In November 2014, voters across the country elected a GOP majority House and Senate in order to oppose the policies and agenda of President Barack Obama. We rallied to the request of the GOP leadership to unify Congress under a GOP majority so they could fight to oppose the progressive agenda. Yet, before even 24 hours had passed, we shockingly learned that the upcoming GOP leadership in Congress did not intend to fight the progressive-big government agenda or seek to hold the Obama Administration accountable for its abuses of Executive power.
Into 2015, we heard little more than excuses from the GOP leadership. Rather than use the Constitutional powers assigned to the Legislative Branch – as a co-equal branch of government, the feckless GOP Congressional leadership not only refused to fight the agenda, but took an active role in collaborating with the Obama Administration and enabling its agenda.
From the confirmation of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has effectively blocked any legal action against the Administration, it’s members, and Hillary Clinton, to budget deals which eliminated the sequester and massively expanded fiscal irresponsibility, to unilaterally changing the US Constitution in order to facilitate the ratification of a treaty what would pay over $150B to the world’s number one terror supporting nation staving off its economic crisis and giving them permission to develop nuclear weapons, to funding Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, and Obama’s Constitutional overreach Executive Amnesty – the GOP leadership demonstrated their contempt towards the voter, and in particular the conservative voter. Their actions made clear that their priorities were to expand the federal government, grow their own wealth, and that their loyalties were to the special interests, not the voter / people.
They declared themselves ‘The Establishment’. The American ruling class. The elite.
The people, believing that this was still supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, reacted accordingly. We revolted against this ‘establishment’ and ‘ruling class’. We decided to mirror their contempt towards us right back at them. And when an outsider candidate, Donald Trump, announced his run for President seeking to return the government to the people, the people backed him against every Establishment candidate the special interests anointed to be the GOP Presidential nominee.
One year into this revolt, and with Donald Trump elected by a record number of GOP primary voters to be the GOP Presidential candidate, the Establishment still doesn’t know what happened or why.
Inside the Beltway Establishmentarian, Charlie Cook, of the Cook Political Report, has penned an Op-Ed in the National Journal that demonstrates the complete and utter cluelessness of the Establishment class as to why there is a populist revolt underway against the Establishment / Globalist class….
This week, I was looking through a 65-page Power¬Point presentation that Republican pollster Neil Newhouse gave earlier this month to the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. For the uninitiated, Neil is one of the brightest and most talented pollsters in either party, with more 30 years experience taking the temperature of American voters. His record includes service as Mitt Romney’s pollster and work for Jeb Bush’s super PAC this year, along with dozens of senators and governors over the years. One particular page was fascinating.
On the left side of the page was a compilation of results from 2016 NBC News exit polls of Republican primaries in 17 states to the question, “Would you say you feel betrayed by politicians from the Republican Party?” The 17 states were ranked by their “yes, feel betrayed” responses: Nebraska (63 percent), Florida (60 percent), Pennsylvania (59 percent), Missouri (59 percent), Tennessee (58 percent), Michigan (58 percent), North Carolina (56 percent), Georgia (54 percent), Ohio (54 percent), Arkansas (53 percent), Virginia (53 percent), Wisconsin (52 percent), South Carolina (52 percent), Alabama (51 percent), Indiana (50 percent), Illinois (50 percent), and West Virginia (48 percent).
Two questions entered my mind looking at that slide: Exactly how did Republican politicians betray GOP voters, and what did Republicans in Congress compromise on with President Obama that was so horrific? Given that there are virtually no liberal and not many moderate Republicans left in Congress, and with the vast majority of Republican politicians pretty darn conservative, were they ideologically out of step? And given that there has been very little compromise of any kind in Washington, particularly between Republicans and President Obama, what did they compromise on that was so offensive? How can these numbers be so high?
These sentiments among Republican voters certainly explain how more establishment oriented GOP presidential contenders crashed and burned this year, why Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Chris Christie got nowhere, and for that matter why every Republican who had been elected to dog catcher or school board or higher, no matter where on the ideological spectrum they were, didn’t make it far beyond the presidential launch pad. People whose qualifications and demeanor might normally be made to order for a presidential nomination didn’t really matter this year. In retrospect — I wish I knew this a year ago — the fix was in this cycle; establishment or conventional Republican candidates need not apply for the nomination. It just wasn’t going to happen, and the only question was which angry outsider was going to get the GOP nomination.
These are supposed to be ‘smart people’. They are the ‘experts’ in understanding the political cycles. They are supposed to be the ‘experts’ in polling – to capturing and gauging the mood of the people and reacting accordingly.
The fact that they are so unbelievably clueless and confused by what is happening is exactly why there’s a revolt going on. Their arrogance and contempt is palatable. How dare the peasants revolt. How dare they show their displeasure with us – because we’ve done nothing wrong. They’re the problem. As the German President noted a few weeks ago towards his own people, ‘The problem is not with the elites. The people are the problem.’
Simply put, the Republican base has gotten so exotic in their views that it is little wonder that they are becoming isolated from the broader electorate and have picked someone who is trailing a very weak Democratic nominee.
At some point, Republican voters need to look in the mirror and start asking some questions of themselves. What are they watching, reading, or hearing that has created an environment and mentality in their party that seems so different from the broader electorate?
The problem is not with the elite or the establishment, it’s with the people, the conservative voter.
From Cook’s ‘anointed’ position, it’s that the GOP base, the conservative base which embraces conservative principles of fiscal responsibility, the rule of law, limited government, of God, of Country, of equality of opportunity combined with personal responsibility and accountability which has gotten ‘so exotic’ and ‘isolated’.
They can’t see the compromises made by the GOPe? They don’t see the GOPe collaborating and enabling the progressive agenda? Advocating, like the progressives, for open-borders, amnesty, and to pander using taxpayer funds as entitlement bribes for votes? The unprecedented expansion of the scope, power, and reach of the federal government in just the past 15 or so years? The racial divisions and strife being stroked in order to create ‘crisis’ which need to be leveraged for political power and advantage? The fundamental transformation of this country?
The one’s who have become ‘so exotic in their views’ are the Establishmentarians of the political class – and the self-anointed elitists, like Cook, who are like remoras scavenging what they can from the maws of the political class. They exist within their own world, their own echo chamber, and are far from the ‘experts’ they believe themselves to be. Their disconnect isolates them from the real world and the real concerns of the people. They are like the nobility of France in 1789, clueless in understanding how and why they are problem and not the solution.
Cook, like other Establishmentarians, are asking the right questions but direct them towards the wrong target. They aren’t, or can’t, look into the mirror and start asking questions of themselves. Their ego, arrogance, and contempt will not let them. Seeing our opponents this myopic and clueless reinforces to me that we are still winning, and ultimately are going to win this revolt to take our country back.