Reinhold Richard (‘Reince’) Priebus has just been given the bum’s rush after serving as the White House chief of staff for Donald Trump for just over 6 months. Although Trump never trusted Priebus, he looked upon him as a conduit to Paul Ryan and the Republican Party1. And the party looked upon Priebus as a calming influence, in the vain hope that he could curb Trump’s narcissistic and idiotic excesses. However, as Molly Ball1 stated, “Priebus mostly found himself a harried go-between, frantically running interference” between the mad king Trump and the Republicans in Congress. Presumably, Pence will now have to take up that mantle.
The Vice President and religious nutter, Mike Pence, is now the only ‘normal’ Republican remaining in the tent, and this has led some to believe that Trump’s connection with the Republican party will unravel completely, and Trump will pursue an agenda opposed to that traditionally associated with the party1. After all, when Trump could actually construct sentences of his own accord, he had belonged to the Democratic Party (2001-2009), only joining the Republicans (again) in September 2009, before leaving it in late 2011 and then rejoining it again in April 2012. As much as can be determined from the incoherent rubbish that Trump spouts, he may have leanings which would not be considered acceptable to the Republican Party. One indication is that he praised the health care system of Australia when the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull visited the US in May. Trump stated that Australia “has better health care than we do”. The system in Australia (Medicare) is universal. Everybody is covered, and on a per capita basis, it is half the cost of the US system.
If Trump attempts to go against the austere bastardry of the Republican Party, the latter will likely attempt to get rid of him, somehow installing Pence as President. If you think Trump is weird, Pence is even stranger. He doesn’t want women serving in the armed forces; he doesn’t believe smoking kills; he thought that money funding research on AIDS should be spent on homosexual conversion therapy; he believes that same-sex marriage would cause societal collapse; thinks that Planned Parenthood should be defunded; thinks business owners should be allowed to discriminate against LBGTQ people5; is a climate change denier; is a creationist; and is opposed to any restrictions on the sale of assault rifles6.
Whether Trump remains or Pence replaces him as president, the Republican Party is in deep trouble. The Trump White House, can at best be described as chaotic because, apart from the narcissist-in-chief, it seems to be replete with assorted crazies, amateurs and foaming-at-the-mouth ideologues who demonstrate the veracity of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Would a Pence White House be any better? Only if he cleaned out the Trumpian detritus and replaced it with people who actually knew what they are doing. Whichever of them leads the nation towards the midterm elections in November 2018, the Republicans will most likely lose control of both houses as they will have the smell of Trumpian ordure following them through the campaign.