Political pundits have been scrambling for the last week trying to explain why the Republican Establishment would be racing to support Donald Trump, particularly in Iowa. They’ve united on many fronts to oppose Ted Cruz. Meanwhile a group of stalwart conservatives have rallied around Cruz and have even locked arms in opposition to Trump. What should this tell every Republican voter?
Cruz is the only conservative with a chance of winning. Trump IS the establishment.
Very few can make a rational argument against the first statement. The second statement takes more discernment and therefore more explaining. There’s a conspiracy theory running around both conservative and liberal publications that the Republican Establishment believes that Trump would be easier to beat than Cruz, so if they can take Cruz out in Iowa they can then reverse course on Trump in New Hampshire and South Carolina and have a clearer, albeit longshot, path to get one of their boys into the nomination. This is an interesting theory but it’s most likely false.
The biggest clue that points us to the truth is the way that Trump mercurially snuggled up to Iowa’s Big Corn power players, most notably former Senator and GOP candidate Bob Dole and Governor Terry Branstad. He didn’t just come out saying that he would protect the ethanol subsidies in the state. He doubled down and went full liberal, claiming he wants to increase the subsidies and ethanol mandates.
On the surface, this might seem like a simple ploy by Trump who has been running in a virtual tie with Cruz for over a month in Iowa. It’s just his way to get a few extra corn farmers to vote for him. In reality, this is a statement on the front end that’s matching the deals he’s been making in the back end with powerful moderate Republicans and Neocons.
This isn’t about them wanting to use Trump now and outflank him later. They’re starting to realize that they have two choices: liberal Trump or conservative Cruz.
One must understand the Republican Establishment in order to understand why they would choose Trump. Ever since losing to Reagan in 1980, the Republican Establishment has been dead-set on maintaining control of the party. They don’t want to see a Democrat in the White House, but a liberal Republican like Trump wouldn’t be bad even if it’s not ideal. If Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich are deemed as having no realistic chance, then Trump is their man. They’d rather watch the country falter rather than allow a true conservative to sit in the White House and muck things up for them.
People are looking for an outsider and they see this in Trump, but as he demonstrated in Iowa and has been quietly doing all along, he’s willing to play ball if it will help him achieve his goal of urinating in the Oval Office restroom. His supporters see him as someone who can’t be bought because he’s rich, but they don’t realize that the currency of cronyism at the Presidential level has absolutely nothing to do with cash. It’s all about favors. You can’t “buy” a President in same way you could “buy” a mayor or even a Congressman. Presidents don’t need money even if they’re not billionaires.
Donald Trump has been bought. With Iowa, he’s marked his territory and stated his intent by pushing as far to the left as possible on subsidies. Now, all that’s left is to get more Republican Establishment endorsements by offering cabinet positions, ambassadorships, veto protection on unfavorable legislation, programs that favor this industry or that organization… the list of favors that a President can dish out is long. That is what Trump can offer. We saw it unfold over the last several months with Sarah Palin, the next Energy Secretary if Trump is elected. We saw it in Iowa with the Big Corn power brokers. We see it with Breitbart, Drudge, and other publications.
Anyone who avoids the hypnotic Trump sales pitch and instead looks at his actions and policies will realize that he’s not the outsider he claims to be. He’s almost as politically embedded as Hillary Clinton and that says volumes.