It did not take long for Donald Trump's Republican enablers to reform the Republican National Committee into a Trump-centric mouthpiece and defender of Dear Leader's every burp and bluster. Efforts to integrate the Trump campaign infrastructure with that of the national party itself, effectively denying party resources to any Republican campaign that might dare challenge him in a primary, followed quickly.
Those efforts have now been largely completed in state Republican parties as well. The New York Times reports that in "every state important to the 2020 race, Mr. Trump and his lieutenants are in firm control of the Republican electoral machinery, and they are taking steps to extend and tighten their grip."
Mr. Trump’s aides have focused most intently on heading off any dissent at the Charlotte convention: To that end, two of Mr. Trump’s top campaign aides, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, have worked quietly but methodically in a series of states where control of the local party was up for grabs. They have boosted Mr. Trump’s allies even in deep-blue states like Massachusetts, and worked to make peace between competing pro-Trump factions in more competitive states such as Colorado.
At heart, this is another manifestation of Team Trump's extreme paranoia and protection of their prickly (read: unstable) leader. Trump is animated primarily by self-promotion and by the seemingly uncontrollable need to retaliate against any who would criticize him; those critics within his party who do not self-deport from their places of power are soon targeted either by Trump's public rage or that of those closest to him. The new figures must not only toe the line but maintain order in the ranks below them, and so on, until the party apparatus is purged of anyone who might point out that Dear Leader is a dementia-addled simpleton who cannot pronounce the word origins or remember where his own father was born without getting it wrong, much less understand the basics of trade policy or international alliance.
That the Republican Party could so easily be rolled in that fashion, however, is entirely on them. The emperor's invisible robes have entranced them thoroughly; I still maintain it may be evidence of widespread lead poisoning.
What it means, however, is that there's not going to be any Republican resistance to Trump in the 2020 election race, not even the slightest amount. It will not be allowed to happen. Would-be saviors will be demonized as monsters and tools of socialist globalism before they so much as raise a nickel; the 2020 race will be between a party that is all-in on Trumpism, not just in the presidency but in every state and national contest, and the part of America that consists of Absolutely Everybody Else.
It doesn't seem a solid path to re-election, but it is literally the only one the party can muster in their current state. There is no bit of the party platform that has not been overwritten with whatever the current Dear Leader wants; anyone foolish enough to take prior iterations of Republican ideology seriously bolted from the party a half-dozen scandals back.