Election 2016

Republican Elites Are Frightened by Their Own Base

#NeverTrump comes after years of cynical pandering, hypocrisy, and inaction

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I see…President Rubio? ||| Imgur.com
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If you squint hard enough at last night's Super Tuesday results, you can see some glimmer of hope for the excruciatingly slow-to-action #NeverTrump crowd. "Trump won VA by 2.8 points, Arkansas by 2.2, Vermont by 2.3," pointed out The Weekly Standard's John McCormack. "These margins are essentially meaningless in terms of delegates, but if Trump went 4/11 instead of 7/11, press would say he had a bad night." Marco Rubio heavily outperformed polls in Virginia, and both he and Ted Cruz dominated among late-deciding voters. The final delegate haul for Super Tuesday will be considerably closer than the press coverage felt like last night. Squint, squint, squint.

But if the number-crunchers of PredictWise are correct that Donald Trump as of this morning has an 82 percent chance of winning the GOP presidential nomination, then the number-one Monday morning quarterbacking question of the entire political season is surely this: What in hell took Republicans so long to compete against their clownshow authoritarian front-runner? As George Will put it on Sunday,

Unfortunately, Rubio recognized reality and found his voice 254 days after Trump's scabrous announcement of his candidacy to rescue the United States from Mexican rapists. And 222 days after Trump disparaged John McCain's war service ("I like people that weren't captured"). And 95 days after Trump said that maybe a protester at his rally "should have been roughed up." And 95 days after Trump retweeted that 81 percent of white murder victims are killed by blacks. (Eighty-two percent are killed by whites.) And 94 days after Trump said he supports torture even "if it doesn't work." And 79 days after Trump said he might have approved the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. And 72 days after Trump proved that he does not know the nuclear triad from the "Nutcracker" ballet. And 70?days after Trump, having been praised by Vladimir Putin, reciprocated by praising the Russian murderer and dictator. And so on.

So what explains the long paralysis of the anti-Trump Republicans? The New York Times on Saturday published a damningly detailed answer to that question, including this concise nugget: "Donors have dreaded the consequences of clashing with Mr. Trump directly. Elected officials have balked at attacking him out of concern that they might unintentionally fuel his populist revolt."

In other words, Republican elites are terrified of their own customers. That's worth reflecting on critically, even if you happen to share their loathing of Donald J. Trump.

Renaissance Man. ||| Pinterest
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Newt Gingrich last night tweeted out a job application to be the next Chris Christie: "Trump's shift toward inclusiveness, team effort and unity was vitally important He has to build a Reagan like inclusiveness to win this fall." This may have come as a surprise for those who cling stubbornly to the fiction that Gingrich is some kind of dazzling Man of Ideas, but since at least the mid-1990s the jabberin' Georgian has been more concerned with the science of populist rhetoric than public-policy entrepreneurship. When the Cato Institute a decade ago put out a grim collection of "limited government" hypocrisies titled The Republican Revolution 10 Years Later: Smaller Government or Business as Usual?, just about the only contributor who wasn't openly embarrassed by the track record of the 1994 takeover was Gingrich himself. Not because of how he governed, but how he won.

"People who dismiss our victory as a fluke do not study our base very often," Gingrich wrote. "We had nine million additional votes in 1994, the largest one-party increase in American history. There is a huge pool of uncommitted voters who have no interest in politics. Thus, when campaigns are able to mobilize such groups, they win in a big way." Well, neat.

Republican politicians have long since grown accustomed to—in fact, dependent on—the chasm between their own bomb-throwing rhetoric and dud-like accomplishments. For evidence, look no further than the 114th Congress, currently under unified Republican rule for the first time since 2007. How have the alleged fiscal conservatives responded to finally having some legislative power during the Barack Obama presidency? By blowing up the sequestration cuts, waving away the debt ceiling, and once again punting their duty to pass budget legislation in favor of a single, last-minute omnibus spending package with all kinds of freedom-harshing provisions within. You can read all about it in the current issue of Reason, which should be in your mailbox by now.

As the libertarian Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie recently told me,

I think it's like Charlie Brown and Lucy….The voting population is so tired of…trying to kick the football, and it gets pulled away from them at the last second. They have sent some people here to Congress who said all the right things, they ran as Tea Party candidates, then they got up here and they voted for the omnibus bill, or voted for Speaker [John] Boehner on their first day after pledging they wouldn't vote for him. And so what they're looking for is somebody that's not going to be controlled when they get here.

Even more reckless than mere promise-breaking is pandering to either the real or imagined prejudices of the base. John McCain, a lifelong elitist with open hostility toward the conservative grassroots, famously went to "crazy base-land" when he could finally smell the ring of power, reversing his positions and rhetoric on gay marriage, immigration, and even condom use. Mitt Romney, the Republican who has taken on Trump with the most gusto during this campaign season, arguably paved the way for his success by out-immigrant-bashing the 2012 field while promising hardest to protect old-age entitlements. Couple this with the old establishment chestnuts about somehow balancing a budget while undoing the allegedly "devastating cuts" to our military, and a picture emerges of structural insincerity and the ritual, nose-holding manipulation of the activist base.

Time and time again, the GOP establishment has given its own grassroots the back of its hand. As I wrote one year ago,

The Republican Party in 2015 has a huge and unsated anti-Establishment passion, one that's only stoked by the primacy of elite characters like Jeb Bush (and Mitt Romney before him). Establishment vs. anti-Establishment has been the internal GOP divide since at least spring of 2010 (when Tea Party types began primarying Republican darlings in earnest); led to just a brutal parliamentary smackdown of grassroots activists at the 2012 Republican National Convention, and is as inevitable in the 2016 presidential campaign as water flowing downhill. This fight will be had, no matter how hard RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tries to schedule it out of existence. Candidates who figure out how to channel anti-establishmentarianism will punch above their weight during primary season (something Ben Carson and Ted Cruz in particular seem to understand); candidates who fight against it (Bush most openly) are in for a rude surprise.

Donald Trump is calling out Republicans for being phonies, and he's right. I may cheer lustily for him to lose, but until they re-examine their own lousy policies and politics (especially though not only on foreign policy and spending), I will not be cheering for the establishmentarians to win.

NEXT: Does the government 'speak' through its postage stamps?

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  1. In other words, Republican elites are terrified of their own customers.

    Sounds more like they’re terrified of Trump’s customers.

    1. There is considerable overlap in those two groups my friend.

      1. And there is considerable non-overlap.

        1. Most of the blue-collar union “Democrats” had stopped voting Democratic many election cycles ago. I’m sure there are some new to the party and turncoat supporters of Trump, but his base bubbled forth from the slime covered pond that is the Republican party.

          1. I’m not sure. Trump does worse in closed primaries. I think his support is mostly former blue-collar Democrats, who in fact just like so many Republicans, have been abandoned by the establishment.

            1. Its funny how somebody who actually seems to be doing most of what the Repubs and pundits say they should do to win a general is an outcast in the party.

              Bring new voters? Check.

              Bring crossover Dems? Check.

              Swear off cuts to Medicare and SocSec? Check.

              Adopt the liberal side on many culture war issues? Check.

              About the only issue that I know of where Donald parts ways with the apparatchiks is immigration. Even more important, I believe, to the opposition to Donald is his style. He’s just not one of oily, sound-bite driven, programmed apparatchiks. And I think that’s really why they hate him.

              1. I hate him because of people (like you) who attribute so much to him, with such certainty, none of which can be backed up with facts (like your little checklist). All Trump really amounts to is a fast-talking carnival barker or a street vendor with cheap wares to sell. And boy are people buying!

                He appeals to the lazy-thinkers and the boobs of the world. Unfortunately, these types far outnumber those of us who actually have a hold of our senses.

                1. FYI – I’m not suggesting you (or anyone in particular) is a Trump supporter. I don’t know and I don’t care. I just hate it when people attribute things to him that he’s never said, or has said and later contradicted. Nothing the man says should be taken seriously. He’s a NYC Progressive who thinks he can run it better. That’s all I need to know, and we don’t need any more of those types (but I get the feeling we’ve got nothing but strong-men coming for the foreseeable future)

                2. Unwad your panties, Theseus.

                  1. I keep them that way for a reason! The wad absorbs the ass sweat.

                3. none of which can be backed up with facts (like your little checklist)

                  I admit, I’m speculating on his bringing in new voters and cross-over Dems. But its pretty commonly accepted, I think, that those folks are a big part of his base.

                  He swore off the cuts when he launched his campaign.

                  He has pretty much always been on the liberal side of the culture wars. He’s not super-noisy about it, but that’s where he is.

                  1. He has pretty much always been on the liberal side of the culture wars. He’s not super-noisy about it, but that’s where he is.

                    Frankly, this is delusional at this point, because he is in full right-culture-warrior mode now. What do you think the stuff about Mexicans is? What do you think the stuff about PC is? What do you think the stuff about saying Merry Christmas again is? Trump’s campaign is pure culture war, distilled.

                    1. he is in full right-culture-warrior mode now

                      Other than his disregard of PC, I don’t see him fronting these issues. And on what we are told are the big ones – drug war, abortion, gay marriage – he’s no socon.

                      And maybe that’s one of the reasons the establishment is so opposed to him. Those are their big fundraising issues with the base, and Trump could make them much less lucrative for the party.

                      Its a matter of emphasis, I suppose. I think his campaign is only very incidentally about the culture war, and more about a budding cult of personality.

                    2. I think his campaign is only very incidentally about the culture war, and more about a budding cult of personality.

                      Cults of personality start for a reason.

                      Obama’s personality cult started as a response to the carefully cultivated, absurd Democrat hatred of Bush. (And I say that as someone who despises Dubya.) Disgracefully, his skin color was the deciding factor for most black voters. But he gained the spotlight by promising to be the anti-Bush, which is what most of the country craved. The cult of Hope and Change rose after that.

                      Trump’s cult of personality is growing for a reason, too.

                    3. No it ISN’T culture war. His statement about Mexicans is nothing more than Cortes burning the boats. Trump cannot go back on immigration now. He has burned all possible ways of selling out the base on that issue. That is what makes him believable on that issue since everyone else has lied out of both sides of their mouth on it for decades.

                      If Trump doesn’t actually know what he’s doing – and thinks that people are just supporting him because he’s a good negotiator – and he sells out his base on that issue and then prattles on about getting the best deal he could – he will get fragged

                    4. Once elected, how could he be “fragged”?
                      The only ones he will have betrayed will be the masses.
                      Congress only cares about them, right before elections and that works out for them 90%+ of the time.
                      He will be doing the bidding of both sides of the aisle, so they won’t impeach him.
                      He may end up being a one term wonder but isn’t this all about his ego, anyway?
                      Once he has reached the pinnacle, he will be bored with the job, just like 0blama. Only Trump doesn’t have a fundamental transformation to accomplish.

                4. Pathetic. You act as if Trump, and only Trump, is a congenital liar. News flash: politicians are liars. Candidate Obama said a zillion things which President Obama began repudiating the day he took office. How is Obama any different from any other politician?

                  Trump is different in that what he says differs from moment to moment, he doesn’t care, and people see him as busting the establishment chops. They don’t care that he lies out of both sides of his ruby red rectum because all that matters is he doesn’t spout establishment party lines, and when the establishment apparatchniks damn him, that’s red meat to the anti-establishment crowd.

                5. You hate him because you are a mindless GOPe cock sucking guber. You like having Boehner and the rest of the GOPe traitors bend you over and drive it home in your ass, because getting fucked over is what you do.

              2. They did the same thing to Ron Paul, who was bringing in new voters and had cross-over appeal and was very conservative on some issues.

                The Establishment hates Trump because 1) they can’t control him and 2) he embarrasses them among their refined friends because he’s not politically correct and acts like a bully.

                About the only things that Trump and Paul have in common is a negative opinion on the Iraq War and the Bush presidency, and maybe that’s the real problem the Establishment has with them — they may not back perpetual war (although Trump is sufficiently bloodthirsty to appeal to the Republican base.)

            2. Doing worse in closed primaries just means Trump doesn’t do as well with the Republican partisans; but we already knew that.

          2. Why are people backing Trump?

            One voter probably expressed it best: “We’re voting with our middle finger.”

            This is America saying, “We’re sick to death of the same-old-crap. Well, the Republitards are anyway. Apparently the Demoncraps like to swim in a cesspool – the deeper the better.

            ” And 222 days after Trump disparaged John McCain’s war service (“I like people that weren’t captured”).”

            Trump’s right – but as usual, for the wrong reasons.

            The truth about McCain is he wouldn’t have “a war record” if he weren’t the son of a high-ranking admiral with a publicity-machne that can turn crappy flying and disobedience of orders into “heroism”. McCain is a fuck-up who got someone to spin his shit into gold.

            1. Why are people backing Trump?

              One voter probably expressed it best: “We’re voting with our middle finger.”

              This is exactly right.

              The voters have watched and noticed that their elected officials don’t do what they say they will do. Voting Republican has become almost the same as voting Democrat. They’re all lying con artists. So if the game is rigged and we’re doomed to have a flavor of socialism in either case, why not burn down the entire party while we’re at it and make a mockery of the process with an “outsider” the establishment hates?

              The illegal immigration issue is emblematic of the issues voters care about and that their elected leaders ignore. It’s not that illegal immigration is the biggest issue for Americans, it’s that voters have been effectively told to shut up about it. And they’re tired of that.

              1. The reason I have been so proud of Rand Paul. He is actually doing something, even as a person with no seniority! I still wonder why he could not get into double digits in the poles, except for low information voters. I am hoping he has another six years in the senate. I am not sure how long he will keep it up, since he calls for term limits. That is not going to happen in our lifetime, with the politicians we have to accept! It will be business as usual if we don’t get term limits!

        2. I’d have to check for specific states, but most states don’t have open primaries, so I think it’s safe to assume that the majority of Trump’s Republican supporters (as evidenced in the primary results) are and have been Republicans. The idea that there’s any significant number of people going out and changing their registration to Republican just to vote in the primary sounds very unlikely to me.

    2. What’s that say about a political party who is always crying about bringing in new people, recapturing the middle class voters but tell those same people, we don’t like your choice?

      What trump has done is to show that the republican party doesn’t care about the people, all it cares about is retaining power, power over the people, no different than the slave owning party of the democrats. We can see how much more important the corporate financiers are to them than the average voter.

      A trump win is good for libertarians. If the iron fist of the crony capitalist running the rep. party is broken, then men like Amash, Paul, etc., have hope that they can eventually win. Libertarians have the better message and as long as the establishment is under the thumb of corporate interests they will never be able to get it out, if trump wins (and yes, he is a corporate interest in and of himself) it shows that when the people see and hear someone they like and gives them hope, they will buck the trend.

  2. What in hell took Republicans so long to compete against their clownshow authoritarian front-runner?

    No one saw this coming. Not really. Let’s face it, the GOP hasn’t really had its finger on the pulse of the voter for a while now.

    1. I saw it coming and while I really hoped it would be a move toward libertarianism, Obama’s “inclusiveness”, Progressive authoritarianism and Republican family values grandstanding ensured that it went the other way.

      1. Yep. We are all authoritarians now. Its really funny how both Trump and Hillary talked about “uniting” the country.

        Authoritarians never unite, their power is derived directly from division.

        1. You can’t have an “us” without a “them.”

    2. As I was listening to Trumps press conference last night, it struck me, Republicans have been fussing about the immigration issue and accomplishing absolutely nothing for over 10 years.

      1. And about abortion since 1972 with only minor victories and a few losses.

      2. It is almost like they are faking it and don’t want to accomplish anything.

        I am pretty sure a lot of Republican voters have noticed this as well.

        1. They were 100% faking it.

          Abortion was never going to be illegal and the government was never going to do anything about the undocumented aliens in the country. The Republican establishment and donor class knew these things but promised those outcomes so they could get cultural/social conservatives to support them on their economic agenda (which was quasi-libertarian, at best).

      3. “Wedge” issues are only useful as wedges if they’re still an issue. If you actually accomplish something, then you remove the wedge. Se also, abortion, gay marriage, etc.

        1. Which is why Democrats didn’t do anything re: immigration when they had the chance.

          1. Or climate change.

            Riddle me this: what good is health insurance if the planet is doomed, as the Democrats keep reminding us it is unless we “do something?” Why didn’t they “do something” when they controlled the House and the Senate?

            Why, indeed.

    3. Barry Goldwater called it.

    4. National Review and Weekly Standard called out Trump as a fake conservative very, very early on, so some fairly influential Republicans did see this coming.

      Sadly, not enough of them took Trump seriously enough to shut him down earlier.

      1. Of course, most influential Repubs are also fake conservatives, so I haz a confuse.

      2. The National Review and Weekly Standard also went gaga for Sarah Palin in 2008 even though Palinism is essentially Trumpism.

        1. BBC photos or didn’t happen.

      3. This presumes they actually have the capability to shut him down at all. I haven’t seen it so far.

    5. The republican party reminds me of the failed drug war lovers. What they do hasn’t worked, will never work but I’ll be damned if we will change what we do, in fact, we will double down on our failed efforts.

  3. I love all of the Republicans who hate Trump but utterly refuse to vote third party. It’s not throwing your vote away if you vote for the person who you actually prefer to see win. Imagine if all those Whigs and Northern Democrats had said, “I can’t vote third party!” in the mid-1850s.

    1. Hey, I voted for President Johnson last time….

      Talk about being a 1%er

      1. It’s just this war and that lying sonofabitch Johnson.

        Oops, wrong Johnson.

        1. …Sorry I had to fight in the middle of your black panther party…

          Ooops, wrong party. 🙂

    2. The only people who are pushing for and will vote for a third party are not those who care about the american people, they are the ones who want to maintain the status quo. Notice the money that is going into the idea of a third party, or the ads against trump are from big money interests. A vote for a rubio, especially, or even a cruz is a vote saying I like the way things are and I like the idea of crony capitalist running the gov’t. It’s not trumps ideas they hate, it’s the idea that he isn’t beholding to special interests, or outside special interests. I would think that libertarians at least would be rejoicing at the prospect of breaking the grip of crony capitalism’s hold on the government’s neck. As long as it’s there you’ll never have a truly libertarian president.

      Any one actually think if Ron Paul was where trump is now that they wouldn’t be doing exactly the same thing?

      But hey, let’s continue to support the same group hoping there’ll be a different result.

  4. I think you miss one more important point.

    You are right that it pandered to the prejudices of their base. But that base only got it’s voice through the reckless prejudices of right wing media. The Limbaughs, Hannitys’s, Levins, Malkins, FOX, and others have been lighting the fires of fearing others, no compromise, improper births, foreign policy weakness, and most of all how Democrats are destroying the country.

    Trump is just the guy that embodies all of that as the strongman who can finally stop it.

    And the GOP pandered to all of them for a couple of decades now. Have you seen Hannity denounce Trump? Limbaugh? Coulter? Nope. He is the guy they, and their substantial audience has been waiting for.

    Why so much surprise?

    1. Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

      1. And here I thought it wasn’t appreciated around here. Thanks!

        1. Inconceivable!

          1. Have him try the iocane powder wine.

            1. Trump is immune to that too.

    2. From a guy that bitches about Team RED!! all the time.

      You sure are a good little Progressive.

      1. The same guy who worships Obama and is just angry Obama didn’t totally ignore Congress and crush the Republicans is now concern trolling about how the Republicans want a strong man.

    3. Scum like you ARE destroying the country, buddy. And not just the United States, but most of the west. Puerto Rico is in the process of depopulating itself right now because it’s going bankrupt and collapsing, and it’s going bankrupt and collapsing because it has been completely controlled by your corrupt, verminous ilk for what seems like forever.

      As that sad, pathetic scene repeats itself in one country after another after another in the years ahead, you creeps are going to own the responsibility lock, stock, and barrel, bitch.

      1. On the bright side, cheap vacations!

        On a more serious note, since when have socialists owned responsibility for anything they’ve done? It’s always someone else’s fault. It’s always because of “mistakes” and “bad luck” that their good intentions go unrealized in reality. They will never learn. They will never change. They will never accept responsibility.

        1. On the bright side, cheap cocaine.

  5. Welch is absolutely right about this. The GOP convinced themselves that their voters were either libertarians who wanted open borders and any trade deal the government could negotiate or single issue culture war voting SOCONs. They are finding out that the base is nothing like that. The thing that is terrifying the GOP more than anything is all of the evangelicals that are voting for Trump. The GOP views evangelicals as single issue voters who will take any amount of abuse just so long as the nominee says the right things about abortion. Trump is proving evangelicals are not single issue voters. The tears and anguish among the culture warriors at NRO and PJ media about how Trump said nice things about PP and is still getting evangelical votes is quite enjoyable actually.

    1. One refinement:

      The GOP convinced themselves that their voters were either libertarians who Chamber of Commerce fundraisers wanted open borders and any trade deal the government could negotiate, or and their base was easily manipulated simple-minded single issue culture war voting SOCONs.

      1. Well, yeah. I was just trying to be polite. But I can’t argue with your changes.

    2. I thought I proved it decades before Trump.

  6. There is one other thing Matt misses that libertarians should find comforting is the uncontrollable impotent rage Trump induced among the GOP and their media hacks when he said the Iraq war was a mistake. You are not supposed to say that in the GOP and Trump did and it helped his popularity. The GOP base is absolutely nationalistic. it is not however Wilsonian and was pretty much drug along into the Bush project to make the Middle East into a Democracy by the need to do something after 911 and the complete distrust of the Democrats to defend the country. The rise of Trump is an enormous blow to the internationalist or NEOCON wing of the Republican party. The guys over at the Weekly Standard are not shtting their pants over the prospect of Trump winning because they think Trump is going to go over and fight a bunch of wars in the Middle East in the name of preserving the international order.

    1. The Ron Paul support was more anti-war than libertarian, which is why so many of his supporters went to Sanders instead of Rand.

      1. There is a difference between anti-war and nationalist. The GOP voters are not anti-war in the way Libertarians are. They are much more willing to support wars that they see as in the national interests. What they are not, however, is internationalists the way the Bush people and the rest of the party in Washington is. They are legitimately pissed off about the Republican Party seeing it as America’s duty to affirm the authority of the UN and save the world.

        I saw a comment the other day that really summed up the attitude. It was something to the effect “every time I hear Cruz talk is is ‘what about the fetuses’ and every time I hear Rubio talk is is all ‘what about the Muslims’, when is anyone going to talk about the Americans?”

        I really think Trump is getting a good chunk of support because Republicans think he will act in the US interests instead of trying to save the world. And when you realize that since World War II, the US has only fought one nationalist war, the initial invasion of Afghanistan, and everything else has been about some internationalist concern to preserve order or save some group from the commies or jihadists, who never seem to want to be saved, I think even Libertarians should see that as an improvement.

  7. Still say the establishment hates Cruz – who really was anti-establishment in the Senate – than they do Trump.

    If that was not the case, Rubio and Kasich would be yanked out of the race and the full weight of the party would be behind Cruz. Then Trump would be losing states with 40% of the vote instead of winning with 35%.

    1. I thought that too Drake. But they are losing their minds over Trump. I figured when it became apparent Trump was going to win the establishment would go after trying to co-opt him and get behind him as the nominee figuring he was better than Cruz. That hasn’t happened. The closer he gets to winning the more desperate and deranged these people seem to become. At this point I think they would be willing to live with Cruz if it were the only way to stop Trump.

      I would love to know why that is. It clearly isn’t that they think Trump would be bad for the country, because that is the last thing these people worry about.

      1. I would love to know why that is.

        Its puzzling to me. On paper, he’s pretty much their dream candidate (except for immigration).

        1. I can see no other explanation other than they really think he will cut down on the stealing. That he is rich and isn’t beholden to anyone and might actually take what he sees as the interests of the country at large seriously.

          That is the only possibility that I can see scaring them this much.

          1. There is another possibility. Suppose Trump becomes Obama, in the sense that he accomplishes little when he doesn’t have a filibuster proof Senate, so he simply resorts to continuing with the Executive Orders and all the violations of the Constitution so much that no one ever votes GOP again for a generation? That would be one reason to oppose him with all their feeble might. Cutting down on the stealing, of course, is another reason.

            Given that, one can see how it’s a tough choice between enabling Hillary, who will gut the Constitution now, or enabling her successor, who will do it later.

            Me, I’m hoping for Cruz or even Rubio to get in through the back door in Cleveland, but when that fails, I expect that I will roll the dice and vote Trump. Because at least it delays when the Dems, the true fascists of our era, get to do their final evisceration of the Constitution.

            1. These are the people who let Bush run the party into the ground. Sorry but I am not buying that.

              And unlike Obama, the Republicans could easily go along with Democrats and impeach Trump like they threatened to do Nixon.

      2. I don’t think they are willing to live with Cruz. They would rather make deals with Trump.

        1. They don’t seem to be acting like that. If that were true, I would think they would already be making peace with Trump and ensuring Cruz doesn’t win.

          1. I think they are still trying to hang onto Rubio as their guy.

            I can’t see him winning the nom in the primaries. I think they are seriously considering the electoral suicide of a brokered convention.

            1. If Trump wins by all rights and they hand it to Rubio, I’ll vote for Clinton. I mean, there’s at least a remote chance that the FBI fixes that mistake, and if not… well, this is the year I finally buy a gun, regardless.

          2. Keeping Rubio and Kasich in the race ensures that Cruz doesn’t win.

          3. They are doing that by keeping Rubio in the race and talking big (talk is cheap) about trying to stop Trump.
            Can there be a less effective campaign that a “hashtag” one? #NeverTrump? Spare me!
            If you look at how conservative media is dealing with this, they act as if Cruz isn’t there. They criticize Trump – proven ineffective – and talk up Rubio, who steals half of the anti-Trump voters.
            And little Marco is vowing to fight to the last breath. Where is he getting donors, considering his lack of success?

      3. Maybe the GOP establishment is just stupid. And panic is what they do when they don’t know what to pretend to do.

  8. I may cheer lustily for him to lose

    You need to stop reading SugarFree, Matt.

    1. I am starting to think reading SugarFree is a way to armor our minds against the coming madness… that, or i AM ALREADY THERE, BECAUSE OF READING SUCH.

      1. Its like a vaccine. You have to take the filth in carefully titrated doses to build resistance.

  9. That was the smartest thing George Will has said in a couple decades. And, in his further defense (ugh), Will was raising an alarm about Trump back in Summer 2015, when nearly every other Republican thought he was a joke.

    1. Whenever George Will comes up, I always think of this column.

      1. My personal favorite is when he claimed in two separate columns that rich people vote Democratic because states where most rich people live vote Democratic. Um, okay. Regardless of whether that’s true (and it isn’t), that’s an absolutely mind-blowingly stupid thing to say.

  10. What all this comes down to is the Democrats have been shoving the Republicans aside for 20-30 years, so the most fascistic of Democrats decided he could do it too, if not better. Voila-Trump. We didn’t get to the point we’re at by having intelligent, tough, principled leadership in the Republican party. They’ve been doormats ever since they stood up against having Education a cabinet level position and they lost. Reagan put on a good act, but then increased overall government and borrowed billions as well. From Bush I’s “thousand points of light” on the Republicans have been losing the long fight, slouching toward irrelevancy.

  11. I want everyone in this race to lose.

    So, basically, “democracy” has utterly failed.

    Anarchy, even the version most often envisioned in scare quotes, sounds really appealing right now.

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  13. I don’t like Trump but if he’s the R nominee, I’ll hold my nose and vote for him simply because I can not live in a world where Hilary Clinton is the President of the United States. For me, this election isn’t about issues. It’s about keeping the keys of the White House away from the lying, mendacious socialist.

  14. people however bad it seems for Trump to get the nomination

    8 years of Clinton running IRS, EPA, DOJ
    and naming Supreme Court justices
    would be the end of the country

    so get ready to do whatever it takes for Trump to win.

  15. The link to the 2008 article on McCain was interesting. It was quaint how high some people thought of Palin, based on the comments.

  16. The GOP claims to be the party of small government but the evidence says they aint.

  17. I believe you are technically incorrect on the impact of Gingrich. Before he was forced out (or got frustrated and left depending upon your point of view), Gingrich not only balanced the budget but actually REDUCED the size of government with a scandal ridden President. However, the structure he left in place for W’s sweep into office left no equally vigilant small government conservative in place to prohibit the open check book. In fact, Santorum ended up setting up a K street lobbying mass processing operation and even Ted Cruz defended the big spending policies and expansion of Medicare.

    1. When did Ted Cruz, who only took federal office four years ago, defend the expansion of Medicare?
      The claims that “W”, and the Republican House were big spenders is belied by the fact that the last budget, before a bunch of lying demoncraps convinced the voters they were conservative and took over, had the deficit down to $161B – a pittance compared to what Pelosi and 0blama came up with.

  18. Republican elites are terrified of their own customers. And they damn well should be terrified. Lie to people long enough and that is what you can expect.

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  20. How have the alleged fiscal conservatives responded to finally having some legislative power during the Barack Obama presidency? By blowing up the sequestration cuts, waving away the debt ceiling, and once again punting their duty to pass budget legislation in favor of a single, last-minute omnibus spending package with all kinds of freedom-harshing provisions within.<?i

    … but it’s Trump who’s the clownshow? Right.

    1. A-fucking-men.

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  22. I do detect some mental straining by the author. He’s cheering trump on the one hand and wanting someone to beat him on the other hand. I don’t know the clinical term but there has to be one.
    Why would anyone pay attention to this?
    The Republicans in congress must have some discipline meeted out to them. Same for the donor class.,

  23. Perennial Libertarian losers are giving advice to Republicans who are already pretty good at losing how to perfect their technique. #losers

  24. I’m reminded of those old Frankenstein movies where they are horrified of their own creation.
    And let’s face it folks, let there be no question about it, the GOPe, the DNC and their minions in the Malfeasant Media created the TEA Party, they Trump, they have created the disenchantment by their platitudes of reform and adherence to the Constitution and doing the exact opposite, playing Paddy-cake with the ideology of dependency and entitlements and patting themselves on the back as “moderates” and “compassionate.” I’m sure the slave owner likely thought they too were really nice guys to their charges.
    What part of Taxed Enough Already don’t they get? What part of we want a smaller more responsive/less intrusive government is so unclear? By CBO estimates 60% of all government spending is waste and fraud. In private business this would be deemed Malfeasance, the owners jailed, the company fined. But in government, it’s just business as usual.
    Trump is your father coming home from work, finding out the trouble you caused and taking off his belt to deliver the punishment that’s long overdue. Little wonder Establishment politicians and their minions in the Malfeasant Media are soiling their pants.
    Go Trump.

  25. Trump is a blowhard. I don’t like him at all. He’s clearly saying whatever he thinks will get him elected. The one good thing he’s doing is sticking a knife right in the neck of the GOP.

    Those fucktards have been promising us for years what they’ll do if they get in, and what do they do as soon as they get in? They act like Democrats. They let Reid and Pelosi run rampant. They’d sell out the Second Amendment if they could.

    They’re the Stupid Party(tm), and it’s not an accident.

    The one reasonable guy they had running, Rand Paul, could have brought in the libertarian left. He’s not a screaming lunatic. So what did they do? The same thing they did to his dad – they silenced him. No coverage means campaign death.

    It’s not the first time, either. I distinctly remember an event during Ron Paul’s campaign – Fox reporters were on the scene, and one of their guys made the mistake of asking about Paul’s campaign. The talking heads *immediately* responded with “But the real news is what Sarah Palin is talking about now!” Palin wasn’t even fucking running!

    So, fuck those guys with a rusty horseshoe. I hope Trump wins it all.

  26. They are so use to the do nothings in Washington that when they hear a MAN speak it scares them. Trump with wake up Washington.

  27. RE: Republican Elites Are Frightened by Their Own Base

    Maybe its because the Republican elites are out of touch with not only their own base but reality as well.
    Could that be it?
    Gee…I wonder.

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