Share This Article with a Friend!

Outsiders vs. Insiders: Establishment’s last shot at survival is to join Trump, not fight him

If it could be said politics is insane but never boring, then last week was the perfect embodiment of the concept.

Of course there was the revelation Hillary Clinton’s campaign united with the Democrat National Committee to retain a Washington law firm to hire a political sludge-mining operation (Fusion GPS) which subsequently contracted with former British spy Christopher Steele who then apparently paid his Russian sources to make Donald Trumpup wild stories about Donald Trump. Meanwhile it’s becoming clearer by the day U.S. intelligence agencies were in on the scheme somewhere along the line – it’s awful messy, for sure.

Of course the infamous Democrat paid-for “dossier” produced by Steele appears to be the foundation from which the entirety of United States intelligence agencies staked their investigations of alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Ho hum.

Then there was Senator Jeff Flake’s hit-job on Trump masquerading as a retirement speech from the Senate floor on Tuesday.

Then there was the story of Mark Cuban, who is considering running for president in 2020. No big deal, just another culturally illustrious liberal body to toss into the already crowded circus ring full of Democrat freaks and weirdos gearing up to take on the hated Donald Trump, right?

Wrong. Cuban claims if he runs at all it will likely be as a Republican.

Conor Beck of the Washington Free Beacon reported, “Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said in a Fox News interview that if he runs for president in 2020, it will ‘probably’ be as a Republican.

“When asked in an interview with Harvey Levin on ‘Objectified’ if he would run as a Democrat, Republican, or independent candidate, Cuban said, ‘probably Republican.’

“He added that his family is split on whether he should run for president.”

Cuban confessed his kids want him to take the political leap but his wife isn’t onboard yet. It’s often said women are smarter than men – and in the Cuban family’s case at least, that appears to be the truth.

I could barely stifle a laugh when hearing about Cuban’s waffling on a potential challenge to Trump in the GOP primaries. Granted I don’t know very much about Cuban or what he believes (that would seem to be the root of the problem right there), but hardly anyone has even heard of the pro basketball team owner outside of the increasingly shrinking sphere of the NBA.

What could possess some rich guy in sports entertainment la-la land to suppose he can come in from out of nowhere and have a chance against an incumbent president in the man’s own party primaries no less?

Some might answer Trump himself; but it shouldn’t be forgotten Trump had already spent nearly four decades in the public eye offering opinions and thoughts on just about every political topic under the sun and had openly tossed out the possibility of running for president long before his official announcement came in June of 2015. The fact Trump constantly wavered back and forth between the two major parties didn’t matter (to the voters) in the end because the slate of issues he chose to champion in his campaign most definitely belonged on the right side of the spectrum.

Further, as president, Trump has very much governed as a conservative – at least on the matters he could control. It’s no secret Trump would sign just about any healthcare bill Congress sent him, including one with a healthy dose of Democrat input. This apparent lack of ideology worries conservatives but it should also serve as a motivator for Republicans to cobble something together that every party member can sign-off on...or at least a bill that can pass with GOP votes alone in the House and Senate.

To go up against Trump Cuban would not only have to fight the biggest political heavyweight of our times but also the conservatives Trump brought into his administration, not to mention the base of the party which remains decidedly in Trump’s corner.

David M. Drucker of the Washington Examiner reported last week, “But where Trump's Republican opposition sees a dangerous political provocateur, the GOP base sees a fighter who is defending them and their values — against the cultural oppression of the liberal elites in New York and Hollywood and against a political establishment in Washington that bends the rules for everyone but them.

“And, where Trump's Republican opposition sees a radical nationalist who threatens the American melting pot at home and the abdication of U.S. leadership abroad, the GOP rank and file, including some skeptical of Trump, see a jobs-focused president pursuing a largely traditional GOP domestic and foreign policy agenda.”

Earlier in his article Drucker noted, “Nationally, Trump has maintained his standing with Republican voters through myriad controversies and legislative failures, receiving a job approval rating of anywhere from the mid-80s to low 90s. Contrast that with his dismal, average national approval rating of around 40 percent.”

I wouldn’t necessarily call Trump’s rating “dismal” considering the current poll numbers don’t differ markedly from the point where Trump won the election last year. There’s little doubt the president remains a controversial figure in the country but the people who voted for him last November 8 are still largely behind him. It could also be said poll reliability is questionable in the sense that many who continue to support Trump’s agenda still don’t admit to liking him personally.

But it’s the votes that ultimately count. If Cuban ran against Trump today his poll numbers probably wouldn’t be high enough to qualify for inclusion in any kind of a primary debate (not that there would be such forums in any case with an incumbent president). Without the exposure that debates tend to offer, how would an outsider – any outsider – be able to get close to Trump?

Media fanfare would help, but Trump still dominates in that realm too.

It’s been evident for a while that the #NeverTrump GOP establishment will try to mount some sort of intra-party takedown mission against the president, but who’s to say it would be any more successful in 2020 than it was for Trump’s challengers last year? Who would it be in 2020 -- Jeb Bush again? Mitt Romney? Cindy McCain? Evan McMullin? The editorial boards at RedState or National Review?

There certainly are a lot of delusional people still out there. You never know what they might come up with.

Jonathan S. Tobin wrote at National Review, “Principled Republicans aren’t wrong to be offended by Trump. They aren’t wrong to worry about the long-term damage to the GOP brand Trump might do if he can’t achieve major policy victories and if he permanently undermines the moral standing of the party.

“But at this point, abandoning him — as Flake, Bush, and McCain seem to be leaning toward — will neither save the GOP nor allow it to accomplish anything in what may prove a brief window of opportunity. When else will Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House? Democrats lack any real agenda except a push for impeachment. Are Republicans ready to join them? They must pick a side. They can’t be neutral about the man the voters stuck them with…”

It should be noted Trump’s strongest critics include a term-limited governor (Ohio’s John Kasich), a former president who left Washington with historically low approval ratings (George W. Bush), two senators who announced their retirements because they knew they didn’t have a prayer of winning their own state primaries (Bob Corker and Jeff Flake) and another senator who probably won’t live to finish out his term (John McCain).

There are others, such as Nebraska’s freshman senator Ben Sasse, but the aforementioned group is by far the shrillest of the anti-Trump whiners.

What do all of these folks share in common? Besides not having a popular mandate to run their mouths, they’re all beyond the reach of electoral accountability. They therefore can offer all their stupid opinions that few agree with and insult the intelligence of the average Trump voter simply because they have a microphone and can’t be removed except by the intentionally arduous and time-consuming impeachment process.

And in George W. Bush’s case he’s even beyond that. Why would anyone listen to him anyway?

If Corker, Flake, McCain and company truly want to stem the anti-incumbent tide the best thing they could possibly do is work like crazy to pass the Trump agenda. Why? Only then will the ruling class elites stop looking like obstructionists to the base and potentially shut off the spigot of money going to Steve Bannon and other conservative outsiders who want to see McConnell removed as senate leader and mushy moderate senators defeated in primaries because they’re bumps on the road to improving government.

If these fools did their jobs they would never be in danger in the first place.

Ted Cruz said as much last week. Jordain Carney of The Hill reported, “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is warning his GOP colleagues to stop fighting with President Trump and focus on passing the party's agenda.

“’It's like you’re back in junior high. ... We've got a job to do, damn it, and so all of this nonsense, I got nothing to say on it. Everyone shut up and do your job, is my view,’ Cruz told conservative radio host Mark Davis on Wednesday.

“Cruz was asked about Republican Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), who offered blistering criticism of Trump on Tuesday, but he didn't directly mention the two in his response.”

Cruz didn’t need to name names. The clown consortium of anti-Trumpers already made themselves notoriously disreputable to everyone. They’re about as popular as a Popsicle in the arctic.

The bottom line is Donald Trump will not face a primary challenge from Mark Cuban or anyone else in 2020 -- or at least not one that will get far. The establishment will keep on complaining and Trump will do what he does; somehow the conservative agenda needs to get through all of it.

Share this