Will Connecticut Republicans sign on for Trump’s party of racism?

Like President Donald Trump doubling down this week on his racist tweets about Congressional women, Connecticut Republicans last month doubled down on their Trumpist Chairman J.R. Romano, electing him to a new term.

After all, it was Trump-loving Romano who led Republicans to their thrashing at the polls here in 2018, part of the anti-Trump Democratic wave that washed over the country.

You would think Connecticut Republicans, in hindsight, would see how the GOP Trumpists in Connecticut, including the gubernatorial candidate at the head of the last statewide ticket, dramatically thinned their ranks in the General Assembly, would have decided on a new course.

Instead, they overlooked competent challengers and re-elected the chairman who led them to the bruising 2018 defeat.

I couldn't help but think, after Trump this week lifted the slim hanky that had been covering his obvious racism, goading party leaders to embrace it, that Connecticut Republicans are being led to slaughter.

Not that there aren't significant numbers of Trumpists in old blue Connecticut, especially here on the eastern end of the state. One commenter on theday.com, praising Trump for the racist tweets in which he told minority congresswomen, American citizens, to go back home, declared our president "brilliant."

Yes, well I suppose Hitler was brilliant, too.

And why doesn't Trump, who built a brand out of criticizing America and American leaders, go back to his mother's native Scotland or his grandfather's Germany?

Aside from those who find Trump's racism brilliant, there's a vast number of Connecticut voters, including many Republicans, who find him an offensive, mean, misogynist, racist, egoist with authoritarian ambitions.

There are many of us who cringe to hear Trump "joking" about staying on past the end of a second term.

Let's not forget that registered Connecticut Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans, and the large block of unaffiliated voters tend to share the same temperate, moderate, political psyche as many Democrats.

I don't think anyone is going to whistle in many Connecticut voters with a racist message, and that racism now seems to be part of the national Republican ecosystem, given the lack of widespread GOP censure of Trump's tweets.

And the state GOP, oddly enough, has doubled down on Trump-cheering party leadership.

Connecticut Republicans couldn't contain the Trump damage in 2018, even with a very unpopular Democratic governor at the end of what seemed like an interminable second term.

Do they really think opposition to tolls is going to eventually win the day?

If running against Malloy didn't work, I'm quite sure that running against using out-of-state revenue to help repair the state's transportation infrastructure is not going to be a winner.

Sure, they will find people who think Trump is brilliant and who rail against a revenue stream that most surrounding states already embrace.

But I would suggest that Trump's new GOP racism branding will not play well at all here in Connecticut.

Connecticut Republicans may be stepping into a Trump-fueled death spiral.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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