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.