With so much in the headlines recently, it would have been easy to pass over a significant development in the Republican Party. On September 17, 2017, the New York Times released a confidential memo from the Senate Leadership Fund to Republican donors explaining the implications of the Alabama Senate special election. In it, the establishment wing of the GOP, including Mitch McConnell and his allies, concede that the Republican Party is Trump’s now.
The Senate Leadership Fund explains that the neoliberal branch of the GOP had been able to hold off the angry insurgent nationalist wing of the party in 2010 and 2014. “However, this year’s Alabama Senate special election shows that the 2014-16 playbook for winning Republican primaries needs to be recalibrated and improved….[The] electorate has dramatically realigned itself with President Trump at the helm,” states the memo.