Hit & Run

David Harsanyi Wants the GOP Establishment to Stop Whining About Primaries


Jeb Bush/Facebook

Although the specifics are still hazy, The New York Times reports that a group of deep-pocketed Republican donors and bundlers has hatched a plan to clear the GOP field of all insurgents to make room for a favored "establishment" candidate—preferably Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, or Mitt Romney. But there can only be one. Republican powerbrokers intend to get ahead of the intraparty squabbling that accompanies the long primary season because, in the end, they think all of that ugliness would only help elect Hillary Clinton.

David Harsanyi finds this strategy dubious. For one, there's scant evidence that bypassing crowded primaries enhances a party's chances of winning a national election. In fact, sometimes a primary makes the candidate. What's more, after seven years of functioning as the opposition, Republicans may actually have to sort out some substantive differences on policy, writes Harsanyi. And coronations do not lend themselves to self-examination.