Dr. McConnell and Mr. Trump (Part I)
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hate to say “I told you so,” but….
Alright, enough of the false modesty. Let’s start again.
AHEM! What was that I was saying eight months ago about Donald Trump being the Republican Party establishment’s perfect front man in this year of strong challenges to its power from the grassroots conservative movement? A totally unprincipled cipher ready to be jerked around like a marionette by the only people he knows in Washington — the progressive establishmentarians (left and right) — all the while appealing, with his “brash” and “blunt” (read vulgar and moronic) manner to a certain kind of grassroots voter, namely one so blinded by anger against the status quo that he’s ready to take advice from Roger Stone, to find wisdom in Alex Jones, to make excuses for bigots and “nationalists,” and generally to renege on all his former principles in the name of a few clever but disingenuous slogans from the mouth of a megalomaniacal blowhard (who happens to be a TV star).
When I looked at Trump’s political donation history, I found that his three biggest beneficiaries since he started donating to Republicans had been Mitch McConnell (up to just a few months before announcing his presidential run), Karl Rove, and John Boehner. The Trump cultists said “Pshaw!”
When I noted that he had actively supported McConnell, both vocally and financially, against the Tea Party challenge from Matt Bevin in 2014; that his first attacks against Ted Cruz during the primaries (“Everybody hates him”) were specifically framed as defenses of McConnell against Cruz’s criticism of that duplicitous uniparty sell-out; that on the eve of the Iowa Caucuses, half of the country club GOP’s drooling elder statesmen were being propped up on sticks to endorse Trump; that in the final meaningful days of the primaries, John Boehner was boasting of being Trump’s “texting buddy”; that Trump’s rabble-rousing promises during the campaign were being openly contradicted off-stage by his leading surrogates and insiders, and by Trump himself for that matter; and that the big GOP donors were favoring Trump for the simple reason that they knew they could stack a Trump team with their friends, whereas a more principled anti-establishment candidate would bring in other outsiders to weaken the status quo — when I said all of these things, and provided ample evidence for each of them, the cultists answered me with “Establishment hack!” “Cuckservative!” “Go back to writing about Israel!” and similar witticisms. (Go ahead and review all the above information, available on this website.)
So here we are, at the end of November, 2016. Trump is President-Elect. One of his earliest appointments was Reince Priebus — literally the official spokesman for the GOP establishment — as Chief of Staff. He has appointed an advocate of government-funded (and therefore government-regulated) “school choice” with a Common Core background as Secretary of Education. And now he has chosen as his Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, another long-time GOP insider, who also happens to be Mitch McConnell’s wife.
Welcome to your “burn it down!” presidency, folks. You might take a moment to recall just how ill-defined the “it” was in that alt-right slogan. The alt-right, as I have previously noted, has proved to be nothing but the alt-establishment. The insiders and status quo old guard have rolled the angry rebels just as easily as they are now rolling Trump, and for the same obvious reason. Luckily, that reason also protects Trump and his followers from ever having to see or admit what they’ve had done to them. That is to say, ignorance is bliss.