By Lynn R. Mitchell
Today, the last men standing amidst the debris of the Republican presidential competition are Donald Trump, a political independent who is using the Republican Party like an Uber car; Ted Cruz, who used the Republican Party as a footstool; and John Kasich, a remnant of the Reagan revolution, who is being told by Republicans to quit.
That’s just one jewel of a statement in this Wall Street Journal piece by Daniel Henninger that illustrates how Republicans have become the Gingham Dog and Calico Cat while President Barack Obama and the Democrats have sat back and watch the GOP implode. Henninger writes:
Barack Obama will retire a happy man. He is now close to destroying his political enemies—the Republican Party, the American conservative movement and the public-policy legacy of Ronald Reagan.
The Democrats survived the Obama desert by going to ground. But frustrated Republicans outside Congress eventually started tearing each other apart.
… Democrats, when out of power, historically remain intact until the wheel turns again. Their ideology has been simple: tax and spend.
The minority Republicans began well. In 2010, ObamaCare passed with zero Republican Senate votes, and Dodd-Frank with only one Republican Senate vote. It was a remarkable display of party discipline.
In the first term, Republicans and conservatives fought Barack Obama. In the second term, they decided it made more sense to fight each other.
With no party spokesman for conservatism, an ideological vacuum existed. Freelance operators filled it.
They included two hyper-ambitious Senate freshman, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. They also included a movement to purge and cleanse conservatism, led by groups such as Heritage Action and by talk radio hosts. Together they conjured an internal enemy—the Republican Establishment.
Oh, yeah … the “establishment.” And the civil war within the Republican Party continues. The rest of Henninger’s article has more jewels. A good read.