Trump’s secret weapon: The GOP prefers him to Cruz

Wisconsin showed clearly how to stop Trump.  It was not that hard.  Governor Scott Walker, the talk show conservative media, and the voters all united behind Ted Cruz and gave him a majority.  You want to defeat someone in politics, you unify behind the one viable alternative.  There are no other paths to victory.

 If you don’t unite, you let Trump, a 30- to 40-percent minority candidate, walk away with the nomination and likely give the country to a President Hillary Clinton.  The GOP establishment and the #NeverTrump crowd are choosing to lose rather than actively support Cruz. 

The exit poll from New York shows that the anti-Trump voters don’t really mean it.  They preferred an empty protest vote for Kasich rather than to join Cruz’s army of true conservatives that had given him a five-victory run in caucus states.

#NeverTrump crowd in New York. Among the 24 percent of voters who said they would not vote for Trump if he were the GOP nominee, Kasich won a staggering 72 percent of them, far better than he had ever previously done with this demo.

The GOP leaders and so-called moderate Republican voters talk the talk against Trump, but they are not willing to walk the walk. 

Romney says Kasich is a spoiler.  That’s not enough.  Has Romney endorsed Cruz?  Is Romney on the campaign trail with Cruz?

Jeb Bush has endorsed Cruz, but where is he?  Is he fundraising for Cruz?  Is he standing next to Cruz on the podium?

Reince Priebus says there will be no white knight coming in to win a brokered convention for the establishment.  But he refuses to say the nominee will be either Cruz or Trump, keeping open the idea that Kasich is also a viable candidate.  Priebus is fighting to keep open the possibility of a rules change to favor Kasich – who is currently not qualified to be considered at the convention, since he hasn’t met the minimum of 8 state wins.

Paul Ryan ditto.  He stated clearly that he is not willing to be anointed presidential nominee with not a single vote to his name.  But even worse than Priebus, Ryan is holding out the possibility the winner could be neither Trump nor Cruz nor Kasich when he insists that the nominee must be “someone who ran this year.”

Rush Limbaugh says Cruz is the closest candidate we have to Ronald Reagan, and the only conservative running.  But unlike the principled talk show hosts of Wisconsin, Rush talks up Trump for hours a day.  Rush’s self-justification is that the only important thing is to remain united behind whomever the convention nominates, in order to defeat Hillary.  Rush doesn’t buy that Trump is a passionately disliked, no-hoper candidate who can’t even break above 50% in his own party.  So Rush is daily undercutting Cruz, our once-in-a-lifetime chance to elect a small-government conservative to the White House.

Trump threatens the GOP establishment with an election loss, something they weather with aplomb.  They have chosen to coexist with Obama; they can do deals with Trump as well.  He disagrees with them on immigration and trade, but he does not threaten their hold on power. 

As for Trump destroying fiefdoms in Washington, there is no doubt that he is highly unpredictable and that he is over-throwing conservatism as we have known it for decades, but it’s not as though he’s going to show up in Washington and all the lobbying shops and law firms are going to disappear. In fact, Trump is much less of a threat to the Washington status quo than a conservative like Cruz is, since Trump is not promising to reduce the size of the federal government or significantly reform it, only to run it better and cut smarter deals. This is what the stereotypical Washington establishment exists to do. It’s notable in this connection that Trump has tapped a lobbyist’s lobbyist, Paul Manafort, to stabilize his campaign. There will be more where that came from if he’s the nominee, since he is evidently not liquid or rich enough to fund his own general-election campaign.

Cruz threatens the Washington cartel with the end of their pork-barrel lifetime sinecures.  No wonder they badmouth Trump while paving his road to the nomination.