WATCH: Sean Hannity Goes Off On Republicans: Stop Being Mean To Trump!

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Two weeks after the conventions, Donald Trump is sinking fast in the polls with no bottom in sight. So what’s a dedicated Trump fan like Fox News’s Sean Hannity to do when his friend’s campaign is in free-fall? Why, it’s time for him to blame the Republican Party, of course, because nothing ensures success quite like a circular firing squad.

Asserting the election is still “completely winnable” if everyone just stops paying attention to bad news, Hannity called out Republican leaders and Trump’s disgruntled primary opponents by name, saying they were “more harsh towards Donald Trump than they’ve ever been in standing up to Barack Obama and his radical agenda.”

Hannity was reacting to reports that the small cadre of prominent Republicans that have Trump’s trust, such as Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, are arranging an “intervention” for the candidate. (Tellingly, Giuliani is now pointing the finger of responsibility for that embarrasing story at Gingrich.) Echoing Trump’s distrust of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Hannity went on a tirade against the Grand Old Party.

Listen, via TPM:

If, in 96 days, Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham, and John McCain, and John Kasich, and Ted Cruz if he won’t endorse. And any of the…and Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping.

[…] They did nothing, nothing — all these phony votes to repeal and replace ObamaCare, show votes so they can go back and keep their power and get reelected. Sorry, you created Donald Trump, all of you because of your ineffectiveness, because of your weakness, your spinelessness, your lack of vision, your inability to fight Obama. Your fear of being blamed for a government shutdown. And I’m getting a little sick and tired of all of you. Honestly, I am tempted to just say I don’t support any of you people, ever.

Let me try to put this rant in context.

When I recorded a town hall event in Killen, Alabama five years ago that featured madcap Republican Mo Brooks, there were about fifteen people present, none of whom hid their media preferences. (Some mentioned their love of Alex Jones or Fox News in the course of their questions to Brooks, and I took an informal survey of as many of the rest as I could afterwards.)

Typical of them all, one elderly man expressed a strong preference for Hannity as his sole, trusted source — receiving the room’s enthusiastic agreement — in the middle of a demand that Brooks do something, anything about the presence of Barack Obama in the White House. (I was so impressed that I made his interrupt-y comments into the penultimate moment of a creative mash-up video about paranoia and political polarization.)

These people did not want to hear about Brooks helping block Obama’s agenda.

They did not want to hear about the constitutional requirements for impeachment.

They did not want to hear that the following year, when Obama was up for reelection, was the best time and means to remove him from office.

Rather, these folks simply wanted “that…that OBAMA” out of the White House by whatever means necessary.

For the first time in my entire life, a life spent almost entirely in the South, I momentarily sensed that I was in the midst of an old-timey lynch mob that was ready to throw a noose over a tree limb and take care of that uppity so-and-so the same way their hooded ancestors would have.

And today, I know for a fact that almost everyone in that room is an enthusiastic Trump supporter. Indeed, many of them were rooting for Trump already because he pandered to the ‘birthers.’

So when historians discuss what made the Grand Old Party go off the rails this year and why Republicans ended up locked in a death-spiral with their hands around each others’ throats, they aren’t going to talk about the fecklessness of party elites who couldn’t overcome Obama.

Instead, future political observers will discuss the ways in which Sean Hannity and his ilk created a safe space for Donald Trump to exist in Republican politics.

When they do discuss the craven failures of Republican politicians, it will be to focus on their obedient kowtowing before the Sean Hannitys of radio and television.

They will note how Mo Brooks eventually began to demand Obama’s impeachment just to give town hall attendees a nice, fat slab of red meat, and how this feedback loop affected the conservative movement, all with Hannity cited as the source.

If the GOP is pemanently altered this November, Hannity has no one but himself to blame.

Featured image via Gage Skidmore Flickr under Creative Commons license

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