Here was the Tweet first thing this morning:
That base, of course - i.e. us - is also made of mostly of conservatives. So what he's really saying here is that not only is the "GOP establishment" (whatever that's supposed to mean anymore) the "enemy" of "Republican" voters, but so is the House Freedom Caucus and its Senate equivalent, and so is the entire Tea Party itself.
If you stop for a moment and take stock of that - both sides of the GOP civil war being the enemy of the "Republican" base - then by process of elimination, you have to ask the question of just exactly what "Republican" base is Trump speaking?
You know how I've been saying of late that Trump, by his own words, has now become the "establishment" candidate at best, and is carrying out a hostile takeover of the GOP on La Clinton Nostra's behalf that will excommunicate conservatives from American politics and "fundamentally transform" the Republican Party into....something else? Now do you believe me?
Ben Shapiro has figured it out:
So why is Trump blaming “the help of Conservatives” for the "lies" of the Republican "establishment"? Because Trump isn’t conservative, and now he’s admitting it. Trump has spent most of his career giving money to Democrats; he has spent most of his career rejecting conservative policies; even now, his version of "conservatism" boils down to “give me power and I’ll make great deals,” which is a leftist vision of government rather than a conservative one. Like many members of the Republican "establishment," Trump thinks the biggest problem with the Republican Party is ideology; he only dislikes the "establishment" because he doesn’t run it. He wants to replace the old Party establishment with himself. He wants to top the power pyramid.
And so he blames conservatives. [emphases added]
That's just the warm-up, folks; here comes young Mr. Shapiro's Sidd Finch fastball:
This is also a strategic play to get ahead of the Cruz-led argument that Trump doesn’t philosophically qualify to win conservative votes. Trump is stating pre-emptively that he isn’t failing conservatism – conservatism has already failed, and he’s just here to help the country. Many of his followers believe this – I routinely receive emails and tweets proclaiming that Trump fans don’t care if Trump is conservative, because he’s a “real American,” as though Americanism can be boiled down to nationalism while excising Constitutionalism. Trump’s going full-bore populist now. [emphases added]
In other words, dictators and authoritarian "strongmen" are fine and dandy as long as they're "one of us". I have said for a couple of years that what a lot of the GOP base really wanted was not another Ronald Reagan, but their own version of Barack Obama. I figured they meant freshman, minority senators like Rubio or Cruz. Turns out they meant the dictator part literally.
My friend Mr. Gibbs has said often of late that he likes much of what Donald Trump says and believes it's possible that he is sincere about it. I wonder if those sentiments will or will not change after this Trump Tweet.
Shapiro also hits on something that I've been raging about for the past eight months: the unthinking anger that has gripped so much of the GOP base and how the billionaire slumlord has been able to so effortlessly exploit it:
One of the great puzzles of the primary season is why a candidate who so recently espoused moderate or [leftwing] views is succeeding in a party that favors purity over pragmatism. Of course, Trump can always claim that he had a road-to-Damascus-style conversion to conservatism. But this claim surely won’t cut it for many movement conservatives. After all, if Trump can flip to the right so recently, perhaps he’ll flop back to the left in due course.
Like seconds after he took the oath of office next January.
For Trump, the solution has been to announce something so outrageously offensive to liberals, so contrary to every [Marxist] shibboleth, that its utterance immediately disqualifies him from being a leftist. Opposing Obamacare isn’t good enough. After all, some [communists] aren’t big fans of the [Una]ffordable Care Act. Neither is it sufficient to back gun rights. Many on the left own guns and believe in the Second Amendment. In any case, these are issues on which reasonable people can disagree. What Trump needs is something that is literally unspeakable for a liberal. Trump’s immigration policy is just the ticket. Virtually no [communist] would dream of banning the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims from visiting the United States. The very idea represents a kind of exclusionary nativism that is anathema to liberals. Trump’s anti-immigrant language is an efficient way of proving that he has abandoned the left. In a single glorious moment of illiberal demagoguery, he can achieve what would otherwise take months of debate and rebuttal. [emphasis added]
Even though it contradicts numerous past statements, and is almost always subsequently walked back, as he did with the mass deportation vow (he'll let all the "good" illegals back in) and the Muslim ban (It'll only be "temporary"). Trump has, in essence, a "get-out-of-jail-free" card to say anything he needs to say at any given moment, no matter how often he flagrantly contradicts himself, and never suffer any political damage from any of it, and indeed, have it boost him in the polls, of which even Bill Clinton himself could never have dreamed.
I remember way, way back in the 1992 campaign, when Rush Limbaugh coined the term "character matters" to point out the danger to the country of entrusting with presidential power a man so utterly bereft of it. Bill Clinton was a corrupt, sexually deviant liar who could only be trusted to do whatever would personally and politically benefit himself, law and Constitution be damned. The only reason why he didn't succeed in "fundamentally transforming" America the way Barack Obama has a generation later is that America's collective moral compass hadn't yet been eroded away to the enormous degree necessary to accelerate the degeneration of the political culture to that degree of prostration and vulnerability. But the Clinton detour did a lot of that eroding, sending the Democrat Party over the edge into radical insanity that was revealed in the post-election Florida insurrection in 2000. That insanity culminated in the rise of the Obama dictatorship eight years later.
But at least the GOP remained as a bastion and stronghold of conservatism and rationality.
The past eight years of Obamunism, however, have driven the Republican base over the same crazy cliff off of which the Dems took their plunge a decade and a half ago. And now, for the first time, I am finding myself unable to recognize the party in which I have resided since the Gipper made it the home of conservatism thirty-six years ago, and in which I am increasingly, like an ideological Valentine Michael Smith, a stranger in a strange land.
Perhaps "Two Timothy" 4:3-4 sums it up best:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Welcome to "real America," my friends. Meanwhile, I'll be on my way to Mars, if VMS will lend me his ship.