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The Republican civil war was over 5 years ago. Trump and the winners have a new target: Us

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There is no “Civil War” brewing within the Republican Party.

Sure, there are a few, and I mean a few, folks who happen to still be in the Republican Party, who oppose what Donald Trump has done to the GOP, but let’s be very clear here: They are outliers. They are the fringe. They are the exception, not the rule.

For all of the talk and headlines about there being some kind of GOP “Civil War” playing out in front of our eyes, the functional reality is that this so-called war was fought and decided five years ago, when Donald Trump insulted his way to the Republican nomination.

Maybe there’s an alternate reality somewhere, one in which Republican leaders united against Trump, risking the 2016 election to preserve the substance of their party. In this timeline, Fox News doesn’t become the TV version of Breitbart News. Would-be conservative standard-bearers like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham refuse to relent on their opposition to Trump (they were against him before they were for him, after all). Mike Pence doesn’t forfeit his dignity to serve as Trump’s whipping boy, I mean running mate. Sure, Republicans probably lose the election to Hillary Clinton in this scenario, but their orthodoxy remains intact.

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