Apart from the anti-Trump GOP establishment, are conservative #neverTrump media pundits behaving like their liberal counterparts when it comes to the brash New York billionaire who is the front-runner and presumptive nominee for the presidential ticket?
During Barack Obama's predecessor's administration, liberals were often accused of suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Is Trump Derangement Syndrome a thing for Cruz-supporting conservatives in the media orbit?
Somehow, Ted Cruz operatives have apparently forged some sort of doomsday alliance with the GOP establishment (that consists of elected officials, lobbyists, and deep-pocketed donors), which previously opposed Cruz, and are collectively attempting to shut Trump out from the nomination. Cruz used to disdain this cohort which he described as the "Washington cartel."
Despite all the talk of a big tent and expanding the base, these GOP elites and their new-found allies in the Cruz campaign seem to want to put a figurative wall around their party, and make Trump pay for it, as it were, through the mechanism of an open or contested convention in Cleveland this summer.
Yet Trump just won the New York primary decisively, and he is positioned to rack up several more big wins soon. Trump currently has 845 delegates to Cruz's 559; a total of 1,237 is needed to secure the nomination at the upcoming RNC convention.Why Have Primaries If The Insiders Ignore The Results?
Isn't it simple fairness that the candidate, whoever that is, with the most wins and delegates gets the nomination without interference via shenanigans at the upcoming GOP convention in Cleveland or as has recently occurred in the pre-convention delegate selection process in some states? Even as Cruz advocates smugly claim that Team Trump is ignorant of the rules, and apparently Trump and company failed to do their homework about the various arcane procedures, as a general proposition shouldn't delegates be won with actual votes rather than antiquated but sanctioned chicanery?
Although there are reports that the Republican establishment is gradually accepting the Trump ascendancy post the New York Primary, insiders still may be scheming to prevent what it considers a hostile takeover of the GOP, according to liberal website Salon.
"Mainstream Republicans are increasingly desperate to undercut Trump. Clearly, they can't do it at the voting booth, and every milquetoast candidate they've put before Trump has crumbled. Convention plans are being floated, all of which involve parliamentary tricks designed to open up the nomination process to candidates who didn't run for president. But that's a risky strategy. Defying the will of the voters carries a high price, namely their indifference in November. The latest half-baked attempt to slow Trump's momentum is to blacklist potential staffers..."The Media Outrage Industry Goes Bipartisan
When a prominent (or even obscure) right-leaning office holder stumbles into a gaffe or makes some idiotic remark, it's usually the liberal commentators and political operatives in the mainstream media that make the rounds of all the cable shows with talking points and allegations of the 'ism of the day.
Since Trump entered politics, the outrage industry seemingly has become bipartisan.
"Whether you think Trump is a good candidate or not, the intensity in which commentators on the right, as well as the left, have gone after Trump along with the mockery and dismissiveness in parts of the mainstream media have been astonishing to watch," FNC's Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz told The Wrap.
Perhaps the first instance of this was when Bush loyalist Dana Perino, perhaps America's civility cop, had a meltdown on FNC's The Five about the Trump candidacy shortly after the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host announced his candidacy in June 2015.
When Trump's campaign manager got immersed in a controversy with a reporter (since dropped by Florida prosecutors for lack of evidence) which prompted wall-to-wall media coverage, the Cruz conservative media supporters were all over the TV demanding the man be fired and almost hysterically denouncing the Trump campaign as an out-of-control entity.
Let's stipulate a few things. Like him or hate him, Donald Trump has at least initially tried to make his way to the White House by winging it, by making it up as he went along. He also has his own, far-smaller cadre of media apologists.
The former Democrat and Independent has flip-flopped on various issues, unleashed insults and incendiary statements that alienated some/many who might be inclined to support him, gone into nationally televised debates woefully unprepared, and attempted (until recently) to capture the nomination on the cheap -- despite his deep pockets -- by not hiring sufficient field coordinators and other national campaign experts.
That being said, he has energized a large segment of voters even though they don't agree with everything he says, including bringing huge numbers of newcomers to the Republican party, particularly those who reject political correctness, business-as-usual politicians of both major parties who seem to worship free trade at all costs, and favor continuing the U.S. as the world's policeman (except at our own borders).Instead of bashing his GOP rivals when goaded by debate moderators, a simple "I'm running my campaign, they're running theirs, and we'll let the voters decide" from Trump might have been sufficient. That's not the why it went down, however, which contributed to much of the current divisiveness.
A successful businessman and charismatic TV star, Trump is a nationalist and populist, not a traditional conservative, or a traditional candidate of that matter, but these characteristics and his outsider status have resonated with many Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and new voters. How that plays out in the November general election, if he is the GOP nominee and given all the naysayers in the party, remains to be seen.
If Trump's Rhetoric Is Unacceptable, Is Delegate Poaching Equally Unacceptable?
Trump has won the most votes and the most primaries to date, but as alluded to above, the GOP establishment and self-righteous pro-Ted Cruz journalists and operatives seem to be acting like the party is kind of like their private game preserve, or country club, as it were, where only they decide whether someone has sufficient ideological purity.
The real estate mogul has also slammed the rigged and crooked system, his words, that allows for convention delegates to be poached and others to be selected by insiders in backroom deals.
Inexplicably perhaps, many of Senator Cruz's otherwise rational media advocates have authored articles on websites and gone on TV to justify these convoluted rules that allow for delegate theft.
If the shoe was the other foot, would they be so sanguine about the shenanigans?
Parenthetically, will they write or vocalize approvingly about unelected superdelegates handing Hillary Clinton her party's nomination if it comes to that?
Although there are reports that the Republican establishment is gradually accepting the Trump ascendancy post the New York Primary, insider still may be scheming to prevent what it apparently considers a hostile takeover of the GOP, according to liberal website Salon.
"Mainstream Republicans are increasingly desperate to undercut Trump. Clearly, they can't do it at the voting booth, and every milquetoast candidate they've put before Trump has crumbled. Convention plans are being floated, all of which involve parliamentary tricks designed to open up the nomination process to candidates who didn't run for president. But that's a risky strategy. Defying the will of the voters carries a high price, namely their indifference in November. The latest half-baked attempt to slow Trump's momentum is to blacklist potential staffers..."Ted Cruz certainly has the credentials to serve as president, and he is an excellent debater and communicator. But it's difficult to see how he hasn't diminished his own integrity by allowing his campaign staff to engage in all the unethical gamesmanship with the delegate count.
Allegations have been made on other websites that anti-Trump conservative journalists have a financial incentive to support the Texas senator, but it's unclear if this is accurate and if all the dots can be properly connected.
Separately, Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who has predicted a landslide general election victory by "master persuader" Donald Trump, recently wrote about the current setup.
"In Iran you can vote for anyone for President so long as that person has been approved by the Ayatollah Khameini. We Americans call that system a dictatorship.Voters in America recently discovered that they live under an Iranian type of system and didn't know it. In the primaries, voters participate in some sort of ritualistic placebo voting while party leaders select the candidates. In the general election, the richest and smartest of the elite use money and psychology to brainwash the masses into imagining they have independent opinions and that their votes matter. We call that a republic. Everything was going fine until Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders ripped the cover off of the American system and showed it to be more illusion than democracy/republic. In a way, this is the first contested election in our lifetimes…"Again, whether you are on or off the Trump train, as things stand now, Cruz has virtually no chance of winning any blue or purple state in the general election should he be the nominee, while Trump can put many East Coast and Midwest states into play for the GOP come November, if he's the GOP standard-bearer.
And any polling of a head-to-head matchup between Trump and Hillary Clinton, and/or hand-wringing over unfavorability ratings or assumptions that certain demographic groups will vote in a monolithic fashion, is meaningless this far out.
For what it's worth, Rush Limbaugh had this to say about GOP insiders and their #neverTrump saber-rattling.
"[Their] primary objective is self-preservation, not winning the White House in this cycle. Given the vagaries of this cycle, the Republican Party's primary objective is maintaining its own power structure and base for the current people that occupy it. The dead giveaway for that is when you hear some of them openly, publicly say that they will vote for Hillary rather than Trump…And some of them have even said that they'll vote for Hillary instead of Cruz. It means they don't think the country's in crisis. They don't think anything of the sort. They don't have anything in common with you on that score. And, number two, that it's all about self-preservation, maintaining the current Republican establishment, the ruling class and their positions in it."You may recall, for example, that GOP bigwigs insisted that more conservative voters unify and put aside their misgivings by supporting McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 even though both candidates were moderates.
With this in mind, as attorney and military vet John Kluge, a self-described lifelong conservative Republican, explained about the Trump candidacy and the reaction to it on the right, "Given this history, the conservative media's claims that the Republican Party must reject Donald Trump because he is not a 'conservative' are pathetic and ridiculous to those of us who are old enough to remember the last 25 years."
Donald Trump says his wall will have a door. Will the #neverTrump insiders and party bosses have a door in their gated community to allow the candidate who comes to the convention with the most delegates and the most primary wins to be named the nominee without any funny business?
In 2008, media liberals participated in the so-called JournoList, a private Google forum, in which they attempted to spin the news in favor of Obama.
"If Republicans don't unite--those that are #neverTrump, those that are #neverCruz--if they don't get off their high horse, all they're doing is helping elect Hillary," Sean Hannity told Neil Cavuto on FNC.
Although it has less impact and reach than their liberal mainstream media counterparts, do you think that Donald Trump's presidential candidacy -- whether find the man appealing or obnoxious -- has exposed some elements of the conservative press as being just a different side of the same media coin?
[Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP]