Features Australia

So have the Republicans really turned away from Trump?

The right-of-centre fights back

29 May 2021

9:00 AM

29 May 2021

9:00 AM

Anyone listening to Washington insiders (by which I include the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the usual gaggle of leftist universities, foundations, think-tanks and more) would assume that the Republican party in the US wanted to abandon Donald Trump. Their thinking has been that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and his House of Representatives counterpart Kevin McCarthy wished to ditch Trump and his America First wing of the Republican Party. These lefty mainstream usual suspects were sure the GOP establishment was waiting for a chance to surrender to the Democrats and to Project Biden so they could return to business as usual pre-2016.

And until recently that may well be what the GOP elite were hoping. But then Mitt Romney – Republican senator from Utah, Republican presidential candidate in 2012, and two-time voter against Trump on both failed impeachment trials in the Senate – was booed by delegates at the recent Utah Republican convention. When I say booed I mean it was so loud and prolonged that Romney was unable to finish his speech despite the state party president pleading for silence.  I do not think Mr Romney will be running again as the Republican senatorial candidate when his tenure ends in 2024.  Next, Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney, the sole Wyoming member of the House and a vociferous Trump critic, was removed from her third-ranking House Republican leadership position. After that she was censured by Republican committees in Wyoming. (Compare that to Australia where the Liberal party is so under the thumb of faction bosses that no one even censures or condemns the ongoing anti-Liberal machinations of Malcolm Turnbull.) Ms Cheney will certainly be primaried in 2022 and (take this to the bank) will lose to some other Republican in the primary. Whoever that is will win the seat in the House.

As for the whole ‘Capitol Insurrection’ saga of 6 January, both Mark Steyn and Roger Kimball (the latter in the World section of our website) detail how many gaping holes there are in the version of the story the Washington insiders have been peddling. None of the trespassing protesters or rioters was armed. The only violent death was caused by a Capitol police officer shooting an unarmed person climbing through a window. (And the Democrats have made sure the police officer has not been named or charged, which is unimaginable had this happened during the riots in Seattle or Portland.) The media’s early claims that a cop had been beaten to death with a fire extinguisher have now been recanted, even by the New York Times. Those early accounts of the event today look about as plausible as the whole three-year ‘Russian collusion’ story that was peddled to try firstly to knee-cap candidate Trump and then latterly to hobble President Trump.

At any rate, the hoped-for death of the Trump wing of the Republican party has clearly not eventuated. Unexpectedly, the State and local GOP have proved active and effective in supporting Trump legacy issues. Almost everything that Trump predicted about the border, were Biden to have his way, has come to pass. Sure, the vast preponderance of the mainstream media tries its hardest to ignore the chaos on the border – think the ABC when the boats were flooding in here under Rudd-Gillard-Rudd – but in today’s world they can’t hide the truth of what is happening there, especially as voters on the right have next to zero belief in the media’s balance and impartiality. Or put more bluntly, the evident one-sidedness of the press these past years means that the media and their experts change almost nobody’s mind. This seems to astonish many in the lefty media.

Then there is the massive Biden and Democrat spending, combined with the monetary policy efforts of the Federal Reserve. So far it’s not working. Under Trump there was the lowest black, Hispanic and female unemployment on record. So far under Biden women’s unemployment is the worst in decades. The benefits he has doled out are so generous there is a plausible case they’re keeping a good few Americans from taking jobs. Team Biden has bet the house on an FDR-style stimulus on steroids in the hope it would be a catalyst for employment and growth. That has yet to happen, to put it mildly. And the worry, nay fear, of the Democrats is that lots of US voters will come to regret thinking a President with policy successes galore should be dumped just because he was uncouth, vulgar and keen on sending out tweets. That sort of remorse, should it persist, will be fatal to many a Democrat politician’s future prospects.

Meanwhile grassroots anger over Covid lockdowns is widespread and visceral in the US. (As all regular readers will know, but just to be clear, I share that white-hot anger at a political class that has aped the Covid response of a totalitarian dictatorship; that has itself paid none of the costs of the heavy-handed and small business-destroying diktats imposed on mere citizens – for God’s sake they don’t even have to hotel quarantine when they come back into the country; that has destroyed many a young life by closing schools, ruining precious fun years in university, and funding it all by borrowing from the same children and grandchildren who faced absolutely zero risks from this virus; and that has garbled on about ‘the science’ without any clue what they were talking about it, what science is, and without admitting the vast array of dissenting, anti-lockdown scientists and epidemiologists out there who differ from the ‘Chief Medical Officer’ class of in-house lockdownistas.) Thankfully Florida ended all lockdown restrictions over seven months ago and Texas a little after that. South Dakota never imposed any. And yet Florida has fewer deaths per million (with an older population) than lockdown-mad California and barely over half those of lockdown-insane New York. Texas is also outperforming those two lockdown states. Voters in the US, if not here in Australia, can see that this is the case. The ‘give voters the facts and leave them to decide what to do’ states have done better in the US than the lockdown states. That’s not just when ‘deaths due to Covid’ is the only matrix considered. It’s even more so when ‘all deaths’ is used, including missed cancer checks and suicides, etc. Or when the economy is used. Or when the ‘lives of young people’ is used. Or the poor. And today over half the US is completely wide open.

Here’s the astonishing fact. For right-of-centre voters like me there is more hope for the future in the US than there is here in Australia. That is astounding since President Biden is implementing the most left-wing agenda ever. But at least there is fightback there. There are state governors like Florida’s DeSantis who stand up to the left wing media and the supposed diktats of ‘the science’. There is a right-of centre-party that actually wants to be right-of-centre.

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