Three of the original Republican candidates for president were running in the "nice guy lane": Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Gov. Doug Burgum (R-SD). Conservative, true, but as friendly, sunny, upbeat guys, much in the style of the Gipper (Ronald Reagan). As Leo Durocher once (allegedly) said: "Nice guys finish last." Durocher wasn't quite right. Pence and Scott didn't finish last, but they didn't make it to Thanksgiving either. Burgum can self fund, so he is technically still in, but he, his wife, and his basketball buddies are the only ones who know it. Being positive like "Morning in America" Reagan just doesn't work in Republican primaries anymore. Nor does his Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It's all culture warrior and slash and burn now. Think of this as the "Gipper Gap."
The worst offender is Donald Trump, who recently said Democrats are "vermin." Even by American political standards this is way out of line. Joe Biden has said that "vermin" reeks of Nazi Germany and Trump has used the word multiple times now. Biden also called out Trump for saying "the blood of America is being poisoned," another reference to Hitler and Nazi Germany. It is almost as if Trump has been using Mein Kampf as bedtime reading, except that Trump doesn't read books, especially not in German (although translations into English exist).
Doug Elmets, one of Reagan's speechwriters, said: "Trump hijacked the GOP and I'm almost certain that Reagan is rolling over in his grave at the very thought." Once Trump started mocking people and calling them names, the dam broke and now many Republicans are saying things no Republican would have said in Reagan's time.
In the last debate, Nikki Haley said to Vivek Ramaswamy "You're just scum" when he dragged her daughter onto the political battleground. Given what Ramaswamy was saying, she had a pretty good case. Still, that is not something the Gipper would ever have called anyone. He would have made a joke with his opponent on the receiving end of it. He didn't call people names.
Recently, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) "a little bitch" on the floor of the House. Indeed, Boebert is little (5' 0"). Members didn't use to call other members that, especially not people from their own party. Then there is "Let's Go Brandon." Even Trump's pretty lawyer, Alina Habba, has gotten into the act. She has taken to wearing a necklace with the letters "FJB" on it. In case you missed it, that is aimed at people for whom "Let's Go Brandon" is a bit too subtle. (Hint: "JB" stands for "Joe Biden")
For what it is worth, Habba, a religious Chaldean Catholic, used to wear a necklace with a cross on it. Looks like she traded in Jesus for her new savior. (V)