How NeverTrump Could Cost the GOP the House and Senate

Donald Trump’s chances for reelection in November have never been higher. The latest Gallup poll puts his approval rating at 49 percent, other polls have measured even higher, and he just gave the speech of his life in his 2020 State of the Union address. But watch out. Without Republican control of the Senate in 2020, much less recovering control of the House of Representatives, the impact of a second Trump term will be profoundly diminished.

Left-wing billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, Donald Sussman, James Simons, George Soros, Stephen Schwarzman, Fred Eychaner, Karla Jurvetson, and Jeff Bezos have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars almost exclusively to Democrats over the past few years. For example, in 2018 these Democratic mega-moguls constituted 9 of the top 12 individual political contributors to federal elections.

Funny how the American media and most citizens still believe that the GOP is the party of the rich. And then there are the unions, which routinely spend in favor of Democrats at a ratio of roughly 10-to-1. Public-sector unions, using money flowing directly from taxpayers into the treasuries of Democratic campaigns, are the worst offenders of all.

Unwinding who gives to whom is a tedious process, but if anyone doubts that the big money favors Democrats, consider the words of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in reference to the 2020 congressional races. “They are kicking our ass,” he said, referring to Democrats.

As reported in Politico on January 28, “House Republican leaders privately conceded in a closed meeting Tuesday morning that they are in the midst of a full-blown fundraising crisis, which would imperil any chance they have at regaining their majority in 2020.”

Despite a Trump surge, the money and ground game on the downticket federal races overwhelmingly favor Democrats across the nation. This means the GOP could lose seats in the House in 2020, where they already are 35 seats short of a majority, and they might even lose their thin majority in the Senate. FiveThirtyEight ranks four of the 23 senate seats Republicans have to defend in 2020 as toss-ups. Roll Call considers six GOP senators at risk.

Republicans Are Helping Democrats Defeat Republicans

Ever since Trump roared onto the scene in June 2015, the Republican establishment has been on the defensive. As Michael Anton put it in his pivotal 2016 essay, “The Flight 93 Election,” Republicans have spent the past 20 years engaging in phony opposition.

“To the extent that you are ever on the winning side of anything,” he writes, “it’s as sophists who help the Davoisie oligarchy rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless war.”

Today, some of the smartest Republican establishment operatives are doing everything they can to see Trump defeated. Consider the title of this guest opinion column that appeared recently in the New York Times: “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated.”

The authors of this hit piece are not lightweights. They’ve worked in the inner circles for top-tier GOP candidates, including George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain, John Kasich, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But notice the pattern here: these consultants are all establishment Republicans who served establishment Republican candidates.

The most recently visible of the co-authors, who in their New York Times column claim that Trump’s GOP defenders are “imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander those who have shed blood for our country,” is none other than Rick Wilson. For those who have already put his shameful performance out of their minds, Wilson is the man who joined CNN host Don Lemon to ridicule Trump voters as “the credulous boomer rube demo,” that thinks “Don’l Trump’s the smart one and y’all elitists are duuuumb,” with “your math and your readin’ . . . and all those liiiines on the map.”

Exactly what part of Wilson’s moments of candor on CNN was not “imbued with an ugliness, a meanness and a willingness to attack and slander”? Further evidence of this may be found in an in-depth interview Wilson gave Salon on January 16. Just in case one might think Wilson’s CNN performance was an aberration, here’s the title of the Salon interview: “Former GOP strategist Rick Wilson: ‘F–king hating’ Trump is the key to winning in 2020.”

Wilson and his cohorts are capable and well connected, and they’re using everything they’ve learned in a lifetime of politics to help Democrats in the 2020 election. Here’s a revealing excerpt from Wilson’s Salon interview, where he talks about what it will take to boost Democratic voter turnout:

I helped build this machine. I helped do this a long time. Lord, give me a Democratic policy briefing book because I will make a hundred ads out of it. They will be demagogic. They will be terrifying. They will be lies piled upon lies. But the fundamental thing is that they will scare the crap out of the voters I want to scare the crap out of.

A Trump victory in 2020 cannot be taken for granted, even though the chances he will win look better than ever. Which party ends up in control of the House and Senate, however, hangs by a thread.

And into what is a tight, uphill battle for Republicans, wades these NeverTrump Republicans. What motivates them? Could it be that these consultants who boast they can build “lies piled upon lies,” and who by their own admission “built these machines,” are upset because they’re out of work? It’s hard to assign moral credibility to anyone who is capable of the performance that Wilson just delivered on CNN. What about the rest of them?

Mitt Romney Epitomizes the Pathetically Grasping NeverTrump Mindset

This brings us to our favorite NeverTrumper, Mitt Romney. To indulge in some Rick Wilsonian cruelty, Romney is not aging well. Catch a photo or video of him when he’s a bit fatigued. Observe his high, top-heavy, squared-off forehead, his prominent brows and sunken eyes, and that grimace that passes for a smile. If you blurred that image only slightly, you might mistake him for Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.

This is an apt metaphor since Romney is a cobbled agglomeration of parts: part moralist, part opportunist, part globalist, part patriot, part Democrat, part Republican, part religious devotee, part corporate raider. Partly a Trump sycophant, groveling first for an endorsement, and then for an appointment as secretary of state. Partly a NeverTrump backstabber, “reluctantly” opposing Trump whenever it might goose his chances to someday himself become president. Newsflash, Mitt, you will never be the American president. Nobody trusts you, not even your Mormon constituents in your latest adopted “home state” of Utah.

Maybe an even better example of a Romney equivalent would be Tolkien’s Gollum, whose desire for the One Ring consumed him. What a perfect metaphor—the One Ring is the ultimate power. Picture Gollum in the movie versions of the book, his burning eyes, his long, withered, grasping fingers, his aged skin stretched over his skeletal form. It’s Mitt!

For the best description of Romney, however, one must go all the way back to Hunter Thompson’s unforgettable book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in 1972, where he compares a career politician on the scent of the presidency to a bull elk in a mating rut. Here is a snippet of Thompson’s arresting prose:

The dumb bastards lose all control of themselves when the rut comes on. Their eyes glaze over, their ears pack up with hot wax, and their loins get heavy with blood. Anything that sounds like a cow elk in heat will fuse the central nervous systems of every bull on the mountain. They will race through the timber like huge cannonballs, trampling small trees and scraping off bloody chunks of their own hair on the unyielding bark of the big ones. They behave like sharks in a feeding frenzy, attacking each other with all the demented violence of human drug dealers gone mad on their own wares. A career politician finally smelling the White House is not much different from a bull elk in the rut. He will stop at nothing, trashing anything that gets in his way.

Don’t believe a word of Romney’s pious disclaimers. Impeachment put him in a rut.

If you were to select another member of America’s establishment uni-party who most resembles Mitt Romney, the monster, it could easily be the cadaverous Tom Steyer. Find anything the two of them—both former hedge fund predators—might disagree on. Open borders? Check. Lower wages? Check. Outsourcing? Check. De-industrialization? Check. Trade giveaways? Check. Endless war? Check. At least Steyer, to his credit, calls himself a Democrat.

The Choice Between Democrat and Republican Candidates in 2020

Here’s a reality check for Mitt Romney, along with Rick Wilson and his NeverTrump super PAC, along with Bill Kristol and his sundry vanity projects, and all the rest of the GOP’s Fifth Column who claim they’re trying to “save America.” They’re not. Their criticism of Trump is hollow, transparently self-interested babble. They are dancing with the Devil, each of them, because Trump didn’t make them queen of the prom. With America at an epic crossroads, it’s really that petty.

Let’s remind ourselves what Democrats (and NeverTrump Republicans apparently) stand for, along with open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless war.

Democrats want us to believe that America is a racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, blah blah blah, [insert*]phobia, hate-mongering nation. They spread this despicable lie in America’s union-controlled public schools, in the Democratic Party-controlled media and entertainment complex, and via every politician with a “D” by their names, despite the fact that America is the most inclusive and tolerant nation to ever exist.

To “mitigate” for America’s many “phobias,” Democrats want to tighten the regulatory screws down even further. They want to expand the mandates that in every institution in the nation—academia, business, politics, even art and music—at all levels, require every identifiable “protected status group” to be present in the exact same proportions as they are represented in the general population. What could possibly go wrong?

Democrats also want us to believe the planet is in imminent peril thanks to “climate change” induced by the use of fossil fuel. They are pushing a “carbon neutral” future as a matter of dire emergency, heedless of the fact that 85 percent of all global energy comes from fossil fuel, and heedless as well of the fact that energy production worldwide needs to double if humanity is to have any chance of lifting its final burgeoning billions out of high birth rates and desperate poverty.

Never mind. Ration energy. Ration land, transportation, and water. Micromanage everything. Create a society existing primarily to monitor and, as deemed appropriate, suppress all economic activity, relying on an army of bureaucrats, a panopticon of algorithms, with every durable appliance from cars to coffee makers wired into a surveillance device. Connect any contrarian desire for freedom and property rights to every smear in the book—racist, xenophobe, “denier.” Flood the nation with “climate refugees.”

Shall we go on? This is the tyranny that NeverTrump Republicans are inviting. It is difficult to find words too harsh for what they are doing.

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About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also the director of water and energy policy for the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).

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