Meeting of the Establishment

This column appeared in the April 26, 2016 edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal. 

By: Scott Jennings

[Scene: Undisclosed smoke-filled backroom]

Ok, settle down everyone. You can discuss your portfolios and golf handicaps after we pick up our new suits at Brooks Brothers.

I hereby call this meeting of The Republican Establishment to order. It seems we have a quorum. Good turnout, actually. You guys must have a lot to talk about tonight!

Let’s start with old business. What’s on the agenda? Presidential race. Give us the report.

Going that well, eh? Hmm. What about Kasich? Any chance there? I know, I know. At the last meeting I forgot he was running and some dude gave me a hard time. Yes, I know he turned out to be a Democrat, but he was upset nonetheless.

Ryan? Love it but he says no. Jeb? Golfing. Marco? Well, he does have more delegates than Kasich even a month after dropping out.

What the heck are we going to do? Doesn’t anyone have an idea?

Cruz? Cruz? Listen to yourselves! Ted freaking Cruz? The guy who called Mitch a liar? This would be a lot easier to swallow if he’d realize that unifying the party means, you know, unifying the party.

Let’s just wrap our brains around this for a second. Show of hands – who thinks Cruz is better than Trump? So we have some support for that idea.

What’s the polling say about who runs better against Hillary? I see that Trump’s down by almost 10 points and Cruz is nipping at her heels. You have my attention.

What about policy? Cruz actually supports conservative stuff. Does Trump? No, no he doesn’t. So you are telling me we can still have a conservative Republican Party if Cruz beats Trump? Maybe this is something we ought to look at.

On the other hand, the only thing Cruz ever accomplished was convincing 99 U.S. Senators to change the lock on the cloakroom door. Bipartisan consensus!

We’ll put this on the agenda at the next meeting in Cleveland for final action. Agreed? Good.

Alright, now to new business. Michael Pape. What’s a Michael Pape? Candidate for congress? Where? Oh, Western Kentucky. First District.

Right, right. Ed Whitfield is retiring. Yes, good old Ed. Man, he was one of us. An Establishment oak.

So what’s the deal with Pape? He did what? He dressed up three guys like Mexicans with fake moustaches in a TV ad?

Hang on, hang on. We know this guy! Hasn’t he worked for Ed Whitfield for the last 22 years? Like, as an employee of the federal government?

Yes, of course! He’s got two jobs for Ed! He’s his top advisor, and he’s the chauffeur! I knew I’d seen him somewhere.

So let me get this straight – a dude who has worked his entire career for The Establishment now claims he’s going to build a wall to keep actors pretending to be Mexicans who have better grammar than most of us out of America?

Also, someone from the Wardrobe Committee please call Pape and let him know that blue flannel over a black dickey is not exactly normal dress for The Establishment. Actually, tell him it’s not normal dress for anyone. Gee whiz.

Look, I get it. Pape’s cruising toward a massive federal pension from all of his years chauffeuring Ed and working as a federal bureaucrat. But if he could cool it on the disingenuous race baiting and fashion crimes that would be terrific. After he loses to Jamie Comer we’ll take him back on the condition that he stops dressing like Cousin Eddie and some lumberjack trainee had a baby.

What else. How’s Governor Bevin doing? I know he hasn’t exactly been to our meetings but most of his staff has. Bevin’s being attacked by the Tea Party? This is their guy!

They are upset about REAL ID? As opposed to what, fake ID? If I were back on campus at the University of Louisville I’d be where the fringe is on this – fake ID’s for all of us, am I right? Kidding, kidding.

Our party still opposes terrorism, doesn’t it? Give me a break. Good for Bevin for having common sense on that one. Motion to support Bevin passes.

By the way, did you guys see the huge wins Bevin scored for conservatives in Frankfort? He brought home a solid budget that actually addresses the pension crisis, and he cut serious spending across state government. Sharp contrast to the last eight years. Maybe voters will send Bevin reinforcements in November. We can only hope…and donate generously!

Ok, what else? How’s the U.S. Senate looking? Thank the good Lord above for Mitch McConnell. He’s raising money hand over fist to protect the Republican majority firewall in the U.S. Senate. He’s standing tall on Scalia’s seat, too. The motion to make the sound of Schumer weeping and gnashing teeth the soundtrack of our summer barbecue passes unanimously.

It’s getting late, guys. We need a motion to adjourn. It is two-for-one margarita night at Chili’s! Just don’t tell Pape. He’ll be stacking Legos around anyone who orders the fajitas.

Last one to the bar is a rotten RINO!

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Scott Jennings previously served as an advisor to President George W. Bush and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. He is a partner at RunSwitch Public Relations, and can be reached at scott@runswitchpr.com or on Twitter @ScottJenningsKY. The online version of this article contains hyperlinked citations.

Posted on April 27, 2016 in Article, Articles, News

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