In all my (Michele Hickford’s) years, I have NEVER seen an election cycle like this one. (And I’m old enough to have voted against Jimmy Carter and for Ronald Reagan).
From all indications, it appears this election will determine the fate of the Republican Party. And from all indications, the establishment wing of the Grand Old Party has no interest in having its fate messed up by an outsider.
Whether you’re a Donald Trump supporter or not, it’s hard not to deny the GOP establishment is the reason why we have a candidate like Trump running in the first place. And now that very same establishment will do anything it possibly can to destroy Trump – including cooking up secret plots.
The Huffington Post reports a fleet of 54 private jets delivered leaders of the GOP establishment, high tech CEOs and of course Karl Rove to the highly secretive American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum at a private island resort off the coast of Georgia last weekend.
The main topic at the closed-to-the-press confab? How to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google co-founder Larry Page, Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker, and Tesla Motors and SpaceX honcho Elon Musk all attended. So did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), political guru Karl Rove, House Speaker Paul Ryan, GOP Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Ben Sasse (Neb.), who recently made news by saying he “cannot support Donald Trump.”
Along with Ryan, the House was represented by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (Mich.), Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas) and almost-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), sources said, along with leadership figure Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Diane Black (Tenn.).
Philip Anschutz, the billionaire GOP donor whose company owns a stake in Sea Island, was also there, along with Democratic Rep. John Delaney, who represents Maryland. Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, was there, too, a Times spokeswoman confirmed.
“A specter was haunting the World Forum–the specter of Donald Trump,” Bill Kristol editor of The Weekly Standard, and a regular on ABC’s This Week, wrote in an emailed report from the conference, borrowing the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto. “There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated.”
“The key task now, to once again paraphrase Karl Marx, is less to understand Trump than to stop him,” Kristol wrote. “In general, there’s a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn’t be president.”
By the way, in case you were thinking about smashing your iPhone and terminating the lease on your Tesla, HuffPo says, Cook did not attend the Rove session, or otherwise take part in any political organizing, a source close to Cook emphasized. Musk tweeted Wednesday that he attended the meeting to talk about “Mars and sustainable energy,” not Trump.
The long knives are truly out and pointy. But as Col. West wrote earlier today, the establishment may have already picked its ticket…
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]