This story about “the cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington” that is cozying up to Trump is one of the most amazing and disgusting things I have ever read. These people spent 2013-2015 posturing as the responsible saviors of the Republican Party. Their political malpractice was the proximate cause of the Trump surge, and now they talk up a candidate who is a hostile satire of the kind of politician they opposed. More than Trump – maybe even more than Obama — the K Street Republicans might be the most destructive force in our politics.
The gall of these people. They spent the post-2012 period telling us that the Republican Party needed to embrace upfront amnesty in order to compete politically. They also tried to sneak in an incredibly unpopular increase in low-skill immigration.
This was the real start of the Republican Party’s civil war on class lines. It wasn’t Trump’s speech where he (despicably) collectively referred to illegal immigrants as rapists. The civil war started when the lobbyist-besotted Republican National Committee produced its “autopsy” that called for “comprehensive immigration reform” (a euphemism for upfront amnesty, increased future low-skill immigration, and delayed – presumably forever delayed – enforcement.) The civil war continued when the Washington lobbyist class suborned Marco Rubio to shill for the Gang of Eight deal, and got a Rubio aide to denounce American wage-earners as losers who “can’t cut it.” The K Street Republicans created a rebel army-in-waiting by alienating both populist conservatives and Republican-leaning, working-class moderates.
Now these same people are explaining how they can “live with Trump.” The people who told us that the Republican Party needed to embrace amnesty and be welcoming are now making excuses for the candidate of immediate mass deportation, and bans on Muslims. You even have a lobbyist explaining how he hopes to worm his way into a Trump general election campaign. The lack of self-knowledge is stunning. Even a cannibal serial killer would have the sense to avoid talking about his next planned slaying. These guys advertise their next moves against the public interest.
We should keep in mind that, even now, these guys don’t expect Trump to be the nominee. This is just today’s hustle (just like amnesty was yesterday’s hustle.) They want to prevent an Anybody But Trump movement forming before Iowa. Given current conditions, the main beneficiary of such a movement would be Cruz. They are hoping that an Iowa loss would kill Cruz, and then these paladins of political decency would have public fits about how we need to unite to stop Trump with Rubio or Kasich or whoever.
But, whatever happens, we should not forgive. By their willingness to put their own selfish interests first in the days after the 2012 election, by their willingness to “deal” with the candidate who represents everything they said they hated, and by their pathetic whining about Cruz calling Mitch McConnell a liar, “the cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington” has presented irrefutable evidence that they are more narcissistic, more sociopathic, and more incompetent than even their harshest critics might have imagined. Tarring and feathering is too good for them.