One might add that dozens of those defenders in Congress were wiped out in the 1974 midterm elections. One could also note that the subsequent GOP comeback was made easier by the fact that Spiro Agnew had resigned, so that Nixon was succeeded by a vice president who had been in office for only a few months and who wasn't particularly identified with him. That incumbent was then challenged in the 1976 primary by a governor of California who had his own political identity distinct from Nixon's, and who won the Republican nomination in 1980. Thus the GOP and the conservative movement were quickly able to achieve real separation from Nixon. Can they do the same from Donald Trump? It's urgent that Republicans and conservatives begin to try. The future of the Republican party and of conservatism depend on their standing for loyalties and principles more fundamental than the fortunes of Donald Trump.
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