The New York Post says “To hear the patronizing wise men of the Republican Party tell it, anyone who would vote for Donald Trump for president must be deranged. “Trumpkins,” they call them, mental midgets and xenophobic troglodytes who’ve crawled out from their survivalist caves in order to destroy the Beltway Establishment.
How their resentful attitude galls the crack cadres of campaign consultants who brought conservatives halfhearted standard-bearers like John McCain and Mitt Romney to do sham battle against Barack Obama in 2008 and ’12, then return to the safety of the US Senate and a beachfront mansion in La Jolla.
The peasants are revolting!
And all on behalf of a bloviating billionaire whose conservatism and party loyalty are suspect.
Now, after months of whistling past the graveyard of Trump’s seemingly inexorable rise and assuring themselves that his candidacy will collapse as voters come to their senses, a CNN poll released Wednesday showing Trump now lapping the field has the GOP establishment in full meltdown mode. The survey shows Trump with nearly 40% of the primary vote, trailed by Ted Cruz at 18%, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio tied at 10%, and the also-rans (including great GOP hope Jeb Bush) limping along far behind.
Their panic was best articulated last week in The Daily Beast by GOP consultant Rick Wilson, who wrote that Trump supporters “put the entire conservative movement at risk of being hijacked and destroyed by a bellowing billionaire with poor impulse control and a profoundly superficial understanding of the world .?.?. walking, talking comments sections of the fever swamp sites.”
Some might take that as a backhanded compliment. Can the GOP really be so out of touch with the legions of out-of-work Americans — many of whom don’t show up in the “official” unemployment rate because they’ve given up looking for work in the Obama economy? With the returning military vets frustrated with lawyer-driven, politically correct rules of engagement that have tied their hands in a fight against a mortal enemy? With those who, in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino massacres by Muslims, reasonably fear an influx of culturally alien “refugees” and “migrants” from the Middle East?
With those who fear for their own families’ futures and the future of the country as founded?
In other words, has the junior wing of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, ably embodied by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, forsaken even token opposition to the “progressive” ethos? Can it be true that everybody’s fondest wish for Campaign ’16 is the dynastic-restoration battle of Clinton vs. Bush?
Jeb Bush seems to think so, suggesting recently that he might rethink the pledge he signed vowing to support the eventual Republican nominee. To which The Donald characteristically responded: Who cares? “He is a low-energy person, and he does not represent strength, power and stamina, which are qualities our country desperately needs.”
Others have suggested, half in jest, that should Trump win the nomination, the GOP might have to go third party — against its own nominee.
Even lame-duck Obama has waded in, cheekily blaming “economic stresses” and flatlining wages for Trump’s groundswell. “Particularly, blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck .?.?. Somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that.”
Remember when Obama apologized for saying that voters who disagreed with him “cling to guns or religion”? Yeah, guess he wasn’t really sorry.
Objections to Trump include that he has no clue that politics is, as the saying goes, the art of the possible. That his reality-show candidacy — as a recent Quinnipiac poll purportedly found — would be an “embarrassment” to half the country. That the “short-fingered vulgarian” — as the old Spy magazine famously dubbed him — is neither a real Republican nor a real conservative.
To which his supporters, to whom he is an anger-directed guided missile heading straight for Washington, retort: So what? The irrepressible Trump is already ignoring his rivals and gleefully taking the fight to the presumptive (if she doesn’t get indicted) Democrat nominee, noted prevaricator Hillary Clinton.
In the movie business, there’s something called the “cheer moment,” when the long-suffering hero finally decks his tormentor with a satisfying right cross. What the Beltway Republicans fail to understand is that their conservative base — which gave them stunning congressional victories in 2010 and 2014 and has nothing to show for it — has been longing for precisely that moment since Reagan crushed Mondale 49-1 in 1984.
The Trumpkins are sick of winning and having nothing to show for it, and their vengeance will be terrible. Maybe the Establishment should stop belittling them and listen instead