The old saying goes “If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
I’m reminded by that today in this respect — “If George W. Bush, Colin Powell, and Mitt Romney announce they wont’ support Donald Trump in 2020, does anyone care?”
The media would have us believe the “news” of the weekend is the “earth-shattering” announcement by George W. Bush, Colin Powell, and Mitt Romney that they will not be supporting the re-election of Pres. Trump.
Really? I don’t recall much enthusiasm for candidate Donald Trump among the GOP establishment and Bush 43 Administration officials in 2016 before Donald Trump pretty much got himself elected in spite of them.
As I recall it, prior to taking down Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump took a Gatling Gun to a field of 18 GOP “establishment” politicians, giving them various derogatory nicknames like “Little Marco”, “Lyin Ted”, and “Low-Energy Jeb”.
I seem to recall about 100 or more “national security” and “foreign policy” types from the Bush 43 Administration signing a letter before the 2016 election stating they would never accept an appointment offered for a position in a Trump Administration.
The NeverTrump stalwarts who are still prominent today have more and more cast their lot with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in overtly rooting for the Trump Administration to fail. And for the most part, it has nothing to do with the policies his administration has pursued – it has to do with their personal dislike for Trump, and the fact that as long as he sits atop the party and dictates the agenda, the GOP establishment cannot regain a position of authority in Washington that they are accustomed to having.
Donald Trump was polling at roughly 1% with GOP primary voters where he came down the escalator in June 2015 to announce he was entering the GOP Presidential primary contest. He didn’t lack name recognition – he lacked support of conservatives and main-stream GOP voters.
He lacked their support until he didn’t lack their support.
And he stopped lacking their support after he took a flame thrower to the actual performance of those GOP establishment figures since Ronald Reagan departed the White House.
I was largely a fan of George W. Bush and his presidency. I spent eight years working for DOJ during his two terms in office. But the GOP of George W. Bush, and the GOP of his father before him, was a GOP long on promising a conservative governing agenda, but short on delivering one.
And in my opinion, much of the failure to deliver is the fault of the “establishment” GOP members like the other Presidential Primary candidates Donald Trump wrecked in winning the GOP nomination to be President – including Jeb Bush. The Bush clan is nothing if not “loyal” to each other. The ship carrying Bush family support for Donald Trump set sail long ago, and is never coming back. So count me as “not shocked.”
Donald Trump proved in the GOP primary that he could talk a good game – better than the 18 GOP challengers he knocked down one-by-one without a huge war chest, an army of consultants, or a huge “ground game” in all the early primary states. He used free media and a willingness to not be nice to drive home his message.
When Pres. Trump beat Hillary Clinton after spotting her a 20-point lead early in the summer of 2016 – according to some polls – he proved that he could talk a good game across party lines. He flipped dozens of counties nationwide that had voted for Obama over Romney and McCain in the two previous elections. Voters in those counties chose Obama twice over GOP establishment candidates, and then turned around and voted for the guy who promised to go to DC and kick both party establishments in the teeth just like he had done in the campaign.
So now the media wants us to believe that, because George W. Bush, Colin Powell, and Mitt Romney have announced they won’t support his re-election, the calculus for coming up with a Donald Trump victory in November is somehow changed? They didn’t want him to win in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, and now we’re supposed to be surprised they don’t want him to win against Joe Biden??
The coalition of voters who elected Donald Trump did not vote for him in 2016 because he was endorsed by the GOP establishment – he wasn’t.
The fact that the GOP establishment will not support his re-election will have about the same amount of influence in 2020 as it had in 2016 — none.