Perhaps the only impressive thing about the Establishment GOP is its consistent lack of awareness of even the basics of what their own voting base believes and wants.
In the wake of the Capitol Hill protests on Jan. 6, certain Republicans have said they want to “purge” Donald Trump from the ranks of their party. They seem utterly unaware that they are making a catastrophic mistake.
Falling Over Themselves to Sell Out
This is happening despite the fact Trump never called for violence at the Capitol. In fact, the precise opposite is true. He called for his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make [their] voices heard,” and when violence broke out, he implored everyone to go home. But 10 House Republicans still voted to impeach Trump on a provably bogus charge of “inciting an insurrection.”
The Establishment GOP has always disliked Trump. To the extent that they went along with him, they only did so because the man was overwhelmingly popular among Republican voters. After the violence at the Capitol, they seem to think that that popularity will decline.
But according to a recent Rasmussen poll, it hasn’t. Trump’s popularity has actually been rising since Jan. 6.
Betraying Trump now would be electoral suicide for the GOP, but typical Republican politicians care more about what elites in Washington think of them than what their own voters think of him. The Establishment GOP just can’t sell out fast enough.
The Establishment GOP Was Never a Serious Party
When Bernie Sanders or AOC say that they want to implement a 70% top income tax or that they want to completely overhaul the economy and abolish the fossil fuel industry, they really mean it. They may not be able to get everything that they want right away, but they truly do mean what they say, and they are prepared to push to get the things that they want.
By contrast, when Republicans talk about prohibiting abortion or abolishing the Departments of Energy or Education, they don’t really mean it. It’s abundantly clear that they are playing games with their voters. To Establishment Republicans, the purpose of holding political office appears to simply be to hand out sinecures to their friends—not to roll back the left’s cultural or economic agenda.
That’s why the size of government always grows, no matter which party is in power, and why the left’s moves to “fundamentally transform” America always seem to advance with nothing more than feigned resistance.
Trump threatened to upend this little game, and the Establishment GOP hates him for it so much that it is willing to blatantly ignore how much its own base loves him.
But if the Republican Party really has a death wish, then perhaps the American people should grant it.