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When assessing the quality of a candidate, history can be a useful guide. Not only the history of the particular candidate, but the history of previous successful candidates. So when looking at all of the candidates for the Republican nomination – not just Trump – it is useful to look at whether President Trump kept candidate Trump’s campaign promises, and if not, why not.
But which promises? It is in the nature of candidates for office – especially perhaps underdogs – to promise all sorts of things. And, unlike tightly-scripted campaigns of the ‘pros’, Trump just said so much. So my methodology is this: what did Trump promise in order to gain the Republican nomination? And, in particular, what did his ideological enemies say he promised, at the time? This should keep the focus on what type of Republican Trump promised to be, should avoid hindsight, and should be neutral between pro- and anti-Trump Republicans.
Remember the good ol’ days when we had different kinds of Republicans, some deeply conservative, others pretty moderate, and others who were barely Republican at all? But we managed to tolerate each other. We were known as a party that was friendly with the Democrats; the parties were all like lawyers, who would fight to the death in court and then argue over who would buy lunch afterward.
Those days are long gone and are unlikely to return, certainly not in my lifetime. And that change is a significant opportunity for the Republican party to take a close look at itself and ask just what kind of party it wants to be.
The problem that faces Republicans is that they are reluctant, for a myriad of reasons, to move into the 21st century. Their own self-interests are mired in the traditional mores of doing business, making them resistant, if not downright hostile, to making the changes that Republicans need to make if they are to survive.
But from inside the party. After listening to Rush Limbaugh and reading Conrad Black and Mark Steyn and Scott Adams about Trump and then watching Trump over the last few months I’m pretty sure that Trump has been planning this foray into politics for some time. I think he viewed the GOP leadership as a […]
I love nursery rhymes; subversive as hell, each is a short, pointed, political statement masquerading as a scrap of silly, sing-song verse. And since history tends to repeat, we should not be surprised to find current events that map quite nicely to Mother Goose. For today’s example, consider the crack-up of the GOP in the context of “Humpty Dumpty.”
The GOP has, indeed, “sat on a wall.” And though some might go for the low-hanging fruit and claim that this “wall” is our southern border, I think that that’s too easy. I think of it as it was probably originally intended: The GOP was consistently faced with important decisions and consistently refused, for a variety of reasons — some cowardice, some intrigue — to take a side. And when those decisions had been made for it, the GOP shattered. And now, no one, especially not our self-proclaimed best and brightest, can reassemble it.
Let me make this point clear up front: Donald Trump did not shatter the GOP; the GOP did that themselves. As I have commented in a previous post, the shattering of the GOP is the direct result of twenty-eight years of a preference for globalism over liberty (led by the Bushes), at least thirteen years of Bush/GOPe Play-Nice-With-The-Brass-Knuckle-Marxists policy, and more than seven years of GOPe The-Base-Are-Always-Embarrassing-Reprobates-To-Be-Impugned-And-Ignored policy. Had these policies not been followed, Obama would have been impeached and members of his administration — if not Obama himself — would be in prison. Period. And despite recent protestations to the contrary, the GOP pursued neither of these actions (for the previously cited policy reasons) and now there is no longer any chance of them making it right. Through its cowardice and machinations, the GOP has irreversibly abused and lost our trust all on its own. The Trump campaign was merely the wind that blew the GOP off of its comfortable but precarious wall.
Plug “GOP Establishment” into Google and you get 362,000 results. Try “GOPe” and you get 373,000 more. Everyone hates them, but who and what is the GOP Establishment?
According to Wikipedia, it refers to “the traditional, moderate-to-conservative members of the Republican Party of the United States.” Of course, “moderate-to-conservative” seems to include everyone in the GOP. Several outsiders have tried to nail down the definition further, echoing Breitbart’s Tony Lee: “Those who want to preserve the status quo because they directly benefit from it and don’t challenge the political-media industrial complex.”
That obviously would include people like George W. Bush and John McCain strategist Mark McKinnon, but he defines the GOPe as ”The measles. A disease. A political disease.” National Review Editor Rich Lowry said, “It is, roughly speaking, made up of current officeholders, prominent former officeholders, consultants and lobbyists, donors, and business groups like the Chamber of Commerce.” But of course he would say that since everyone knows NR is another tool of the establishment.