Last week, former senator Bob Dole, Senator Orrin Hatch, and a passel of consultants were quoted in the press giving Neville Chamberlain–like assurances that Trump was a man they could deal with while Ted Cruz was the real threat to their food bowls.
“Do they all love Trump? No,” Republican lobbyist Richard F. Hohlt told the New York Times. “But there’s a feeling that he is not going to layer over the party or install his own person. Whereas Cruz will have his own people there.”
It’s hard to criticize Limbaugh & Co. for cynically questioning the motives of the establishment when party apparatchiks confess them in the pages of the New York Times.
There’s no shortage of reasons for the fact that the Right is at war over whether or not to take a flier on Trump. All of the various establishments and the counter-establishments overpromised and underdelivered in recent years. Congressional leaders talked a big game while campaigning but played small ball once reelected. Cruz and his supporters accused his fellow politicians of being corrupt sellouts, and so many people believed him, they’d now rather take a gamble on Trump than back Cruz, a mere politician.