The left-wing media is all aflutter at the prospect of a Republican revolt against President Donald Trump, just five months before the November election. Is this an insurrection, though, or merely the last stand of the Never-Trumpers? If Colin Powell is the left’s George Armstrong Custer, his 7th Cavalry is looking none too impressive against the 93% of self-identified Republican voters who support the president. Powell, who served as secretary of state under former President George W. Bush, could be leading his rag-tag band of malcontents into another Little Big Horn – and the outcome will be, symbolically, much the same.
Why is this news? Perhaps only because The New York Times decided it was. The paper, in a rambling and highly speculative article published June 6, claimed that a host of prominent “Republicans” had declared their desire that Trump will ultimately be unsuccessful in his bid for a second term. In addition to Powell, the article names former President George W. Bush, his brother Jeb, Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and the late John McCain’s widow, Cindy.
The list does not stop there, though. Former Republican congressional leaders Paul Ryan and John Boehner were thrown in for good measure. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Francis Rooney, a former congressman and big-time Republican donor, and a host of former senior military officers were also pegged as part of the new resistance to Trump.
The Gray Lady’s strategy in publishing this nonsense is only too clear: she was providing fodder for other media outlets to run with stories of how Republicans are abandoning an increasingly erratic president. None of this really matters, though, because ordinary Republican voters – to borrow from Blazing Saddles – are staying in droves.
As for those cited, it is worth remembering that – as the Times even points out – “Mr. Trump won election in 2016, of course, in spite of a parade of Republicans and retired military officers who refused to support him.”
Then, of course, there is the fact that every one of these alleged dissenters is a has-been, an also-ran, or – if still in office – a relic of the establishment. Their very existence is what spurred Republicans across the country to vote for Trump. Additionally, they are all utterly despised by conservatives, with the possible exceptions of Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush. Moreover, none of these “RINOs” are known to have voted for Trump in 2016.
Not Much of a Rebellion
The kicker, though, is that their names are included in the article purely for effect. Of the list, only Powell has directly stated that he will not vote for Trump in November. The newspaper acknowledges that neither Jeb Bush nor Boehner nor Ryan have made any statement about who they intend to support – or not support. Romney has not expressed his voting intentions, and neither has Murkowski, even though she recently admitted that she was struggling with the idea of supporting the president.
Condoleezza Rice has also declined to state who she intends to back in November. Rooney, according to the Times, “is considering supporting Mr. Biden.” As for former President Bush, there is this from The Texas Tribune: “Freddy Ford, a spokesman for Bush, told The Texas Tribune that Bush would steer clear of speaking publicly on his presidential vote and called The New York Times assertion false.”
Even Cindy McCain – whom one might reasonably assume would not vote for Trump if her life depended upon it – has issued no public statement about who she intends to support in the upcoming election.
Take Colin Powell out of the picture, then, and what we have here is a big, steaming pile of fake news. Even if the Times has managed to accurately predict the intentions of all of these unwanted and unloved establishment dinosaurs, we should perhaps remember the words of another unwanted and unloved establishment dinosaur:
What difference, at this point, does it make?
Read more from Graham J. Noble.