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GOP Failure to Act Brought Trump Victory

By Wednesday, 11 May 2016 12:11 PM Current | Bio | Archive

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings. So while Rosie O’Donnell — a favorite target of Donald Trump — would love nothing more than to belt out a tune signaling the end of Trump’s presidential run, it would be premature.

If we’ve learned nothing else, The Donald knows how to defy expectations.

Trump was originally written off as a novelty, a Reality TV act sure to fade. But his poll numbers climbed, and soon, his opponents were dropping like flies, as he went from cocktail party joke to bona fide contender.

And now, against all odds, he is the Republican presidential nominee.

In his rise to the top, Trump neutralized (or was it neutered?) 16 opponents. Love him or hate him, he deserves credit for continually proving the “experts” wrong.

But accolades and party nominations don’t win general elections, especially when the baggage Trump carries is the highest of any candidate in history.

While Trump successfully tapped into a massive vein of discontent, labeling him a brilliant political strategist, as some have, is going overboard.

He won because he told a disgruntled conservative base, in blunt, politically-incorrect language, what it wanted to hear; he was the only candidate, past or present, to do so; and the competition was weak.

Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of Trump’s ascension is the unapologetic about-face executed by many conservatives, who jettisoned their normal “purity” litmus test to support someone who had no history of walking the walk.

For decades, the conservative wing held candidates to such stringent standards that a bipartisan vote cast twenty years prior was more than enough to disqualify the “offender,” earning him condemnation as a moderate.

Yet Trump earned a free pass, with many conservatives looking the other way on Trump’s personal life, insults, prior liberal positions, and his past support of Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.

In reality, Trump had virtually no “conservative credentials,” so the $64,000 question is whether he has “evolved” into a true conservative, or is simply an opportunist who utilized his TV skills to whip an angry GOP base into a frenzy.

Time will tell, though if it’s any indication, Trump’s tack to the Left is an ominous harbinger for true conservatives.

If that continues, will those who gave him the nomination feel betrayed and abandon him? “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” may become the mantra of disaffected conservatives who took a chance on The Donald and got burned.

Trump also got lucky by competing in a very weak field (a GOP problem for decades). Granted, it wasn’t easy, but if not Trump, then who? Who was the bona fide standout contender? There was none.

The lower tier ran to make a point. The next level had name recognition, but no base.

And the “frontrunners?” Marco Rubio’s lack of gravitas demonstrated he wasn’t ready for prime time. Jeb Bush, the establishment’s $100 million “sure bet,” saw his coronation go up in flames even before Trump got going.

Ted Cruz was arguably the most unlikable candidate in modern political history. And John Kasich was doomed by the perception of being a moderate in a conservative-dominated primary.

It was reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s 1992 primary. The pundits declared him dead over the Gennifer Flowers affair, but none of his opponents was capable of stepping up, paving the way for the charismatic Clinton.

And let’s be honest about something else: those most responsible for Trump’s ascendancy are former House Speaker John Boehner and U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

For years, rank-and-file Republicans asked their leaders do their job: promote the GOP agenda. From tackling illegal immigration to passing a balanced budget to coming up with a viable alternative to Obamacare, the base had a reasonable expectation, especially with Republican majorities in Congress, that these issues would be addressed.

But they weren’t. Instead, lip service and impotence ruled the day.

Boehner and McConnell, as consummate Beltway insiders, were conflict-averse, entirely too comfortable to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work.

Instead, they endlessly complained about their conservative members, criticized without acting, and made “deals with the devil,” giving in to the President and Harry Reid without a fight, despite holding the cards.

The result? After years of saying “do something — or else,” the shoe finally dropped. The “or else” manifested itself as the establishment’s worst nightmare: Donald Trump as presidential nominee.

All of which places the fractured GOP in unprecedented territory, as numerous leaders have publicly stated their intention not to support Trump.

How ironic that those not willing to do anything for fear of losing an election, are now the same ones willing to throw away an election. Whether Trump can capitalize on that hypocrisy remains to be seen.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

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It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings. So while Rosie O’Donnell, a favorite target of Donald Trump, would love nothing more than to belt out a tune signaling the end of Trump’s presidential run, it would be premature.
gop, odonnell, presidential, trump
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 12:11 PM
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