- - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The roll-over Republicans in the U.S. Senate are hard at work now, not in support of their party’s presidential candidate, but in putting the champagne on ice for November 9, when they imagine that the revolt of the peasants against the party’s elites will have been put down once and for all.

If Hillary Clinton is elected, they expect the peasants to go back to sleep, and they can play the game they’re most comfortable playing — rolling over to take their reward, a nice belly-scratch from their Democratic betters. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, one of several Republican incumbents threatened this season by Democratic challengers, tells his hometown Atlanta Journal Constitution that his Republican colleagues won’t give her the trouble many of them have given Barack Obama.

“Barack Obama was somewhat of an unknown,” he says. “He was a senator, but only for a year and a half before he was elected president. She is a known commodity, and I think there will be more camaraderie in terms of working together, than there [was] in the early days of Obama.” Camaraderie, and smiles and head pats, in addition to the belly-scratches, and maybe even an invitation to dinner at the White House.

That’s the risk to the conservatives of losing this election. The establishment senators, some of whom tried to win the Republican nomination and got their heads handed to them by the voters, will take their mere survival as proof that the nightmare of challenge by angry constituents is over, and business as usual can safely resume. They’re in the position of the country preacher (perhaps from somewhere in Georgia) who survives an attempt to oust him from the pulpit by a congregational vote of 47 to 45, and calls it a vote of confidence. His bottom has just begun to be sore.

The Democrats have scorched the Republicans who have allowed themselves to be scorched for what Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the leader of the Democrats, calls a record level of obstruction. He told the Senate last month that Republicans had treated Mr. Obama with “unprecedented disrespect.” Mr. Reid and his party have had considerable success in selling the lie that principled opposition to any Obama proposal, however radical, is born of racism, bigotry and knavish instinct. Such poison is a cocktail served cold, often with a sprig of hemlock, and the roll-over Republicans are eager to drink it.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who made a lame effort to win the nomination eventually won by the Donald, says Hillary would find “a willing partner” on immigration reform, restoring the military and some sort of initiative to “improve” federal spending. The immigration reform Hillary and the Democrats have in mind, of course, is reforming only the deplorables, who are saying, loud and clear, that they’re “mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.”

But the peasants have tasted blood, and the hunt has just begun.

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