Trump Schools the Republican Establishment – Politico

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“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably,” the great Homer Simpson once observed. “The lesson is: never try.”

That’s probably how the so-called “smart set” within the Republican Party feels these days. Ever since Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat—a loss that caught everyone off guard except for people who followed public opinion polls or read a newspaper—we Republicans were promised a tough, new approach to the presidential primary process.

No longer would the “non-serious candidates”—a term the bigwigs applied to people like Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain—be permitted to dominate the news cycles. This time the GOP would be a well-oiled machine, with a handful of candidates who quickly and quietly made way for the coronation of King Bush the Third.

And yet here we are.

The first GOP debate, televised on August 6 on Fox News, is already a total backfire for the establishment. Based on the latest polls, it will likely include every single one of the candidates the Republican elite despises: Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz—and banish to the losers’ consolation round exactly the types of candidates the establishment presumably wants to showcase: a female business leader, an Indian-American son of immigrants and the consensus-building governor of the crucial electoral state of Ohio.

The controlled, somber and oh-so-civilized process that the GOP promised its donors is now the biggest free-for-all in American political history. The blame for this, of course, is all being thrown in one direction.

Channeling their best William Shatner, GOP leaders everywhere are clenching their fists, looking skyward, and bellowing, “Trummmmmmp!”

But, come on, the very idea that party leaders could “manage” the primary process, and bully people like Trump out, was hubris in the first place. Turns out, voters tend not to like it when their “betters” dictate who should and should not be deemed a serious contender for the highest office in the land.

That Trump is mocking and bewildering the reviled GOP hierarchy—who lead a party with plummeting approval ratings among Republicans—fills the GOP electorate with a not-so-secret glee.

And is it really The Donald’s fault that he’s so interesting? Anybody bother to take a look at his main competition in the polls right now?

Read more here.

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