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Opinion A staff mutiny could help Trump and the party

Donald Trump speaks to voters during a campaign event at Briar Woods High School on Tuesday in Ashburn, Va. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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I hear that the Trump campaign staff might be contemplating a mutiny. It’s a good idea. Staff members should threaten to quit en masse. Perhaps if they did, it would force Donald Trump to agree to some conditions that would be good for the country, for the campaign and ultimately, for themselves. A coalition of the willing should write a joint letter, demanding that Trump endorse all Republicans on the ballot with him in 2016, dedicate two hours a day to fundraising and coordinate a policy rollout once a week. All liaisons with GOP House and Senate campaigns should be led by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s operation, and they should be in charge of message coordination — and more importantly, message discipline. All this is just for starters. It might not work, but right now, this is less about a plan for Trump to win and more about avoiding a debacle that changes the entire balance of power in Washington and cripples the Republican Party for decades.

The anecdotal accounts coming from the Trump campaign tell a tale of woe unlike any I’ve ever heard. No one makes decisions, very little authority has been delegated and no one knows what the budgets are for the initiatives they have been tasked with. Inexplicably, veteran operative Ed Brookover was summarily fired this week. Brookover has been a steady hand and a reliable presence in GOP campaigns for three decades. The fact that he can’t operate inside of Trump’s campaign says a lot about the dysfunction that must be present.

Campaigns are intense, and they require a great deal of loyalty to the candidates and the campaign’s senior management. I know what it’s like to have to keep your chin up and your mouth shut when things are not going well. I know what it’s like to have to put your shoulder to the wheel and do what you can after you or your team has lost a strategic decision or some authority. But the Trump campaign seems to be in complete disarray, and there’s no evidence that it’s getting any better. The idea that Trump is a management wizard and masterful CEO has gone beyond a myth — it’s a joke.

The problem for Republicans is that if things don’t get better in the presidential race, there could be a serious downdraft that will cost Republicans the Senate and maybe even the majority in the House. If Democrats have control of the White House and both houses of Congress, Hillary Clinton will have at least two years of free rein to impose her wacky social programs on the rest of us, destroy what’s left of the economy and make the world an even more dangerous place. We could be on the brink of catastrophe. So maybe if they take some action, the Trump campaign staff members can keep the worst from happening, even if it is over Trump’s objection.

Ordinarily, there is nothing career-damaging about working for a losing campaign. You fight the good fight, you do your best and you learn a lot. However, the Trump campaign might be different. It isn’t just that Trump is so offensive to so many; it is that it is increasingly clear that nothing about the Trump campaign approaches a professional  campaign effort that would burnish one’s career. In politics, there is nothing wrong with a little self-preservation at the right time. But, that being said, staffers, operatives and activists shouldn’t think they have to leave the party in order to be clear of Trump. And for that reason, I disagree with what George Will and Sally Bradshaw have done. I wish they would come back to the GOP. A committed Republican can decouple from Trump without abandoning the party.

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