Just when you think Republican Party leaders can’t possibly get more cynical, more hypocritical or more suicidal, they surprise you.
Over the past week, a few dozen prominent Republicans, led by 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and joined by Utah’s Senator Mike Lee and Colorado’s Cory Gardner, dropped their support for Donald Trump and called on Republican voters to vote for other, “down ticket” candidates but not Trump.
The New York Times on October 9 published a list of “160 Republican Leaders who do not support Trump,” and newspapers everywhere trumpeted the newest addition to the list.
That chorus was joined briefly by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said he would vote for Trump but would not campaign for him or with him. Ryan also advised the entire Republican congressional delegation to do the same.
This betrayal of the party’s presidential nominee by top echelons of party leadership can only be called overt sabotage. Whether successful or not in denying Trump a victory on November 8, it undoubtedly is the opening shot in a civil war that will erupt full scale on November 9.
The attempted take down of Trump was explained as an effort to “salvage the dignity of the party” in the aftermath of the public release of a recording of lewd remarks about some women made by Trump in 2005. When asked if the recording revealed anything about Donald Trump they did not know before, they had no answer. It is clear that the party leaders who have jumped ship are using the 2005 video recording as the excuse to do something they had been contemplating since Trump won the party nomination in July.
No one citing the recording as an excuse for opposing Trump can say Trump’s lewd remarks are more offensive than the known sexual conduct of former President Bill Clinton — and many other White House occupants. Lewd and crude language is not exactly unknown in the halls of the West Wing, the Rayburn Building, RNC headquarters — or Fox television sound stages.
Are the American people turning against Donald Trump because of remarks he made in private eleven years ago? No. Might they turn against him if every Republican senator and congressman attacked him for those remarks? Yes, quite possibly. In that case, what would be the cause of the defeat, Trump’s remarks or the party establishment’s treason?
The answer lies in looking at the facts, not Glenn Beck’s self-indulgent rants. The latest Rasmussen poll shows that 69 percent of voters think Trump’s attitude and remarks about women are either no worse or the same as Bill Clinton’s, and only 23 percent think they are worse. That is a 3-to-1 margin saying it is not an important issue for the large majority of voters.
So, if moral Puritanism is not a credible explanation for he organized insurrection against the party’s presidential nominee, what is the explanation? Why this open declaration of war on the millions of voters who selected Trump as the party’s candidate? The actions of Paul Ryan, McCain and the other party bigwigs only make sense if it is a signal of a planned purge of Trump supporters by the US Chamber of Commerce globalists.
The hypocrisy of the Republican establishment’s attempted take down of the Trump campaign is astonishing even by 2016 standards. After insisting that candidate Trump take the pledge to support the eventual nominee, many refused to accept the verdict of the presidential nomination process. It took months for Senator Cruz to endorse Trump, and Ohio’s Gov. Kasich is still silent.
The other element of hypocrisy is the fear of a Trump victory.
After arguing for a full year that Trump couldn’t possibly win and would lead the party to a catastrophic defeat, many of the same Republican leaders saw Trump steadily gaining ground on Hillary Clinton and decided a Trump victory would be even more catastrophic than a defeat. Immigration enforcement, an America First foreign policy, and sensible international trade treaties must not be allowed to prevail over globalist ambitions of the party establishment. Trump had to be stopped.
That is why the sabotage did not occur earlier. Trump is only a mortal danger to the establishment if he has a chance of winning. As long as he was losing badly in the polls, the saboteurs could remain silent. But after mid-September when polls started showing Trump in a virtual tie with Clinton and gaining ground in all the “battleground states,” the knives were out. Why do you think the 2005 video was released when it was, when the liberal media certainly had it for months?
It is beyond question that the Republican establishment fears a Trump victory more than a Trump defeat. They are more comfortable with Hillary Clinton in the White House than Trump. Only people who have been living on another planet for the last 18 months believe that Washington insiders are opposed to Trump because of his crude language or alleged chauvinistic attitudes toward women.
So the Republican civil war is under way. Whether Trump wins or loses, the party establishment will use every weapon in its arsenal to purge the party not only of Trump’s policy ideas but Trump’s followers as well.
On November 9, the order of the day will be — business-as-usual. The party establishment and its allies in the Chamber of Commerce and the media will be working overtime to guarantee there will be no recognition or acknowledgement of the patriotic rebellion against the “go along to get along” mentality of Republican lawmakers that fueled first the Tea party revolt in 2009-2010 and then the Trump bandwagon.
What the Republican establishment does not understand or will not accept is that Donald Trump is only the symptom, not the cause, of the grassroots rebellion against establishment thinking. Donald Trump gave voice to those concerns, those very justified concerns, about our nation’s direction and our nation’s very survival.
Donald Trump the man and Trump the candidate has flaws and warts and weaknesses that were understandably exploited by opponents. But win or lose on November 8, the grassroots rebellion that fueled the Trump campaign will continue.
That rebellion is now an open civil war within the Republican party, and that is a shame. But at least it is a war over real issues, real concerns, and real worries over the safety and survival of our nation. And that, my friends, will always be a war worth fighting.