Republicans on the Path to Self-destruction

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

When it all began, there were sixteen candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. Of that sixteen, eight (Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), business woman Carly Fiorina (R), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)), could have beaten former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) in a walk. With the burgeoning development of Ms. Clinton’s email and Clinton Foundation scandals and the unexpected success of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist – VT), you could add to that list, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. In fact the only ones who were sure losers were Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Lindsay Graham R-SC), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).

All this in an election year in which Ms. Clinton was assumed by the national media to ascend to the presidency without serious opposition. That assumption was based upon. . . well based upon. . . uh, based upon her having been married to President Bill Clinton. That’s right. A closer examination of Ms. Clinton shows that the only attributable success she had in life was marrying Mr. Clinton. Everything that followed thereafter was due to Mr. Clinton as he rose from Arkansas attorney general, to governor, to President of the United States – well except for the contrived successes as Secretary of State which all boiled down to one indicator – she logged more air miles than any previous Secretary.

The unstoppable Ms. Clinton, when exposed to the harsh light of reality, proved to be illusionary – so much so that an old line “Wobbly” from Vermont is giving her a run for her money in the Democrat primaries. And the reasons for Mr. Sanders’ success are two-fold: he has captured the disdain for the “political class” from the left, and she has reminded people of who Hillary Clinton really is – a foul-mouthed, condescending, money grubber who will lie when the truth would serve her better.

But the Republican political leadership appears to be hell-bent on proving the early media prognostications correct by so destroying its own candidates that Ms. Clinton can win in a walk – assuming she can actually get by Mr. Sanders and the impending likelihood that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will recommend her indictment on crimes involving the misuse of top secret documents and the use of her office to further the fortunes of her husband and their Clinton Foundation. That is not to say that President Barack Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, will accept the recommendations. Under Mr. Obama, the Department of Justice has proven to be one of the most politically driven institutions in Washington – protecting Mr. Obama’s friends and harassing his detractors.

First, as in the previous two presidential primaries (2008 and 2012) the Republican contestants drew themselves into a circular firing squad and began to provide the Democrats with all of the campaign footage necessary to destroy the eventual survivor. With the exception of Mr. Paul and Mr. Pataki, there was no material difference in the policy proposals for the remaining candidates – even the bluster of Mr. Trump was, in reality, a “shot across the bow” to set the point from which negotiations for a solution should begin. Because there is so little difference in the policy positions, the candidates parsed the utterances and actions of their opponents by taking words out of context, using half-truths, and fabrications of reality in direct contradiction to the truth (back in my hometown, we called that “lying”). So regular has this ritual of self-destruction become for the Republican political class that even the last victim of its excesses – Gov. Mitt Romney – has joined in to savage Mr. Trump. (And what is Mr. Romney’s main criticism of Mr. Trump? Why that he is successful – the very thing the Democrats, relying on the very words from Mr. Romney’s Republican primary opponents, used to defeat Mr. Romney in the general election. Shame on you Mr. Romney.)

Next, the financial insiders who exchange donations for assurance that there will be no adverse changes began to panic when they saw Mr. Trump surge. Mr. Trump is so rich that they could not get their hooks into him – he was virtually immune from the “pay to play” culture that permeates Washington and encompasses Democrats and Republicans alike. By and large they were agnostic towards the remaining contestants because they knew that each of them needed to come to them to finance their campaigns. Because the financiers are upset, the leadership of the Republican Party, all of whom are beholden to the financiers, is upset and has turned the organs of the party over to those who oppose Mr. Trump. So mindless is their fear of Mr. Trump they have reluctantly turned to Mr. Cruz, whom they despise, as their champion. Even though being in the same room as Mr. Cruz causes them to cringe they know he is dependent on them for financing and, therefore, will succumb –as he already has – to the “pay to play” requirement of the political insiders.

[Democrats may feel smug in watching this unfold but they suffer from the same problem. Ms. Clinton represents the “insiders” in the Democrat party and the money from the rich has flowed freely to the Clintons in the form of campaign contributions, support for the Clinton Foundation and payments directly to Mr. and Ms. Clinton for “speeches.” And those same insiders are dismayed that a nobody like Mr. Sanders can raise millions in donations from the working class and that he continues to run neck and neck with Ms. Clinton in the primary contests – that is with the exception of the “super delegates who represent the special interests already bought and paid for with tax dollars by the Democrat “insiders.” The only real difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that the Democrats have “photo opted” their leadership with representatives of the special interest groups they purport to represent and for whom they have used taxpayer funds to secure their loyalty. These representatives have no real power and even less choice because should they desert the power structure of the Democrat Party, they will loose the source of their own livelihoods – taxpayer funded grants, programs and support.]

Despite the bogus attempts by Democrats (promoted by a collaborative mainstream media) – the war on women, cutting of social security to grandma, pushing the poor over the “welfare cliff” – there is nothing wrong with the Republican platform – job creation, smaller more efficient government, and a strong national security. What is wrong with the Republican Party is its leadership – the politicians and those who finance the politicians. They have become so focused on the preservation of power that they have lost touch with the people whom they purport to represent. As a result nothing gets done and those who finance the status quo are happy. But those who suffer from taxes that are too high and too complicated, from good jobs lost to the Bush/Obama recession and never recovered, from Obamacare that never delivered a single one of its promises but has resulted in higher costs, less choices through bureaucratic controls, and no appreciable increase in coverage that could not have been accomplished by raising the threshold for Medicaid to the same level as Obamacare, the effects of the recession remain. But the very wealthy who finance the Democrat and Republican parties have seen their wealth, power and control increase dramatically.

There is nothing wrong with the Republican Party but there is something terribly wrong with its leadership. There is nothing wrong with the Republican Party that a good house cleaning couldn’t fix. Because the Republican leadership has virtually destroyed the chances of defeating Ms. Clinton, they are likely to witness either that dramatic house cleaning, or more likely, the future irrelevancy of the Republican Party as now constituted. Gov. Jindal suggested during one of the primary debates that failure of the Republican leadership to address the pressing problems of the country may result in the creation of a whole new party. Hopefully, Mr. Jindal is giving thought as to how to organize and populate that party. I would suggest they shun the current “insiders” and develop a party populated by mainstreet business owners, skilled workers (including the unions representing portions of the private business workforce) and the growing population of lawful immigrants, as they now embody the American dream by their hard work, sacrifice and entrepreneurial dedication.

And the best place to start is to refuse to vote for any candidate – Republican or Democrat – whose name now, or previously, begins with Senator.


  • HBguy

    With some changes, this could have been written by a Sanders supporter.
    The points made by Mr. Huss are fundamentally correct. The voters, including the average Democrat and Republican and the more and less informed independents, believe that our election system has been corrupted. That elections don’t result in the best candidates winning.
    More and more people feel like they have to vote for the least bad candidate because they’re all bought and paid for by their donor bases.
    And that ain’t us.
    Mr. Huss says the reason Trump is dangerous is because he’s self funded and politics are so expensive, only self funded pols can afford to tell the truth and make the hard/correct changes. If so, and as a left of center moderate I agree with that theory, then doesn’t it follow that we need to break the connection between big money and winning elections? Is Mr. Huss ready to support efforts to overturn citizens united? Or establish taxpayer funded public finnacing for qualified candidates (My motto: If politicians are going to be bought, shouldn’t the taxpayers be the one buying them?)

  • DavidAppell

    Larry wrote:
    “Of that sixteen, eight (Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), business woman Carly Fiorina (R), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI)), could have beaten former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) in a walk.”

    Larry, Larry, Larry….. You are one of the worst pundits I have ever read.

    Jindal couldn’t have beat a toothpick — he left his state in a disastrous mess. Rick Perry has always been clueless and, well, not very intelligtent, as the electorate recognized immediately. Walker — too mean. Rubio — too cute. Fiorina — don’t make me laugh. Bush — out of his daddy’s league.

    Kasich — maybe (but I doubt i). In any case, he is far too sane for what you thought was your party.

    • .

      Appell, maggot, you emanate like one slick pupae with a Clinton mind.

    • MrBill

      The really surprising thing is the the best candidates never got much traction. I think any of the governors (of which there were many) would have been great candidates due to their prior executive experience. Even though they don’t have DavidAppell’s personal stamp of approval, every one of them stands head and shoulders above Clinton or Der Commissar.

  • DavidAppell

    Larry wrote:
    “…there is nothing wrong with the Republican platform – job creation…”

    This is why you’re a bad pundit, Larry — you don’t understand, or ever offer, evidence.

    Wanna compare job growth under recent Republican and Democratric presidents? I dare you to gather those statistics — which are trivial to find:

  • Jack Lord God

    Essentially correct but not exactly a revelation. The general public, on both sides, feels Washington and both Dem and Rep leadership are totally out of touch with reality and concerned with preserving their wealth and power.

    Dems are a little further behind than Reps on this one, mostly because they have not been betrayed for as long a time by their leadership. Regardless, both sides are outraged, even if they have vastly different prescriptions for a solution.

    Bernie proposes a lot of free stuff, Donald proposes blaming trade agreements and illegal aliens.

    Really neither are at all serious. At this stage of the game if you are a party believer, on either side, you are a complete idiot. Both sides grow government in order to cement power and expand their own wealth. Neither gives a crap about you.

  • Bob Clark

    U.S. presidential elections have often been somewhat chaotic, and this one in particularly is most entertaining. The GOP has stepped up and said effectively: ‘out with the old established order, with NO to a Bush 3 (unless chicanery at GOP convention). ‘

    Trump is a re-introduction of “animal spirits” into our political economy. It’s a bit of a rough analogy of mythical fame: But too me, Trump is like the “box of chocolates;” you just don’t know what you’re going to get.

  • GObill sizemore

    I usually nod my head in agreement when I read Larry’s columns. Not this time. I think I first starting shaking my head in disagreement when, after carefully setting the stage by explaining how flawed a candidate Hillary Clinton is, Mr. Huss said that Romney’s main criticism of Donald Trump was “that he is successful.” What???

    I watched Mitt Romney’s anti-Trump speech more than once. I listened carefully to everything Mitt said and agreed with pretty much every word even while I was wondering if he should have been saying them. At no time, however, did I get the impression that Mitt was attacking Trump on the grounds that he has been “too successful.” What Romney said in several different ways is that Donald Trump lacks the depth of knowledge regarding public policy, the experience, the class, the character and the demeanor to be the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. I do not believe Mitt Romney deserved disdain for saying what the majority of Republican voters were thinking.

    There is actually much less mystery to all this than Mr. Huss suggests, If you want to explain why the Republican primaries have sunk so low and why there has been so much meanness and nastiness, you can reduce it all to one word, Trump. Donald Trump has dragged his fellows down into the gutter with his vitriol, with his insults and personal attacks. His narcissism and arrogance, which many have mistakenly seen as disdain for political correctness, are the source of the meanness that has infected the entire primary field.

    But while Trump may be the root cause of the nastiness, he is not the root cause of the Republican Party’s problems. Trump has only revealed the rottenness that has been festering just below the surface. Tough times reveal character more than they shape it. Our tough times as a nation and as a Party have revealed how vastly disconnected our politicians are from the people they govern and just how little we matter to them other than on election day.

    I think it is safe to say that our entire political system is broken. The fact that Sanders and Clinton are the only two serious presidential candidates the Democrats have put forward reveals just how shallow the Dem bench is right now. It is literally insane that this is the best the Democrats have put forward. If that were not enough, it is even more insane that both of them poll as potential winners over Republicans in November.

    On the other side of the coin, in my estimation, Donald Trump is genuinely nuts. It is hard to say what he needs most, better political consultants to keep him from shooting from the his so flippantly or a team of psychologists to help him deal with his Id issues. Yet here he is, only inches from securing the Republican nomination. Why is that? If we are to believe the hue and cry from rank and file Republican voters, Party leadership has so utterly failed to govern consistent with Republican principles and has so blatantly ignored the needs of working Americans that even someone as lacking in presidential qualities as Donald Trump is capable of launching a powerful movement whose battle cry can be reduced simply to, “Burn it down. Burn it all down!”

    I agree with Larry that is is entirely possible that all of the remaining Republican candidates have been so tainted by the insults and personal attacks that none of them can win in November, though I am not sure we are there yet. However, I am almost to the place where I would predict that nobody currently running on either side will be on the final ballot this Fall. It is, in my opinion, likely that the FBI investigation will conclude with such a strong recommendation that Hillary be indicted that she will be replaced at the convention with Biden or Warren or both. And on the other side, the Republicans will on the third or fourth ballot choose someone undamaged by all of the vitriol of the primaries and thus leave us with two major party candidates not currently under consideration by either side.

    I just can’t imagine both parties nominating someone that a strong majority of Americans don’t like or trust. And that is where our current course may take us. So look for something to change by the end of summer. In the final analysis, Republicans may be too weak and timid to change courses, but I doubt the Democrats are. Democrats after all play to win. Republicans on the other hand play just to be liked or not to be described by the media as being mean or unfair.

    When the dust settles, this may be the most bizarre election in American history. I just pray that somehow by the grace of God we get it right in the end, because this is the worst time possible to screw it all up.