When the Republican party gambled with becoming the Trumplican party, tossing out whatever vestiges of small government and principled leadership they may have had packed away since the 80s, they may not have weighed the consequences fully.

They planted a virulent seed. It grew into a monster that now threatens to swallow them whole.

They’re damned if they don’t, damned if they do.

Namely, their abandonment of principles in favor of party has jammed them between Trump loyalists and principled conservatives, horrified over what has become of their party.

The loyalists are those who expect total fealty to Trump and his every whim, no matter how destructive. There will be no constructive criticism or attempts to lessen the impact of another hasty, ill-conceived Trump edict. To do so gets them labeled “establishment,” or the new catchphrase, “deep state,” and the alt-right, tinfoil hat wearing, extremely low-info, hoax-pushing minions will punish them for it.

The actual conservatives no longer trust them. They saw what they did at the RNC convention a year ago. They saw formerly respected members of the party fall in line behind a man not fit to shine their shoes on a New York street corner, without even an ounce of the integrity that was once ascribed to them. The leaders of the party and the ones we’d hoped would lead the charge to pull us out of the horrendous Obama years became Yes men and Yes women to a lecherous, conniving, adulterous con artist.

And now, the chickens are coming home to roost, and they are crowing oh-so loudly.

This:

Drudge had once been considered a reliable conservative media source.

If nothing else, Trumpism has managed to flush out the frauds, with only scant hold on principled conservatism.

Hint: If you’re more concerned about protecting Trump than protecting the nation, you are not a conservative.

Next Tuesday, June 20, voters in Georgia’s 6th congressional district will go to the polls to decide who takes over the seat left vacant by Rep. Tom Price, who left to serve as part of Trump’s Cabinet (secretary of Health and Human Services).

Right now, it looks dire for the Republican candidate, Karen Handel. In what has been considered a Republican district, the Democrat Jon Ossoff is on the verge of taking her down. He doesn’t even live in the district and she’s losing.

Is this the beginning of the end? A foreshadow of events to come? We’re only a few, short months away from 2018 and the midterm elections. How many Republican leaders will be getting sent back to civilian life because they lost control of the party and the national narrative?

Make no mistake: Liberal Democrats are giddy, right now. The Trumplicans are raging, out to punish those who have not shown the appropriate amount of deference to the king. The principled conservatives are stepping back, unwilling to sully their hands, any further. Democrats are counting the ways they’ll punish Trump and the GOP, once they manage to wrest control of the House back in their favor.

All of this could have been avoided, had the party leaders chose to stand on the principles that were the base of the party for so long, and weather the storm of Trumpism, rather than to immediately acquiesce.

But that would have required moral courage.