The Twilight of the Republican Elite?

Frank Bruni: “Donald Trump’s stamina and the ascendance of Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina suggest as much. The three of them, who have led national polls since mid-September, aren’t just political outsiders, which is the label hung on them most frequently. For Republicans (and perhaps for Democrats, too) this is a season of rebellion, as the chaos in the House of Representatives vividly illustrates. A consequential share of the Republican majority there have made it clear that they will not bow to precedent, not follow any conventional script, not have anyone foisted on them.”

“Those bomb throwers are mirrors of the voters who are saying no to Jeb Bush, no to Chris Christie, no to John Kasich, no to anyone who was once or could soon be the darling of the northeastern Acela corridor. And they’re pointing the Republican primary in a genuinely unpredictable direction.”

FavoriteLoadingSave to Favorites
Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone
  • APV

    It now appears that Rubio could become the establishment-candidate, but he is just back at 10% where he started immediately after announcement – long way to go. If Cruz wins IA and Trump wins NH, and SC becomes a showdown between those two, I am not sure who the establishment would back.

    • Jimofthejungle

      I think all the Establishment candidates are in for a rude awaking. As Chris Matthews says, “the dog doesn’t like the dog food”
      Which means the GOP is either going to get a novice, a revolt, or both.

      • Silent_Partner

        Goldwater 2016 redux, lol. Ironic that HRC worked on that campaign and will be on the other end of the domination this time around.

  • marktrail


    • abctefg


      • growe

        Küdos for üsing the ümlaüt!!! Very funny!

        • CaptainCommonsense

          Umlauts are KVLT, and METAL… =)

  • oldhandatthis

    Everybody talks about whether or not the tea party Republicans will accept this or that or any establishment Republican as their nominee, but the flip side of the coin is equally true, if somebody like Cruz is nominated there may not be a hue and cry from the establishment wing of the party but that doesn’t mean their votes will be cast reliably Republican on election day.

  • NorthboroughDan

    Has it occurred to anyone that the establishment candidates are doing poorly simply because they are weak weak weak? They make Mitt look brilliant.

    • Silent_Partner

      I’ve said this from the start. It’s a disaster.

  • LordDart

    “And they’re pointing the Republican primary in a genuinely unpredictable direction.”

    No, it’s pretty predictable…it’s called…an unelectable nominee

  • “And perhaps for Democrats too,” he bothsidesed ritualistically

  • Coterie

    “,,,a consequential share…”

    Not a majority. Not even a strong minority. But consequential because few if any of the others in their party are willing to put principle before tenure.

    If the other 200 Rs would simply act in concert to do the right thing, the dysfunction would be over in a flash. And they would attract strong support from many directions.

    • hipsteriac

      They have no idea what the “right thing” is. After spending seven years doing nothing but trying to kill Obamacare and obsessing over Benghazi, my impression is they are absolutely bewildered as to what, in the words of Obama today, they are for, as opposed to against.

  • growe

    The strangest thing among the GOP establishment is failure to take any first steps.

    If you realize you’re drinking too much, you take first steps. Stop keeping hard stuff in your home, pick two nights a week that you don’t have a drink, ask a friend or partner to speak up if you go for a second drink or beer to ask yourslef “do I need this? why do I automatically reach for the bottle again?”

    The Democrats needed 5 out of 6 ass-kickings not to squash the Dem Leadership Council when it formed and started pushing for a new approach to national politics. It didn’t solve every problem but it did turn away from McGovern-Mondale-Dukakis stumbles that were proving they would never succeed.

    You would think the establishment would be doing triage. “War-mongering is backfiring, as of today we’ll press our preferred candidates to stop hitting the War button…” or maybe “we really need to win some Latino/a and women voters back…. as of today, we’ll lean on our preferred candidates to hide their racism and misogyny like Reagan and Bushes used to do….”

    There was chatter in that direction from the 2012 autopsy, but it turns out, when you stoke hatred in your base and let your extremists set your agenda, no one listens to strategic or rational thinking.

    • embo66

      “You would think the establishment would be doing triage.”

      But what defines “the establishment” these days? At best, it’s the Old School / Big Money types (in either party) who want to win elections even more than they want to stick to policy goals or prove a point.

      So Problem #1 for the GOP establishment: They keep winning other elections. Yes, it’s only with 40% or less of the electorate even voting, but that doesn’t make their wins or their power — in statehouses, governors mansions, the House or the Senate — any less real. Even more centrist establishment types look at these results and think, “Well, we’ve gotten this far already, even after shutting down the government . . . Why change?”

      Problem #2? All the crazies — Trump, Carson, Cruz, etc. — keep leading in all the polls. So establishment folks are deeply worried they can’t win without the wingnuts . . . even if they also realize they probably can’t win WITH them, either.

  • Phaedrus

    I’m sure a few political defeats will make a bunch of egotistical, sociopathic billionaires sit down and play nice.

  • docb

    33% of the US electorate affiliate as republican..of those 23% and dropping are vocally supporting dumpster, 14% the retired Dr. , and 9% the failed CEO… Those are not numbers to win a General election but they do appease the part of the electorate that are addicted to lies and in denial. Sadly!!!

  • Silent_Partner

    This crash and burn will be spectacular and beautiful.

  • pbrower2a

    Sow the whirlwind of populist ignorance in political life, and reap the consequences.

  • fortunev

    Good riddance. One must shovel the manure from the stable from time to time.