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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Donald Trump lays waste to establishment mind control

With only a little over a week to go until Christmas, it’s a busy time of year for Americans. There are presents to shop for, parties to attend and don’t forget about decorating the house.

But it seems people are still finding time to follow the presidential race as well.

Hadas Gold of Politico reports, “The GOP presidential primary debates continue to be a ratings boon for the Donald Trumpnetworks, with 18 million viewers tuning into the CNN-hosted debate on Tuesday night…

“According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, almost 70 percent of Americans have watched at least one of the six primary debates this year — 26 percentage points higher than at this point in 2007, the last time there were contested primaries on both sides.”

Since the Republicans have vastly outdrawn the Democrats in terms of numbers of debate viewers, it’s safe to say folks are at least checking out the GOP to see if there’s an alternative to the miserable direction of the country imposed by the Obama administration.

Even Tuesday’s “Happy Hour” debate averaged 5.7 million viewers. Not bad for an event that featured the hopelessly boring duo of Lindsey Graham and George Pataki among the four competitors.

The Republicans’ ratings have remained high throughout the campaign season, which dispels the myth that Americans were only tuning in at the beginning to see Donald Trump. Trump deserves some praise for the high interest, but don’t take away from the star power of the other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Politics can make for good TV. The Republicans as a whole deserve credit.

Rand Paul’s attacks on Marco Rubio helped bolster Ted Cruz

In the lead-up to Tuesday night’s debate, many wondered how Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio would handle the growing tensions between the two campaigns over differences in national security and immigration (amongst other issues).

The two senators have been trading jabs in the media for weeks, fueling a rivalry that had been anticipated for quite a long time.

Something unexpected occurred on Tuesday night, however, as Cruz found himself with an ally on stage who did much of the dirty work in exposing Rubio’s flimsy credibility on several crucial matters. Rand Paul repeatedly criticized Rubio during the debate and between the Kentucky senator and Cruz, it was clear Marco was feeling the pressure.

Why the sudden hostility from Paul towards Rubio? W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner says there are two reasons. “When Paul was still trying to reach beyond his base and win the nomination, he talked a lot about how he would hit the Islamic State, to the point where many libertarians were alienated. Since Paul has become more of a message candidate, it makes little sense for him to emphasize that part now, so he has stopped doing so. It makes more sense for him to emphasize where he's different from the rest of the field.”

And, “[T]here's a case to be made that for the West that the Islamic State is at least as much of an immigration problem as a foreign policy problem. The terrorists killing Americans and Frenchmen aren't the ones in Iraq or Syria but the ones right here, another area where it is more profitable to argue with Rubio than Cruz.”

Antle makes good points but I think he left out a third motivation for Paul’s assault on Rubio, which Rand introduced in his closing statement. In his final remarks, Paul talked about how he’s the only candidate who would hold the line on spending, which includes increases for the military.

Though Paul certainly implied that Cruz was part of the group of big military budget spenders, his words were more directed again at Rubio, who’s criticized sequester and has promised over and over to greatly expand the military to project the kind of power his hawkish foreign policy vision would require.

In doing so, Rubio is proving to be the kind of big government liberal Republican that Paul despises. Big government Republicans are just as willing to blow the doors off the treasury as the Democrats – they just want to buy different stuff with the booty.

In contrast, Cruz takes more of a Reagan-like path in terms of wanting to build the military’s strategic capability to project strength so American won’t necessarily have to fight. Rubio wants power so he can use it to refight the wars in the Middle East that are still burning, thanks in large part to what’s already been done by George W. Bush and now Obama.

Marco wants to add fuel to the fire, in other words. Paul sees the intention and it looks like he’s decided to make sure Rubio won’t be president even if it means taking down his own candidacy (and propping up Cruz in the process).

Trump is leading because he stomps on the establishment and doesn’t look back

The Republican establishment can sneer at and mock Donald Trump all they like. They can threaten to turn the convention on him, withhold financial support from him and even say outright they will never vote for him.

None of it will get him to stop speaking his mind. And what’s on Trump’s mind is apparently on the minds of millions of Americans as well. The Donald may not end up the nominee – many conservatives earnestly hope that he won’t – but the issues he’s introducing and the manner in which he’s doing it will have a profound effect on the party long after 2016.

His monologue towards the end of the debate was classic Trump. “What do we have now? We have nothing. We’ve spent $3 trillion and probably much more – I have no idea what we’ve spent. Thousands and thousands of lives, we have nothing. Wounded warriors all over the place who I love, we have nothing for it.”

The establishment dominated audience didn’t applaud. But the line didn’t fall flat.

Just over half the competitors on stage stood there with mouths agape that a Republican would have the audacity to say such a thing.

Republican establishment think-tanks will spend thousands of hours producing paper after paper in trying to disprove what Trump is saying – in essence, that we invested so much in Bush’s and then Obama’s foreign policy only to have nothing for it.

Yes, George W. Bush is in on this too. I say this as someone who wholeheartedly supported the decision in 2003 to invade Iraq to get those WMD’s out of Saddam’s and the terrorists’ hands.

Conflicting reports remain as to whether we actually ever found weapons or evidence that a program to develop them was ongoing. It doesn’t really matter now. In essence, Trump is right – what does America have to show for all the sacrifice?

Ross Douthat of the New York Times argues Trump is winning because he’s willing to pin the blame on the Republicans as well as Obama. “But for now support for Trump on foreign policy isn’t an endorsement of his policy vision. It’s more of a cathartic howl against twelve years of failure, which neither political party can quite call by its deserved name.

“And though I’ve called him a proto-fascist, I’m not immune to its appeal. What do we have now? We have nothing. Watching at home, that was only line in two hours of debating that made me want to stand up and applaud.”

I had more than one line that made me want to stand up and clap (how about Ben Carson’s line about “terrorist malpractice” if ISIS fails to imbed terrorists with the refugees?). But I see Douthat’s point.

The establishment’s main anti-Trump selling point is he can’t beat Hillary Clinton and Republicans will lose all up and down the ballot because of him. But what they’re leaving out of their dire warnings is the fact Trump’s message breaches the heart of Hillary’s justification for election as well.

She and Obama are every bit as guilty for the mess in the Middle East as George W. Bush. Chris Christie and Marco Rubio can blame Obama and Hillary to the hilt and it won’t change the fact both parties are knee-deep in complicity.

Trump is anti-status quo with a familiar face. There’s truly no knowing what he’d really do in office (since it’s not clear exactly where he stands on policy), but one thing’s for sure – he’d lay waste to the logjam of accepted thought inflicted by the establishment’s mind control.

That’s why they’re so scared of him. And that’s why he’s winning today.

Only Marco Rubio would call Ted Cruz an isolationist

Finally today, it didn’t take long for Marco Rubio’s hawkish establishment backers to respond to the ideological rear-end kicking the candidate received on Tuesday night at the hands of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

Phillip Klein of the Washington Examiner reports, “In a fundraising email following the debate, Rubio campaign manager Terry Sullivan blasted, ‘the isolationist tag team duo Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.’

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin launched a similar line of attack, comparing Cruz to [Charles] Lindbergh, saying that he ‘outdid himself last night in his courting of the Trumpkin base. In doing so, he sank further into the far-right brew of isolationism and xenophobia.’”

Klein points out the Cruz-Rubio duel over national security and foreign policy is characteristic of the divide in the Republican Party today between neoconservatives who promote regime change, military intervention and democracy and realists who advocate a more practical view of America’s ability to achieve change through intervention.

Rubio finds his home with the neoconservatives. Cruz is on the other side.

But that hardly makes Cruz an isolationist. Earlier in the evening Cruz did advocate “carpet bombing” ISIS, right?

This is just another case of the establishment trying to win support through distorting the truth. It certainly isn’t the last time we’ll see it – and if Cruz continues to rise, expect it to only intensify.

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Cruz/Rubio Trump and the Republican Establishment

If Rubio or Cruz where to win the Presidential election they would rein in on Obama's policies including illegal immigration and destroying ISIS that is a threat to our national security. Both of these Presidential candidates
and other conservative candidates have comprehensive plans for fixing our broken immigration system including, securing our borders and defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Mr. Donald Trump is anti-establishment because the Republican establishment keeps giving in to the Democrats left wing demands that gets nothing hardly done most of the time for that reason they are out of touch with the American people and this is ruining the country.

Everybody Is Sick of the Political Logjam

"Trump...[would] lay waste to the logjam of accepted thought inflicted by the establishment’s mind control." And that is why you see people driving around in cars with bumper stickers that say "Democrat for Trump."