5/5/16, "Death Comes for the Party," Michael Giere, The Bull Elephant
"“What the hell is “conservative” about uncontrolled immigration and corporate trade pacts?”
"Donald Trump’s electoral rampage through the Northeastern states and
then his stunning Indiana victory – taking all but five counties
statewide and walking away with 57 delegates – did a lot more than drive
Ted Cruz and John Kasich out of the race.
It has driven a stake in the heart of the post-1988 Republican Party. It’s dead.
The “professional” party has been in death throes for years, for a
variety of reasons, but none as lethal as the absence of a defining and
unifying rationale for its existence that resonated with its own
What does the Party stand for? And who decides that?
No sooner had The Donald driven his rivals from the field of
battle, than the self-appointed guardians of “conservatism,” already in
panic mode, began pouring out opinions, curses, and threats – all
If only they could find the same passion about the most destructive force America has ever known; Barack Obama.
Columnists George Will and Charles Krauthammer launched scathing
articles explaining their “never Trump” positions as the last defense of
“conservatism,” joined by the house pets in the big
newspapers. They’ve been followed by others trash-talking Trump and
talking about “real conservatives,” and what they should or shouldn’t
do. These include conservative media outlets such as Red State, National Review and Conservative Review.
The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol is evidently the
self-appointed leader of an effort to mount a third party challenge to
Trump intoning the name of Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska as its possible
standard bearer, who for his part has also said he can’t support the
Party nominee because he has to save “conservatism.”
The Bushes have let it be known that they aren’t endorsing anyone.
Ditto the Koch brothers. Romney, who famously claimed to be “seriously
conservative,” won’t be at the convention. After all, what do any of
them owe to the Party that supported and defended them with sweat and
On Capitol Hill, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, oblivious to the
primary results evidently, said today that “he is not ready to endorse
Trump,” adding that, “I think conservatives want to know, does [Trump]
share our values and our principles.”"...
[Note: "Conway: As a Republican strategist here, I just have to say, Paul
Ryan...was on the ticket last time. The Romney-Ryan ticket lost eight of the nine swing states. They lost his (Ryan's) home state of Wisconsin by 7 points."]
(continuing): "Speaker Ryan had previously laid claim to the speakership
for all conservatives and the right to define “conservative,” by
rebuking Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim’s entering the
country until the U.S. government could properly identify them, this
following the San Bernardino terrorist attack. “This is not
conservatism,” Ryan thumped. "What [Trump proposed] is not what this
party stands for, and more importantly, it’s not what this country
All I can say is, what are these people talking about?
Aren’t these the same people by and large who sat back in the Bush
years and supported vastly expanded government spending, and helped turn
education over to the federal government? To say nothing of two wars
that were not concluded victoriously, but shackled by rules of
engagement and petty infighting.
Is any of that conservative?
Aren’t these the same folks who laid down in front of Obama like they were flower petals tossed at a wedding?
When the Supreme Court overturned 5,000 years of tradition weren’t
these by and large the same people who told us to suck it up and live
with it? Is that conservative?
A lot of them, like Sen. Sasse, talk about the Constitution a lot.
That’s nice. Here’s a few questions: Where were they in the last eight
years as an American President dared them to impeach him, ignored
separation of powers, laws, funded unlawful programs, forced the BATF to
run guns and the IRS to harass conservative groups, abandoned four
Americans in Benghazi, and gave Iran $150 billion dollars
that the treaty with Iran wasn’t really a treaty at all?
Any of that conservative?
What the “professional” Party has been good at is subjecting
their frustrated members out in the real world to lectures claiming that unregulated, wide open immigration is conservative, and that
illegal entry into the U.S. should be rewarded with citizenship because
it is a conservative value. We’re told that a conservative believes in
the “willing worker” model; that any person in the world has a right to
come into the U.S. on a visa to compete with any American citizen for
any job at any wage.
The professionals have also been good at pushing “free trade” like it
was cotton candy at a child’s birthday party. It is now the sacred
mantra of being a conservative – “free trade!”
I want free trade; the empirical evidence of the benefits of free
trade are well established economic facts. There is no doubt about that.
But the truth is that, starting with NAFTA, we have learned that we
have been snookered. These aren’t free trade agreements defined as two
or more countries deciding to treat each others products and services
reciprocally; instead, it is managed corporate trade. We allow
many countries to ship goods into the U.S. with little to no tax, while
American goods are subjected to a withering variety of consumption and
other taxes hidden in the host economy, currency manipulation,
hobbled with rules and regulations that no domestic company must comply
with. The end result it that millions of jobs and untold wealth have
left the U.S. for someone else’s benefit.
Empty factories stand like tombstones to a disappearing
self-determination; while several “conservative” prognosticators claim
that the towns and the American citizens those factories supported
deserve to “die.”
So, many of us are scratching our heads and asking, “What the hell is “conservative” about uncontrolled immigration and corporate trade pacts?”
Sometimes it take massive pain to bring us – individually or
corporately – to the end of our resources and allow us to realistically
reevaluate our destination. I believe that is where the larger
“conservative” movement is now.
Perhaps, just perhaps, Donald Trump is the spark that will allow the
grassroots to bury the dead “professional” Republican Party, and to
rebirth a conservative Republican Party that has clear principles that
honor our past and make a way for our future."
Comment: The site, The Bull Elephant, skews Establishment (ie, clubhouse, and/or professional), states it has "deep ties to the Republican Party," covers all issues with special interest in the state of Virginia. I became aware of the site in 2014 around the time Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, who was also GOP House Majority Leader, in line to be House Speaker, was defeated in his Virginia district primary, an outcome that made world headlines. Virginia citizens associated with the site were among those who'd tried for years to get Cantor to care about his Virginia district and were left with no choice but to do the work of removing him from office. (Cantor of course quickly got a job on Wall St.) I mention these things because of current media interest in Establishment v Trump, that the author of the above article is Establishment (according to his bio), and that his piece (accurately) describes the Establishment's death. The site does say an individual author's views don't necessarily reflect those of anyone else associated with the site. I've never understood the "clubhouse" attitude with something so serious, but many still have it.
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reflect the opinion of any other author."