Last night you might have seen Donald Trump getting interviewed by Greta Van Susteren on Fox News. If you didn’t, here’s a clip…
Say what you want about Trump, but he doesn’t sound like a politician. He sounds like a real human being. Sure, he’s arrogant and sure, he displays about as superficial a command of complicated policy issues as the drunk at the end of the bar. But he doesn’t equivocate, he doesn’t speak in jargon or platitudes and he doesn’t hide his dissatisfaction with the weak politics of the Republican Party today.
Matt Latimer at POLITICO has a must-read piece about what Trump is doing to the DC Republican establishment and how the party’s voters are more than happy to watch him swing his sword all over the place…
To many voters, rightly or wrongly, Trump is the antidote to years of Washington’s cynical, manufactured outrages, the petty punishments of those who deviated from the party line, its broken promises, meaningless “show votes,” careful, poll-tested politician speak and a multitude of backroom deals that have solved exactly zero of our nation’s problems. How deliciously humiliating it must be for the political pros of DC. The guy who somberly handed out goofy busywork assignments to people like Stephen Baldwin and the star of Sharknado on “Celebrity Apprentice” has just wandered in, delivered a few speeches off the top of his head and totally taken over the presidential race without breaking a sweat.
Unlike the DC crowd, Trump knows something about building “brands”—and for now at least he has one that sells. The business guy who can’t be bought. The iconoclast who won’t be controlled. The unrepentant loudmouth who will tell the Boehners and Pelosis and Putins and Kim Jong Uns of the world to stuff it. The quip machine—or insult generator if you prefer—who stands in sharp contrast to the dry, safe, meaningless drivel that passes for most political discourse today.
Intentionally or not, Trump also lets people in on the little DC secrets that those inside the Beltway wouldn’t dare share with regular America. He’s exposed, for example, the fact that office seekers like Rick Perry sucked up to him for millions before he started attacking him. Or that politicians like Lindsey Graham have turned to him for help to get on various TV programs. Or pointing out that the wife of a well-respected political pundit on Fox News works for rival Scott Walker.
Because he is defiantly not a part of the political class, he is impervious to conventional political weaponry. In fact, the attitude of the DC class toward his candidacy—temper tantrums and bouts of monumental arrogance—is only making him stronger.
Trump is skewering an establishment that needs to be skewered. My American Spectator column yesterday was about the failure of the party’s Congressional leadership to actually do anything about Obama and his serial ruination of the American republic – which has only gotten worse since the weak leaders in the House and Senate gave away their leverage…
Considering that one element of the impeachment charges filed against Richard Nixon was the attempted abuse of the IRS, the Congressional reaction to this information — which wasn’t released to the public until Judicial Watch was able to pry it loose with a Freedom of Information lawsuit — ought to be to dismantle the agency. Congress has the power of the purse, after all; just defund the IRS completely until a special prosecutor is named to go after everyone involved in the targeting scandal.
Yes, but this can’t be done, say our betters in the leadership, because the president won’t cooperate and will veto any spending bills that don’t include full funding for the IRS and every one of his other governmental priorities (including Planned Parenthood, which we will get to shortly).
Precisely. And why is this the end of the conversation? Because Boehner and McConnell both pledged never to cause a government shutdown again, a pre-emptive surrender that has signaled to the president he will win every fight he wants to simply by finding ways to make policy around Congress. This surrender was born out of the myth that the 2013 government shutdown over Obamacare “damaged” the Republican Party, something widely discussed as axiomatic in Washington despite the fact the party gained eight Senate seats and a few seats in the House in the 2014 elections.
The voters who entrusted the GOP with its current majorities have noticed Failure Theater and do not approve, which is the primary explanation for the current Donald Trump boomlet and the Republican Party’s progressive downturn in approval despite the unpopularity of this president.
The arrogance of the administration has taken a dramatic upward trajectory ever since the shutdown was taken off the table late last year.
The Obama administration’s lawlessness reached a pinnacle last week after videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses began to surface. The videos, shot by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group following the proven drip-drip-drip media model perfected by James O’Keefe during his 2009 ACORN takedown, should have the same catastrophic effect on an even bigger target collecting some half-billion dollars in federal funding per year.
In the Senate, amendments to de-fund Planned Parenthood were filed but not passed. Meanwhile, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was confirmed thanks to 10 Republican Senate votes, announced she would be launching an investigation as a result of the videos… into their producers.
So when evidence of illegal activity by a constituent organization within the Democratic Party’s constellation is produced, this administration investigates the whistleblower. And does so in broad daylight.
Nothing is done about it.
Today, we have even more of the patented Failure Theater in Congress, this time in the form of the House conservatives’ attempts to remove Boehner as leader. Kevin Boyd called this for what it is, a gimmick and a waste of time. Like Trump says, there is no action. John Boehner isn’t going anywhere until somebody – most likely Rep. Jim Jordan, who would be a terrific Speaker and could be expected to promote a far more aggressive agenda – actually steps forward and stands for Boehner’s job.
The conservative electorate is disgusted with the squandering of its votes to put Republicans in office in DC, and it’s disgusted with the effect of that squandering; namely, the runaway abuses of the Obama administration and the country’s drift into a frightening cultural, social and geopolitical decline.
Nobody is willing to offer anything but empty posturing and meaningless talk. And because of that, Trump looks statesmanlike.
We’ve said over and over that Donald Trump isn’t going to be the GOP nominee and his boomlet will end eventually. That’s still our position. Someone else, perhaps Ted Cruz and perhaps Scott Walker, is going to take a few lessons from what Trump is currently doing and use those lessons to capture the spirit of the electorate in a winning message.
But forget about Trump vs. the GOP presidential field. Right now the real conflict inside the Republican Party is Trump vs. the DC political establishment as personified by the congressional leadership. That’s what the public is responding to, and that’s where Trump is really winning.