Unlike Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell recognizes that the voters have spoken.
Mitch McConnell recognizes Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee and says he expects Trump to be “very competitive.”
This represents a HUGE difference between the Senate leader and Paul Ryan. The Washington Post devotes a whole article to the opposite responses: “How Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell took such different approaches to supporting Donald Trump.”
That Ryan-McConnell split also explains a broader divide among Republicans here in Washington. Much of the Republican political class is coming to terms with the inevitable — Trump will be their nominee — and figuring out how best to handle what they consider a bad situation.
But for the idealists — some say ideologues — who came of age worshiping the Ronald Reagan doctrine of free markets, strong national defense and an optimistic “shining city upon a hill” tone, they cannot countenance Trump taking over what they still consider a conservative party.
Ryan, 46, is very much in this wing of the party. He cited his late political mentor, Jack Kemp, a 1980s congressman whose optimistic economic vision became a bedrock conservative principle, in his declaration that “I’m not there yet” in supporting Trump.
Only in this context would the Washington Post speak so majestically of Reagan’s ideals. And what is the reality?
- “free markets” – This is cover for managed trade deals written by lobbyist hired by corporations to benefit. Corporations don’t want free markets; they want special favors which they hide in market rhetoric and secret laws we aren’t permitted to see until after they’re passed.
- “strong national defense” – But Reagan’s vision was for ending the Cold War. And the Soviet Union fell! The whole point was to end the military burden of the American people.
In fact, these two slogans are covering the same corrupt system because most of the alleged “national defense” is more corporate welfare. Justin Raimondo writes about this and gives an example:
NATO is another example of how the system works to enrich the “donor class” at our expense. Whenever a new member is inducted into the alliance, they must “upgrade” their military hardware to “NATO standards” – and there is Lockheed-Martin, or some other weapons manufacturer, ready and willing to do the job. And American taxpayers foot the bill, because our protectorates pay Lockheed or whomever with the “foreign aid” we lavish on them with abandon. The internationalists tell us we’re holding back global chaos by exercising “global leadership,” but the vulgar reality is that the “security architecture” so beloved by our foreign policy “experts” is just a cash machine for powerful corporate interests.
Donald Trump threatens the empire of corruption that the Reaganesque rhetoric whitewashed. Ryan still fights for this. Hopefully, McConnell’s recognition of a new nominee is sincere and his wisdom will prevail.
Also, McConnell is right that Trump will be competitive. Based on the records he is breaking, there is reason to hope for a Trump landslide.