National Commentary

From Bad to Worse For the GOP

nfbenton-mugBetween the events of Tuesday night and yesterday, the final nail into the coffin of the Republican Party establishment has been hammered.

Tuesday the fact that Donald Trump, horribly mortified beyond belief by that Republican establishment, will run away with the large majority of delegates to the Republican presidential nominating convention this summer was sealed.

Yesterday the reason why that has happened was also sealed. In the wake of all that’s happened, the GOP leadership found itself locked into the obstructionism of its own making. They insisted that President Obama’s nomination of the imminently qualified Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court would not even enjoy the courtesy of an informal interview by any Republican lawmaker.

From the standpoint of a wider historical view, this behavior by the GOP will go down as one of the most inept, most stupid lock-step march over the cliff in American history.

Republican intransigence in Washington since Obama first took office in 2009 has led to the rise of the Trump insurgency as an expression of anger primarily at the inability of Washington to function.

While the populist Trump rage is directed against Obama, it is now extending its focus to also include the Republican establishment. The moronic GOP leadership seems incapable of doing anything about, or even recognizing, this.

(It should be noted that the GOP’s own postmortem internal assessments following their loses in 2008 and 2012 stressed the need for the party to become more open, more embracing of minorities, Hispanics in particular, even if in the guise of a more flexible bipartisan approach. This advice of the party to itself, of course, has been angrily rejected even to the point that its nominal Hispanic presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio, has been humiliated and sent packing.)

So, now the options for the GOP are all bad. Establishment leaders, including the likes of silver-haired Mitt Romney and the silver-haired heir to the ugly legacy of William F. Buckley, Weekly Standard magazine’s William Kristol, and those who coughed up the millions of dollars in just the last week for a flood of negative “Stop Trump” TV ads, are in a state of stunned paralysis.

If they decide to continue their efforts to cut off Trump’s pathway to the GOP nomination, they are running headlong toward a total breakup of their party.

Trump threatened this himself yesterday morning. Coming off his four big primary victories Tuesday, he issued a warning to the establishment GOP leadership by saying “bad things would happen” if he went into the convention with a sizable lead in delegates and tricks and technicalities were used to snub him at that point. He said he’d not lead them, but that “riots, problems like you’ve never seen” would ensue.

Most likely, it would also result in a third-party effort by Trump and a total shattering of the GOP effort to stop the inevitable perpetuation of the Democratic Party juggernaut. Even more, it will extend far down election day ballots beyond the presidential race to U.S. congressional and state races, as well.

This election year was perhaps the GOP’s final opportunity to reverse the trend that was set into motion by the mass public reaction against the horrible years of George W. Bush. The 2008 electoral outcome was inevitable, and hopes of the GOP to recover were still premature in 2012. But this, with the two-term limit rule forcing an end to the Obama era, was the GOP’s big, most necessary chance. Without a GOP ability to thwart that trend, demographic shifts being hardwired into the U.S. electorate, such as the rise of Hispanics in Texas and Florida, promise to turn the nation “blue” for good.

The appalling failure of the establishment GOP to rise to this challenge has been stunning to the extreme, astonishing to watch.

Trump is Bill Kristol’s worst nightmare. Kristol, whose Weekly Standard was treated like the Bible in the George W. Bush White House, devoted his latest cover to an image of a quietly weeping Alexander Hamilton observing a railing, red-faced Trump. But it’s now all but too late for all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.