Tip O’Neill Explains why the GOP Establishment fears Donald Trump

Leonard: Okay, fine. Live with cats. Be like my Aunt Nancy. She had dozens of them. And do you know what happened after she died? They ate her.

Sheldon:You don’t have to sell me on cats, Leonard. I’m already a fan.

The Big Bang Theory: The Zazzy Substitution 2010

There has been some fun in watching the GOP establishment in sheer Trump induced panic to the point where they supposedly think that Mitt Romney is going to ride in and play savior.  That insanity has been the bright side to my disappointment that Trump voters don’t know or remember that my man Ted Cruz has been fighting for all the big causes that Trump has been espousing.

However  there is one part about all this nonsense and panic that might not make sense to someone paying attention.  Why is the GOP so dead set against Donald Trump?  After all he is a dealmaker and it’s highly likely that he will make plenty of deals that favor the party big wigs to get the votes in congress that he wants and who says that the big money donors who finance the various candidates will not see a deal or two thrown their way?

What you have to remember is the difference between how an activist sees the GOP and how the party Establishment does.

To an activist the GOP exists as a vehicle to advance a certain set of principles that matter to them as the best thing to the country for the sake of generations to come.

To a member of the establishment the GOP exists as a vehicle to a comfortable job / office in government and/or party, a source of profitable influence in same, an even more comfortable living post government and entré to all of these things for family friends and children.

To the big money donor it’s an investment in his interests to either guarantee a favor or to ensure a hearing.

For the activist it’s what the office can do for their cause, to the establishment it’s what the office can do for you and other members of the club and for the donor that put them all there.

And that’s why the party wants to stop  Trump if they can because they envision a scene much like Tip O’Neill described on page 183 of his autobiography when he and a group of Massachusetts congressmen went to see President Johnson to pitch a friend from Boston in the General Service Administration for the head spot of that agency when it opened up in 1964.

As Tip explains things didn’t go as planned:

When we arrived at the White House, Johnson came in to the room and said, “Boys, I know what you’re here for.  You want this Kennedy man to get the GSA job, this guy who looks down his nose at me like I’m shit.  Well, you can tell him that he’s not going anywhere.  He’s damn lucky to be where he is.  Every time I see that elongated son of a bitch with his PT-109 tie pin, flaunting it in my face, I almost go through the roof.”

“Wait a minute—” somebody broke in.

“No, I will NOT wait a minute,” the president replied.  “No Kennedy man is going to get that job.  I’m giving it to a Johnson man.  Now let’s go in and have a drink.”

When people think of jobs in a president’s administration they think of secretary of state, Attorney General or chief of staff, but the reality is there are thousands of positions that carry prestige, pay well and guarantee a well paying position in the private sector later on that an administration fills not just at the start of their term but all during it.  (another argument for Glenn Reynolds revolving door surtax)

What happens if those positions go not to a party man, but to a Trump man?  What happens when the head of an agency like the GSA doesn’t owe his position to a party or to a donor but owes it to the Donald™ and it time to make a ruling that affects the party or could affect a chance in a big donor’s fortunes?  Even worse for the GOP what happens when Donald Trump remembers who treated him fairly and with respect and who did not?  There are few men in the this history of the world that can hold a candle to Lyndon Baines Johnson in terms of ego and remembering a slight but I suspect Donald Trump is one of them.

I can see that scene from the LBJ years being repeated over and over again as a President Trump remembers who granted him a favor when he needed it (Like Chris Christie) and who did not.

Cue Captain Picard:

I suspect a variant of this conversation is happening right now with a lot of Republican Establishment types being given the choice between joining the establishment “destroy trump at all costs” forces, waiting till after Florida to make up their mind or jumping on the bandwagon before Super Tuesday, although I suspect the language being used by the Trump people is not as diplomatic as the Captain Picard’s

For myself I’m a Cruz man. I urge all voters to support Ted and will keep doing so as long as he’s in this race.

But if I’m ever in a position where my choice is Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president, I won’t have to think twice and if nothing else the man who gets my vote will know it was given honest.

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