The Republican establishment was totally humiliated and annihilated Monday night in Iowa, and the carnage to the GOP-e segment of the Washington Cartel goes deeper than just the readily apparent.
The obvious defeat, of course, is the 1-2 finish by Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, controlling more than 52 percent of the vote between them.
When you throw in the support for Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum – the anti-establishment vote tops 68 percent. Moreover, the classic and once favored establishment candidate Jeb Bush barely registered. Ditto for John Kasich, the most establishment of all with his rhetoric, and for Chris Christie.
That triumvirate are really the heart of the typical establishment cabal, and they combined for barely over 6 percent. Yes, only 6 percent! Do the math: citizens by an 11 to 1 ratio over the long time establishment figures. We have never seen anything like that in a Republican Caucus or Primary. Ever.
It was proclaimed here at Breitbart on Christmas Eve fact that we have in fact turned the corner and are now beating the DC Cartel. Last night was just a validation of that theme.
Now I know you’re saying: but wait, what about Marco Rubio and his strong third place showing of 23 percent? I realize obviously that Fox News and other establishment leaning outlets are co-opting Rubio as the new insider champion, and certainly with his dalliances and dithering regarding the Gang of Eight and immigration, he fits their criteria to a degree. And he has certainly attracted some typical Republican donors and consultants. But Rubio in many ways is hardly the quintessential establishment champion. He is no Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney. He’s not a Paul Ryan or a John Boehner – and he’s nothing much like John Kasich.
The fact that the Cartel is now going to have to hitch their wagon to Rubio shows just how desperate they are – and it proves that we are now playing on their side of the 50-yard line. Rubio, immigration notwithstanding, has a far more conservative record than the figures mentioned above. What’s more, he burst onto the scene by running Charlie “Tanning Bed” Crist slap out of the Republican Party.
At the time, his was the first takedown of a well-heeled establishment figure by someone ostensibly out of the Tea Party movement. The key phrase here is “at the time” – which was 2010. But it was the first, and it’s dangerous to assume that later successes by Paul, Cruz and Mike Lee would have happened without this stunner taking place first. We’ll never know.
It’s also important to remember just how deeply loved and admired Crist was by the Washington establishment. He was a popular sitting governor of a state the Republicans MUST win to have any chance of occupying the Oval Office. He fancies himself GQ good looking, and his extraordinarily manicured image was almost a caricature of itself. Beyond that, he has typical Washington squishy reflexes, always moving to the center and living in a politically correct world. He was perhaps the very essence of the Republican establishment – at least from those outside Washington.
And it was Rubio who made sure he never got to Washington. Just like the Scott Brown winning the “Kennedy Seat” in Massachusetts, it was a seminal stepping stone success – regardless of how Brown and Rubio evolved once elected – which both clearly have. Now six years later, the one time establishment killer Rubio is the establishment’s only choice. This is not how it was supposed to play out. We’re not playing on their side of the 50 – we’re inside the 20.
But there’s more.
In a little discussed topic, even establishment tactics tried in the last three days by some non establishment candidates were exposed as stale losing strategies. This may end up being as teachable as the other direct candidate results. Consider: Huckabee and Santorum’s campaigns both ran establishment type attacks on Cruz in the last 96 hours before the Caucus. They clearly bombed. Moreover, Trump attacking Cruz – on ABC and MSNBC no less – and using liberal code words like “heartless” and “nasty” also come straight out of the Karl Rove/Haley Barbour/Thad Cochran/John McCain playbook.
Trump also hurt himself with continued praise of doing deals like the corrupt ethanol crony scam as well as some extremely disturbing comments on health care that could be interpreted as left of Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama on the topic.
And let’s not forget establishment Governor Terry Brandstad going full McConnell on Cruz – saying “anybody but Ted Cruz” must win Iowa. That tone deaf pronouncement from a family enriched by government ethanol monies could have been followed by the disclaimer that “I’m Ted Cruz and I approved this message.”
We know this because something happened down the stretch. Four days ahead, Trump had all the momentum and virtually every poll lead. These aforementioned tactics mostly took place in that short window of time, and clearly they helped a Cruz campaign that had lost its footing in the final weeks. It was establishment tactics, from non-establishment candidates, that put Cruz over the top.
It was a near total defeat….of establishment candidates and tactics and campaign templates – and for tells that things have changed in a tectonic way. New Hampshire might become a slight wiggle in this equation, but after that it’s South Carolina and that’s nearly certain to be another humiliating night for the GOP-e.
Edmund Wright is a contributor to Breitbart, American Thinker, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of the Amazon best selling Election Book WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. This is the 12th installment in the series Rove-Stupid: The New Definition of the Republican Establishment. You can find the entire series here.