March 29, 2015

The Republican Establishment Worthy of Praise?

It's easy to reflexively disparage Republican big money donors and Republican elites (such as Haley Barbour) out of a democratic (small 'd') impulse, but I learned something today that is instructive.

Mark Halperin said in an interview that Mitt Romney was not the choice of the money men and elites despite Romney being wealthy and elite himself.

They wanted Chris Christie and in retrospect (hindsight being 20/20 of course) Christie was surely the better candidate since he didn't have the baggage of Romney's perceived elitism and flip-flopping. Certainly Christie couldn't have been worse given that Romney lost.

If you look back at 2004 the money men were not supporting John McCain, who famously had no money for most of his campaign. And again they were right since McCain was a flawed candidate with few new ideas, was too old in this (unfortunately) telegenic age, and an ineffective debater not willing to take Obama on.

So this time around maybe we should look upon the Republican establishment with a bit more respect. They're going with Jeb Bush, and time may tell if that's a good choice. Regardless, it surely hasn't been the establishment responsible for the last two presidential defeats. The fault appears to fall on the Republican primary voter.

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