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Mar 02 2016

The Trump Candidacy and the GOP Establishment

Turn on Sean Hannity’s radio show at any given moment and you will probably hear the host reciting once again the trite observation that the Republican establishment brought Trump upon itself, as if the Party of Reagan were a woman who deserved to be defiled because she was asking for it. But as Whoopi Goldberg would say, maybe it wasn’t “rape rape.”

The success of Donald Trump’s candidacy is so surreal, you could almost suspect some sort of conspiracy is afoot. Daren Jonescu asks three interesting questions:

1. Don’t you get the strange feeling that this has all been suspiciously easy?

2. Don’t you find it odd that Trump, who habitually says the harshest, crudest, vilest things he can think of about anyone he perceives as an opponent or threat, never substantively criticizes the key players in the establishment at all?

3. If you were Rove, McConnell, and the rest of the GOP elite, and you wanted to end the growing grassroots threat to your power and influence once and for all, how would you go about it?

By way of an answer to Question #3:

Accepting that the grassroots will no longer succumb to my superior funding, and that they have rejected the “safety” of the status quo, I would try to gerrymander the grassroots movement itself. The key to my strategy would be to find and exploit a viable stalking horse who might demolish the grassroots conservative movement from within more effectively than any external assault. …

He should be someone with a reliable history as a moderate or progressive, which will allow him to enlarge his support base beyond principled conservatives, even while trumping the real grassroots candidates with calculated populist rhetoric. Preferably, he would be someone without serious principles or well-defined views – someone who has as little use for the Constitution and limited government as I do — so that I could make deals with him, and staff his inner circle with my cronies, if by chance he actually won. (Richard Hohlt, Republican lobbyist: “Do they [GOP insiders] all love Trump? No. But there’s a feeling that he is not going to layer over the party or install his own person. Whereas Cruz will have his own people there.” [Emphasis added.])

As for political philosophy, I need him to be consistent and trustworthy on only one point: he must have a clear history of never having supported the Tea Party, and hopefully of directly opposing it in word and deed.

Sound familiar?

But at the same time this man should be so charismatic and unscrupulous that he will happily pitch his campaign at the very people he has long ridiculed and set out to thwart, or at least at those among them who are so blinded by anger that they are prepared to jump on any bandwagon whose leader seems to share that anger, regardless of whether he consistently stands for anything they actually believed back when they were thinking rationally about saving their country.

Just crippling Cruz and marginalizing the limited-government philosophy he champions would make it all worthwhile…

The ideal outcome, however, the one I would be praying for if I were the establishment, would be that the stalking horse wins the nomination after decimating the constitutionalist movement. Then he takes his kook fringe-friendly candidacy to the general election. He uses crude personal attacks and encourages thuggish mob intimidation against journalists, hecklers, or ordinary private citizens who question him. Many of his supporters are exposed as white nationalists, 9/11 truthers, rage-filled men and idol-worshipping women, thus “confirming” everything the political and media mainstream has said about the Tea Party for years. He is ambushed with a dozen nasty scandals about his business practices, his cronyism, his infidelities; and he is mocked for his incoherence, childish vocabulary, and sub-Palin ignorance on issues. He loses the general election to an Alinskyite neo-Marxist whom he used to support, whom he invited to his wedding, and about whom he once said she would make a great president.

Here’s why the GOPe would rather elect Shrillary than see Cruz win the nomination:

As a result of all this, the next time around, when I say, “We have to rally behind the safe, electable candidate,” who will have the gall to stand up and say, “No, we need an outsider to fight the Washington establishment”? Outsiders will be dead in the water for twenty years. The fractured constitutionalist movement will be back in its pen, timidly voting Republican because there is no plausible alternative. Rising anti-establishment threat effectively neutered; progressive ratchet to hell proceeding on schedule.

Any decent chess player thinks a few moves ahead. If Trump gets the nomination in 2016, the guy who gets it in 2020 will make Jeb look like Reagan.

The GOPe has made no secret of its hatred for Ted Cruz, but wouldn’t it prefer Rubio to Trump? Maybe. But maybe not. Remember Rubio took office as a Tea Party insurgent, taking out the establishment’s odious Charlie Crist (who Trump backed). Rubio is more conservative than Trump in every respect (unless you take Trump’s recent immigration rhetoric seriously). Unlike Trump, Rubio cannot be counted on not to put constitutional principles ahead of growing the government.

The experts know that Trump is unelectable in a general election. But maybe taking a dive in 2016 by not doing everything possible to stop Trump makes sense in the long run. If I knew Karl Rove, I would ask him.

On a tip from Salvatore.

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  • Ed. G. Mann

    THAT is getting quite a bit convoluted. For all the ‘what if’s’ where is the evidence anywhere that Trump has any means of being controlled by the GOP fat boys.
    Conspiracies only work in movies; too many moving parts with too many greedy people suddenly aware that somebody else is getting more.

  • ragman

    Yes there is a conspiracy. Voters are conspiring to vote for Trump. Not hard to understand really.

  • jan_poster

    It’s stunning and disappointing that Dave has lined up with the establishment. Some of his recent posts sound like I’m reading the NY Daily News!

  • Wilberforce

    Excellent points, questions I’ve been asking all along. And you’re entirely correct, Dave; Any decent chess player thinks a few moves ahead.

    There’s still time, it’s not to late to see some on our side have been charmed. To quote C.S. Lewis, “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer.
    If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” (The virtuous and original meaning of ‘progressive’, that is…)

  • Albrecht

    Let’s look at Daren Jonescu’s three questions:

    1. Don’t you get the strange feeling that this has all been suspiciously easy?

    A: Not really. Someone finally stood up and said, 1. That the establishment of both parties have been playing the people for fools on immigration for years and it’s time to deal with it seriously. 2. That for decades this country has been giving itself the short end of the stick on every trade deal we signed for which American workers have paid dearly. And, 3. That we need to deal with the rest of the world on some basis other than “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

    2. Don’t you find it odd that Trump, who habitually says the
    harshest, crudest, vilest things he can think of about anyone he
    perceives as an opponent or threat, never substantively criticizes the
    key players in the establishment at all?

    A: Apparently it took someone as crude and rude as Trump to throw off the media/establishment smother pillow. The man calls a spade a spade. People like that. No, he’s not my ideal candidate. He’s just the only one speaking plainly on issues that I believe are critical to this nation’s survival and which all other candidates have either ignored or given lip service. (Cruz is just a “me too” on these issues at best.)

    3. If you were Rove, McConnell, and the rest of the GOP elite, and
    you wanted to end the growing grassroots threat to your power and
    influence once and for all, how would you go about it?

    A: By nominating Trump? That does not seem like an obvious way to ensure establishment control. Then again, Trump is clearly a realist and will have to make his deals with whoever he has to work with just as Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neil and Lane Kirkland. But the notion that Trump is secretly in cahoots with McConnell & Co. sounds a bit tin-foil hat to me.

    I don’t think Ted Cruz is as electable as many seem to think. “Oh, but Goldwater lost big in ’64 but set the Conservative movement up for long term wins.” We may not have a long term if these issues are not addressed forcefully and soon.

    So is Trump just plain lying to us? Maybe. Maybe not. But after multiple foreign wars that turned into bloody fiascoes, a grossly corrupt relationship between Washington and the financial industry, a China made fat and dangerous due to ruinous “free trade” deals and seeing our “elites” desperately trying everything they could to erase our borders I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Profiler

    If the Constitutionalists were smart they would have been running a flanking movement to counter this since the LBJ administration… It’s not like the left hasn’t telegraphed its intentions since the Woodrow Wilson administration… I’m puzzled myself of the whole Trümpenfürher movement. But it seems that BOTH parties have seething hatred towards him… I read that the GOP was warming up milquetoast Romney for another go??? He couldn’t handle the DNC backing barak hussien, the clinton political machine will eat him whole…. I look at the poll numbers and still cannot figure how they could show Rubio as the best choice or chance of a GOP victory… I liked Rubio at the convention a few years back… But his establishment ties, gang of eight and his original amnesty promise is what tarnished Rubio for me… Cruz “seems” like a conservative Constitutionalist but he cannot seem to get any traction with the center rights in the GOP… Is that because he tried to stand against them? I feel unfortunately that Cruz has the same problem Nixon faced in the debate with Kennedy… Cruz doesn’t “look” good and isn’t a “media” image candidate… And it is unfortunate that it comes down to this… Trümpenfürher is media savvy but he feels like a carnival act… Trümpënfurhër himself said that he has had to work with liberals and leaves me wondering where he truly stands… But he has been attacked by both sides and I find that interesting… If I were hitlery I would be pushing for Trump because “according to recent polls” she will crush him in the general election…. Any thoughts???

  • Stephen

    If the GOPe wanted to really wanted to fool people into thinking they were *against Trump* maybe they could assemble a collection of 20-25 prominent conservative journo op-eds and publish them in one edition of a reliable establishment publication!

    Lol just kidding they’d never do something like that.

    In all seriousness though, early in the campaign I was trying to tell Trump critics that the wrong way to attack trump was by making the case for how trump isn’t really a Republican or a conservative, but instead by making the case that he’s very much a Republican and an insider at that. Kudos for Dave for at least finding the right angle, even if it is obviously wrong and completely crazy.

  • Albrecht

    Correction: It was Douglas Fraser who cooperated with the Reagan Administration in the early ’80s, not Lane Kirkland.

  • Dave, I’m beginning to worry about your psychological well-being.

  • Artfuldgr

    The left will stand by their own side when that means
    standing with rapists, murderers, despots, pedophiles, con men, theives,
    communists, anarchists, and on and on.

    and the GOP persons are looking for the last saint post mother theresa to run
    against that, worrying about whether or not the persons front is as good as the
    lefts front.

    really? this is why communism wins, the people are made so paranoid of anyone
    who might have the power to help or do something outside the system…

    1 Don’t you get the strange feeling that this has
    all been suspiciously easy?

    No. trump has not had ANY good press, and unless the people
    on the other end of the clown pictures, the KKK pictures, the associations with
    the devil, end of days, are under the control of the communist party usa, it
    has not been easy. He has succeeded
    DESPITE everyone, including his own side, and Dave Blount, have hated him,
    called him names, lied about him, stretched his comments out of wack, and tried
    to find everything but the kitchen sink to throw at him.

    1 Don’t you find it odd that Trump, who habitually
    says the harshest, crudest, vilest things he can think of about anyone he
    perceives as an opponent or threat, never substantively criticizes the key
    players in the establishment at all?

    You can say that of every person running on the GOP side
    since Reagan. Where did Romney bring up communism? Obama’s Islamic fetish? His associations
    with terrorists? His constitutional
    abuses, etc?

    Right now trump is not running against them, he is running
    against the members of his own party, you don’t come out swinging at
    everything. ALSO, if he says things now, they have less impact later, so this
    is just a idiot question in hopes you don’t realize that no one brought up
    anything about the left in 30 years in an election. Its an Alinsky tactic to frame the issue and
    then focus on it, then point out things (hoping the facts will not be noticed)

    if you were Rove, McConnell, and the rest of the
    GOP elite, and you wanted to end the growing grassroots threat to your power
    and influence once and for all, how would you go about it?

    You would want a candidate like Cruz, whose wife is/was
    Goldman Sachs banker, and who was also a CFR member, to seem moderate in
    things. You would let him have a loose reign to seem like the right one, and
    put him up, and help him win. After all, without a business, without a career
    plan, and without his wife, cruz has no career outside of politics. And funny,
    but Chelsea Clinton just married a Goldman Sachs banker too (Mezvinsky’s
    parents were both congressional representatives)… care to see how many of them
    share husbands and wives in the elite of the federal government? Meg Whitman, father ties to Goldman Sachs.
    Obama has a lot of banker ties with Geithner and Obama mother running the
    microloans in asia. Lisa Perry fashionista for Clinton, and huge donor, married
    Goldman Sachs.

    After all who has
    control of real estate, the press, congresscritters, and such around the world?
    Bankers or real estate people who have to deal with bankers to do their work
    and have to meet regulations as well and can be negated by those two? If a real estate man could get the press to
    write articles about others would he have them write about Clinton the way that
    the bankers and such are getting the press to write?

    Its really weird that so many Goldman Sachs people are
    married to those people who say tax the rich, and whose daughters and such are
    marrying them, and more.

    You think cruz can be a conservative and his wife be a
    extreme CFR liberal, and that wont matter to their marriage? Or would it be
    more likely that Cruz is picking what he is siding with, we don’t notice what
    he doesn’t do (like vote no for Loretta lynch replacing holder), and so he is
    tricking the base who then claim trump is. But trump has no good press… none…
    not even his own side gives him good press!!!!!

  • Artfuldgr

    the same press that does not give trump any good press is certainly not going to have a poll that does not favor nor try to manipulate the people into voting for what their wealthy owners in the pocket of bankers who marry politicians want… ie. go against the bankers and statists, and they may regulate your paper, what can trump do if he doesnt win, complain?

  • TED
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  • Artfuldgr

    everything but the clown pictures… todays daily news does a real hack job on trump as it always does. when my subscription runs out i am no longer getting the paper.. why bother? i am paying for news, not fictim or propaganda (as in the soviet occupied country of my father). propaganda is free, news is not fiction or propaganda, and if i want fiction, a two hour movie for the same price from netflix is a better expense towards that end.

    after all, you KNOW what they are going to write. you may not know the details of what it is, but you certainly not going to wake up one morning, open the page and see happy faces and so on!!!!

    i alreayd know before i spend my money that they are going to be up on hillary, pseudo neutral on cruz, ignoring kasich and others, and banging every barrel against trump making as much noise as they can.

    apart from meaningless detals that is the “news”

  • Artfuldgr

    it is for the people who have been steeped and marinated in the leftist realm so long that they think anyone who isnt passive and has balls like a man is a plant and a evil thing… just remember. lucifer, despite not being trump, was not ugly, crass, insulting, bombastic, etc… lucifer was always the classiest, socipathic, lie to your face, change your accent and appearance, and so on!!!

    so even THAT does not hold up to scrutiny either… its funny how we love to hate the not pretty or such, and yet ignore that sociopaths who trick you are evrything that trump is not…

  • Artfuldgr

    about the ONLY think they would have on him is the same thing they have on him already in nyc and have not been able to corral him with. ie. real estate deals with banks, and permits and such from the state.

    but given his stash, he can always choose to do business in dubai again, rather than nyc, and they lose all the money he brings in for them. so its kind of moot.

    but note, the elite are old money, old families, bankers and politicians. everyone else is below them, and they may associate, and they may be polite, but they certainly dont really mix. just look who they tend to marry..

  • TED Business AS Usual?!

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  • TED

    Trump and Hillary, SO VERY SIMILAR!!

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  • Beef

    Right…the GOP establishment is trying to push Trump by associating him with the KKK (as Ryan, Romney and McConnell have done) and calling him Hitler. Genius.

  • hiram

    Made this one last night…

  • Ed. G. Mann

    Liking Trump or not liking him is fine; that falls under opinion. Entitled you are. It would be helpful if some were, at least, grounded in facts. It does give a bit of solidity to one’s position.

  • Bob

    I just don’t want Hillary.

  • Owen

    What is trite about observing that the Republican Establishment brought Trump on itself? It’s the absolute truth. Had they offered anything other than contempt and derision to the conservative base (you know, the base that kept winning wave elections for them) there would be no Trump phenomenon right now.

    Trump’s supporters have a variety of motivations, but I’d wager the biggest one is simply that Trump is a convenient turd to drop into the GOP’s punch bowl. I would also wager that a significant number have accepted the reality that there is almost certainly no political solution to the fustercluck America has turned into, so Trump will certainly be no worse.

  • This is why you can’t let anybody call you an idiot or traitor for declaring ‘never Trump’… a vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary, either or the reasons above or the simple fact he just can’t beat her in the general election… or so all polling suggests.
    Plus Trump is too crazy for the presidency… shame on his supporters for not demanding a halfway decent human being.

  • Kevin R.

    Everyone always thinks the unprincipled strongman upon gaining power can be used to their advantage. But those unprincipled strongmen always have an agenda of their own and it always involves institutionalizing their own petty and crazy selves in power for their own crazy and petty uses.

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    I’d understand if there was no other viable option for conservatives. But there is. I find it depressing.

  • Skip

    If Donald Trump were not in the race for the presidency, who would probably be the leader of the GOP candidates? I would guess Ted Cruz, certainly not Rubio. But, Ted Cruz would not defeat Clinton, so we would have a third term of the Obama regime and another far left young Supreme Court Justice appointed by Hillary. The Republican Party is almost non-existent. Who are their leaders? Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, both of whom are worthless. If Trump does not win the nomination and go on to defeat Hillary…the country and the Party will be completely in control of the Democrats. Is that what the anti-Trump fools want? Do they ever think what could and would happen? I don’t think so.

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    True for most of the GOP as well, unfortunately. Roar defiance at Obama on the campaign trail. Roll over and bite the pillow when elected.

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    That would make sense if one of the very few GOP pols who have consistently stood against Obama and his GOPe enablers wasn’t also running.

  • Owen

    People may have reasons other than ideological bona fides for preferring Trump over Cruz. Despite polls that CNN is pushing, I suspect a lot of Trump’s supporters intuit that he has a better chance in a general election against Hillary Clinton than does Ted Cruz. His populist positions could help him in the general election.

    People also realize that success breeds success. Cruz couldn’t get traction in South Carolina, one of the most reliably conservative strongholds in the country. That does not bode well for his chances.

  • Johnny Monday

    So far I have seen no facts or principled statements supporting Trump. It’s all bluster and emotion.

  • Johnny Monday

    It’s stunning and disappointing that supposed conservatives have lined up with a NY liberal who has a decades-long history of lying, bankruptcy, and crony capitalism.

  • Tostig

    I agree that in large part Trump is a turd to drop into the GOP’s punch bowl. And I think the other part is a lot of people feel neither Cruz nor Trump can win, so …. may as well take our chances elsewhere. All that is true, but Cruz is a credible, serious conservative and since he’s in the race, it’d be awfully nice if folks got over the turd in a punch bowl phase and at least took a shot at running a real conservative in the election. Even if the Trumpsters “win”, what are they winning? A liberal progressive with attitude – is that Hillary or Trump or both?

  • Torcer

    Dems: Trump may get us a SCOTUS win

    Dems: Trump may get us a SCOTUS win
    Donald Trump may be President Barack Obama’s best hope of getting a justice on the Supreme Court.

    With the billionaire developer steaming towards the GOP presidential nomination, Democrats are planning a new offensive linking Trump to the Senate GOP’s refusal to move on a court nominee.

    Both are the same kinds of extremism, Democrats say, arguing that Senate Republicans now have to prove they can govern by moving forward on a new justice — and distance themselves from the Trump chaos.

  • Ed. G. Mann

    No idea where you have been looking. the second part of your statement is opinion which is fine as long as it is considered as such.

  • TED
  • TED

    Of course, the LEFT will cheat their ass off and the GOP will LET THEM.

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  • Occam’s Stubble

    Where do you get that Cruz would not beat Hillary? Certainly not from the polling because that shows Trump losing to Hillary, not Cruz.

  • Occam’s Stubble

    Cruz was my second choice until Walker dropped out. I always preferred Cruz as SC Justice anyway. If he loses to Trump, maybe he can parlay that into being the nominee to replace Scalia.

    As for Trump, populism has always been Americans’ best method for draining the swamp in DC. It isn’t the source of good policy, but it does drain the swamp and the swamp is long overdue for a good draining.

  • Occam’s Stubble

    My mom’s the same way.

  • Occam’s Stubble

    That’s the part that gets me. If you’re supporting Trump because you think he’ll destroy the establishment, more power to you but if you think Trump is a conservative, you need to have your head examined.

    For years, conservatives have fended off attacks that they’re racists but the first guy to come along and say negative things about Mexicans is walking away with the nomination. Makes me wonder if a bunch of us weren’t closet racists all along.

  • Torcer

    Trust me they did not like their hypocrisy pointed out over on weasel zippers:

    Posted Feb 29, 2016:

    Conservative Post is running a breaking story saying Cruz cut a deal with Rubio that if he’ll guarantee him nomination to Supreme Court Cruz will drop out of the race for the White House.

    Posted Feb 29, 2016:

    Original source from political insider…..
    Read more:

    Were Trump to have any honor and avoid being labels a hypocrite – shouldn’t this invalidate his wins?

  • Chocolate&Cheese

    It’s only going to get better! The butt hurt is going to be mf’ing EPIC.

  • Owen

    I think they are seeing a candidate who speaks without first running it through multiple layers of self-editing and focus groups, and this sort of blunt transparency is shockingly novel. If nothing else Trump has accomplished something big simply by talking about things no one else would before. It’s the only way to take the power away from a stultifying Political Correctness.

    Nobody would be talking about illegal immigration, let alone demanding a wall on the border, if Trump hadn’t brought the issue into the public conversation. I think people look at that unfiltered brashness and are willing to take the embarrassing gaffes that come with it as long as it means there is a candidate who is finally unafraid of third rail subjects.

    I think all of Trump’s appeal among conservatives stems from his willingness to point at the elephant in the room and identify it by name. That is so rare in high level politics that people don’t even know how to contain their enthusiasm.

    Despite being the intellectually and ideologically superior candidate, Cruz lacks this intangibility factor. He comes across as another conservative Republican for the media to caricature in its usual ways, whereas Trump is essentially immune to caricature at this point.

    I would rather have a President Cruz than a President Trump, but I am not going to pretend I don’t “get” why Trump carries appeal for a lot of people. And despite the hyperbole infesting Moonbattery over the past several weeks, either of these two is infinitely preferable to Hillary Clinton.

  • S_O_T_A

    Oh my, I read some of that. The evasion on questions on the 1A was scary.

  • Torcer

    It’s getting a mite scary out there..

  • Chocolate&Cheese
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  • Stan Bolton

    Mitt ( milk-toast) Romney finally convinced me last night to support Trump. If the Establishment hates him that much,, he must be the right man for the job.

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