Mitt Romney's speech against Donald Trump is not likely to win many converts. Romney's remarks will just further vindicate and entrench Trump supporters.
Romney, though a good man, is quintessentially GOP establishment and has shown, by his speech, that he still doesn't understand the role he and his colleagues have played in bringing about the Trump surge.
During campaign season, these guys always seem to get it. They profess to understand how destructive President Obama's agenda is, but once they're elected, they lose their will to fight, which makes many conservatives believe they didn't believe their own rhetoric in the first place.
I know, Republicans tell us that the GOP leadership has done all it can to stop Obama but there's only so much a congressional majority can do. That's also what they said about congressional minorities when they were a minority.
Regardless, they haven't presented their case to the American people with conviction during the past seven years, except in the runup to elections. They didn't point out Obama's evil intentions and often denounced those who did. They didn't rally around Ted Cruz, Mike Lee or a handful of others who tried to stymie Obama. Instead, they chose to ridicule and marginalize these fighters.
Even to this day, the establishment fails to understand the legitimate concerns millions of Americans have over illegal immigration. Establishment types arrogantly and unfairly slander border hawks as nativists, suggesting their opposition to open borders is race-based.
It's not about race; it's about our national sovereignty, the rule of law, protecting jobs, protecting Americans against criminal elements and jihadis, and stanching an invasion of people who will further burden our welfare state -- not assimilate, not embrace the American idea -- and vote almost solely Democratic.
A sovereign nation must control its borders and encourage immigrants to assimilate and embrace the unique American experiment. But Democrats are for flooding the borders for all the wrong reasons, and large swaths of the Republican establishment have affirmatively aided and abetted them.
We've watched as Republicans have allowed many of Obama's budgets to sail through under the radar, on the pretense of just waiting for the next election. Our guys don't even talk about entitlement reform anymore, though they were telling us just a few years ago that we were about to go bankrupt.
The Republican Party has been so tone-deaf to these real concerns that some Republican voters are furious enough to have chosen a wildly flawed solution in Donald Trump. One person on Twitter said she is so disgusted she is going to vote Democratic for the first time in 40 years.
It is tragic that true conservatives, however, are being lumped in and punished for the betrayals of centrist Republicans. Trump supporters are adamant that no elected official escape the blame. Their solution is to burn the house down and rebuild it around Trump, even though they can't be sure what he'd do when elected.
People wonder why they would turn to someone like Trump. The GOP, after all, has stood for moral principles, manners and adult behavior, and Trump seems to exhibit none of those things. In many ways, he is the opposite of conservative principles, in demeanor, lifestyle and his personal conduct in the campaign.
But in their disgust at the Republican establishment, they are throwing out true conservatives and also certain conservative principles and values, as if all of conservatism has been tainted by a party that betrayed its base.
How else does it make sense that even valid, troubling criticisms of Trump seem to help him more than hurt him?
I think it's because this disaffected class of voters wants someone unorthodox enough to break the rules, someone brash enough not to be deterred by the niceties that have prevented establishment Republicans from distinguishing themselves from Obama in bold colors rather than pale pastels. They're seem not only not offended but invigorated by someone who'll hurl profanities and refuse to apologize even when he owes an apology, because they think it's going to take someone like that to resist pressure to betray them once he's elected.
And though the establishment has finally awakened to the intensity of the discontentment among the party rank and file, it still doesn't believe the angst is legitimate. The establishment is still in bitter denial and wouldn't support a person advocating many of Trump's ideas even if he were a paragon of moral rectitude.
If establishment Republicans were the least bit repentant about their betrayals, truly believed in the conservative principles embodied in their party's platform and were realistic about stopping Trump, they'd quit posturing and unite behind Ted Cruz.
For the way to defeat Donald Trump is not to deny him a majority and steal the nomination from him at the convention; that really would be the end of the party. It is to embrace the closest thing to a Reagan conservative since Ronald Reagan, before it's too late. But truth be told, they probably hate Cruz worse than they hate Trump.
I wish Trump supporters would consider this when they wrongly lump Cruz in with the establishment, and I wish they'd simmer down long enough to recognize that Cruz represents the answer to their complaints far more than Trump -- and with none of the baggage.