GOP Establishment Bungles Coup—And Will Pay Price
The GOP Establishment’s attempted coup against Donald Trump is collapsing. Elected officials who renounced their support for the Republican nominee are scrambling to re-bend the knee. [Republicans endorse, unendorse and then re-endorse Donald Trump, by Elise Foley, Huffington Post, October 12, 2016] The latest: Senators John Thune and Deb Fischer, both of whom now say they will vote for Trump after initially calling for him to withdraw from the race [Sens. Thune, Fischer Change Tune on Donald Trump, by Kristina Peterson, The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2016].
Leftist reporters are snarking, quite rightly, at this characteristic weakness of cuckservatives who can neither support the standard bearer of their party nor effectively oppose him. And Trump himself is triumphantly proclaiming “the shackles have been taken off” so he can “fight for America the way I want to”. [Trump declares war on GOP, says ‘the shackles have been taken off, by Sean Sullivan, Robert Costa, and Dan Balz, Washington Post, October 11, 2016]
The way Trump wants to fight includes turning his guns on those Republicans who refuse to support him, including senators like McCain, Ayotte and Flake, all of whom supported the Gang of Eight Amnesty/Immigration Surge bill .[Most GOP Senators Defecting from Trump Backed Amnesty Push, by Jeffrey Anderson, Polizette, October 12, 2016] An astonishing twenty-six percent of Republican governors and members of Congress are refusing to back the GOP nominee, with the scandals about Trump’s long-ago behavior toward women serving as the excuse [Exclusive: USA Today survey shows that a quarter of elected top Republicans won’t endorse Trump, by Paul Singer, USA Today, October 12, 2016]. Of course, some of these figures are likely to come crawling back to Trump [Rep. Bradley Byrne clarifies position on Donald Trump: Supporting GOP Ticket, by John Sharp, AL.com, October 11, 2016].
The real question: why so many Republican officials pretend that crashing their own party with no survivors is justified because of the utterly trivial issue of Donald Trump’s bawdy talk from more than a decade ago.
Answer: As Rush Limbaugh explained of the GOP:
It clearly is not interested in winning. And if you want to be even more specific than that, it is paramountly obvious that they’re not even interested in defeating the Democrats. Well, Republican voters are fed up with Democrats and Democrat policy. Republican voters and people all over this country are fed up with what Democrat leftist policies are doing to this country, and they want it stopped, and the only agency that can stop it has been the Republican Party, and they have refused to!
The Republican Party has steadfastly sided with its donors and its lobbyists, and this is why we’re where we are…
All of these years I’ve been doing this program I was under the impression the Republican Party wanted to beat Democrats. And as the years have gone by, it’s become obvious to me that that’s not their Number One objective…
At the same time, it’s abundantly clear the Democrats want to eliminate us.
[Republicans Don’t Want To Win, RushLimbaugh.com, October 11, 2016. Links added]
As if the GOP Establishment were trying to confirm the most paranoid stereotypes advanced by their critics on the Alt Right, the evidence strongly suggests that many Republicans are indeed deliberately trying to lose the election—evidently to try to crush “Trumpism” as a force once and for all.
There are even some signs the recent Access Hollywood attack on Donald Trump came not from the Left, but from within the GOP. In a bizarre interview with Lou Dobbs, Jerry Falwell Jr., a vocal Trump backer, said he received a phone call saying there was a plot by GOP insiders to take down the Trump campaign several weeks ago [Report: Trump told 6 weeks ago about GOP plot to sabotage his campaign, by Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars, October 12, 2016].
Rumor suggests Dan Senor, a top advisor to House Speaker Paul Ryan and one of the Lying Press’s favorite token “Republican strategist,” may have been responsible for leaking the Access Hollywood tape. His wife used to work for both NBC and CNN [New Details Emerge On Who Leaked Trump Tape. It’s Worse Than Trump Could Have Known. By Chris Golden, Western Journalism, October 11, 2016]. Reportedly NBC deliberately tried to use the tape to hurt Trump, even to the point of attempting to edit it to limit its own television host’s Billy Bush’s vulnerability [NBC Planned To Use Trump Audio To Influence Debate, Election, TMZ, October 12, 2016]. But somebody at NBC got it to the Washington Post sooner than the network executives would have liked, forcing NBC to punish Billy Bush in order to save face [TMZ Busts NBC on Trump Tape, RushLimbaugh, October 12, 2016].
We may never know the full story of who leaked the tape and how exactly. But what we do know with absolute certainty: Paul Ryan attacks on Trump were timed to create maximum harm for the Trump campaign.
The tape was leaked on Friday and Ryan canceled a scheduled joint appearance with Trump on Saturday, thus ensuring the rather mild “scandal” would get maximum press attention. On Monday—the day after Trump’s strong performance in the second presidential debate—Ryan announced he would no longer “defend” Trump, thus shifting the entire media Narrative [Paul Ryan tells House GOP he won’t defend Trump in wake of video scandal, by Jacob Pramuk, CNBC, October 10, 2016].
Regardless of whether Ryan was in on the “scandal” from the beginning, or was simply trying to respond to it in such a way to do maximum damage to GOP presidential hopes, his attack on Trump would have been the same.
Indeed, even the most absurd conspiracy theories about “controlled opposition” and double agents may have been understating the case. Lost in all the sound and fury about the supposed scandal of Donald Trump being attracted to women: the revelations in Wikileaks—including some that prove supposed “conservatives” are secretly working for Hillary Clinton.
Among them: the editor of the supposedly “anti-SJW” site Heat Street, former U.K. Conservative MP Louise Mensch. She actually drafted an ad for Clinton to try to capture the “yearning that we have to see a woman as President properly.”
A succession of mostly young women, a few old women, one with a baby daughter, multiracial and multi-occupation, to include a nurse and a woman in uniform of some kind where permitted…
one after the other, smiling and looking to camera and saying ‘It’s our time.’
and the last woman says, ‘It’s our time. I’m with her.’
fade to banner credit ‘Hillary 2016’
[Fwd: Hillary Ad, Wikileaks]
There are also reports from independent journalists, both liberal and conservative, that local GOP field offices are seemingly refusing to accept volunteers to campaign for Trump [The Inside Story of How the GOP Sabotaged Trump’s Voter Registration Drive, by Mike Cernovich, Danger & Play, October 9, 2016].
Right now, however, it’s also clear the grassroots fury against Paul Ryan and the cuckservatives has caught the Establishment off guard. Even onetime Cruz backer Steve King is slamming the Speaker for turning on Trump at the very time when the party needs to stay united [Rep: King No One Defended Ryan Decision to Bail on Trump, by Kathryn Blackhurst, LifeZette, October 11, 2016].
Corey Stewart, former head of Trump’s Virginia campaign, even sacrificed his career in spectacular fashion to draw attention to what he considers efforts by Establishment Republicans to deliberately lose the election [First on Fox 5: Corey Stewart says protest was not about him; will continue to support Trump, Fox5DC, October 11, 2016].
Thus, even Ryan is being forced to recalibrate. He has now began dutifully repeating the Trump campaign’s attack lines against Hillary Clinton [Paul Ryan Comes To Heel Behind Donald Trump Again, Begins Pushing Trump Campaign Narrative On Hillary Clinton’s Catholic Smears, by Matthew Boyle, Breitbart, October 12, 2016].
All of which leads to another question: if the Republican elite were going to try to take out Trump, why do it now? Why not do it at the Republican convention, when they would still have had time to rebuild the shattered party and at least try to mount a plausible challenge to the Clinton Coronation?
Answer: If the Current Year has taught us anything, it’s that the supposed political experts in the GOP Establishment, the political consultants like Rick Wilson and the politicians like Jeb Bush, are objectively just bad at their jobs. And while they have no scruples about sabotaging Trump’s chances, they can’t even pull of a proper “stab in the back” correctly. The whole country sees the RATs (Republicans Against Trump) holding the knife.
The result: no matter what happens, the GOP base’s fury at its own treasonous leaders will only grow. Rather than ending Trumpism, the Republican Establishment may just have ensured that if Trump is defeated, what comes next could make The Donald look like John Kasich—in the words of celebrated Claremont Institute scholar Angelo M. Codevilla:
Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans [VDARE.com note: some Americans!] nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.