The news media and the cable TV talking heads are pulling another fast one: every day reporters and commentators are talking about the “Republican establishment” and what it/they are doing, aren’t doing, should be doing, shouldn’t be doing, can’t do, want to do…..
Nobody is asking the reporters and the commentators to make clear exactly who the “establishment” is.
I think the most obvious truth about the “Republican establishment” is that it exists mostly in the eye of each and every beholder. It’s a concept that is used so broadly and inclusively that it’s effectively meaningless.
A few seconds of Google searching turns up these observations:
“The Republican establishment refers to the traditional, moderate-to-conservative members of the Republican Party of the United States…the “political insiders”…” (Wikipedia)
“…refers to the permanent political class and structure that makes up the Republican Party. The establishment tends to control the rules of the party system, party elections, and funding disbursements. The establishment is typically viewed as more elitist, politically moderate, and out-of-touch with conservative voters.” (usconservatives.about.com)
“It is, roughly speaking, made up of current officeholders, prominent former officeholders, consultants and lobbyists, donors, and business groups like the Chamber of Commerce. Who do I call when I want to get the Republican establishment on the phone? It is a large group of people that doesn’t get together for regular meetings to decide what to do, nor does it walk in lockstep. But there is a default toward highly conventional political judgments, a distaste for social issues and support for comprehensive immigration reform. It tends to talk to itself, and disdain a populist, working-class politics. It can be terminally unimaginative and out of touch.” (National Review)
Who’s NOT included?
None of the broadly defined classes or groups of people defined above speak with anything like a coherent, singular voice.
There is no effective “Republican establishment” that’s running things on the Republican side or deliberately planning how to deal with the Trump horror or pursuing a major nationwide political doctrine intended to benefit our society and us as individuals.
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.