Have you ever seen a presidential primary as entertaining, unpredictable, and frustrating as the GOP race of 2016? It’s not only the candidates who can take credit for turning things upside-down, it’s also the voters. The people of this country have finally had enough. It hasn’t mattered if they voted in droves for Republicans, because nothing has changed. And thus, we have an election where the frontrunners are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and the Republican establishment has never been more afraid.
Oh, the Republican establishment. Whether they were in power or not, life went along just fine for them. Sometimes they would control the House of Representatives. Sometimes they would control the Senate. Sometimes, like now, they would control both. But does it really matter? They tell us that they can’t really get things done unless they also have the White House. Give me a break! This Congress has walked lock-step with Barack Obama to the point where even Democrats have praised the GOP’s ability to cave in.
The so-called budget guru, Paul Ryan, is now the Speaker of the House, and all we hear from him is how we won’t push to defund Planned Parenthood (an organization that has no business on the taxpayer dole), how we won’t tighten measures on potential Muslim terrorists entering the country, and how we’ll give Obama everything he wants in the latest spending bill. Oh, by the way, has this so-called guru ever proposed a budget that actually cuts spending? I’ll give you a hint: the answer has two letters.
But I digress. The likes of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, so-called conservative pundits for outlets such as National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and even Fox News have been in an uproar this entire campaign season. Why? Because they see their way of life threatened.
When Donald Trump first stormed on the scene, the establishment was stunned. Life was so perfect for them when we had Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as our nominees. The GOP hasn’t nominated a real conservative in decades, and that has been perfectly fine with the establishment. Going into 2016, they had Jeb Bush as their guy, followed by Marco Rubio as a backup plan. Then Trump started stealing their thunder and out came the attacks.
As you recall, it all started with the first GOP debate on Fox News, where the group of kids — sorry, moderators — went after Trump in an obvious and unprofessional manner. But that was only the start. The attacks against Trump have continued, and along the way, something else happened that has the GOP establishment ready to rip out its hair.
As Trump continued to rise in the polls, so did Ted Cruz. The establishment’s guy, Jeb Bush, began to sink like a rock, and Ted Cruz emerged as the prime opponent to Trump, with Rubio in third. This is way too much for the establishment to handle, and so legislators and media have gone after Cruz as well. Here’s just a sampling:
* As you read yesterday on GOPUSA, former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole spoke out against Ted Cruz, saying the party could suffer “cataclysmic” losses if Cruz is the nominee. Are you kidding me???
* The Hill writes that a group of “conservative” authors are “banding together to publish a manifesto Friday denouncing the ideas of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.” I put “conservatives” in quotes, because these writers (Erick Erickson and Bill Kristol) are so entrenched in the establishment, that as soon as Trump announced for president, they were throwing fits. You can read their work here. As you’ll read later in this column, I wonder if they’ll be singing a different tune soon.
* The Associated Press put out a hit piece on Cruz, writing that Cruz is “no favorite with fellow Republican senators.” I kind of take that as an endorsement. If the GOP establishment doesn’t like you, you must be doing something right.
* CNN reports that “Republican Party leaders and prominent senators are sharpening their knives against Ted Cruz, expressing growing alarm over his candidacy as he continues to mount a serious threat in Iowa.”
The articles go on and on and on. But now, something quite interesting is happening, and it just shows that the GOP establishment and the media are in full meltdown mode. They all wanted Bush. They all wanted Rubio. But given the choice between Trump and Cruz, the establishment is siding with Trump! (I guess Erickson and Kristol will soon be writing a new story). That’s right… rather than support a true conservative of high character, the GOP establishment sees Trump as someone who may shake things up but who is open to “making some deals.”
Just take a look at this story by the Associated Press titled: Donald Trump: Establishment ‘warming up’ to me. In it, the writers note that “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday the Republican establishment is “warming up” to his candidacy as he ramped up his attacks against his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.” Trump is quoted as saying, “You know what? There’s a point at which: Let’s get to be a little establishment… We’ve got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don’t worry. We’re going to make such great deals.”
Does that sound like a principled conservative to you? And make no mistake… Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Trump had absolutely nothing to do with conservative values that she supposedly espouses. It had everything to do with opportunism and jumping on the bandwagon. The fact that should could stick it to the establishment was probably pretty satisfying to her as well, which makes the embrace of Trump by the establishment even more hilarious. If she were truly anti-establishment and conservative, she would have easily endorsed Cruz. But those values are “trumped” by her need for celebrity. Go figure.
And the obvious isn’t lost on Cruz. As reported in USA Today, “It sounds like Ted Cruz has been reading news reports — including ones that say members of the so-called Republican establishment are starting to cozy up to maverick front-runner Donald Trump.”
“We’re seeing the Washington establishment abandoning Marco Rubio and unifying behind Donald Trump,” Cruz told reporters this week in New Hampshire. “And we’re seeing conservatives coming together and unifying behind our campaign. And if conservatives unite, we win.”
“Let me encourage other members of the establishment: Keep supporting Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “Because every time you do it, what it is doing is telling conservatives all over the country where you stand and who stands with you.”
So… are you following all of this? The GOP establishment is seeing their power slip away. They have seen the full out rejection not only of their actions in Congress, but also their overt dislike for candidates who rock the boat like Trump and Cruz. But given the choice between a maverick and a conservative, the establishment will pick the maverick.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-Trump. I think Trump getting into this race was one of the main things that got people’s attention and had them wake up to the state of affairs in America. He speaks out against Muslim terrorism. He’s not afraid of the media. And I think he’ll turn the Washington power structure upside down. All of those are good things. But I in no way believe he’s a true conservative. I would take Cruz over Trump any day. But I would take either of them just so we can show the establishment that we are sick and tired of the Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, do-nothing Republicans.
Do you think the establishment hates Cruz so much that they would actually fully embrace Trump? This is the guy (Trump) that’s been blasted by almost every Republican leader and pundit over the last six months. Will Trump end up supporting the establishment if he becomes president? So many questions.
As the expression goes, “May you live in interesting times.” Indeed.