Ideally, for Republicans, they would rally around one nominee but that would mean confronting Trump directly, and that’s a path that few are willing to tread. As Coppins notes, many Republicans “quietly hope for a new nominee,” but “few would be willing to endorse a non-Trump candidate early enough in the primary calendar to make a difference.”
Their preference is, and has always been, for someone other than them to do it. Trump’s continued presidential aspirations create a classic collective action problem: Republicans who want to be president would have to sacrifice their electoral dreams, while others would be required to challenge Trump and risk the wrath of the former president’s social media barbs. Acting in the party’s long-term interests and putting aside their personal ambition is especially difficult for prominent members of a party in which selfishness is seen not as a character flaw, but as a virtue.
But there’s another problem — and we turn again to Seinfeld co-creator Larry David. One of the best bits on his HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comes in season 5 when at a dinner party, someone spills gravy on Larry’s suit, and his mother-in-law yells out, “Somebody get a sponge.”
Larry’s response is perfect, “I don’t understand. Why don’t you get a sponge?”
The modern GOP is Larry David’s mother-in-law — she recognizes a problem and even posits a solution, but wants someone else to fix it.
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