John, as always, exactly right on the modern Republican penchant for sadism, much of it now tied to reality TV / cable news emphasis on the dramatic conflict always having an exhibitionist / spectacle element now embedded. (It's just part of our contemporary makeup now, sadly enough.) I'm hoping you'll also take a look at the other side of this aspect in another post--the masochistic element that has wended its way into the modern Republican psyche and the limits on it. From Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?", I still shake my head on how much pain are Republican voters willing to tolerate--which may be the same thing as asking how much cognitive dissonance can this segment of the population absorb--before reconciling themselves to the need to change their voting patterns. (Note I emphasize change, not switch: Republicans can just as easily opt not to vote at all as vote against their party.) There is an element here of the scorpion riding the fox's back and stinging the fox as it swims across the river and drowns with the scorpion. Just before they go down: "Why did you do that?" asked the fox. "It's in my nature," replied the scorpion. Perhaps there is something there--or not--especially in light of recent polls indicating attrition in Trump's voter base.