As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.
Sen Trent Lott (R-MS) 2010 on Tea Party members
Yesterday I noted that one of the biggest benefactors of Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump was Tina Fey.
And commented that Palin’s endorsement helped reassure Tea Party members concerning the Donald.
Palin’s pro-life credentials are impeccable, her reputation as a conservative is strong on all of the issues that matter to a lot of conservatives Palin has walked the walk.
The fact that she is willing to put that behind Trump is going to reassure a lot of people who were not quite sold. It gives Donald Trump the thing he needed the most.
Because the Tea Party voter has been taken for a ride more than once so there is nothing that helps Donald Trump (and hurts Ted Cruz) more than an endorsement that allays those fears.
Well to paraphrase a bit of scripture, the endorsement giveth, and the endorsement taketh away:
Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has never been fond of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. But in an interview Wednesday, Mr. Dole said that the party would suffer “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Mr. Cruz were the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.
Because nothing elicits trust from the Tea Party than the ultimate symbol of the establishment GOP, a man who is actually a Jeb Bush chair attacking Ted Cruz and pushing Donald Trump
“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”
Mind you this is the same guy who didn’t have an issue with the allegiance to the party of other senators as Stacy McCain once put it:
It’s not just that I remember all the recent backstabbing and sellouts by Mitch McConnell and his GOP Senate cronies, but I also remember the history of Republican Senate majorities under such paragons of conservative leadership as Bob Dole and Trent Lott. I remember how GOP leaders begged and groveled in their vain attempts to retain the “party loyalty” of such stalwarts of Republican principle as Jim Jeffords and Arlen Specter. And then I think one more time about that Mississippi primary, you see, and the way all these things keep adding up in my mind . . .
I don’t remember Dole questioning the loyalty of either Jeffords or Specter, do you. Meanwhile Dole suggested an alternative to Ted Cruz. Who was it? Jeb Bush who he endorsed? John Kasich whose backing by the NH GOP establishment seems to be finally paying off? Marco Rubio or Chris Christie?
But Mr. Dole, 92, said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”
The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting.
Oddly Enough Senator Dole is making the same case that I did concerning Donald Trump vs Cruz back in October when nobody was making that argument:
If Ted Cruz is in the White House, the excuses for not defunding Obamacare, for not defunding Planned Parenthood and for defunding the Import Export bank suddenly disappear. The GOP establishment which doesn’t mind show votes against such items will find themselves facing the disagreeable prospect of these things actually happening….
…If Ted Cruz is willing to take on practically his entire caucus as the junior senator against a powerful Senate leader how much more willing will he be willing to do so with the bully pulpit & the power that comes with it in his hands?…
…Now contrast that worry with what the Establishment will had to deal with in a Trump administration. Picture a group of people appointed by a pragmatic deal maker and picture the establishment and even the left having to deal with Trump and his appointees, many of whom will be self-made and have absolutely no loyalty to the conservative electorate that said establishment loathes so much.
Then finally consider Trump himself, he prides himself as being person who is a great negotiator and dealmaker. The problem with a dealmaker is the key question: “What do you give up to make the deal?”
If you are an Establishment republican or even a democrat that question will console you.
Meanwhile Senator Dole’s interview also provides a line so comical that I suggest you put down any drink you might be holding before you read it:
“Cruz is in the Senate, so maybe he’s part of the establishment. You know, I’ve never really known what the establishment was.”
As the senator is unsure what the “GOP Establishment” means Allow me to remind the Senator.
The establishment were the people who happily took the committee chairs when conservatives showed up to give the GOP majorities in 1994, 2010 and 2014 but were damned if they were going to let the voters who gave them those chairs tell the what to do. They were the guys who condemned the Porkbusters movement (remember them) when they called on the GOP to control spending when they were in charge:
I’ll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I’m getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina. We in Mississippi have not asked for more than we deserve.
but became born again deficit hawks once their chairs were lost:
The establishment GOP was determined that these “porkbusters” had to be stopped…and then in 2006 they lost the congress.
Suddenly John Boehner was speaking against spending
What’s the word for that? UNEXPECTEDLY
Like the term “NY Values” the voters know what the term “Establishment GOP” means and Ted Cruz isn’t it, as I put it years ago:
Power is congress is based on the ability to grant favors. The reasons millions of dollars are spent on lobbyists is because the votes on the house & senate floor, the spending on the White House can make or break a business and pay rewards many times what the cost of their investment is.
It’s one thing for the Establishment to get Tea Party votes in a special election but it’s another thing if they actually manage to change the culture of Washington, suddenly the revolving door from congress to wealth closes and that they can’t abide
and a Guy like Ted Cruz who isn’t even willing to pander in Iowa on Ethanol is a threat to their entire way of life:
What’s the point of a chairmanship if you don’t have the power of the purse?
And it’s not just their fortune, there are the hangers-on, the campaign groups, the consultants, the writers a whole group of people who feed off of them. Do you think they will jump off the gravy train willingly?
That why the Establishment walks a fine line, they will campaign for tea party votes when it costs them little. They will even give lip service to their candidates, but the moment that comfortable life is threatened they will happily join with the left and media to destroy them.
After all even a ranking member of the minority has influence enough to gain power & wealth for friends.
As AllahPundit puts it Dole & others in the GOP establishment, you know those pols that Mr. Trump has bragged about buying in the past, figure, rightly or wrongly, that with Trump they can make a deal to keep their gravy train rolling.
In fairness to Dole, what he says about Trump being more willing to play ball with the Republican Congress is almost certainly true. That’s the real reason to fear Trump as president if you’re a conservative — not that he’s going to do something nutty but that, in order to fill his ideological void, he’s going to get rolled by Beltway Republicans. Trump will be a softer touch for centrist GOPers like Dole as president, especially given his centrist inclinations, and Dole not only knows it, he prefers him because of it.
Senator Dole’s interview signals several things:
It’s a signal to the Tea Party that the establishment thinks Ted Cruz would finally end their gravy train and must be stopped at all costs.
It’s a signal that if the establishment wants to make a deal with Trump later to keep the good times rolling they had better get on board with him now when it would still mean something.
But most of all the Dole interview signals this: Senator Dole & the GOP establishment aren’t afraid that if Ted Cruz, a young dynamic candidate who would be the first Hispanic to head a major party ticket, is nominated the GOP would lose to Hillary Clinton and the democrats…
… they’re afraid he would win.
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