Much hair pulling is underway within the GOP establishment about Trump–and by “establishment” I don’t necessarily mean moderate Republicans. I consider the establishment GOP anyone who makes a living off of politics whether the conservative movement makes actual progress or not. So this would include all conservative columnists, political consultants, and most GOP elected officials (especially the GOP leaders).
Victor David Hanson’s recent column on Obama and Trumpism while wrong helps to highlight one of the main threads to understanding what’s driving the Trump phenomenon. The main question is, do you think the damage Obama has done to the body politic and the Constitution is reversible? If you do, then you tend to react to Trump the way most of the establishment does. If you don’t think it’s reversible, then Trump’s numbers make more sense.
Essentially, many in the highest reaches of the GOP believe that a GOP President can restore the status quo pre-Obama–that he is an aberrational or can be made into one. Obama enjoyed an unprecedentedly compliant Main Street Media, his administrators flagrantly ignored the law and were neither pursued nor prosecuted, he lied to the public as a matter of course, political enemies were persecuted and intimidated using the full force of the government, and executive power was stretched into vast new territory.
And somehow, the GOP leaders and VDH think this can be reversed and relegated to a footnote in American history. Sorry to break it to you guys, but that not only runs counter to world history, but U.S. history as well. The steady march of Constitutional degradation by Democrats continues apace and will not be turned back by one election (or probably by any election).
The time to stop and actually reverse these actions would have been when they were committed. When a president is not defeated, impeached or even prosecuted, his tactics become those of the “winners” not the “losers.” Even if the next President is a Republican and chooses to unilaterally disarm, the Democrat President who follows will adopt Obama’s governing gameplan, guaranteed. Obama’s tactics were sanctioned implicitly, and explicitly, and now there is no going back. His support among Democrat voters and reelection prove that a governing majority will support these tactics. Period. Some of us recognize that and are trying to figure out how to win on the new playing field.
Others refuse to recognize the new reality and prefer to believe that the playbook has not changed–either because they can’t face this reality, or they are too financially invested in the old way of doing things. These are the establishment Republicans.
We would place our love of the Constitution against any patriot’s. However, it’s just a piece of paper if large numbers of your body politic doesn’t share your believe or reverence for it. It’s a playbook. It’s our Queensberry Rules. But your opponents have to agree to abide by the same rules. Democrats don’t. They won’t. This is a very brutal and hard truth but ignoring or avoiding it does not change it.
If Democrats are willing to support a dictator, don’t be surprised if Republican voters respond by supporting a demagogue.