Battered GOP Syndrome

You know that one meme of that little dog, the one that's sitting in a room completely on fire, telling himself things are fine, totally fine, when the obviously, totally aren't? Today that artist, KC Green, saw fit to make a very necessary update to that beloved cartoon (which got shared 8,600+ times) -- because things are indeed far from fine. "2016 is officially so bad that the This Is Fine Meme is no longer Fine," notes Vox's Aja Romano. "Bless K.C. Green for this 'THINGS ARE NOT FINE EVERYTHING'S ON FIRE' update we need rn," reacts colleague Caroline Framke.

In part, it's needed because of a few more things that happened today:

  •  For one, we hear tell that senior GOP officials are exploring options if Donald Trump drops out, but that's contingent on Trump doing so voluntarily. "Well I think I have spotted the first problem with this option," muses Tierney Sneed with Talking Points Memo.
  • Basically, things are so bad that NBC News compiled a number of items showing how Trumps campaign has gone from "unraveling" to "break glass" mode in a list that looks remarkably like ours from yesterday. "NBC has decided it's fair game to TYPE IN CAPS when talking about Trump. Respect," praises Fusion's Danny Rivero.
  • By contrast, Mike Pence seems to be mopping up after his running mate, "strongly" endorsing Ryan even as Trump stubbornly declines to do the same. "Now someone should ask Trump if he supports Pence, or if he's not quite there yet," jokes National Journal's Ben Pershing.
  • Then there's the rumor that Trump's refusal to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan has enraged RNC chairman Reince Priebus. "Me: How does it look, Doctor? Doctor: I'm afraid you've got an Enraged Reince Priebus," quips Mark Gongloff for Bloomberg Gadfly.
  • Confusingly, there's another rumor that Priebus and various Trump allies are plotting a candidate intervention after the past disastrous 48 hours. "Please get a camera in the room! This is a reality show we want to see!" begs Marc Maron of WTF Podcast, while  points out "Idea ONCE AGAIN is that if current calamity can somehow be weathered, maybe smoother waters lie ahead. (They don't.)" The Atlantic's Christopher Orr is calling it "Battered GOP Syndrome."
  • But wait, other sources say there won't be a intervention. "Priebus hasn't spoken to Trump campaign in last 24 hours. Campaign 'in the ditch,'" reports Washington Post's Steven Ginsberg.
  • Know who wouldn't be at that intervention for sure, though? Veepstakes loser Newt Gingrich, who actually said today that Trump is "proving he is more unacceptable" than Hillary Clinton. "Gingrich takes ball, goes home," summarizes The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff.
  • Then there's the Georgia Republican who says he might withhold electoral college vote from Trump, as the Peach State is one of 21 states that doesn't require its electoral college members to adhere to popular vote. But, like, can he really do that? "The only thing dumber than ignoring the popular vote for an electoral college is electors freelancing," complains Philip Bump of The Fix.
  • Even a Fox News poll says Clinton is leading Trump by 10 points, despite both being seen as flawed.
  • And how about that time Joe Scarborough claimed during a conversation with former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden that Trump asked three times during a national security meeting why we couldn't just use nuclear weapons.  "This seems big," Politico's Glenn Thrush offers the understatement of the year.
  • On top of all this, the New York Times released unfiltered audio from their crowd footage of Trump's rallies over the past year. "This is what political correctness prevented from being said, I guess. Lots of slurs in this," details Houston Chronicle's Karen Chen.

And as if that weren't enough:

  • The Hollywood Reporter is trolling Trump hard, offering everyone the opportunity to compare your hand size to that of The Donald. "Week Getting Even Worse for Trump: We have confirmation that his hands are, in fact, small," sympathizes The Daily Beast's Marlow Stern.
  • The Trump Taj Mahal announced it will close after Labor Day weekend, although this declaration could very well be a labor dispute negotiation tactic. But even this unearths unhealed "Trump Taj Mahal's shuttering reminds me that blacks used to have to hide when he arrived," recalls Bradford Pearson at Southwest Magazine (that claim was made in this New Yorker piece from a year ago.
  • Trump's campaign started publishing press releases on the "Media Bias of the Day."
  • While campaigning in Florida, Trump joked about challenging President Obama to a round of golf with the presidency at stake. "He says he would win," shares WaPo's Jenna Johnson. "'Caddyshack 3' plot now set," jokes Craig Pittman with the Tampa Bay Times.

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