him in an honest moment say staffers, you’ll find out just how nervous he is.
What does Priebus have to worry about? The aides that we spoke to on condition of anonymity and Chik-Fil-A told us that Priebus is “terrified that the morons we courted for eight years are going to cost us another election.” The aides tell us that “Reince is just now waking up to the fact that for nearly a decade he encouraged and put up with the most arcane, backwards, thinly-veiled to openly racist, vitriolic, anti-intellectual rhetoric” from the Tea Party and its supporters has “put the GOP in a position to scare the general public in a presidential election all over again.” The same aides also said that the continued presence of Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump at the top of the primary polls has Preibus’ “stomach in utter knots.”
“Mr. Preibus has tried for eight years to keep the base fired up by encouraging them to openly hate President Barack Obama as much as humanly possible,” Rep. Thom Thompaulsen (R) told the media when he was asked about the presidential race and Priebus’ emotional outlook. “But what I don’t think any of us realized is that this isn’t 1980 anymore, and thanks to social media and the general sense of times changing,” Thompaulsen said, “people are largely terrified of Republicans controlling all three branches of government. Considering how low our approval ratings are these days, I’m just glad our gerrymandering efforts have kept our majority in the House, because people really, really hate our leadership.”
Thompaulsen was referring to an opinion poll taken by Gallup just after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) took over as Speaker of the House that showed an abysmal 8% of the country approve of Republicans’ handling of their congressional duties. “We have to continually ignore those polls,” Thompaulsen said, “and focus on the victories in our off-cycle elections, even though the majority of those gains are thanks to the historical laziness of Democratic voters in elections that don’t determine the presidency.” That, Thompaulsen says, is why he and his fellow establishment Republicans are nervous about Trump and Carson staying so dominant.
“I guess I just had no idea how proudly dumb our party had gotten,” Thompaulsen said. “I mean, I had inkling when Carson said that the pyramids were built for grain storage and his numbers didn’t go down, but his level of stupid on the bigger, general election stage? It will be doom for us. Certain, unavoidable doom.” However, Thompaulsen says he doesn’t know what can be done because “the base is who we need to fire up to win the primary” but “the base is also who scares the ever loving crap out of every sane and rational American.”
For his part, Thompaulsen hopes Trump and Carson eventually “do the right thing” and move out of the way so that “a traditional, Republican candidate who knows how to support crazy ideas without sounding crazy” can win the nomination. “I don’t care if it’s Rubio, Kasich, or Jeb, I just want someone who push our country away from science, progress, and a strong middle class that won’t also make people realize how intellectually bereft we are,” Thompaulsen said, “because that’s how we’ll be able to push our country away from science, progress, and a strong middle class.”
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.