by Jeffrey Lord
This was the CNN headline as written by Jake Tapper:
Former Trump administration officials hold call to strategize against former boss’ efforts in 2022 and 2024
This was the headline from London’s Daily Mail:
More than 30 former Trump officials hold secret call aimed at working against the former president’s efforts to sway 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election
And then there was this in the Washington Times by veteran reporter Rowan Scarborough:
Bush alumni’s never-ending crusade against Trump
While George W. Bush retired, his former staff still has an ax to grind
It is always amazing to watch the Trump-hating elites — particularly, in this case, those who owe their professional prominence to the former president — display their stunning lack of self-awareness as they set out to effectively advertise themselves as arrogant, disloyal, ungrateful, and utterly out of touch with the American people.
Earlier this week I wrote of what I found as I moderated two Republican debates in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania — one each for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat and the other for the state’s governorship.
I noted this:
What was striking politically was the response the night of the debate both to the video [Trump’s message to the audience] — huge applause and cheers — and the clearly passionate support for Trump that was evident throughout the night.
Contrast that with the three stories above. The contrast is stark.
On the one hand, there are “more than 30 former Trump officials” discussing “ideas for sabotaging Trump,” plotting and scheming in secret for ways not only to prevent him from winning the 2024 election, but plotting and scheming to defeat any Trump-supporting Republican running for office in 2022. On the other hand, there is an entire large auditorium in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, filled with average Americans bursting into quite public cheering and thunderous applause when Trump appears on a video and, later, when one candidate emphatically says Joe Biden was not legitimately elected. There was, suffice to say, not a single candidate for either office who was anti-Trump.
A better illustration of just how massively out of touch these Trump-haters are with rank and file, hard-working Americans would be hard to find. And the idea that the Trump-haters will be actively working to defeat Trump-supporting 2022 candidates now running for Republican nominations for senator and governor of Pennsylvania in the state’s May primary will be rocket fuel to that Trump-supporting candidate’s campaign.
What is so laughable is, as I say, the utter lack of self-awareness these Trump-hating political elites have about just how arrogant, self-serving, and completely out of touch they are coming across to those who read these stories about their secret plotting and scheming.
It is notable in particular that those who worked for the former president are showcasing their unadulterated disloyalty to a man who gave all of them the professional opportunity of a lifetime. After Donald Trump leaves the political scene, these people will carry with them this self-generated stench of unprofessionalism and ingratitude for the rest of their professional lives. Who in the world would ever want to hire any of these people in a serious position in government again, knowing they have vividly proven they cannot be trusted?
Then there are the Bushies. Their rampant anti-Trumpism recalls, for those around to remember it, this from Ronald Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins. After Reagan reluctantly selected the Eastern Establishment’s George H. W. Bush to run as his vice president, instead of conservative Congressman Jack Kemp (too young) or Sen. Paul Laxalt (from California’s next-door Nevada, making for a geographically unbalanced ticket), Rollins wrote this in his memoirs, Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms: My Life in American Politics, of the Bush selection:
What I didn’t realize at the time was that we’d just cut the fuse on our own revolution. The conservatives had won, but then surrendered the future back to the eastern establishment moderates…..a phrase popped into my mind for the first time to describe my feelings about George Bush: Trojan horse. The enemy was in our camp….At the very outset of the revolution, the seeds had been sown for its undoing.
In the Washington Times, Scarborough writes this, bold print for emphasis supplied:
Two-term Republican President George W. Bush returned in 2009 to Texas, where in retirement he plays golf, paints and raises money for wounded veterans. However, he left behind thriving alumni who reside and plot in the comfortable, mega-wealthy confines of Washington. Former President Donald Trump called the town of revolving-door politicians, lobbyists, consultants, nonprofits and lawyers, the “Swamp.” He wasn’t just talking about Democrats.
In 2020, some of the Trump-turncoats and Bushies (the latter exactly the type Reagan’s Rollins warned about) made their support for Joe Biden plain. The result? Rampant inflation, soaring gas prices, a cognitively impaired president who is being observed by the ruthless Vladimir Putin as Putin lines the Ukrainian border with thousands of Russian troops poised to invade. With Putin now being informed by Biden himself in Wednesday’s press conference that “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion … ”
Which is to say, the guy all these Bushies and the other anti-Trumpers supported out of an offended sense of dignity or a wildly over-inflated sense of self-esteem and self- importance is now openly tempting Putin to invade Ukraine, bringing the United States and Europe to the brink of serious war with Russia.
Great job, guys. Great job.
There may be a greater divide in American politics between the Swamp’s Trump-hating elites and the average Americans who quite emphatically love Donald Trump and who I met a few days ago in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.
But it’s hard to think of one.
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at [email protected]. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0.