Friday, November 13, 2015

GOP Establishment in Near Panic Over Trump and Carson

The so-called Republican Party establishment cynically welcomed the Christofascists and white supremacist crowd into the party base with the short term view of winning elections by catering to the ugliest elements of society.  Now, that same crowd is in a near panic over the fact that they may have to lie in the bed they shortsightedly made by allowing the crazies and haters to hijack the party base, driving sane and moderate voters to flee the party in droves (I and my extended family all fled the asylum).  The shortsightedness - or perhaps hubris in thinking that they could control the swamp fever addled  base - of the establishment set the stage for the candidacies of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  A column in the Washington Post looks at the GOP establishment's belated consideration of the monster it created.  Here are excerpts:
Less than three months before the kickoff Iowa caucuses, there is growing anxiety bordering on panic among Republican elites about the dominance and durability of Donald Trump and Ben Carson and widespread bewilderment over how to defeat them.

Party leaders and donors fear that nominating either man would have negative ramifications for the GOP ticket up and down the ballot, virtually ensuring a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency and increasing the odds that the Senate falls into Democratic hands.

The party establishment is paralyzed. Big money is still on the sidelines. No consensus alternative to the outsiders has emerged from the pack of governors and senators running, and there is disagreement about how to prosecute the case against them. Recent focus groups of Trump supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire commissioned by rival campaigns revealed no silver bullet.

“The rest of the field is still wishing upon a star that Trump and Carson are going to ­self-destruct,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a former adviser to 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. But, he said, “they have to be made to self-destruct. . . . Nothing has happened at this point to dislodge Trump or Carson.”

According to other Republicans, some in the party establishment are so desperate to change the dynamic that they are talking anew about drafting Romney — despite his insistence that he will not run again. Friends have mapped out a strategy for a late entry to pick up delegates and vie for the nomination in a convention fight, according to the Republicans who were briefed on the talks, though Romney has shown no indication of reviving his interest.

For months, the GOP professional class assumed Trump and Carson would fizzle with time. Voters would get serious, the thinking went, after seeing the outsiders share a stage with more experienced politicians at the first debate. . . . . None of that happened, of course, leaving establishment figures disoriented. 

“You have a lot of people who were told that if we got a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate, then life was gonna be great,” she [Nikki Haley] said in an interview Thursday. “What you’re seeing is that people are angry. Where’s the change? Why aren’t there bills on the president’s desk every day for him to veto? They’re saying, ‘Look, what you said would happen didn’t happen, so we’re going to go with anyone who hasn’t been elected.’ ”

There are similar concerns about Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who is gaining steam and is loathed by party elites, but they are more muted, at least for now.

[T]he party establishment’s greatest weapon — big money — is partly on the shelf. Kenneth G. Langone, a founder of Home Depot and a billionaire supporter of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said he is troubled that many associates in the New York financial community have so far refused to invest in a campaign due to the race’s volatility. . . . . “People don’t want to write checks unless they think the candidate has a chance of winning.”

“I’m very worried that the Republican-base voter is more motivated by anger, distrust of D.C. and politicians and will throw away the opportunity to nominate a candidate with proven experience that can win.” 

The apprehension among some party elites goes beyond electability, according to one Republican strategist who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about the worries.

“We’re potentially careening down this road of nominating somebody who frankly isn’t fit to be president in terms of the basic ability and temperament to do the job,” this strategist said. “It’s not just that it could be somebody Hillary could destroy electorally, but what if Hillary hits a banana peel and this person becomes president?”

Angst about Trump intensified this week after he made two comments that could prove damaging in a general election. First, he explained his opposition to raising the minimum wage by saying “wages are too high.” Second, he said he would create a federal “deportation force” to remove the more than 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally.

“To have a leading candidate propose a new federal police force that is going to flush out illegal immigrants across the nation? That’s very disturbing and concerning to me about where that leads Republicans,”

“If we don’t have the right [nominee], we could lose the Senate, and we could face losses in the House. Those are very, very real concerns. If we’re not careful and we nominate Trump, we’re looking at a race like Barry Goldwater in 1964 or George McGovern in 1972, getting beat up across the board because of our nominee.”  
These "elites" should have seen the likely consequences of allowing those detached from any form of objective reality  taking over the party based.  Instead, they merely looked at the short term.  Now they need to face the results of their own blindness and stupidity.  Karma can be a real bitch.

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