Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Plight of The GOP Establishment


At Davos today, defeated Republican coulda-been Eric Cantor told people who bothered listening to him that Trumpf will never be the GOP nominee because he's can't make it through the primaries. What's in the drinking water in Davos? Cantor, a Jeb supporter, is delusional; David Brooks better personifies the plight of the Republican Establishment. In a NYTimes column the other day-- a call to action that falls on deaf ears, he castigated establishmentarians who "are thinking of jumping ship to the Trump campaign with an alacrity that would make rats admire and applaud." He doesn't like Texas neo-fascist Ted Cruz any better and wrote that "the odds are the nomination of either would lead to a party-decimating general election."
The Tea Party, Ted Cruz’s natural vehicle, has 17 percent popular support, according to Gallup. The idea that most women, independents or mainstream order-craving suburbanites would back a guy who declares his admiration for Vladimir Putin is a mirage. The idea that the G.O.P. can march into the 21st century intentionally alienating every person of color is borderline insane.

Worse is the prospect that one of them might somehow win. Very few presidents are so terrible that they genuinely endanger their own nation, but Trump and Cruz would go there and beyond. Trump is a solipsistic branding genius whose “policies” have no contact with Planet Earth and who would be incapable of organizing a coalition, domestic or foreign.

Cruz would be as universally off-putting as he has been in all his workplaces. He’s always been good at tearing things down but incompetent when it comes to putting things together.

So maybe it’s time for governing Republicans to actually do something. Yes, I’m talking to you state legislators, or local committeepersons, or members of Congress and all your networks of donors and supporters. If MoveOn can organize, if the Tea Party can organize, if Justin Bieber can build a gigantic social media movement, why are you incapable of any collective action at all?
David, I've met Justin Bieber; the Republican Party Establishment will never be Justin Bieber-- or even Kim Kardashian. Brooks' plea to not go quietly and pathetically into the night, is largely ignored. The funny thing is that these people ought to realize that their interests are pretty much identical with the interests of conservative Democrats, They can leave the GOP to the lunatic fringe and make common cause with the Blue Dogs and New Dems and the Hillary Clinton/Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party. They'd feel right at home. Today, Sam Stein and Ryan Grim teamed up at Huff Po to explain why the Republican Establishment finds Cruz even less palatable than Herr Trumpf! There are all kinds of excuses for Trumpf's behavior now but it really boils down to one thing: "They viscerally, unashamedly loathe Cruz." So... even though we all know "Donald Trump: Racist, sexist, fascist-- and the darling of the GOP establishment." In fact, Richard Burr, an establishment Republican senator from North Carolina, told supporters at a fundraiser today that he would vote for Bernie before he would cast a ballot for Cruz. When AP reported it, he wet his adult diaper and begged them to retract but they refused and he meekly issued a statement that he will vote for whoever wins the Republican nomination.

You have to be careful when you use the word "mince" in a discussion of Lindsey Graham, but today CNN reported that the South Carolina senator did not mince words when it came to choosing between Herr Trumpf and the Canadian. "It's like being shot or poisoned; what does it mean matter? ... Donald Trump I think is the most unprepared person I've ever met to be commander-in-chief. And when it comes to Senator Cruz, he's exhibited behavior in his time in the Senate that makes it impossible for me to believe that he could bring this country together. If the past is any indication of the future ... I think America would be in trouble if any of them got to be president of the United States."

And at Salon this morning, Digby explained what a big mistake the Republican Establishment is making if they think they can control Trumpf after they help him pulverize Cruz.
It’s hard to wrap your mind around a party that thinks Donald Trump-- King of the Birthers, the man who promises to deport 12 million Latinos, bring back torture and summary execution and bar all Muslims from entering the U.S.-- is less of an extremist than Ted Cruz. Apparently all that’s fine as long as you don’t say mean things about elected officials. (And have they never heard a Donald Trump speech?)

...The developing feeling among House Republicans? Donald Trump is preferable to Ted Cruz. “If you look at Trump’s actual policies, they’re pretty thin. There’s not a lot of meat there,” says one Republican member in Ryan’s inner circle, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the two front-runners as leadership has carefully avoided doing all week.

If Trump were to get the nomination, he would “be looking to answer the question: ‘Where’s the beef?’ And we will have that for him,” says the member.

The member says he believes that, when it comes down to it, “almost all of the candidates would subscribe to” the conservative agenda he and the rest of leadership are hoping to advance.

Except, that is, for Cruz. “Look at the Senate. He hasn’t been a team player. He’s always been his own person with his own aspirations and his own vision, only concerned with where he wants to go. And, you know, for us, we want to work closely with the president. And with Cruz, there’s a question of whether that could happen.”

Cruz was certainly looking out for himself. But there are millions of Tea Partiers who think he was doing exactly what they sent him to Washington to do and looking out for them. Essentially, these establishment types are repudiating the conservative movement in favor of someone they clearly (and surely erroneously) see as a sort of simple clown they’ll be able to dominate once he’s in office and is dependent upon their superior knowledge and experience.

What planet are they on? Do they really look at Trump and see someone who plays well with others? Someone who isn’t a stone cold narcissist and megalomaniac who is clueless about everything important to the job he is seeking? Do they think this is all an act?

If all this is true and the establishment is truly reconciling itself to Donald Trump then Republicans have managed to be even more nihilistic and irresponsible than I ever could have believed possible. They hate Ted Cruz for being rude and self-serving more than they are concerned that Trump is promising to turn this country into an authoritarian police state.

...If the GOP accepts Donald Trump’s openly xenophobic, white supremacist, nationalist agenda as the Republican platform, whatever was left of sanity in the GOP is gone. They are setting their party on fire and risking immolating the whole country in the process.

Even worse, they don’t seem to care that the election of this man as president of the United States would turn the entire world order upside down overnight because everyone on the planet would assume that the world’s only superpower gone mad. And they would be right.

It’s important to note that that Trump has expressed admiration for only two leaders during this campaign: Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un. It’s highly unlikely if Trump becomes the most powerful man in the world he’ll be humbly asking the House GOP Weenie Caucus to hold his hand and tell him what to do.

But still... Alex Isenstadt reported yesterday that there are a bunch of establishment GOPers trying to get a Ted-Cruz-Is-A-False-Prophet group off the ground (Americans United for Values). They're running a poisonous anti-Cruz radio spot in Iowa, accusing the Texas senator of disingenuously positioning himself as an evangelical-friendly candidate. And it cites that Ted's fabulous adventure with right-wing Fire Island queens Mati and Ian as evidence of his ungodliness. And Cruz is no tither. Instead of 10%, the cheap skate only give 1% of his earnings to charity! Rubio and Rand Paul are also running "Ted's a Phony" ads in Iowa. I wonder who put up the $125,000 for the Americans United for Values advertising. Trumpf? Miss McConnell? The Jebster? David Brooks? Does it even matter?

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At 6:26 PM, Blogger Cirze said...

I'd love to have a link for that Richard Burr quote.

S'il vous plaît?

At 6:36 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Here's a Raleigh paper that picked it up:


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