How They see Us

Watching the post-South Carolina reaction of the GOP establishment and all of its various and sundry shills in media, I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that there is a disease greater than Obama’s radical leftism that makes us vulnerable to him.  The Republican establishment is committed to destroying Gingrich because he’s not one of them, but I also think because they may not want to win.  If you listen to what they say, and compare it to what they do, it’s clear to me that staving off a candidate who Tea Party folk would prefer is more important to them than the possibility of losing the election. You shouldn’t be shocked that the establishment would prefer to lose to Obama, because in truth, they’re more interested in keeping their gravy train running than fixing the country, and there are at least three reasons this is true.

Culturally, the elite is more amenable to the ideas for which Obama stands.  Obama is a big government statist, and so are most of the people in the GOP establishment.  Their first response to any issue, much like Obama’s, is to imagine a government solution that will involve kickbacks and patronage jobs to their well-connected friends.  These people are all friends, left or right, and they tend to prefer the company of their establishment opposites to the “barbarians” and “riffraff” who constitute the base of their respective parties.  These are the people who descend from on high to participate with you in more humble fare when it suits their political ends. Otherwise, you’re the residents of flyover country, and your job is to shut up and do what you’re told.  They will not be hurt in the least by Obama-care, or any of the other plots and programs and government schemes concocted in Washington DC.  New health-care plan with death panels?  Not for them.  New regulations that make it impossible to start a small business?  Not with their friends.  An economic crisis that would make Herbert Hoover shudder?  It might make a small dent in their accounts, but the difference will generally be negligible.  The simple point is that Barack Obama offers no real threat to them, and besides, they’d prefer to drink cocktails with him than oppose him.  To this jet-set, you and I are unimportant, and our individual goals in life are so pedestrian.  They view us as they view the gardeners and mechanics and all the others they hire:  Important, but interchangeable cogs in support of their lifestyles.  Understand that I’m not talking about “class envy” here, because I surely do not begrudge them their relative wealth.  It’s their attitude that strikes me as fundamentally bankrupt, and it’s encapsulated in the sentiment: “I’ve got mine,” as they ignore the fact that you would like a similar opportunity to pursue your own.

The party insiders wants a safe nominee, who will neither cause them the loss of the House, nor even risk it.  They need to maintain control of at least one house of Congress in order to have the bargaining power necessary to shove provisions into legislation that will allow them to personally profit from the resulting market blow-back, and from insider information.  It’s what they do, and if the control of Congress is at least split, they will maintain that bargaining position. A “safe” candidate like Romney probably wouldn’t risk costing them the House, but such a candidacy might well not gain the Senate, or much of anything at all.  That’s fine with the establishment, so long as there are no losses.  The point is that Congress frequently functions as an extortionist’s protection racket, or plays favorites, and those who control the leadership are able to work out their own deals.  Worst of all, Gingrich is a guy who knows where some of the bodies are buried, and he’s exposed a few of them before.  Whether Gingrich would use that knowledge for reform is another question, but the establishment doesn’t wish to take any chances.

The party elite would just as soon lose because they hope the Tea Party will go away, and they see the re-election of Obama as a political repudiation of the Tea Party.  This is because the Tea Party has come awfully close to discovering how deeply the establishment’s profiteering runs, and the legislation the Tea Party-inclined Americans would like to see would upset too many profitable apple-carts.  More, the Tea Party is not under their control, and what they dislike even more than the party followers of their opponents is the somewhat less predictable nature of the Tea Party.  Tea Party folks don’t necessarily toe the party line, and it was mainly a number of their forerunners who in 2006 sat out the elections giving the House back to Democrats because of Republican over-spending.  These are Americans who don’t care so much about party, but instead are concerned with the general direction of the country, and the implications of gigantic deficits and debt.  These are the people whose wrath will be known in November 2012, and it is their energy that propelled Gingrich to victory in South Carolina.  One thing the party insiders hate is a segment of the electorate that can so easily overturn their plans, which is why when the Tea Party has come under attack from the left, they have generally sat by in silence,  saying little or nothing in defense of the Tea Party.  They are hopeful that the left will make some hay and beat down the Tea Party, because it’s a threat to the GOP establishment every bit as much as the left.  Re-electing Obama increases the chances that Tea Party will fizzle and go away.

These are the three most important reasons that the GOP establishment does not want a candidate with real Tea Party connections, and may be willing to lose in order to stave one off.  I’m not suggesting to you that Gingrich is necessarily a strong Tea Party candidate, but the fact that he is in search of a constituency while the Tea Party seeks a candidate may have made for a marriage of convenience, as South Carolina demonstrated.  What you ought to know and recognize is that the GOP’s elite are not very happy with the state of things, with Gingrich as the apparent front-runner at the moment, but they’re not done just yet, and if they can’t swing a candidate they want, many of them would just as soon lose as permit anything to bring their gravy train to a screeching halt.  It’s not merely direct and thorough reformers who they fear, but anybody who is not under establishment control.  The question for you may not be Romney vs. a purported non-Romney, but instead establishment vs. non-establishment, although for the moment, it seems the two are the same.

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