By Andrew Bolt ~
The threat to the [Republican Party] posed by the Trump insurgency is not that he’s anti-establishment. It’s that he’s not conservative. Trump winning the nomination would convulse the Republican Party, fracture the conservative movement and undermine the GOP’s identity and role as the country’s conservative party.
There’s nothing wrong with challenging the so-called establishment. Parties, like other institutions, can grow fat and soft and corrupt. If by establishment you mean the careerists, the lobbyists and the sold-out cynics, a good poke, even a major purge, is well-deserved.
That’s not the problem with Trump … [Ted] Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time…
The Iowa results clarified the dynamic of the Republican race. There are really only three candidates in the race and, as I argued last week, each represents a different politics. The result is a three-way fight between Trump’s personalized strongman populism and two flavors of conservatism — Marco Rubio’s more mainstream version and Cruz’s more uncompromising take-no-prisoners version.
We can now read the Iowa results as they affect the Republican future. Trumpian populism got 24 percent, conservatism (Rubio plus Cruz) got 51 percent. There will be a spirited contest between the two conservatives over who has the better chance of winning the general election and of governing effectively. But whatever the piques and preferences of various “establishment” party leaders, there’s no denying that either Rubio or Cruz would retain the GOP’s fundamental ideological identity. Trump would not.
But Steve Kates says Rubio would be a disaster.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.