August 22, 2019

Joe Scarborough wanted to talk to White House reporter Robert Costa about the unexpected Republican primary challenges to Trump from people like Joe Walsh and John Kasich.

"We're all of course looking past some of these challenges, thinking that what Donald Trump is doing has to do with his general election fight. Is he worried about a possible strong primary challenge? Is that why he's still playing to his core, why he's still playing to his base?" he said.

"He's not worried about a primary challenge," Costa said.

"Even those who are thinking about a primary challenge right now, former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, John Kasich, there's not an expectation that anyone at this point could come close to beating President Trump in a Republican primary, even in a state like New Hampshire. At the same time, when you talk to people who are organizing in the GOP against President Trump, they're talking about 1968. Could someone or a series of candidates bloody up President Trump enough in the next 6 to 12 months, maybe running from the center like Bill Weld, running from the right like Joe Walsh and make him less appealing to Republican voters to try to draft someone bigger to jump into the race.

"The standard bearer of choice for many in the anti-Trump coalition remains someone like Senator Mitt Romney in Utah. He's not running, his people say he's not even thinking about running. But they're looking for some way to batter President Trump politically."

Sure. The Republicans are desperate, just like those Kentucky coal miners who see their livelihoods slipping away. How can they say Trump is not a "real" conservative, and keep referring to him as a "liberal Democrat from New York," (as Scarborough is so recently wont to do), when Trump has handed the party's right wing every single on their wish list? Extreme judges, rollback of environmental regulations, decimating Obamacare, an all-out war on immigrants, massive tax cuts for the rich, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem... you all know the story.

So what is it that makes Trump not a real conservative? Because he's openly racist, instead of using artful words? Because he doesn't "feel" a loyalty to so-called conservative principles?

Because here's the thing: There aren't any. Conservative principles were always a fig leaf for the Republican party that only cared about more money, more money, more money! Cheap, disposable labor without workplace or legal protections.

That's it. There's your conservative principles: Win at all costs, fill your own pockets at the public expense, dominate your opponents, and don't worry about the actual people you're supposed to represent. You'll just bring in Frank Luntz to do some more focus groups and try to find a way to fast-talk the voters into putting you back in charge.

And your idea of a change of direction is Mitt Romney, hedge funder and vulture capitalist? You consider that a rebranding? Ha, ha!

Spare us the crocodile tears, Republicans. You're all going to be radioactive for a very long time, and you've earned it. There is no real distinction between you and Trump, except he says it all out loud.

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