Scorched Earth Politics Isolates the Republican Establishment in Michigan
Anyone who watched or listened to Mitt Romney’s lame assault on Donald Trump yesterday had to wince at the Obamacare architect and gun control proponent questioning the bona fides of the current Republican front runner. Hypocrisy at its finest. A blatant violation of Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment. A testament to the abject desperation coursing through the Republican establishment today. Stark evidence of how few friends the Republican establishment actually
Just how did the Republican establishment get themselves into this predicament?
What does their predicament portend in Michigan politics?
This year’s Presidential nomination process demonstrates convincingly that money is no longer a substitute for actual human support in a political process where the great unwashed get to vote. Money – and the TV advertising it bought – had a 40 year run buying elections, but this elixir of modern American politics is no longer working. ¡Jeb! is very expensive history. The great unwashed are in open revolt.
Ace over at the Ace of Spades HQ blog offered the very best analysis of the national Republican establishment’s current predicament, which compelled Mitt’s embarrassing performance yesterday. You should read it in its entirety, but in a nutshell:
The Republican establishment has no one credible to make their case against Donald Trump. Absolutely no one who has even a shred of credibility with Trump supporters. They sent Mitt Romney out on yesterday’s kamikaze mission because they had nothing better to offer. Then they will have to spend a mountain of wealth with no real prospects of success. And engage in strong arm tactics. Making an embarrassing spectacle of themselves.
The Democratic establishment is experiencing the very same situation with Bernie Sanders, but they have enough banked goodwill in all their many party factions to adeptly spike his candidacy. Without resorting to kamikaze missions and brute force spectacles. They will come out of Philadelphia looking like they had a genuine internal political contest with very few sore losers. A great start on November 8th.
desolation isolation of the Republican establishment is not just a national story. Since the 2012 elections, the Michigan Republican establishment has been relentlessly purging the Tea Party and every other faction not toeing their political line verbatim. Think Stalinist Russia, circa 1937.
The three most egregious examples of this ongoing purge are the 2014 Bentivolio reelection race in the 11th Congressional District, the quarantine and destruction of Gamrat and Courser in the State House, and the wholesale campaign to oust Tea Party precinct delegates across Michigan. They even refused to countenance a Tea Partier as Lieutenant Governor, an office “not worth a bucket of warm….. To cap it off, they passed a road funding package indistinguishable from Proposal 2015-01 after a complete disaster at the polls. The establishment certainly demonstrated the political potency of their money in each – very limited – case, but made no new friends. The scorched earth military tactic applied to politics. Now the crows have come home to roost.
Greg McNeilly, Dick DeVos’ attack poodle, has been a pointman in the Republican establishment’s scorched earth politics. It is almost funny to read the angst he pours out to Nolan Finley in today’s Detroit News. Never once does he consider how the Republican establishment got themselves into this predicament. Mr. McNeilly does not appear to be capable of introspection, a useful personal trait in politics.
Mr. McNeilly is going to spend a lot of Dick DeVos’ money with no real prospects of success. If he succeeds in sinking Donald Trump, he will alienate Trump’s supporters. A win for Hillary. If he fails he will have created new enemies for Michigan’s Republican establishment, one of whom will be the President of the United States. Donald Trump does not seem to be an especially forgiving character. Yes, they will be able to hide behind SB 571, but that concealment is wearing thin. Money talks, in more than one way. Trump may be many things, but he is no one’s fool.
The Michigan Republican Party now faces an existential threat. The Flint water fiasco. Governor Snyder and the establishment Republicans did not instigate this mess, rather Flint’s Democratic politicians and bureaucrats did. But Governor Snyder blithely empowered those idiots through PA 436 of 2012, and then totally failed to provide adult supervision as the disaster unfolded. Perhaps he was unduly
enjoying distracted by Courser’s and Gamrat’s coincidental travails?
Regardless, Dick DeVos and our other Republican pashas do not have enough money to assuage the worldwide opprobrium now being heaped upon the Michigan Republican Party. They may not be thinking very clearly just now as a consequence, so let’s help them focus their thoughts.
There is more on the November 8th ballot than the Presidential race. Before Flint exploded in the news, only a few thought the Democrats had a serious chance of taking control of our State House of Representatives. After Flint, control of the Michigan House is very much up for grabs. Michigan’s Republican establishment desperately needs friends. Friends that money won’t buy. But friends can be won, through power sharing and a modicum of tact. This is the essence of politics in a free society. We are supposed to be a free society.
As Ace ended his post:
“Politics requires some politics, fellas. For God’s sake. For God’s sake. This is basic stuff.”