America’s Republicans are frustrated with their party’s leadership.
Since 2008, conservatives have been given John McCain and Mitt Romney, neither of whom was able to stand up to Obama.
In 2008, McCain had excellent rally attendance in the months preceding the election. Most people went not to see him but his running mate Sarah Palin. Then, shortly before Election Day, McCain said to someone in a rally audience
Don’t worry. Senator Obama will make a fine President.
I saw the film clip on the early morning edition of ITV news the following day and was floored.
It was always unlikely McCain was going to win, but what kind of candidate says something like that?
Four years later, Romney stood up to Obama in the first presidential candidate debate. He caved in subsequent ones, making teleprompter king Obama look brilliant.
Now the Grand Old Party has Donald Trump, their most successful candidate since Ronald Reagan — another outsider, albeit with political experience as Governor of California.
Republican leadership wants to stop Trump from taking the nomination.
The GOP loves its failure theatre (a term borrowed from the pro-Trump site Hillary is 44). The GOP would prefer to lose rather than win.
On February 27, The New York Times published ‘Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump’, an eye-opener.
The article tells us that Karl Rove addressed a luncheon of GOP donors and governors on February 19. He told them that it was not too late to stop Trump.
On February 20, the governors met privately at the Willard Hotel. Maine’s governor, Paul R LePage, said that Trump’s politics would wound the Republican Party. He suggested drafting an ‘open letter “to the people”‘ denoucing the billionaire’s divisive politics. No one took him up on the suggestion.
Afterwards, Trump won the South Carolina primary and the Nevada caucus by large majorities.
Then former candidate and outgoing Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie endorsed Trump.
On Friday — amazingly — the aforementioned Paul R LePage followed suit.
The NYT article tells us that, publicly, the GOP establishment is urging people to get behind a single candidate.
To them, that means Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz or Marco Rubio. To Republican party members, it means Donald Trump.
Rubio tried attacking Trump but looked like a teenager attempting to harass one of his elders. Then he and Cruz tried to taunt Trump about his tax returns and employment policies. Zzzz.
Behind the scenes Mitt’s now getting involved, possibly with a longer-term view to brokering the Republican National Convention this summer. Mitt talked with Ohio Governor John Kasich about uniting under one non-Trump candidate, which would mean that Kasich would need to drop out before the primary in his home state on March 15. Not surprisingly, Kasich was unimpressed. Who doesn’t intend to stay in the race until his home state’s primary?
The article also says:
At least two campaigns have drafted plans to overtake Mr. Trump in a brokered convention, and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has laid out a plan that would have lawmakers break with Mr. Trump explicitly in a general election.
Despite all the forces arrayed against Mr. Trump, the interviews show, the party has been gripped by a nearly incapacitating leadership vacuum and a paralytic sense of indecision and despair, as he has won smashing victories in South Carolina and Nevada. 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. And Republicans have lacked someone from outside the presidential race who could help set the terms of debate from afar.
According to the NYT, Christie’s endorsement was a bombshell, opening up the path for other governors to endorse Trump. Well, it worked in Maine.
The GOP’s failure theatre producers and directors are highly nervous now, especially since the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson have no desire to take on Trump.
There are only two people from the GOP establishment really coming out in support of Trump. One is former Party chairman Michael Steele, who was at the helm between 2009 and 2011. On Friday, Breitbart reported:
“The man is amazing,” Steele said of Trump. “I’ve never seen anything like this in politics. I don’t think there’s any descriptor for what Donald Trump has done to the political process and the Republican Party. There’s no one else playing this game better than him.”
Steele noted the size of the crowd at the Trump rally in Fort Worth.
“10,000 people in this stadium, those are general election numbers,” Steele said. “If there’s 10,000 in the primary what do you think the general is going to be?”
Just so. And Fort Worth was no outlier. Baton Rouge saw the biggest gathering since Elton John played there several years ago. There are many more examples of Trump’s ability to fill venues. Sometimes adjacent rooms have to be made available so that overflow crowds can watch a live feed.
The other party bigwig coming round to Trump is Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker. He tweeted:
This Chris Christie endorsement of Trump is real signal to GOP establishment that they had better begin thinking about Trump as the future.
Yes. Newt has arrived at the acceptance phase of the Kübler-Ross change model.
As for Republican voters, Marguerite Creel wrote an excellent analysis of their concerns for American Thinker, a good site to visit if one wants more of an insight to conservative thinking in the United States. It’s not a news aggregator and has mostly original articles from regular and guest contributors.
Creel says that conservative Americans’ primary concern is security — financial, political and societal:
Trump identifies with Americans who recognize the realpolitik black hole that threatens their homeland. Traditional Americans want to vote for a high-energy candidate whose campaign reaffirms the Republican Party as the protector of security and the American way of life.
Trump filled that gap by campaigning on those concerns:
The political insiders’ failure to consolidate behind a solid closed-border candidate led to a vacuum on the pre-eminent issue of illegal immigration. It was in this void that Trump’s candidacy evolved. His genius media campaign proved to dovetail nicely with commonsense conservative positions such as middle-class tax relief, veterans’ health care and fair trade policies with China.
Considering the probability that Trump will win the GOP nomination, it is high time the highly paid GOP elite transfer their allegiance in helping Trump to tap the crème de la crème of the American legal, diplomatic, military, and espionage corps. Only in this way can the GOP establishment show conservatives they really intend to get serious about not just winning elections, but actually giving young Americans the firm sense of a future America worth living in, with a common culture and Judeo-Christian ethical foundation.
Failure theatre advocates, take note.
In closing, Political Science professor Helmut Norpoth of Stony Brook University in New York gave a presentation to Stony Brook alumni on the evening of Monday, February 22. He discussed his presidential election prediction model, which factors in primary results and electoral patterns. It is 96.1% accurate.
Could Norpoth be right in saying that Donald Trump has a minimum 97% chance of winning in November provided he is the Republican nominee?
“Trump beats Hillary 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent [of the popular vote]. This is almost too much to believe.” Norpoth said, with a few members of the audience laughing nervously. “The probability of that [outcome] is almost complete certainty, 97 percent. It’s almost ‘Take it to the bank.’ ”
By contrast, Norpoth’s model shows that whilst the GOP’s failure theatre candidates Cruz and Rubio would beat Bernie Sanders, they would certainly lose to Hillary Clinton, who, as I write, looks to be the more likely Democratic Party nominee.
More after Super Tuesday on March 1. RealClearPolitics has a calendar of primaries and caucuses which may be of interest.