Let’s dispel with this fiction that the GOP is being obliterated by Trump.
First, remember that nothing ever, ever hurts the Republicans. Despite all the damage Bush II inflicted upon our nation and nations abroad, a lot of the responsibility for his failures have been deflected onto others, and his favorability has risen significantly since he’s left office.
Second, few Republicans—be it politicians or pundits—are willing to take responsibility for Trump. Rather, they’re telling us that he’s not a real conservative, that’s he actually a liberal. Never mind that this either means 1) a sizable chunk of conservative voters are actually liberals or 2) conservative voters are so stupid that they’re being duped by a liberal. Hmm…
Third, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see something like Trump repeat in the near future. That’s because the GOP will be able to assess such a threat much earlier and neutralize it before it metastasizes, and because there are so few other famous loudmouths with such name recognition who appeal to the dark side of the Republican heart and have the clout to sustain their support.
The reason the GOP is never hurt is because they’re always able to sell to their base that anything that seems to be a Republican wrongdoing is actually a liberal conspiracy. If a politician says something racist or xenophobic, that’s just the PC left overreacting. If the Twin Towers come down during Bush II’s Presidency, that’s because Clinton didn’t kill bin Laden. If a nuisance like Trump occasionally rears its head, just point to things he’s said in the past to paint him as a not true conservative, a liberal. Eventually, once they repeat it enough among themselves, it’ll become truth, because any point that they incessantly insist upon is eventually given credence by liberal media pundits, and is given equal consideration. It’s how Republicans can invoke the legacy of Reagan without actually discussing any of his policies. It’s how they can claim to love the Constitution while bending over backwards to subvert it. It’s how they anoint themselves the kings of small government while supporting massive surveillance programs that exponentially expand the reach of the federal government.
So no, I don’t think that once the GOP has weathered the Trump tempest that they’ll do any soul-searching. They won’t be enlightened and see the errors of their ways. They won’t learn a lesson in the way that we think of one learning a lesson; i.e., they’ll learn how to prevent such a calamity from occurring again while still pursuing the same ends they pursue now. They won’t view this as the crisis it is. It’s a malady that merely needs to be remedied. And once it’s over, they can stay on course.