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Trump becomes the choice of Republican establishment

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The 2016 presidential campaign is being driven by two politicians whose names are not on any ballot: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The Republican race is being shaped by conservative rage at Obama. The Democratic race by liberal wariness of Clintonism.

Seven years of President Obama has driven Republicans over the edge. They despise this president and everything he stands for. Obama is the ultimate conservative nightmare - a big-government liberal who's weak on foreign policy. And black.

What's shaping the Republican race is the fury of rank-and-file Republican voters at their own party. Republicans have taken control of Congress - and for what? They still can't stop Obama. He vetoes what the Republican Congress can pass, like repeal of Obamacare. And he ignores Congress and acts on his own authority to implement what they won't pass.

Based on two decades of polling by the Pew Research Center, the "New York Times" reports, "Republican unhappiness with their own party during the Obama presidency has exceeded any previous level of self-party dissatisfaction among either Democrats or Republicans." Rage at the Republican leadership has produced two brutally anti-establishment contenders, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), both current front-runners for the GOP nomination.

What we are seeing now is a split. The Republican Party establishment is anxiously embracing Trump. The conservative ideological establishment is angrily rejecting Trump and promoting Cruz. What's the difference?

Republican Party leaders see Trump as more flexible and pragmatic. "We've got to make deals," Trump said at a campaign rally last week. "We don't want to sign executive orders. We want to make good deals." Deal-making is something professional politicians understand.

Cruz, on the other hand, is totally inflexible. To him, deals are sell-outs. Cruz believes that shutting down the federal government and putting the full faith and credit of the United States at risk are good negotiating tactics. His willingness to go to the brink horrifies professional politicians.

But it thrills conservative intellectuals. They want a leader who is completely committed to principle. That's not Trump. The "Weekly Standard" called Trump "a confidence man." The "National Review" published an entire issue "Against Trump." He's ideologically incoherent. He has no problem with big government - a wall on the border, mass deportations - as long as he's in charge. The only thing Trump truly believes in is himself.

Conservatives admire Cruz's "no compromise" approach. Republican politicos hate it. They think it will doom them at the polls. "With Cruz, you're looking at a Republican Party that wouldn't win the vote of a young person, a young woman or minority for a generation," one Republican consultant warned.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promotes what she calls a "sensible, achievable agenda." That doesn't exactly get liberals' juices flowing. Neither did her husband's record as president. He got elected at a time when Reaganism was still in the ascendancy, and he moderated the Democratic Party's "big government" image in order to make Democrats more competitive. It worked.

But this is a different time. Liberals today do not feel they have to reach an accommodation with free-market capitalism. Not after the financial crash, the Great Recession and years of wage stagnation and rising inequality.

Bill Clinton's signature policy achievements never had much appeal to liberals. Free trade, welfare reform, a balanced budget and Wall Street deregulation were all passed with more support from Republicans than from Democrats. Many liberals look at Hillary Clinton and see Wall Street and "triangulation."

Older Democrats revere Bill Clinton and see him as a president who delivered "good times." Many younger Democrats don't share those recollections. After all, Clinton has been out of the White House for more than 15 years. For younger voters, Clinton's "good times" means something different.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) electrifies liberals. He's conviction. Hillary Clinton is calculation. Especially when she shifts to the left on issues like trade. For younger liberals, socialism is not a scare word. They didn't live through the Cold War. Even the fact that Sanders is not a registered Democrat doesn't bother them. Many young liberals identify as independents, too.

If Sanders wins Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be an instant media sensation: the Clinton crusher. He's hoping the momentum of the two victories would carry him to the Democratic nomination, especially as he becomes better known to minority Democratic voters.

Commentators are constantly drawing attention to parallels between the 2016 Democratic race and the 2008 race between Obama and Hillary Clinton. In some ways, however, the stronger parallel is the primary showdown between Vice President Walter Mondale and Senator Gary Hart of Colorado in 1984. Mondale was the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party establishment. Hart was the advocate of a "new politics" for a new generation.

But there's one big difference. Hart was thwarted by a single question, borrowed from a television commercial: "Where's the beef?" Sanders is less vulnerable to that kind of criticism. When it comes to policy ideas, Sanders is pretty beefy.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
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Seven years of President Obama has driven Republicans over the edge. They despise this president and everything he stands for.

Essentially, so completely morally, mentally and ethically bankrupt, the GOP is reduced to pointless taunts, name calling and putting a bigot's crown on their Presidential aspirations.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Obama is the ultimate conservative nightmare - a big-government liberal who’s weak on foreign policy.

There are many things I like about Obama and his presidency but I certainly wouldn't call him a liberal, at least on the economic front.

In many ways he is more of a conservative than any other Democratic president in the last century, and even more so than the Republican presidents serving before the Reagan era of trickle-down economics. Ditto for Hillary Clinton who has many friends on Wall Street and for many years sat on the Board of Walmart, which is infamous for acting as a shameless corporate citizen by exploiting its employees and harming the communities where its stores are located.

During Obama's time in office the U.S. has seen the largest redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the 1% since the days of the Robber Barons thanks to government policies that are effectively welfare for the rich. He did nothing to hold the investment bankers who caused the 2008 financial meltdown accountable, he was the driving force behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership which will result in even more trickle-up of wealth, and he kept the U.S. going strong in wears abroad despite campaign promises otherwise.

America now needs a "trust buster" like Theodore Roosevelt to finally turn the tables on the Robber Barons of the 2010s.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Essentially, so completely morally, mentally and ethically bankrupt, the GOP is reduced to pointless taunts, name calling and putting a bigot's crown on their Presidential aspirations.

We would never have a Donald Trump if Obama wasn't such a disaster. He is the ultimate result of that and the people got tired of the Washington established politician not listening to them. The same thing is starting to happen on the Democratic side with Bernie Sanders.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Rage at the Republican leadership has produced two brutally anti-establishment contenders, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Labeling Cruz as anti-establishment sends up red flags and it seems he's just trying to create a meme. This opinion piece will be/already has..appeared in major news outlets all over the US.

graduated from Princeton University in 1992, and then from Harvard Law School in 1995. Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz was the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an associate deputy attorney general at the United States Department of Justice, and domestic policy advisor to President George W. Bush on the 2000 George W. Bush presidential campaign.

S.2415, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to eliminate all limits on direct campaign contributions to candidates for public office, introduced June 3, 2014

Doesn't sound like an anti-establishment politician to me.

free-market capitalism

Another red flag. Calling the US economic system free-market when it is clearly not. Crony is more accurate, so why hide the truth Mr. Schneider? Schneider has worked for CNN for 19 years as a political analyst and he's a supporter of the THIRD WAY. I don't know enough about the Third Way yet, but my initial reaction is that it will never attack the crony/elitist/shadow government system we have now, and just cover it up with more social and capital welfare programs. Sounds like an elitist "land-grab" to me and should be rejected. IMO.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The Democratic race by liberal wariness of Clintonism.

Ha ha haaaaa ha haaa haa haaa ha ha. Too funny. Allow me to explain.

You all may know: I'm a lunch pail, grass-roots lib Dem, active in my community and on line. I know a lot of lib Dems. And hosted more than a few Sanders get togethers here in the Bay Area. So listen up:

[This is schematic] There are two kinds of Sanders supporters: Dems and Dems by default. I'm a Dem. In Europe I think I'd barely fit into the most centrist part of a democratic socialist party like the SDP. Ya see, I'm for capitalism. Regulated capitalism and social democracy. Secular, pluralism with strong (American Bill of Rights) individual rights. Hurrah!

Oh good you say. well, Here the deal: there are a bunch of people who are not Democrats like me. They are Dems by default like to call themselves Progressives, or "the democratic part of the Democratic party." Many voted for Nader. Y'know the types. Many of them are not Democrats, distrust people like me, hate Clinton and always, perennially, continually threaten to take their ball and go home.

They are mostly white and college educated.

Liberals, self-identified liberals love Clinton. Progressives, self identified, do not. It is that simple. And the more extreme and dare I say silly Progressives, those I term Naderites, are ALWAYS threatening to take their ball and go home.

I say bye bye. We lib Dems are doing just fine.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think competition will be between Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This article became pointless as soon as it added "and black" to the list of reasons,why Republicans think Obama is a disaster. Sorry, it is the Democrat party with the history of slavery, segregation and racism. Republicans are disgusted with Obama because he caused a recession, expanded communism and has helped rape slaving Islamic radicals gain power. No one cares about race or gender, it is called incompetence and bad character and as Martin Luther king Jr. Stated judge people by the content of their character, Obama has bad character and is being judged accordingly.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I sure hope he wins.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Republicans are disgusted with Obama because he caused a recession

Oh my god, he rescued the US from the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and kept the country from collapsing.

expanded communism

Another completely clueless comment. Obama is centrist, and I'd like to hear any single policy which has 'expanded communism'.

No one cares about race

Wow, you're just piling on the clueless comments. The white establishment has hated him for being black since day one. Never, ever in the history of the US have people shown disrespect to their president at the levels that they have to this president. Openly carrying guns to town hall meetings he's at, putting their finger in his face, calling him a liar while he's speaking. And so on.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

and Black? What kind of racist profiling is that of the republican party. Jerk author.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If Trump wins, the US will be his fifth bankruptcy.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Up till now Trump seems to be Republican black horse,but i dont think it will work as he wishes.Lets wait and see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nah. GOPe on all levels hates Trump more than they hate Clinton, which is why many of them have even said they will vote for her, or Sanders, if Trump is the nominee.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What's the purpose of mentioning Black? Kills the article. Totally unnecessary. I could've voted black if it hadn't been Obama.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh my god, he rescued the US from the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and kept the country from collapsing.

That's true, can't deny that, now how do we get out of this bigger mess he got us into, how to get from spending to printing more money, getting out of this $38 Trillion he accumulated over the past 7 years he created?

Another completely clueless comment. Obama is centrist, and I'd like to hear any single policy which has 'expanded communism'.

His redistribution of wealth in creating higher taxes, won't bring down the corporate tax rate that's the highest in the world at 40%. If you live in California in the bluest of the states, the most liberal, if you want to live nice and I mean NICE, you need money and most regular Californians (democrats) taxed to the max and unless they make a lot of money and can afford to live in beautiful cities, they're living practically in high crime areas. That's why so many people are leaving and California is becoming a state where the poor and immigrants live on one side and the rich that can afford the high taxes live lavishly. Yeah, Obama's policy is nowhere near a centrist. Bill Clinton governed as a centrist and that's a fact, even I can't argue that.

Wow, you're just piling on the clueless comments. The white establishment has hated him for being black since day one.

But they got him into office, don't peddle that BS! If they hated him, but they loved Sanders, that's why he's running now 4th. You guys, please stop with the race card, it's so, so old. No one is buying that. No one cares about his color or did you guys hate Bush because he was white?

Never, ever in the history of the US have people shown disrespect to their president at the levels that they have to this president.

We never, ever had a president that showed his middle finger to the people and said, "it's either my way or No way." And disrespected the American people, congress and anyone that he feels, he thinks he's smarter than anyone else on the planet, even the Pentagon.

Openly carrying guns to town hall meetings he's at, putting their finger in his face, calling him a liar while he's speaking. And so on.

Of course.

You all may know: I'm a lunch pail, grass-roots lib Dem, active in my community and on line. I know a lot of lib Dems. And hosted more than a few Sanders get togethers here in the Bay Area. So listen up:

Bay Area? I should have realized.

[This is schematic] There are two kinds of Sanders supporters: Dems and Dems by default. I'm a Dem. In Europe I think I'd barely fit into the most centrist part of a democratic socialist party like the SDP. Ya see, I'm for capitalism. Regulated capitalism and social democracy. Secular, pluralism with strong (American Bill of Rights) individual rights. Hurrah!

Why should capitalism be regulated? Let the markets decide and may the best man win. Who are libes to dictate how much a person can or should make.

Oh good you say. well, Here the deal: there are a bunch of people who are not Democrats like me. They are Dems by default like to call themselves Progressives, or "the democratic part of the Democratic party." Many voted for Nader. Y'know the types. Many of them are not Democrats, distrust people like me, hate Clinton and always, perennially, continually threaten to take their ball and go home.

They are mostly white and college educated.

Still using the race card???

Liberals, self-identified liberals love Clinton.

Pretty much the people that support her, but with 67% of people not trusting her, if you do the math, that's not a whole lot of people that distrust the woman.

Progressives, self identified, do not. It is that simple. And the more extreme and dare I say silly Progressives, those I term Naderites, are ALWAYS threatening to take their ball and go home. I say bye bye. We lib Dems are doing just fine.

From that speech, I would say, Democrats are just as badly screwed up as the GOP and that's just keepin' it real, homie.

This article became pointless as soon as it added "and black" to the list of reasons,why Republicans think Obama is a disaster. Sorry, it is the Democrat party with the history of slavery, segregation and racism. Republicans are disgusted with Obama because he caused a recession, expanded communism and has helped rape slaving Islamic radicals gain power. No one cares about race or gender, it is called incompetence and bad character and as Martin Luther king Jr. Stated judge people by the content of their character, Obama has bad character and is being judged accordingly.

BINGO.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@bass:

Why should capitalism be regulated? Let the markets decide and may the best man win. Who are libes to dictate how much a person can or should make.

Unfortunately, as other recent news shows, a market that is unregulated by an outside party (eg the Gov't) simply becomes regulated by those on top (ie price fixing).

I mean, for some stuff it works, and on paper it should work beautifully, but it simply doesn't work in big business scenarios where companies are in collusion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I get your point, if you mean, we should have more oversight, I can go with that, provided it doesn't impede on the overall creativity of the individual or company as a whole. But again, I do get your point.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

FrizBit mentions the "Third Way" and not knowing much about it. I probably would be in the same class if it weren't for this article I came across in Huffington Post. Politicians and their so called constituents and all who go to the polls to cast votes for their choices really doesn't matter much anymore. What you'll read here is taking place today in the entire world as we know it.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/meet-the-most-powerful-political-organization-in-washington_us_56a3adffe4b0d8cc109a4b5b

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Seven years of President Obama has driven Republicans over the edge. They despise this president and everything he stands for. Obama is the ultimate conservative nightmare - a big-government liberal who’s weak on foreign policy. And black." - article

The comments that question a racial bias here should easily remember it was Trump who beat the 'birther' drum loudest and longest. Birther was Trump's baby.

That was because the President is black.

How is it Trump now becomes un-racist, (given his fans beating black protesters at Trump rallies), while the "establishment" GOP welcomes this racism as part of their survival strategy to clinch the bigot ballot Trump has secured? And all this, because the President is black.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kcjapan: The comments that question a racial bias here should easily remember it was Trump who beat the 'birther' drum loudest and longest. Birther was Trump's baby. That was because the President is black. How is it Trump now becomes un-racist, ...

Scrolling back, I don't see anyone questioning that Trump is racist. They're questioning that Republicans are racist.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/herman-cains-surprising-rise-to-gop-front-runner/2011/10/06/gIQAgn7FRL_story.html

Herman Cain’s surprising rise to GOP front-runner - October 6, 2011

And for those too young to remember back that far:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Herman_Cain_by_Gage_Skidmore_4.jpg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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