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John Heilemann Explains How Trump Owns Republicans: Fear, Panic, Stupidity and Cowardice

Morning Joe opened Monday’s show covering the 17th day of the government shutdown over border wall funding and contributor John Heilemann provided clear insight into the intraparty dynamics within the Republican party that has partly led the paralyzed political situation in which the nation now finds itself.

Host Joe Scarborough framed Heilemann’s insight in the context of how the Republican party is being “reduced to dust” over manufactured crises, a record deficit and an end to free trade — all the things that he fought for as a Republican congressman serving a Florida district in the 1990s.

In Heilemann’s purview its a fairly simple equation: many Republican Congressional members up for reelection in 2020 privately admit that President Donald Trump is undermining traditional GOP principles, but are more concerned about being primaried by Trump and a pro-Trump candidate that they are effectively sitting on their hands.

Citing Senator Mitch McConnell is an example,  Heileman said “Mitch McConnell sits every day and worries about all the long-term things you’re talking about but in the short term what Mitch McConnell gets primaried in 2020. That’s Mitch McConnell’s main concern, the concern of a lot of Republicans is they can see Trump is driving them off the cliff but they look at the short-term and they fear not the general election in 2020 but they fear the potential that Trump and a Trump-backed candidate could primary them and beat them before they even got to November.”

“Is that fear? Panic? Cowardice? Stupidity. It’s all of those things,” he said, adding, “When will it change? It will change when they look at the math and the math costs them less to leave trump than this costs to stay with Trump.”

Watch above courtesy of MSNBC.

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