As the end of the year approaches, Donald Trump is solidly ensconced at the top of the Republican polls nationally. The man just behind him? Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), an establishment bugaboo. The establishment’s favorite candidate, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), is currently running far behind in national polling, a distant third in Iowa, and in a deadlock with Cruz and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for second in New Hampshire.
So, here’s the establishment roundup for Christmas week.
If You Support Donald Trump, You Want to Lose. Earlier this week, Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal unleashed a petulant column accusing all Trump and Cruz backers of begging for defeat. “Let us now pledge to elect Hillary Clinton as the 45th president of the United States,” he snarked. “Let’s do this because it’s what we want. Maybe secretly, maybe unconsciously, but desperately. We want four—and probably eight—more years of cable-news neuralgia. We want to drive ourselves to work as Mark Levin or Laura Ingraham scratch our ideological itches until they bleed a little. We want the refiner’s fire that is our righteous indignation at a country we claim no longer to recognize—ruled by impostors and overrun by foreigners.” Stephens specifically singled out Cruz for criticism, calling him a flip-flopper “happy to be on any side of an issue so long as he can paint himself as a ‘real Republican.’”
If We Have to Lose to Beat Trump, So Be It. When establishment columnists weren’t painting large swaths of the Republican base as politically suicidal, they were calling for suicide. George Will, iconic columnist, wrote today, “Conservatives’ highest priority now must be to prevent Trump from winning the Republican nomination in this, the GOP’s third epochal intraparty struggle in 104 years.” Never mind that Mitt Romney strayed from conservatism so far that he invented Obamacare; never mind that John McCain crafted campaign finance reform and amnesty. No, it’s Trump who singularly represents the death of the conservative ideal.
Of course, Will might just be miffed that Trump recently said “I think I have a much higher IQ… You have these guys like George Will. He sits with the little spectacles. If he didn’t have the spectacles, you wouldn’t think he’s smart because he’s wrong so much.”
Hey, Anybody Wanna Start a Third Party? Months ago, establishment Republicans complained that Donald Trump would not vow to forgo a third party run. Now, they’re thinking of a third party themselves. Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol tweeted:
Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination? Suggestions welcome at email@example.com
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 20, 2015
And as I explained earlier this week:
Politico’s Jeff Greenfield says, “If the operatives I talked with are right, Trump running as a Republican could well face a third-party run – from the Republicans themselves”….Jeb Bush’s aides “began looking into the possibility of making a clear break with Trump – potentially with the candidate stating that, if Trump were the nominee, Bush would not support him.” Last week, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said that former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour “and a lot of the Republican leaders would much rather Hillary Clinton be President of the United States than have Donald Trump represent them as a Republican.” And in November, The Hill reported that “GOP establishment donors have confided to The Hill that for the first time in recent memory, they find themselves contemplating not supporting a Republican nominee for president.”
Gawd, Almighty. Jonah Goldberg of National Review sounded the alarm in September when he wrote, “Well, if this is the conservative movement now, I guess you’re going to have to count me out.” That’s been a consistent refrain from some of the columnists over at National Review – many of whom I like, respect, and read regularly. But here’s the problem, again: this is the party of Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush and John McCain and Mitt Romney. Ideological purity, unfortunately, went out the window long ago. And many of those who have suddenly discovered ideological purity didn’t have it when they were touting John Kasich. Today, Goldberg writes hilariously that he has endorsed the Sweet Meteor O’Death:
Only one candidate can unite us all in a way George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama could not. You’ve probably already guessed who I have in mind. But just in case you haven’t, it’s the Sweet Meteor O’Death, or, as he’s known on Twitter, @Smod2016.
There’s only one problem for Goldberg: Donald Trump may in fact be the Sweet Meteor O’Death.
So, here we are. Trump isn’t going anywhere, and he isn’t going anywhere because the same people who decry his rise are the ones who told grassroots Republicans to ignore conservatism in favor of “who could win.” Merry Christmas, establishment Republicans: you can thank yourselves for that giant lump of coal in your stocking.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.