I was in the car when I heard the end of Mitt Romney's anti-Trump speech today. It just seemed so hollow and I realized that the Republicans have no one of presidential stature that can speak for the party. The only two living past presidents are Bush Sr, who was never that liked (one term and he was never Reagan) and Bush Jr who has been largely discredited even by those that supported him at the time (though for different reasons than the Democrats discredit him). W wasn't a help to Jeb.
And no Republican presidential nominee has good standing. Bob Dole is 92 and hasn't been in office in 20 years. Perhaps he'd be liked but he's not talking and as soon as anyone mentions that Obamacare is basically his idea he'd be completely discredited. John McCain was liked but then he blew his reputation in 2008, picking Sarah Palin and loosing to Obama. Since then his power in the party has only declined because he's not conservative enough. And then there's Romney. He was never the real pick of the party, coming in second in each primary while everyone else took turns in first. He never had the religious wing of the party and by losing to (socialist, muslim terrorist fist-bumping) Obama he lost all credibility and hasn't been heard from since until today.
The party doesn't like anyone in Washington. Not McConnell, or other senior senators (ask Lindsey Graham). And in the House they had no one to take over after Boehner stepped down, having to beg Paul Ryan to take it. He's been mostly quiet, trying to wrangle the tea partiers and not get too much heat for making deals to keep the government running while doing nothing else.
So who is there for the "establishment" to trot out to discredit Trump? Using Romney is hilarious. My barber had Fox News on and they immediately brought up clips of Trump endorsing Romney and Romney saying exactly the opposite of what he said today, just four years ago. My barber said "who's the hypocrite now?". This might be the first election where the media learned from Jon Stewart how to bring out past clips in the news cycle to discredit whatever they say today.
I asked my barber (a born again Republican) if there's anyone who the majority of the Republicans respect that could speak for them? He immediately turned it around asking if there's any Democrat I could name. I said Obama and Bill Clinton. While they certainly have their detractors, both would be listened to if they came out with an opinion/endorsement. HIllary is probably going to win the nomination so she's by definition widely respected (as much as Romney was in 2012). I think on financial matters Elizabeth Warren is the most respected figure in the party. I asked him to name someone and the closest I could get is "I could name someone I like".
I think the best shot the Republican party has of regaining any semblance of control is this. They need to go to Roger Ailes and have him push the story on Fox that they uncovered a Republican establishment conspiracy that lied about climate change. It turns out climate change is real.
- This gets the country working to save the world
- It lets Fox off the hook for lying about it for so long
- They get to blame at least part of the establishment that the voters seem to hate
- It gives Fox a leg up on the Koch brothers
- It further discredits those that have fallen out of favor with Fox (Palin, Beck, Coulter)
- They can push for tax cuts on green companies and investments
- It lets Fox News discredit Trump (climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and Palin should be energy secretary)
- They still need to come up with a viable candidate (maybe Kasich who hasn't called climate change a hoax)
It's obviously a farfetched pipe dream, but that's as good as I've got.