The old Catskill comedians loved this joke about the middle-aged Jewish man who calls his elderly mother and asks how she is feeling.
“Oh, I am feeling fine, son, thank you so much for calling.”
“Oops, sorry, wrong number!”
That pretty much summed up the relationship between Donald J. Trump and the GOP. The only thanks he got from the Republicans for bringing a new wave of recruits into the Party was griping and fussing and sniping and sassing and bickering and snickering… you get the point! They made him take the pledge but they would not let him into the fraternity. They called him a racist but made him get into the back of the Priebus. They accused him of being too moderate politically and too immoderate temperamentally, even feuding with a Foxy moderator!
He was anti-immigrant and anti-woman, they said, a charge his immigrant wife denied. He was anti-Semitic, they said, a charge his Jewish daughter denied. He was coarse and crass and crude, they said, a charge his Wharton alma mater denied.
Plus he could not possibly beat Hillary in the general election, and they had the polls to prove it. A prediction cannot be denied, of course, it can only be refuted by events; this still remains to be seen.
As the Trump train rolls inexorably into the station, all eyes are upon the party “Establishment” to see if they will pony up for a ticket. There have been ominous rumblings about various nefarious plots to undo the undue influence of the pesky voter. But what I saw last week tells me the mutiny is already moot, that the Party will come to the aid of all good men. It will trumpet Trump… if (when?) he wins the nomination.
The event I attended March 8 was a sumptuous dinner put on by America First, with the always capable Margie Helschien at the helm, bringing together some of the top Republican donors in Florida. It was held at the Boca Raton Marriott, and attendees included Congressman Ron DeSantis of the 6th District and Stanley Tate, the legendary real estate developer and Republican fundraiser who caused a nationwide firestorm a few years ago by dropping membership in a Reform Jewish temple when Debbie Wasserman Schultz was invited to speak.
Although America First is not officially a party organization, it is highly respected in GOP ranks, to the point that the RNC sent its Florida chairman, author Peter Feaman, to man the dais and deliver a speech. He thrilled the crowd by explaining that only two words are needed to explain the rise of Trump, and they are — wait for it — Boehner and McConnell! He promised in the name of Reince Priebus that the party would support the nominee. And just in case someone was too dense to get the message, the door prize was a Trump 2016 tee shirt. Wow, message taken!
Congressman DeSantis spoke pointedly about Hillary Clinton’s private email server. As a former Navy man, he well knew the consequences for such a risky act. He agreed with James Carville that she set up that system so that “her emails would not be read by Louis Gohmert.” He left unspoken the fact that instead they are being read by Guccifer, and probably Putin. It turns out that after the Reset button, she hit the Play button.
The highlight of the evening was the keynote address by Ambassador Ned Siegel, who manned our nation’s embassy in the Bahamas under George W. Bush. He spoke of the Republican Party as the guardian of the American Dream, wrestling with a government that uses over-regulation to stop you before you succeed and over-taxation to penalize you after you succeed. He poignantly called not only for the restoration of the Dream but for a new generation of creativity to improve upon our dreams. His winning line of invitation to the party of Lincoln: “Uncle Abe wants you!”
If a Republican reclaims the White House, he could do much worse than naming Ned Siegel ambassador to Israel. He is a respected figure with a companionable style. If he gets the nod, remember you heard it here first.
Overall the evening provided real reassurance that a Trump nomination would not devolve into civil war in the Republican Party. The powers that be have read the tea leaves and put on the tee shirt.
Of course, we must not forget the other Catskill classic about the single mother desperate for a job. The only position available in all of Florida was at a citrus orchard. The foreman asked: “Madam, do you have experience picking lemons?”
“Certainly,” she answered. “I have been divorced three times.”
Getting the Party to cooperate is no guarantee of ultimate victory. That one is up to Donald himself. We shall see…
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.