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.