The Mask is Off: Republican Establishment Reveals Its True Colors

Posted on January 31, 2012 by


This past week the gloves came off in the Republican primary, as the “Establishment” leadership realized that Newt Gingrich was actually a real threat to Mitt Romney’s “inevitable” candidacy.   They’ve come out with guns blazing, determined to destroy his momentum.  But in the process, they are alienating and making enemies of the grassroots conservatives who support him – particularly Tea Partiers.

In the end, many of them will still vote for whoever the Republican nominee is, just to get Obama out of the White House.  But after that, all bets will be off.  Many will abandon the GOP altogether, fed up with a party that claims to represent conservative values but ends up caving or advancing the progressive agenda at every point.   This could be the final straw that causes an irreparable split.

The GOP Establishment is in for an ugly surprise no matter who eventually clinches the nomination and possibly, the White House.  The Tea Party is not going to just roll over and go away because an “R” is now in charge. It will continue to hold their feet to the fire, even more so than Obama.

Three columnists at American Thinker have captured the problem completely.

Ebben Raves writes:

Mitt Romney is the establishment’s man.   Never mind that Romney has never done anything conservative.  Never mind that it is leaking out that he probably won’t get rid of ObamaCare, the issue that gave Republicans the House in 2010. Never mind that his biggest qualification is that he is a businessman.  So is George Soros.  Pretty much the same kind of business, too.  Woe on to anyone who is a threat to the status quo that challenges him, though.  They will be attacked with a fervor never unleashed on a Democratic opponent.

Joseph M. Koenig reminds us that this rebellion by the grassroots against the GOP’s anointed nominee isn’t really about Newt:

GOP voters are sending a clarion call to the party establishment, but it seems GOP leaders are not getting the message. The statement being sent to the GOP elite isn’t about Newt, and it goes beyond even Romney.  It is about a deep dissatisfaction that has been building for years within the Republican rank and file.

With the proclamations of Bob Dole and others against Newt Gingrich recently, it is clear the GOP establishment fears a Gingrich nomination.  In truth, however, it is the GOP establishment’s own ineffectual leadership that led to the recent surge of the former Speaker of the House.  […]

In election after election, and on issue after issue, the Republican base has felt increasingly frustrated and disappointed by their party’s leadership, who have consistently underperformed, buckled under media and opposition pressure, and squandered any mandate provided them by the American people. 

With a candidate like Newt, who brings with him loads of personal and political baggage, such reactions as those seen in the debates reveal sentiments that run much deeper, and that have been building far longer than any one campaign season.  The Republican rank and file have been sending messages to their party leaders for years, but without avail.  The GOP has touted itself as the party of fiscal responsibility and smaller government, but for too many years, their supporters have seen government and spending continue to spiral out of control, even when they put Republicans in charge.

In 2006, Republicans were sent a resounding rebuke, losing both the Senate and the House after 12 years of controlling majorities.  After defeating an uninspiring establishment GOP candidate in the 2008 election, President Obama promptly showed the disaffected Republican voters what real spending was like, making the ousted Republicans look downright miserly.

Realizing just how much worse things could be under liberal Democrat control, the American people rose up.  The Tea Party was born.  In 2010, frustrated Tea Partiers sent Republicans back to congress in an attempt to stop the profligate spending.  The mandate could hardly have been clearer.  Even Obama admitted to taking a shellacking.

While it is true Republicans control only one chamber of one branch of the federal government, the change the American people sent them to Washington to effect has not happened.  The frustration that led Tea Partiers to demonstrate in public squares and dominate town halls around the country has not been alleviated.  The debt limit battle was lost, the economy continues to stagnate, and the GOP establishment is once again pushing a candidate that fails to inspire hope that he can actually make real change happen in Washington.

Unlike many of the Occupy Wall Street movement protestors, the Tea Party conservatives had businesses to run, and jobs to return to, but the frustration and anger they felt is still very real.  They are tired of sending people to Washington, Republicans claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility, only to see things continue to get worse.

Steve McCann warns:

The majority of the American people, but in particular those who identify themselves as conservative, are overwhelmingly aware of the true nature of the nation’s problems and the crossroad the country is facing in 2012.   The grassroots rebellion that is the Tea Party movement was the first manifestation of this awareness.  Despite the success of the Tea Party working within the Republican Party in the 2010 mid-term elections, most of the Republican elites downplayed their success and fell-in with the mainstream media and the Democrats in their well-worn and gratuitous aspersions against those in fly-over country.

The rank and file members of the Party and conservatives throughout the country are now keenly aware of the opinion the Establishment has of them, as well as what has been going on behind the curtains in Washington.  The current Republican nominating process has further exposed the true nature of the Establishment and their self-centered concerns.

The machinations utilized in the past (with the exception of Ronald Reagan who was not the Establishment’s choice) to maneuver the primary voters into choosing the previously anointed Mitt Romney has now come out in the open as the awakened silent majority is no longer willing to be fooled or taken for granted.

There are six primary methods of eliminating potential challengers with the tacit cooperation of the mainstream media, and they have been in full display this primary season.   They are to portray unacceptable candidates as:

  • hypocrites in sexual matters (Herman Cain); or
  • unstable (Michelle Bachmann); or
  • ignorant and incoherent (Rick Perry); or
  • a religious fanatic (Rick Santorum); or
  • just plain weird and from another planet (Ron Paul); or
  • dangerous and unelectable (Newt Gingrich).

Sarah Palin would have been placed in all of those boxes had she decided to run, as well as anyone else deemed not acceptable to the elites.

However, the collective and coordinated vitriol and false or misleading accusations against Newt Gingrich by virtually all in the Establishment, led by the so-called conservative media, is unprecedented.  Twice he has arisen, after being vilified and shunted aside, to challenge Mitt Romney and perhaps win the nomination; but the fact that he has been successful in fighting for conservative ideals but in an unorthodox and often contentious, and at times unreliable, fashion has the Establishment in near hysterics.   All the other challengers were easily eliminated or made irrelevant, as they did not have the money or experience of knowing how the game is played, but Newt refused to just slink away.  Never has the Republican Establishment trained its guns on any one candidate in such an unbridled and unrestrained way.

Perhaps Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul are not the right candidates to face Barack Obama, but that decision should be up to the voters.  While it maybe the role of the conservative pundit class to proffer their opinions of the various candidates, it is not the role of the overall Establishment to so marginalize candidates that there appears to be only one viable alternative.

The Establishment could not have made a more strategic blunder.   They will, in all likelihood, succeed in securing the nomination for Mitt Romney, but the damage they have inflicted upon themselves is approaching irreversible.  The public now sees the length to which the Establishment will go to make certain their hand-picked candidate is chosen regardless of the dire circumstances facing the nation.

This is a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican party – whether the people get to decide who best represents them, or whether the ruling class will impose their nominee at any cost.

It may very well split the party apart.

Cross posted at