Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Self-Immolation of the Republican Establishment

As prior posts have made clear, I have zero sympathy for so-called establishment Republicans who for years did nothing to oppose the descent of the party into insanity only to belatedly wake up to the Frankenstein monster that they allowed to be created.  Donald Trump is the incarnation of that insanity with Ted Cruz a close second when it comes to being batshit crazy.  A piece in Salon looks at the far too late hand wringing and whining going on among establishment types who bear as much responsibility for the state of the GOP as the extremists and lunatics they allowed into the party.  Here are excerpts:

For the record, it wasn’t Sarah Palin’s rambling endorsement of Donald Trump last week that finally drove editors at National Review to launch the magazine’s “Against Trump” push. The conservative media revolt had been in the works weeks prior to Palin’s now-classic oratory display.

Still, there was something fitting about the Right Wing Noise Machine’s simmering civil war over Trump breaking out into open warfare in the wake of Palin’s embarrassing speech; a comeback that had lots of Republican supporters publicly cringing.

What’s inescapable about the mounting GOP hand wringing is that Trump is a right-wing media creation. He’s flourishing on the fertile playing field of bigotry and resentment that National Review, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and a litany of others, have helped seed for many years.

For a movement that has often displayed amazing discipline in terms of targeting its cannon fire on Democrats and liberals, the Right Wing Noise Machine now finds itself stuck in circular firing mode.

On one side, Trump’s denounced as a “vicious demagogue,” a “con man,” a “glib egomaniac,” and “the very epitome of vulgarity.” On the other side, Trump’s army has derided National Review as out of touch, and accused the magazine of cozying up to “open border zealots,” a cardinal sin on the right.

None of that disguises the fact that Trump is the monster the Noise Machine created by encouraging bigoted and dishonest forces within the conservative movement; by giving credence to the three year Benghazi cover-up charade, the two year IRS witch hunt, by fueling ugly passions about Obama wanting to take away everyone’s guns, and by arguing he’s uninterested in defending America’s national security.

For years, lots of conservative pundits and talkers cashed large, and in some cases very large, paychecks feeding this ugly beast. Now the beast is beyond their control and they’re going to whine all the way to New Hampshire?

The conservative shock and awe of a possible Trump nomination, and the long-term political implications it could unleash, is now real.

But the revolt likely arrives comically late to the game, since a September or October pushback would’ve made more sense. Indeed, the magazine is “telling the Republican Party to pull its ripcord long after we’ve hit the ground,” noted GOP consultant Alex Castellanos.

The Right Wing Noise Machine was revved up to 11 during the Obama years in an effort to destroy his presidency. In the end, the Noise Machine’s lasting contribution, in the form of a Trump nominee, may be assuring that Obama hands the White House over to another Democrat.

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