In March 2013, the Republican National Committee released what soon became known as the “autopsy report,” which looked at how the GOP might reverse trends that recently had caused the party to lose the popular vote for the fifth time in six presidential elections. Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman believes that conservatives’ hostile response to the report’s big-tent ideas paved the way for the disruptive candidacy of Donald Trump.
“This was all supposed to turn on a dime when the presidential election started,” wrote Longman in a Tuesday post. “All this hate and resentment and bigotry was supposed to just get turned off and Jeb Bush would waltz in with his sunny Reaganesque nobility and his love of amnesty and Common Core and his Mexican wife and family…and the hive would settle down and get back driving around that ideological cul-de-sac like good little stormtroopers. But these aren’t good little stormtroopers. These are genuine ruffians. And they’re having a block party and they’ve got their own music provided by Donald Trump.”