The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

CNN’s Favorite ‘Republican Strategist’

Posted on | September 6, 2018 | Comments Off on CNN’s Favorite ‘Republican Strategist’

“I think the pictures of the cruelty of this administration are a very deliberate part of this. . . . They’re only talking to their core supporters. And their core supporters want anybody who’s darker than a latte deported. They’re not happy about immigration of any kind.”
Rick Wilson, CNN, July 11, 2018

Running political campaigns is not the kind of work that fills a person with idealism, and the longer people stay in that line of work, the more cynical they become. It’s just the nature of the job. The “hired guns” of politics get paid whether a candidate wins or loses, and it’s difficult for the ordinary conservative to understand how that affects the mindset inside the consultant class. A fool and his money are soon parted, and if the fool wants to run for Congress (or Senate or Governor) as a Republican, consultants will get their share of his money.

Rick Wilson calls himself a “Republican strategist.” He got his start in the Bush 41 campaign and is associated with the liberal open-borders wing of the GOP. His current job is Trump-Hater-at-Large, the kind of Republican who shows up on CNN telling people how much he hates his fellow Republicans. You know — the ones who win elections?

Six weeks before Donald Trump shocked the world by defeating Hillary Clinton, Wilson went on MSNBC and denounced the Republican candidate as “a guy backed in large measure by a group of white supremacists and neo-nazis and frog meme idiots.” Congratulations, “frog meme idiots” — you not only beat Hillary, you beat Rick Wilson.

Who paid Rick Wilson to say this kind of stuff about Trump? One thing you know about political operatives is, they don’t work for free. So there must be some client who hired this “Republican strategist” to trash Trump on TV. At least that’s the logical deduction, but while campaigns are required by law to disclose their expenditures, a political operative has no such obligation. Unless his name shows up in an FEC disclosure, you’ve got no idea who’s paying Rick Wilson and, for all we know, he could be on the payroll of Tom Steyer or George Soros.

The alternative theory is that Rick Wilson is constantly ranting against Trump for emotional reasons — he’s butthurt because his candidate didn’t win the GOP nomination, or maybe he’s just suffering from a testosterone deficiency that makes him moody and irritable.

Honestly, does Rick Wilson believe that “frog meme idiots” accounted for Trump winning Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states no Republican presidential candidate had won in 28 years? If the “Republican strategist” is such a genius, how does he explain this? Does he think the GOP would have carried those states had they nominated his preferred candidate?

Donald Trump is the “reset” button for the Republican Party. It has been evident for many years that the GOP “brand” was in trouble. To continue running the kind of campaigns “Republican strategists” run would have continued to produce the same results: Defeat.

Even if Trump is not your ideal of a Republican leader, it cannot be denied that he won against overwhelming opposition, including the opposition of “Never Trump” types like Rick Wilson. But it would not be in the interests of people like Rick Wilson to admit they were wrong, to confess they don’t know nothin’ ’bout winnin’ no elections.

This is why we now find Rick Wilson spewing melodramatic nonsense:

I’m still a registered Republican, even if I feel like a stranger in a strange party. There are days I stick around just out of spite, a human middle finger stubbornly reminding members of the Trump GOP that their souls are in hock to a con man, and some of us are going be here to pick up the pieces.
By numbers, Never Trump might look like a failure, but it has succeeded in one of its most important missions. As oppressive governments learn over and over, a leaderless resistance on the right side of history is hard to kill. No matter how badly beaten and battered we were by the Russia-and-Fox-powered Trump juggernaut, we are committed to preserving the memory of the conservative movement, some remnant of the faith in the Constitution, limited government, free markets, free trade and individual liberty. Like medieval Irish monks hunched over parchment by the light of a candle flame, we are illuminating the scrolls of conservatism while the storm rages and the tide of ignorance rises. We will be here when it ebbs.

To describe yourself as a “medieval Irish monk” while sitting at your computer in Tallahassee, hustling your next CNN appearance, requires more imagination than most people can muster, and this “leaderless resistance” looks suspiciously like an epidemic of butthurt.



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