All for having passed on tea.

AP Photo

AP Photo

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 3/18/16


Since the announcement of his candidacy in June last year, every single prediction of Donald Trump’s coming demise has proved wrong. And there were many such predictions.

‘Trump won’t run,’ said the experts. He ran.

‘It’s a stunt. He’s not in it for the long haul.’ Coming up on a year later and more than halfway through primary season Trump has consistently led the polls, has won 38 percent more of the popular vote than his next closest rival and has more than half of the delegates needed for nomination.

“I can guarantee you Donald Trump is not going to be the nominee,” said Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush is now out of the race and Trump leads Ted Cruz by a margin of three to two.

After every round of primaries, GOP poobahs gather in a room somewhere to plot a strategy to take Trump down. Trump remains standing.

Had the GOP oligarchs taken a moment sometime between 2009 and last summer to have a sip of tea, they might never have had to confront the threat to their power that they clearly believe Donald Trump to be.

Laughed at by the elite at best, called racist, bigoted and homophobic at worst, the Tea Party was nothing more than grassroots Americans pushing back against irresponsible spending, ballooning national debt and a relentless expansion of the federal regulatory state.

Tea Partiers were instrumental in helping the GOP regain the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. But rather than be grateful, Republican leaders felt threatened, and joined the media and Democrats in demonizing the Tea Party.

Since then, the so-called Republican “establishment” has come to be seen by a sizable plurality of Republican voters as the party that holds down federal spending a little bit, pushes back against federal regulation a little bit, calls out executive overreach a little bit and fights for the Constitution a little bit. But never so much and never with sufficient fervor as to make any real difference.

And certainly never to any degree that doing so might endanger that sweet, sweet deal that being a Washington insider – of either party – has evolved to be.

Thus Republican Party leaders are now confronted by Donald Trump. And they cannot bring themselves to embrace him or what he represents – an unmistakable rejection by middle class voters of GOP politics-as-usual.

In the way that Democrats take black voters for granted, Republicans have taken white middle class voters for granted. The reckoning for that mistake is at hand. Middle class voters who nominally go Republican are tired of the smugness, the self-dealing and most of all the acquiescence of the Republican elite.

In 2008, these voters likely would have agreed with Jeb Bush’s condescending dismissal of Donald Trump. By 2016, they are infuriated by it.

Grassroots Republican voters have had it. Donald Trump figured that out. The GOP leadership didn’t.

It’s now too late. In one way or another, they will now have to come to terms with Donald Trump.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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6 Responses

  1. Michael Gauthier says:

    I don’t believe the establishment is finished trying to eliminate Trump. Kasich’s win in Ohio has revived the hope of a brokered convention and the establishment would love to have one. The fight is not over. There is also the possibility of a 3rd party candidate to try to save off a Trump presidency. They will not accept Trump and they will fight to the end.

    If they should succeed in undermining the people’s choice, we will be in uncharted waters and there be dragons there.

    • Prudence says:

      I totally agree with SRQ Tad as to his assessment. The GOP has changed it’s stripes years ago and is no longer beholden to our Coitonsutitnal form of Government, that the Founders spoke about and it has for the most part shot itself in the foot in the past 20 years. I hope it does not continue this self destructive practice and begins to see that “We the People” have memories of what the GOP was like and what it was supposed to be.

  2. Jena says:

    The GOP establishment is fighting this so hard and the reason is that they cannot control Trump or Cruz to a lesser extent. A statement made on CNBC by Curly Haugland who happens to be a rules committee member for the RNC, and I quote, “Political parties, not voters, choose their presidential nominees” He continued by saying, “The media has created the perception that the voters choose the nomination. That’s the conflict here,” Well, no wonder there has been nothing done in the past 16 years. We vote ’em in and they go to DC and sit, say nothing, and wait for their marching orders. We have only thought we were in control through our votes.

  3. This column should be required reading for those still baffled by the current mood of the people—from the Republican elites on the squishy right to the Tea Party-hating media on the left. Mr. Gleiser’ columns are so well written, so pellucid and to-the-point, that they should be syndicated nationally. Almost certainly the forces of the left will be rioting outside the Republican convention. A brokered convention contrived to yield a result approved by the Washington establishment would result in rioting inside the convention hall as well. The days are past when a few in a back room can decide such things. Now everyone is watching–literally.

  4. Linda E Montrose says:

    We have given the establishment republicans every chance in the world to do the RIGHT thing…over & over & OVER again. What have they done? Broken every promise they have ever made. It is to the point where there is no difference between the two parties anymore! BOTH have communists in them!!!
    Donald Trump is our last hope and the establishment can not stand it. Now they are pulling the same ole thing that was pulled on Perot, threatening his family. But I don’t thing that Trump will turn tail and run like Perot did! Trump is the kind of guy who when thrown to the wolves, will come back leading the pack!!!
    The whole thing about this is that the establishment and that includes cruz and rubio, is that they are full of ENVY. Time to man up boys and learn a few things about what it takes to hold the trust of the people! We are done with lies and half truths from BOTH sides!!! Time for something new.

  5. TO ITS CREDIT — after the 2012 debacle — the Republican National Committee commissioned an expensive national perceptual research study, which drew the dang road map to 2016, and went largely ignored:

    Keep that document handy.
    After the 2016 vote, peruse demographic vote counts, particularly in down-ballot races.
    This year, 24 Republican Senate seats are up, 10 Dems.

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