A Fox poll from two weeks ago supposedly suggests there are five million voters who will only vote for Trump in the general, whether or not he is the Republican nominee, no other candidate need apply, practical politics be damned.
Some of them toss around the shibboleth “RINO” with little self awareness (not unlike The Donald).
Ironically, Donald Trump who uses and encourages the epithet, violates Republican norms by refusing to debate other candidates or to pledge support for the Republican nominee should he not make the cut. His apparent attitude is if he does not get the nomination, the party be damned. So the term RINO should not apply only to liberals. It is our view it also applies to the detached (if ever connected ) “Only-Trump” “Republicans”.
They call themselves Republicans in order to be able to vote in the Republican primary and further their candidate. Their candidate, while coveting the Republican ballot placement and the good will of the half of the party who may not be enamored with him as their first choice, refuses to say he will support the duly elected nominee of that party. A party by the way who’s Chairman Trump essentially placed.
How is refusing to support the nominee of the Republican Party not the key operating trait of a RINO?
Regarding the Fox presidential preference poll of a couple of weeks ago:
Gary Bauer, writing at Campaign for Working Families on September 15th * certainly does not call Only-Trump voters a cult (that is our provocative word choice because we believe when push comes to shove it is much smaller than suggested). Instead he credulously refers to the figure derived from a recent Fox News poll that 5 million voters will only vote for Trump. Even though we think it is a fraction of that, by not definitively putting an end to such reverberations, Trump is playing a disgraceful dangerous unpatriotic power ploy. The tone or implication from Bauer by not being critical of the attitude leaves open the interpretation that maybe Republicans better do what the Only-Trump people say or risk electoral disaster.
We see the “only Trump” threat all the time in comment sections of various conservative publications we read. Often even stated as such, the attitude from them seems to be that if Trump does not win the nomination the process must be corrupt or the Republican party is made up of a bunch of liberals and deep state operatives.
We are not suggesting that is Bauer’s position. But we do not believe despite our own desperation to defeat Democrats it is necessary to raise our hands in subservience to threats. Rather it is incumbent on seasoned observers to point out that: pursuit of the perceived perfect can be the enemy of the good. That sitting out the presidential election or as a matter of practical politics, writing in a candidate enables Democrats and all the evil they propose. That the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils is to be shunned because it is “still voting for evil” — is a ridiculous juxtaposition because no candidate is perfect and we are all fallen.
Our view is that insisting on voting in Republican primaries but with no intention of supporting the nominee other than your own favorite, — such a group could be termed either brigands or idiots, but RINO’s still has application. They are either “my way or the highwaymen” or they have little intellectual balance.
We realize full well that Republican Party processes can be corrupted by power brokers and there are prominent members who should be shamed, punished, and given ultimatums for not following the GOP platform in fundamental areas. But a fundamental rule to protect the furtherance of the party at the national level, the one that sustains its claim to be inclusive of the grassroots, the acknowledgement that the membership has spoken, something a priori, is the rule that the prospective nominees agree to support the results of the legitimate nomination process and the candidate it produces. Otherwise the honest thing to do is start your own party with your own rules.
Trump’s refusal to play by the GOP rules is, as he so often mouths about others, a disgrace. Now he and his Only Trump supporters have every right to create their own political party and pursue getting on the ballot in all the states (but of course it is already too late and Trump knows that). Since they are so Trump centric they can call themselves Trumpeters or perhaps POT (Party of Trump), because they are sure that’s the way the country is going.
No need to have party rules. Trump will write the platform, changeable or ignorable at his whim of course, but to which POT members will pledge undying support, because Orange Man Good. And rules schmooles, there won’t even be guidelines, only the days profundities from his excellency.
Responding to the charge by Only Trumpers that the likes of George Bush proves that some Republicans do not deserve support
There is a formulation by Only Trumpers to excuse his refusal to pledge support to the nominee (other than Him of course) to the effect that the Bush administration proved that Republicans can be just as bad, just as evil, crooked, big-government liars as Democrats and therefore Republicans nominees deserve no deference. It is an obtuse opinion.
For example GW Bush was not perfect on judicial appointments but neither was Trump. But had a Gore or a Heinz-Kerry been in office we would have had a federal judiciary replete with liberals in entrenched positions. Bush nominated Alito and Roberts. The latter had a pretty good resume, was generally applauded by conservatives but has been a huge disappointment — but who really knew it would go that way? Alito has been excellent.
But for Bush, Trump would not have had Kavanaugh or Gorsuch to credibly choose from in replenishing SCOTUS as Bush nominated both to Appeals Courts. Neither has been perfect in my judgement, Bush’s Alito closer to the loadstar for SCOTUS.
Bush was a bid spender, guns and butter, so was Trump increasing deficits and signing a debt ceiling increase. But Bush had a war to fight. Regarding that, one can properly fault the conduct of the war under Bush as to definable mission, but 1) we were faced with a growing Muslim jihadist movement of serious import poised to hold hostage critical energy needs of the world — and 2) a creepy dictator in the person of megalomaniac mass-murderer Saddam Hussein who refused to abide by the conditions of the armistice he agreed to, thus frustrating the critical need for absolute confidence he was not developing or hiding WMDs (which he had used). By the way he was in violation of the armistice not only preventing inspections but he WAS maintaining and secreting WMD precursors and weaponry however old.
A useless argument is how effective or extensive Saddam’s program was because we could not have known with adequate certainty without the inspections. Given the volatility of the region it was justified to roll through and assure the world that the maniacal creep who signed the armistice abided by it.
As to Afghanistan we were after the perps who attacked our country who were given or otherwise getting sanctuary in that country. When faced with bloodthirsty creeps, secular or religious, threatening your country or our allies with which we have treaties, you do something. That was true of the Vietnam war when an ally is faced with godless communist takeover.
The alternative to the Bush years — Gore and Kerry — was and is horrible to contemplate.
Environmental and public health wackos, seriously out to depopulate the planet, would have been more entrenched. The scale of their policies would have been worse beyond any credible accusation about Bush. Bush at least pursued energy independence so that the hegemony of radical Muslims over peaceful Muslim nations would be less a threat.
Bush signed pro-life legislation and did a lot with executive orders to protect life and culture none of which would have happened with Gore or Kerry or any Democrat. Trump similarly did a lot with EOs as well. But one wonders who they prefer issuing EOs (other than Trump) — Gore or Kerry? Do they really believe theirs would be equally bad or equally good? Most Republicans judged they would be far worse. But not Only Trump people.
Bush pushed and achieved tax cuts, reduced capital gains rates and deregulated government (not enough) — and none of that would have happened under a Democrat. Bush tried Social Security reform and while a so-called compasionate conservative (all conservatives are but it does not equate with big-spending welfare state) he did inculcate some welfare reforms, again none of which would have happened under a Democrat, no doubt the other way around.
Bush layed the groundwork for energy independence, he was an oilman for crying out-loud. The lamp for new development and techniques (fracking) was lit by him. His policies were subverted by Dems (which vociferous Only Trump people are somehow indifferent to because non-Trump presidents are just as bad as Dems or something. Those energy programs were ripe for exploiting under Trump, which to his credit he did, but it would not have been as timely without the groundwork laid by Bush.
The Patriot Act was overwrought legislation, inadequately protective of civil liberties. It hugely enabled the deep state. Charitably, it was well intentioned.
Project Warped Speed was well intentioned by Trump but three years into his presidency, Mr. Personnel Chief, the hammer on The Apprentice, put in charge or kept in charge a deep state public health apparat that gave us a novel gene altering non-vaccine which, distributed with Trump’s blessing, was more effective immunizing Big Pharma from liability than people. The iatrogenic effects are way beyond any vaccine ever foisted on the public and that it done with Trump’s encouragement albeit later weaponized with mandates by who — oh yes those Democrats who are no worse than Republicans in POT calculus. Yes we will trump their criticism of the Bush Patriot Act with Trump’s project Warped Speed for the avoidable harm rendered.
After especially Obama but also Carter, Bush is the worst, manipulative in his own way, wrong-headed hurtful to Republican interests past President we have seen. I do not want him back. But there is an order of ranking there that POT people equivocate on. But saying Bush policies were as bad as Dems is incredible.
The primary being what it is, now is the best time to evaluate who would not have the side-tracking drama, not be prone to stepping on his appendage with comments against interests, would not flail about, presenting an aura of revenge seeker, and have the demonstrated discipline to be the best President going forward.
Trump overall was not a very good administrator and invited avoidable drama with his demeanor. Nor was Trump an articulate defender of his policies. DeSantis has laid out policies as good, better thought out, every bit as fundamental. He can defend them better, and has better judgement about key people.
We favor DeSantis because he is a better tactical and strategic thinker with better appeal to no-party women due to his military service, his young photogenic family, his superior performance as an administrator, and his superior ability to articulate and defend them. Trump is inferior as to those markers and won’t be as productive as DeSantis because he tends to flail and has signaled vendetta (even when it is appropriate it is not politic to taint your entire approach).
However if Trump obtains the nomination he covets while dissing Republicans, he will have my vote even though his refusal to offer the same to another candidate, judged superior by the people Trump courts, properly disqualifies him in the primary. Trump’s refusal to pledge to support a nominee of the party other than himself establishes him as a RINO.
We will support the nominee of the Republican Party because Democrats are that dangerous even if Only Trump people think there is no difference in the two parties or how their candidates operate.
*Bauer’s commentary was also entirely too credulous over other results in the Fox poll which we will address in our next post.