Trump Threatens the Washington Watering Hole

Shhh. We’re approaching the herd.

At this unusual fork in the Washington Wilderness, we can finally observe donkeys and elephants drinking from the same watering hole. For years, Americans labored under the myth that these two animals were fiercely hostile towards one another. That we could restore the Wilderness to greatness if only we could get them to work together. To these misguided Americans, the sight of the two packs drinking together is a strange one. There must be a terrible threat on the horizon if they are joining forces.

But in this case, everything is not as it seems. The herds have always used this watering hole. The threat looming on the horizon hasn’t pushed them together – it’s merely dismantled the facade of enmity. Only now can we see that when push comes to shove, there is no Republican establishment and Democrat establishment – there is only The Establishment.

Why, just take the establishment’s “paper of record,” the New York Times. On Sunday, the Times wrote a front-page article telling us that no Republicans want to be Donald Trump’s running mate:

A remarkable range of leading Republicans […] have been emphatic publicly or with their advisers and allies that they do not want to be considered as Mr. Trump’s running mate. The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles.

Throughout the article, the paper gives us a list of prominent Republicans who have rejected a theoretical spot on Trump’s ticket: Tim Scott, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susan Collins among them.

The Times sells us a narrative that would be tough for even the most violently anti-Trump conservative to swallow: That it is somehow surprising that the most anti-establishment Republican in modern history would be rejected by those firmly entrenched in the establishment. What else would anyone expect?

Over the course of the past year, Americans have gotten a glimpse of the watering hole – the real watering hole. They’ve watched Republicans attack Trump with a species of viciousness they never display when attacking Democrats. Never. You go back over the last 11 months, gather a collection of anti-Trump sentiments from both Republicans and Democrats, strip away the attributions, and you would have no idea which came from which. It all sounds the same, and it all reeks of a fear we haven’t seen from our political elites in a very long time.

To be clear, the two parties are not the same. But at their core – at the very inside of the inside – they aren’t nearly as different as they would have us believe. Their common interests have nothing to do with what’s good for the country; they just want to keep their once-secret watering hole clean and undisturbed.

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