Wineke: A Trump bargain will sink the GOP

MADISON, Wis. — Our former president seems to be on a sinking ship, and he promises to take the Republican Party down with him.

Within the last couple of days, Donald Trump has sued the Republican National Committee and its Congressional and Senate committees, demanding that they cease using his name in fund-raising appeals.

Monday night, he went further and urged his millions of followers to send any donations they might have considered making to the GOP to his own political action committees instead.

In other words, what the former guy is doing is attempting to defund his own party.

He has also backed primary bids against a number of the party’s leaders. Trump, who was a Democrat for much of his career, calls these leaders – who, for better or for worse have decades of service to Republican causes – RINOs, Republicans in Name Only.

You kind of have to wonder if the Republican leadership is having second thoughts about devoting the party so much to Trump that, at its last convention, it failed even to present a platform and said whatever the former President was for, that’s what the party is for.

Although, apparently, the GOP leadership is not having second thoughts: It has decided to hold its next major fundraising event at Trump’s Florida golf club.

Personally, I’m not sure I would pay what money I have to enrich someone who was out calling for my downfall but, then, I’m not a Republican.

The reason for all this subservience is that the party leaders believe Trump is the only person who can lead them to future political victories.

Who knows? This may all pan out.

Trump may, indeed, lead them to further electoral victories. The problem is that, in the long run, their capitulation to the former president will lead to the destruction of the party.

Political parties, for all their divisions and hypocrisies, have to stand for something to be viable.

For decades, the GOP has stood for balanced budgets, an internationalist foreign policy, a cautious, but real, approach to the environment and a government led by recognized leaders. Trump does not stand for any of those policies.

Trump stands for Trump and, without Trump, what is there? That’s the nihilism his party has embraced. It will not work in the long run.