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GOP conservatives, populists suddenly in fierce battle
The Washington Examiner ^ | January 21, 2016 | David M. Drucker

Posted on 01/20/2016 11:16:20 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Movement conservatives and self-styled Republican populists have long been joined in conflict with the party establishment, but the GOP presidential race has set them on a collision course.

Friction between these two GOP factions is being fueled by the increasingly bitter battle between Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and New York celebrity businessman Donald Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Cruz represents ideologically committed conservatives, although he has appealed with some success to populist voters. Trump has given big government populists, who have aligned with the GOP mostly for cultural reasons, a champion, while appealing to some movement conservatives.

"Many movement conservatives are frustrated about Trump's rise," a conservative political operative who works in the nation's capital told the Washington Examiner, requesting anonymity in order to speak candidly. "It's hard to look at Trump's history and come to the conclusion that he's a conservative."

The conservative-populist alliance has been built around a shared distrust of, and frustration with, what both camps view as the entrenched and out of touch Republican Party leadership in Washington. To these voters, and the collection of advocacy groups that claim to speak for them in D.C., that includes members of Congress (rank-and-file, as well as leaders,) the national party committees, and the community of professional political consultants and K Street lobbyists.

Conservatives and populists largely agree on illegal immigration - that it must be stopped and that elected Republicans haven't done anything about it. They passionately oppose President Obama and his signature health care law, are conservative on social issues and in broad agreement that the government should butt out of their lives. And, they have made common cause generally over their belief that elites in New York and Washington have rigged politics and the economy to their advantage.

But after that, these two GOP voting blocs tend to part company.

Movement conservatives favor smaller government and reducing taxes for all income levels, free trade and ending industry-specific tax breaks - derided as "crony capitalism," and a major overhaul of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security to reduce projected long-term deficit spending. Populists are suspicious of entitlement reform, wary of free trade agreements, open to hikes in taxes and the minimum wage and fine with industry tax breaks - at least if they protect local jobs.

For doctrinaire conservatives and their allied groups, these differences haven't matter much, because only they satisfied the populists' desire to vote against the so-called Republican establishment. But Trump's command of the Republican primary campaign has given them an alternative that better matches their worldview. Tea Party heroine Sarah Palin's endorsement of Trump made plain this week just how stark their differences are on key issues, and how fragile their political marriage really is.

A conservative strategist who has advised insurgent Republican candidates said these differences have often been apparent in the South, the bedrock of the Republican Party's electoral support. "Mississippi is a pretty pro-life, Republican state," this operative said. "But they like getting stuff from the government. It's why there's been less support for the types of candidates backed by conservative outside groups, there and in Alabama - even though they're heavily Republican - than in Ohio, Georgia and Texas."

The populist wing of the GOP tends to be white, working class and economically and culturally disaffected. They either attended some or no college, although they also include the college educated. Many were, or might have been Democrats, had the Democratic Party, in their view, not abandoned them by placing a greater value on catering to the desires of ethnic minorities and immigrants. They describe themselves as "conservative."

Usually, these voters lock hands with doctrinaire, small government conservatives to form a firewall through which a Republican primary candidate has trouble passing unless they meet the minimum threshold of conservatism demanded by the conservative wing of the GOP. But Trump, because of his appeal to populist voters, is upending that deal, and in doing so usurping power from the conservative wing, although many political analysts believe this dynamic will be short-lived.

To outflank Cruz in Iowa, he is vowing to keep the gravy train for ethanol subsidies rolling (Cruz supports sun-setting federal subsidies over five years, beginning in 2017). Washington's investment in Iowa corn crops is an important part of the Hawkeye State economy. Trump opposes entitlement reform and doesn't talk about reducing the size and scope of government, just managing it better.

Political analyst Ronald Brownstein, who writes for National Journal, describes Trump's impact in the Republican primary this way: "The blue-col­lar wing of the Republican primary electorate has consolidated around one candidate." This works for Trump as long as college educated, white collar Republicans split their vote among Cruz and a host of Republican contenders that are labeled as establishment even if the moniker is an unfair representation of their record.

The fight for votes in Iowa by Cruz and Trump is temporarily obscuring the longstanding internecine war going on between the governing and insurgent wings of the GOP. But some veteran Republican operatives can't help but chuckle at the predicament conservatives find themselves in. They have spent years accusing so-called establishment Republicans of being insufficiently conservative. Now, they're facing similar charges of heresy from the populist wing.

"If 'conservative populist' means a really angry older white voter who dislikes Obama... but has absolutely no ideological underpinnings, then I guess that term would apply to Trump and his followers," said a Republican strategist who has advised both insurgent and establishment-aligned GOP candidates.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatism; establishment; gope; phonypopulism; populism; populistsarelosers; populistslose; republican
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1 posted on 01/20/2016 11:16:20 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Vote Trump

2 posted on 01/20/2016 11:20:49 PM PST by Windflier (Pitchforks and torches ripen on the vine. Left too long, they become black rifles.)
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To: Windflier

3 posted on 01/20/2016 11:21:07 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The term ‘populist’ is a vague and perjorative term for a majority felt opinion.

4 posted on 01/20/2016 11:26:22 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

LOL, nice cover art. Jeb should probably be bleeding.

5 posted on 01/20/2016 11:28:05 PM PST by Impy (They pull a knife, you pull a gun. That's the CHICAGO WAY, and that's how you beat the rats!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

6 posted on 01/20/2016 11:31:03 PM PST by South40 ("One of the reasons I like Ted Cruz so much, is that he's not controversial," ~Donald Trump)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It’s important not to forget that only a few weeks ago, Trump singularly upset the whole election apple cart!

Trump set the national agenda by opposing illegal immigration and bringing up other issues that the GOPe and their allies desperately wanted to avoid, and now they can’t.

The GOPe was not prepared for this, and as a consequence they don’t have a clue about what to do, hence their almost universal collapse into a pile of quivering jello, flip-flopping like a bag of Mexican jumping beans dumped on a hot griddle.

Trump has exposed those who pretend to be conservative but are really just fronts for big money establishment campaign donors who purchase their candidates with campaign “donations”.

Trump, by actually being a real man, has exposed the other candidates (Cruz excepting of course) and their allies for the weak little sniveling sellouts that they really are.

Trump’s vociferous truth-telling and fearless neutering of the kommie media have been the catalyst that triggered a massive revolt amongst conservative voters who are infuriated at the GOPe Congress doing absolutely ZERO to stop Obama’s agenda, and suddenly the GOP RINO leadership is in full blown panic mode and in full blown retreat, and the SMALL conservative House contingent smelt blood in the water, took heart, and charged in against a weakened, frightened and paralyzed GOPe leadership, and Boehner was taken out as a sacrificial lamb.

Trump is absolutely correct when he says that without Trump in the race, everything would be same-ol’, same-ol. The Joyful Tippy-Toes Turtle would be creeping closer to the finish line, Boehner would still be safely ensconced as Speaker, and there would be no mention of illegal immigration are any of the issues surrounding it by any politician in either party, other than possibly how critical it would be to pass immigration “reform”.

The media are loath to make the connection, but it’s obvious that the Boehner resignation was yet another falling domino, toppling due to the Trump Effect, because Trump’s unabashed truth-telling and fearless neutering of the kommie media triggered a revolt amongst the great unwashed GOP masses which emboldened a few conservative Congress critters to grow a few pairs.

And we wouldn’t even be having ANY of these conversations about illegal immigration and the myriad of other Obammunist issues destroying our country if it wasn’t for Trump. Instead, we’d simply be debating which RINO, GOPe squish would be least likely to be stomped by Hillary, and the GOPe would once again be exhorting the “base” about how critical it is for us to once again vote for the “lesser of two evils”, that is, vote for the GOPe side of the Uniparty coin.

And do note that ALL of the oligarchs and plutocrats are frightened to death of Donald Trump because the billionaires and millionaires can’t buy him like all of the other politicians they routinely purchase, because Trump doesn’t need nor want their money, and the kommie media is frightened to death of him because he isn’t afraid of them either, the bottom line being that Donald Trump can not be controlled by the rich and powerful or the corrupt media, so for anyone who is truly for campaign finance reform and wants to take money out of politics, voting for Trump is the only reasonable choice.

President Trump is really the last hope for this country: if he can’t undo any of the damage wrought by the Obammunists, the U.S.A. is done.

So least we forget, the above, and much more, are called “The Trump Effect”.

7 posted on 01/20/2016 11:34:45 PM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Just as the GOP elites have planned. Jeb will be the nominee.

8 posted on 01/20/2016 11:36:44 PM PST by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason and rule of law. Prepare!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I hate to be labeled by the “conservative media”. I consider myself a conservative but maybe not “their” view of a conservative. I believe we need the best person to be in charge of getting our America back angain. We need a Pappy Boyington, a George Patton. We need someone who is adept at kicking ass and knocking heads. Screw the labels.

9 posted on 01/20/2016 11:39:38 PM PST by Dapper 26
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To: catnipman; All
FR Thread: Is Trump a McConnell-Rove Establishment Tool?

On January 19, Donald Trump, the loudest Republican claimant to the anti-establishment label, filled out his recent attacks on Ted Cruz in a very telling way, as revealed on Mark Levin's radio program ...

We've been contacted by the establishment types. They all want to know, how do they get involved with the campaign? They're giving up on their candidate...and I mean these are real establishment people, that I've known when I was a member of the establishment -- meaning a giver, a big donor. But they are contacting us -- Corey [Trump's campaign manager], I think we can say that very honestly, they're contacting us left and right about joining the campaign, and these are serious establishment types.

Who might these "real," "serious" establishment types be? Perhaps there is a hint in this subsequent comment, a follow-up to his recent pro-establishment assault against Ted Cruz:

So when you talk about temperament, Ted has got a rough temperament, I don't know. You know, you can't call people liars on the Senate floor, when they're your leader.

This, of course, is a direct reference to Cruz's criticism of Mitch McConnell regarding the GOP establishment leader's secret deal with Barack Obama prior to a trade vote.

Donald Trump defending Mitch McConnell, you ask? The answer is yes, and the explanation may be found by examining Trump's recent history as a political donor.

10 posted on 01/20/2016 11:42:51 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Dapper 26
I hate to be labeled by the "conservative media". I consider myself a conservative but maybe not "their" view of a conservative. I believe we need the best person to be in charge of getting our America back angain. We need a Pappy Boyington, a George Patton. We need someone who is adept at kicking ass and knocking heads. Screw the labels.

I'm all in for Trump because I think he can actually win the general election.

I do not fool myself into believing he is a hard conservative...he is NOT.

I do think he is our last chance to save the country before the democrats manage to change the demographics in such a way that we end up some kind of Marxist/fascist/atheist nation.

I just hope Ted Cruz is along for the wild ride as trump's VP ... Trump needs his sharp mind and knowledge to help guide him on his quest to rescue this nation.

11 posted on 01/20/2016 11:58:55 PM PST by Bobalu (Even if I could take off, I could never get past the tractor beam!)
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To: All
Cruz: GOP establishment is ditching Rubio for Trump

"Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is doubling up his attacks, targeting rivals Donald Trump and Marco Rubio in one fell swoop.

Cruz on Wednesday said the GOP establishment is lining up behind Trump because they think Rubio is faltering.

"Right now the establishment is abandoning Marco Rubio," Cruz said, according to the Washington Post.

"They're making the assessment that Marco can't win this race, and the Washington establishment is rushing over to support Donald Trump. We're seeing that every day. And Mr. Trump is welcoming the support of the Washington establishment."

The comments came on the same day 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole questioned Cruz's ability to work with Congress if he were to be president, while heaping praise on Trump.

"I question his allegiance to the party," Dole said of Cruz. "I don't know how often you've heard him say the word 'Republican' - not very often.

"If he's the nominee, we're going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures," he added.

Dole added that Trump, on the other hand, "can probably work with Congress, because he's, you know, he's got the right personality and he's kind of a deal-maker."

Cruz used these comments to launch an attack against Trump, questioning his commitment to conservatism.

"Indeed, Mr. Trump said that they should support him, because - he said - 'Ted won't go along to get along. He won't make deals with the Democrats.' Well, I don't think there are a lot of Republicans who think the problem with Republican leadership is that they won't make deals with the Democrats," he said.

"We are seeing more and more the establishment calling out their support for Donald Trump," Cruz added.

"Look, Donald Trump was very candid. On the Sunday shows recently, seven months ago, he said he was the establishment. Well, that hasn't changed. There's a reason the establishment is attracted to Donald Trump."

12 posted on 01/21/2016 12:12:37 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Trump & Palin = game set and match.

13 posted on 01/21/2016 12:33:00 AM PST by spokeshave (Happy Christmas and a New Year that Trumps all.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
There's a lot of nonsense out there about the GOPe secretly supporting Trump to keep Cruz out, or Cruz to keep Trump out.

What if it turns out that the GOPe is as incompetent as we know they are? What if they have screwed things up so much that they have more than one candidate to worry about?

Remember when Carson was a threat? That was three candidates polling higher than Bush and Bushio (or is that Rube and Rubio)?

Yeah Trump supports ethanol which is stupid, and Cruz is/was a big H1b supporter which is anathema, but

I'll be happy with either Cruz or Trump (or even Carson if he can rise from the political dead).

ABC = Anyone But Clinton

14 posted on 01/21/2016 12:41:15 AM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It didn’t “used” to be conservative in any shape, fashion or form to support unlimited free trade and imported cheap labor to the detriment of the citizens of this country.

That’s a stupid position that was forced upon us by the Bush wing of the party and the liberal Wall Street cabal that pays them off.

And that’s been the problem...communists on one side and a bizarre mash-up of libertarian economic & extreme social issue voters on the other.

Donald Trump is actually a conservative; it’s nice to finally see one again.

15 posted on 01/21/2016 12:41:18 AM PST by garandgal
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If you feel like it, join in the Free Republic Caucus (each day)

Thank you.

Be sure to read the rules and follow them so your candidate will benefit from you vote.


Results of yesterday's Free Republic Caucus.  LINK
16 posted on 01/21/2016 1:03:33 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Free Republic Caucus: vote daily / watch for the thread / Starts 01/20 midnight to midnight EDST)
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To: Dapper 26

‘Movement, doctrinaire, conservative, populist’......All terms these jackanapes who wouldn’t know real America if it bit them on the ass concoct for things they don’t understand.

They sit behind their media keyboards, attend their party functions, ‘strategize’ and pontificate about who supports whatever candidate fits their tiny lexicons. Who the hell do they think they are? Supporters who support (Trump, Cruz, whoever) are old white men who hate Obama and have no ‘ideological underpinnings’ Uneducated, blue collar former Democrats, blah, blah, blah.

The truth is these icons of establishment don’t know sh!t and they fear for their jobs and their livelihoods and they will make up anything to keep the PAC money flowing to Jeb, or Rubio or whoever else they can pump up to keep in the money.

17 posted on 01/21/2016 1:22:36 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: SpaceBar

It also means it blows with the wind.

And the wind will blow. Particularly in DC.

18 posted on 01/21/2016 1:27:33 AM PST by DB
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To: garandgal

Good luck with that.

19 posted on 01/21/2016 1:32:04 AM PST by DB
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Vote Trump

20 posted on 01/21/2016 1:41:50 AM PST by Enlightened1
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