The Journal Sentinel just ran a fascinating story on Wisconsin politics and how Trump has upset the apple cart in that state.
Check out an excerpt here:
If you want to understand the havoc Donald Trump is wreaking in the GOP, just consider the pain he has inflicted on three Republican stalwarts from Wisconsin: Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus.
Not long ago, this trio was hailed as the vanguard of an emboldened national party that clobbered Democrats in midterm elections and redefined how far conservatives could go in blue and purple states.
But today that party is having a manic, Trump-fueled identity crisis, and all three have been ensnared in the struggle.
Walker was the star governor and presidential prospect derailed by Trump.
Priebus is the party chairman whose big plans for Republican outreach, especially to Hispanics, have been trampled on by Trump.
And Ryan is the House speaker whose goal of crafting a post-Obama governing blueprint for his party’s next nominee may be foiled or ignored by Trump.
Walker, Priebus and Ryan represent a recent brand of Republicanism that’s in some ways the inverse of Trump-ism: upbeat and approachable in style (where Trump is crude and intimidating); and deeply conservative in ideology (where Trump is neither ideological nor all that conservative).
In Wisconsin, they symbolized an especially effective marriage of tea party and establishment. It’s a level of party unity Walker thought he could offer as presidential candidate, and that Ryan’s speakership was meant to salvage or restore in Congress.
But Trump has exposed and widened the gap between the party’s leaders and its voters and tested whether GOP elites have any answers for the political rage and economic frustration of their working-class base.
“There was a problem that none of them either contemplated or if they did contemplate, didn’t appreciate how deep it was,” longtime conservative insider David Keene says of party leaders. “And that was the growing anger out there.”
Read more: Journal Sentinel