By 2009, the Republican Party was a shell of its former self. It was demographically weak, legislatively powerless and bankrupt of ideas. I wrote once that the Tea Party was like a dose of crack cocaine for the GOP. It energized the party by adding candidates to the rolls. Eventually, the establishment came down from that high and tried to maintain without such an influence. A few races were lost in 2010, either because of the Tea Party or Republican resistance to it, depending on your point of view. Donald Trump may be the eight ball that kills the election for the Republicans.
In the political prediction game, there is one thing you can always bet against. That is the power of a divisive candidate to unify the people. Mitt Romney had a lot of good qualities going for him, but he had problems running a campaign and he did not court his own party enough. Trump is uninterested in the 60% who won’t vote for him, assuming they will either fall in line or get out of the way when he captures some fictional silent majority in the general population.
Of course, this is Indifference 2016, where no one gives a shit what I think. I’m not a big fan of the Republican Party. I am less of a fan of the cult of personality based on the opinions of one guy that Donald Trump represents. I guess when he blows up the Republican Party, he’ll put up a big ass wall in its place. More likely, he will put up a wall around his own place to keep out the mess when he loses to whichever Democrat helms the third Obama term.