Trump’s Establishment Straddle: High Dollar Event Rankles Supporters in South Dakota
How it might have been: President Donald Trump Addresses a Raucous Public Rally in Billings, Montana. Free to the Public. Unlike in South Dakota where Trump’s presence was the fundraising hood ornament for two GOP candidates who have spent most of the summer bashing his trade policies.
Forget the Mueller probe or the Kavanaugh confirmation asylum for the criminally insane demons on the liberal left, patent pending.
The most awkward and uncomfortable situation these days for President Donald J. Trump is playing out in swanky ballrooms and Holiday Inn convention centers and wherever moderately priced meeting space can be had on short notice and close to an airport.
From now until November and beyond, Trump’s immediate itinerary is an endless string of rubber chicken dinners, stumping like hell to hang onto seats in house and senate and even helping moderately favorable gubernatorial candidates pretend for at least one evening that they’re Trump-loving populists and conservatives. Even if those candidates forgot to wipe Mitch McConnell’s viscous lipstick from their rosy, neoconservative cheeks before jumping lithesome onto the bandwagon. You decide which cheeks.
For actual Trump supporters and dyed-in-the-buff conservatives, watching Trump’s awkward straddle between the numbers game on Capitol Hill and what nativists in any given state understand about their local political realities is plenty awkward, too. This week, the Rushmore State of South Dakota could be the poster child for exactly that uncomfortable conundrum.
At a high dollar fundraiser for GOP Congresswoman and aspiring Governor, Kristi Noem this week in the state’s most populous city of Sioux Falls, the two sides of the GOP’s fratricidal split over party control will break bread and share libation and do level best to keep the Hatfields and McCoys from killing each other before dessert. For me and other stalwart Trump Deplorables, even the decision of attending or not is a Hobbesian choice between competing optics and interests. On one side, South Dakota’s plastic banana mainstream GOP, filled with neoconservative monkey brains, ready and willing to monkey up just about any political monkey operation or contest they touch, if simply by their sulfuric presence. A room full of people who backed Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, now forced to hold their noses and applaud politely for a man who stole their lunch money even after telling them which pocket he was reaching for first. Sniveling rubes.
And on the other side, people who sniffed Trump’s appeal and message out of the gate, never had a single doubt or equivocation about his chances to win and watched with gleeful gratitude as he fulfilled their confidence, kept his promises and pulled the masks off of the establishment poseurs from both parties like any good ending to a Scooby Doo cartoon. Now, forced to dole over $500 to $5,000 a plate to the very people we all fought like hell to push out of the way so that Trump’s platform and message could prevail. See where I’m going with this? Oh, joy.
It would be one thing entirely if in the intervening passage of time since Trump’s election, the establishment wonks had experienced some kind of Damascus Road conversion from the error of their surrendering milquetoast ways, complete with acknowledgment that the rise and triumph of Donald Trump was made possible almost unanimously by the Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Bush family morass of big government, Democrat-lite, dog and phony show that remains the political deception of a discouragingly entrenched portion of the GOP. You know exactly who I’m talking about. The Never-Trump pearl clutching morons who’ve spent decades waiting and hoping and praying for Joel Osteen to become a politician, completely oblivious to the fact that the dear reverend would very likely be a Democrat, so long as UNESCO agreed not to cut into his faux charity gig. Another topic for another day.
Instead, what has transpired has been a passive aggressive pitched battle in battleground and flyover states alike, between Republicans who think John McCain was just a few letters shy of being Jesus Christ and the wide awake Deplorables who are mad as hell at 40 years of coopted chicanery by the party that once tried to kill Ronald Reagan for having the gall to be more popular than George H.W. Bush and succeeded in killing conservatism as a viable political force. Anyone ever seen John Hinckley Jr. and Karl Rove in the same room? Just saying.
In South Dakota, a Gubernatorial and Congressional team that seems joined at the cue card talking point spent most of the late summer convincing farmers that Trump’s tariffs are of the devil and that “fair trade,” is the best choice for ag producers nationwide. Cough, choke. Meanwhile, back in the real world, China’s debt to GDP ratio went from 40% in late 2016 to almost 600% at this writing, threatening a third bond rating beatdown by Moody’s and a 30% decline in the value of the RMB-Yuan that signal the world’s largest population is no match for an actual trade war with the world’s most powerful economy under the direction of a life form with testicles. China, the European Union and lesser forces are begging for a trip to the bargaining table to put an end to their trip behind Trump’s woodshed. And yet, this week in Sioux Falls the Trump-bashing Bobsey Twins of the South Dakota GOP Sadie Hawkins dance will benefit four square by the presence, gravitas, star power and unabashed national affection reserved for a man many of us recognize as the only disruptive force large enough to shake their breed of establishment monkeys out of the tree.
And so, let the rubber chicken dinner commence, shirts and skins if need be to avoid injury by mistaken identity. Good news for Deplorables, we get to inhale normally again at the conclusion of dessert. The mainstream malcontents seem prepared to hold breath for the next six years, or until they can play Cassius to Brutus, rejoin with their Democrat pals and help stab Caesar in the back, should his political star dim even slightly. Fittingly enough, all that hypoxia will undoubtedly help bring out their truest of truest colors.
Blue, of course.
Pass the chilled Monkey brains.