Why the GOP ‘Establishment’ Keeps Growing

I’ve never worked in politics or government. I’ve never run for public office, and I don’t have any friends who are politicians. I’ve been to Washington DC before, but just once; it was on a family vacation.

I’d say I’m about as far removed from the world of lobbyists, power brokers, and super PACs that a person could possibly be, but despite all of that, I am part of “The Establishment.”

How do I know this? It’s because whenever I voice criticisms of Donald Trump or those promoting him, that’s what I’m told.

It’s not just anonymous Internet trolls that are telling me (and many like me) this. It’s also national media figures — specifically those who’ve been using their television and radio platforms throughout the presidential campaign to promote, normalize, and apologize for their clear candidate of choice: Mr. Trump.

For example, just yesterday on Twitter, I criticized Fox News host Eric Bolling for his ongoing, impassioned, on-air defenses of Trump. His compulsory response was to call yours truly part of —  you guessed it —  “The Establishment.”.

Bolling even went to the trouble of creating a nifty little hashtag for me (and Bernie, who’s  apparently also part of “The Establishment”): #BernieGoldbergEstablishmentApologistGroup. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? I suppose I should be flattered.

But really, it’s Bolling who’s a member of very distinguishable group of individuals within the news media. I won’t bother trying to come up with a name for them, but what sets them aside is that they are self-described conservative commentators who just happen to have longtime, personal friendships with Donald Trump. And up until their billionaire buddy threw his big red hat into the presidential ring last summer, they were also united in their very vocal belief that the biggest problem with the Republican Party has been that its leaders aren’t sufficiently conservative.

Now, somehow, that’s no longer much of a concern to them. After all, Trump isn’t a conservative (or even close to being a conservative), but they’ve devoted themselves to the success of his candidacy nonetheless. They’ve become cheerleaders for the very type of individual they would have been calling a “RINO” nine months ago.

What’s their explanation? Well, they really haven’t offered one. And many longtime fans and observers of their commentary have not only noticed, but have also brought the discrepancy to their attention (both on the Internet and on the air). This has left these commentators in somewhat of a bind, as more and more people are wondering how ideological purists could have suddenly let themselves be drawn away from their stated principles, and into a cult of personality — one not all that different than what we saw back in 2008 with presidential candidate, Barack Obama.

While bias derived from cronyism is the logical culprit, don’t expect any of them to admit that. I’m not even convinced some of them could admit it to themselves. What they’ve done instead is find a convenient scapegoat for their stark change in behavior: The Establishment.

I’ve always had some trouble determining exactly who makes up “The Establishment” — this imperialistic-sounding entity we hear about so often on cable news. My understanding, at the beginning of this election season, was that the term applied to the Washington DC establishment, as in the president, congress, the national committees, lobbyists, big donors, etc —  you know, powerful decision-makers at the federal government level. That usage of the phrase at least made some sense to me.

A few months back, however, when Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina began to rise in the polls, the term was somehow modified in the media and in campaign rhetoric to extend to pretty much anyone who had ever served in public office. That was the case in the Republican Party, anyway. Strangely, “The Establishment” suddenly included state governors and even U.S. Senate “outsiders” like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who have famously butted heads with leaders among the previous incarnation of “The Establishment.”

And that wasn’t the end of it. In an attempt by the aforementioned conservative commentators to run interference for their pro-Trump conversion, several have recently co-opted the term in order to expand it once again. As best I can gather, “The Establishment” now encompasses every Republican (leader or mere voter) who doesn’t want Donald Trump to become their party’s nominee.

Over and over again in recent weeks (on television and in print) I’ve seen this label applied to anti-Trump sentiment: It’s “The Establishment” that doesn’t want Donald as the nominee. It’s “The Establishment” that’s behind the #NeverTrump movement. It’s “The Establishment” that’s scared of President Trump.

The bottom line? If you’re an anti-Trump Republican, you’re part of “The Establishment.” End of story.

The reality, however, is that nearly two-thirds of the Republican base don’t want Trump as the nominee. A lot of conservatives don’t want Trump because they think he’s unprincipled and instinctively liberal. A lot of voters don’t want Trump because they don’t like his conduct, judgement and temperament. A lot of people don’t want Trump because they’re concerned about his lack of knowledge on big issues.

Do these people really make up “The Establishment?” Of course not. These are valid, organic concerns —  concerns that by no means make the people who have them part of some power-mad institution.

I think Trump’s advocates in the media understand this, but because they can’t rationalize the abandonment of their own conservative principles (or even their prior sense of decency in some cases), all they can do is try and conceal the transition. To do so, they’ve chosen an alternate, righteous leg to stand on: “The Establishment” narrative.

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In going to war with this continually redefined boogeyman, these commentators are the heroes — rebel forces fighting an empire for the small guy. What brought these warriors to the battlefield in the first place suddenly becomes unimportant —  or so they hope.

It’s all very confusing, but the real confusion has to lie with those who were sold on the old rhetoric: that full-blooded, lockstep conservatism was the answer to saving the country. The same commentators who literally spent years convincing people of that are now berating those same people for having been convinced. That sure seems messed up to me. No wonder the party is in chaos.

Maybe all of this zaniness will sort itself out at some point. In the meantime, I need to get this Establishment column posted and put my Establishment kids to bed, pay off some Establishment bills, and catch up on some Establishment television shows. Good night, everyone.




“His Highness, King Barack the First” and “Obama in Wonderland”

How is it that Obama gets to decide how ObamaCare will be administered? As he keeps saying, it’s the law of the land. So where does he get off unilaterally granting waivers to his supporters while forcing everyone else to abide by the rules? And how is it that the GOP hasn’t forced the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of what he’s doing? No one is going to convince me that he has the legal authority to grant waivers to big businesses while forcing individuals to toe the line.

Obama reminds me of the sort of sneak who goes around cheating on his wife. When he’s on TV, talking to crowds of the working class and the underclass, he pretends to be a blue collar guy. He’s invariably in shirt sleeves, with the sleeves rolled up as if he’s about to work on a car engine or an assembly line, dropping his “g’s” as if he never made it through high school, let alone college or law school.

And just who are those mooks who are always standing on stage behind him, ready to laugh and clap on cue, just like those shills getting minimum wage to fill the seats at TV cooking shows?

But when he’s not in front of the TV cameras, Obama spends all his time playing footsies with the rich and powerful, whether on the links or at $35,000-a-plate dinners. Those are the people getting waivers from the Affordable Care Act. Democrats always claim to be the party of the underprivileged, but it’s no accident that under Obama, the lower 93 % of the population have seen their wealth decrease by about five percent, while the fortunate few have seen their wealth increase by 30%.

The truth is, liberals aren’t really concerned with guns; it’s law-abiding gun owners they despise. That’s because they know that most of them are conservatives. Otherwise, they would make a real effort to disarm inner city punks, who never register their weapons, but commit most of the cold-blooded murders in America. At the very least, they would add years to the sentences of felons who use guns in the commission of their crimes. But that’s a non-starter for criminal defense attorneys, who are major donors to the DNC.

At the very least, you would think that liberals would refrain from embarrassing themselves by insisting that if only there were stricter gun laws, gun violence would fade away. Chicago and Washington, D.C., two cities run entirely by Democrats, have two things in common: the strictest gun laws in the nation, and two of the highest murder rates. I suppose you could safely list a third; namely, the most corrupt politicians this side of Iran.

For all their blather about gun violence, it’s the liberals who account for most of it. Not only are most street criminals registered Democrats, it was Bill Clinton who decided that military bases should be gun-free zones, making him an accessory to the murders committed by Nidal Hasan and Aaron Alexis at Fort Hood and the Navy Yard.

It might be a good idea if all so-called gun-free zones, including schools, malls and movie theaters began posting those little yellow signs we’ve all become accustomed to, indicating to drivers where pedestrians and deer might be expected to cross a road. The ones I have in mind would depict a group of sitting ducks.

What astonishes me about liberals is that they don’t seem to have a threshold when it comes to embarrassment. Whether it’s Dianne Feinstein caught packing a heater in her purse, the House and Senate Democrats excluding themselves from ObamaCare or Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn) explaining to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn), in 2010, why Corker’s proposal that borrowers be required to make a 5% down payment in order to qualify for a home loan was a foolish idea: “Passage of such a requirement would restrict home ownership to only those who can afford it.”

Finally, it’s not just the politicians who are creating all the mischief in the world. The World Council of Churches, which is nearly as left-wing as the Politburo, recently organized a four-day conference in Volad, Greece, where the discussions centered around Israel, which it decided is an occupying power guilty of oppressing the Palestinians. The Council did everything but declare a fatwa against the Jews.

They were joined by England’s senior Catholic, the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, in demonizing Israel for its harsh treatment of Palestinians, with nary a word about Hamas, about suicide bombings, the kidnapping and torturing of Israeli soldiers or even their hatred of Christianity!

The Geneva-based Council referred repeatedly to Israel’s security wall – actually a fence – without ever mentioning the reason for its existence; namely, the suicide-bombing of discos, pizza parlors and school buses by their vile neighbors.

Frankly, I was surprised that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wasn’t the keynote speaker at the conference, but I guess the old puppet master was busy elsewhere, pulling the strings of his new and improved Pinocchio, Hasan Rhuhani.

Obama in Wonderland

When Alice followed the White Rabbit down the hole, she got to meet a very strange group of individuals. Besides the Rabbit, who was always in a hurry and had a pocket watch to remind him he was late, she encountered a dormouse, a blue caterpillar, the obnoxious Queen of Hearts and a host of other very boring oddities. For the life of me, I never understood why anyone ever claimed to enjoy the book. I always figured those were the same people who pretended they thought the madcap comedies the Marx Brothers churned out for Paramount were funny.

But for weird characters, I don’t think the gang in Wonderland could hold a candle to the bunch currently running the world. Take Pope Francis. For all I know, he may be a nice guy, but I personally wouldn’t trust him to bring potato chips to a tailgate party. I mean, it’s one thing for him to say that he opposes military action in Syria or anywhere else. One expects religious leaders to suggest that diplomacy and negotiations are always the way to settle things. However, when he goes on to say “Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake,” Pope or no Pope, I’m throwing a penalty flag.

I mean, really?! Well, perhaps because he was born in Buenos Aires in 1936, and Argentina, having been a place of refuge for Nazis after WWII, Francis has a skewed view of past events. But I would suggest that the employment of violence against Nazi Germany brought a great deal of peace to a great many people.

I am also a bit surprised that, having no doubt heard that the jihadists in Syria had beheaded one of his priests and paraded a number of his nuns through the streets, it would have at least earned the Islamists a stern rebuke from His Holiness.

But when passing out insults to people in high places, one should never overlook our own self-proclaimed messiah. After warning Assad about red lines for over six months, His Schmoliness announced that he didn’t set the red line. Of course not. The world set it. Congress set it. I fully expected him to say that Malia and Sasha had set it while fooling around on Martha’s Vineyard. “Those darn kids! You have to keep your eye on them every doggone minute. Just last week, I caught them up in Sasha’s room passing around the nuclear football.”

According to John Kerry, some of the Arab states have offered to defray the costs of an attack on Assad. But, naturally, we wouldn’t take a dime from them. We also didn’t get any money or free oil for defending Kuwait, deposing Saddam Hussein or fighting the Taliban for the past decade. Just because we act like mercenaries doesn’t mean we want anyone to think we are mercenaries. Besides, our economy is flourishing. We’re rolling in money. That’s why we keep gift-wrapping our tax dollars and sending them off to our enemies.

If you actually listen to what Democrats say — and why would you? — it can drive you nuts. Not too long ago, Kerry called Bashar al-Assad a generous man and Hillary Clinton reported that he was a reformer. But lunacy on the left is a contagious disease. Why else would Obama keep referring to our common interests with Russia, unless he was finally confessing that, like Putin, he, too, would like nothing better than to destroy America?

Getting back to things nuclear, it recently occurred to me that our nuclear arsenal serves no actual purpose except that by periodically diminishing its size, left-wing presidents can appease both Russia and their liberal base.

But even conservatives aren’t perfect. For one thing, they tend to be too nice. Liberals hit them with every name in the book, and far too often conservatives respond by saying, “Sorry, I won’t do it again.

Instead, they should be confronting liberals, including friends and relatives, and responding in kind. Sitting back and taking it doesn’t make them morally superior, as they seem to believe; it makes them wusess and traitors to their cause.

It won’t tilt the world off its axis if conservatives start giving the morons a piece of their mind. For one thing, we can afford to be generous. For another, they are sorely lacking and need all the pieces they can get.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.




Life Under Obama

When liberals insist that the reason Obama is faring so badly in the polls is because most of us are racists, does it never occur to them that they’re like the boy who cried “Wolf!”?

Let us say that, unlike Michael Bloomberg, Henry Waxman and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, you’re not a career politician, but merely a run-of-the-mill Democrat. Wouldn’t it ever occur to you to wonder why it is that if we’re all racists, how it is that Obama won the election three years ago? And how is it that a guy who’s much blacker than Obama, Herman Cain, is doing so well with conservatives? And how is it that the likes of Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, Ward Connerly, Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas and Allen West, are universally liked and admired by Republicans?

Why aren’t white liberals repulsed when such corrupt public figures as Maxine Waters, Charles Rangel, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, take it upon themselves to determine who is “authentically black”? Inasmuch as liberals constantly repeat Martin Luther King’s admonition that people be judged on the basis of their character and not their pigmentation, how is it that in their circles decent character is inevitably trumped by party affiliation?

When I think of liberals, both in and out of public office, I’m reminded that Groucho Marx once cracked, “These are my principles and if you don’t like them, I have others.”

One of the amazing things about those on the Left is that they switch words around so often that it’s hard to keep track of what they’re blathering about. People got so upset with ACORN once they discovered that the group was quite happy to help fund a brothel that was going to be populated by underage Guatemalan girls that they insisted that their tax dollars no longer be allocated for their loathsome activities. No problem. ACORN simply changed its name.

When the scandal at East Anglia revolving around scientists destroying evidence that suggested that “global warming” was a hoax came out, Al Gore and his enablers, reluctant to allow their favorite cash cow to be slaughtered, simply started referring to “climate change”.

When American taxpayers finally had enough of Obama and his crew trying to raise taxes during a recession, a move that Senator Obama had insisted was goofy, and a move that helped prolong the Great Depression when FDR did that very thing twice during the 1930s, the liberals simply started referring to taxes as fees and revenues. For an example of the way that taxes are raised without our having to sit down in April and write a check to the IRS, consider that $61 of a $400 roundtrip ticket on an airline goes straight to the feds. Here in California, when the rest of the country was whining about gasoline going for $3.70-a-gallon, we were paying well over four dollars, all thanks to Jerry Brown and his band of merry fee collectors in Sacramento.

Recently, radio talk show host Dennis Prager pointed out that people are not, as some lunkheads insist, basically good. Even babies, he said, aren’t good; they are merely innocent. If they were good, they would occasionally say to themselves, “Mom and Dad are really tired. Even though I’m hungry and a little thirsty, I’ll let them sleep.” It led me to realize that not only was Prager absolutely right, but that liberals and babies have a great deal in common. Like babies, liberals will holler and whine whenever they want something, fully expecting the government to feed them, clothe them and change their nappies.

Actually, you could say that Obama will likely go down in history as the Family President. After all, none of his predecessors ever did as much to keep the family unit intact. First off, Obama saw to it that people would remain on their parent’s health insurance policies until they reached the rather advanced age of 26. Then, because Obama’s economic policies have destroyed the job market, he saw to it that young college grads had no option but to move back in with their parents. That is why you now see so many morose middle-aged parents breaking out those old “Child on Board” cards and sticking them in the back window of their SUVs.

Finally, if you’ve ever wondered what the Augean Stables were, wonder no longer. It seems that King Augeas owned a herd of 3,000 oxen. For reasons I’m not clear about, he neglected to have the stables cleaned out on a weekly, monthly or even yearly, basis. In fact, by the time he thought about it, 30 years had flown by. So when he told Hercules to take care of it, it wasn’t simply a matter of breaking out a hoe and a hose. Faced with this seemingly impossible task, Hercules did what most of us wouldn’t have even considered. I, myself, would have burned the place down. He, on the other hand, simply diverted the Alpheus River to run through the stables and wash away several tons of accumulated oxen poop.

Reading about it got me to thinking that after January 20, 2013, someone should bring Hercules out of retirement so he can divert the Potomac and tidy up the White House.


©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write Burt!

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