Wisenbaker: Cabals, messengers and capitulation

| January 13, 2016


Column by Gary M. Wisenbaker

January 12, 2016

Plutarch, the famous 1st century Greek historian, recorded a messenger’s fate upon bringing less than happy news to Tigranes, then king of Greece, concerning conditions in a field of battle.  Displeased with the revelations, the king chopped off the courier’s head thus, he thought, erasing the message.  He then gave “ear only to those who flattered him.”

Things didn’t work out so well for Tigranes that day and the admonition “don’t kill the messenger” found a place in our lexicon.

Today the Washington, D.C., establishment has a similar problem.  They are getting a message from the American voter, through Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, mainly, that enough is enough, that their days are numbered.

Politico recently reported that the insider junta is particularly frustrated with Donald Trump’s persistent, if not stubborn, lead among Republican primary voters.  “How can this be?” they ask.

Worse, this same coterie contends, this “real-estate mogul could inflict lasting damage” to the GOP’s “brand”. Gasp.

Well, as Bill Clinton might say, that depends on “what the meaning of the word ‘brand’ is.”

If “brand” means “capitulation” then this crowd nails it.  After all, it’s not every legislative majority that will bend, over the expressed will of those who voted to put the majority in office, to the will of the minority and enact the agenda of that minority, and its socialist-democratic leadership located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Capitulation on the Iran “Deal”.  Capitulation on raising the debt ceiling.  Capitulation on immigration reform.  Capitulation on passing a $1.1 trillion budget that ignores all spending caps.  Capitulation on the issuance of executive orders that flagrantly bypass the authority of Congress. Capitulation on Obamacare.  A better brand might be “total capitulation.”

And they’ve got a plan to keep it.

Alex Castellanos, political television advertising media guru for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, is rumored to have met with principal GOP insiders and money folks.  He wants to see if they’ll pony up funds to hit the airways with an assault against Trump to cut off his political head.

Their strategy is as old as that of Tigranes: kill the messenger.

Politico additionally reports that in “Washington and elsewhere…Republicans are on the hunt…to stop Trump.”

Now that’s an interesting observation, especially in light of recent polling data (which gets more and more significant as the primary season approaches).

An NBC poll, the first one out in 2016, shows Trump with a commanding lead of 35 percent of Republican and GOP inclined voters who were surveyed the week after Christmas. Trump is 17 points over his nearest competitor.

And this was taken after (or during) Trump’s dig at Hillary, who, after sanctimoniously describing Trump as something less than respectful of women, announced that her husband and former president Bill Clinton (of Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Wiley and Monica Lewinski, to name just a few, fame) would be hitting the campaign trail on her behalf.

As an aging grandmother once said, “I just don’t have the strength.”

More than that, a clear majority of Trump’s support indicated that they would stick by him and another plurality of his support said that they were “largely” positive that they stick with him.  Taken together, 82 percent of his total support are committed to him, a sum that far exceeds his opponents’.

Defining, then, who those “Republicans on the hunt” actually are gets rather clear: those in power.

That they would marshal their resources to target just one out of a dozen or more GOP presidential contenders gives rise to the notion that they fear one messenger over all the others.

They know, after all, it is the messenger who believes most in the message that will defeat this Tigranian cabal.

GARY WISENBAKERGary Wisenbaker, B.A., J.D. is a native of South Georgia where he practiced law in Valdosta and Savannah for 31 years. He has served as state chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans and Chairman of the Chatham County (Savannah) Republican Party. Gary is a past GOP nominee for State Senate, past delegate to the Republican National Convention and has consulted on numerous local Republican campaigns as well as chaired or co-chaired campaigns for President and US Senate on the county and district level. He is the principal and founder of Blackstone, LLC, a corporate communications and public relations concern as well as Wiregrass Mediation Services, LLC, a general civil litigation mediation firm.

Gary hosts his own blog at www.garywisenbaker.com and recently published his first fictional work, “How Great is His Mercy: The Plea”, on Amazon.com.  His columns are regularly published on ValdostaToday.com and the Valdosta Daily Times.

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