Forget "Establishment". Its still a conservative vs. moderate battle.

Leon accurately points out that New Hampshire picks losers. More importantly, New Hampshire picks moderates/Rhinos – check out his article if you don’t believe me.

This cycle, people have gotten caught up in who is the anti-establishment vs. the establishment. This differs from the past when the conservative vs. moderate was the normal categorization of presidential primary choices.  Many conservatives (often the lesser informed types) have confused being “not the establishment” with being a conservative this time around.

I suggest we need to stop all the “establishment” talk and get back to the kind of distinction-on-the-issues categorization of the past. Why? Because Donald Trump – that’s why.

Donald Trump has been labeled from the beginning as non-establishment. Its true that he’s not the inside-the-beltway choice for president. But is his outsider status in that regard a good reason to support him if you are an “anti-establishment voter”? Aren’t anti-establishment voters interested in getting back to limited government and ending D.C. corruption?

If that’s true about anti-establishment voters, then its not enough to just be way down the list of Mitch Boehner’s preferred candidates. You have to actually be “anti-establishment” on the issues!

An anti-establishment candidate is not really anti-establishment if he/she actually agrees with 80% + of the establishment’s position on the issues. Donald Trump is with the establishment on the issues more than he is against them. But, isn’t this an “anti-establishment” election? We are told all day that the reason for Sander’s and Trump’s popularity is this “anti-establishment” sentiment.

I don’t think that is the best explanation.

Here’s a better one: Donald Trump is this cycle’s Mitt McDole with one twist. He is a populist Mitt McDole. That’s the one that has been missing from the moderate lane of candidates in the past. Donald Trump brought in populism and enough empty rhetoric on hot-button-issue-immigration to get the less-informed conservative confused about who is the conservative candidate.

Look at the exit polls. Look at the New Hampshire results. Donald Trump at the top in moderate New Hampshire? How could they vote for anti-establishment types like Trump and Sanders? I’ve already shown you how. You need to stop thinking in terms of pro/anti establishment and start thinking about the issues:Trump is a flaming liberal/moderate/Rhino. Sanders is a socialist. New Hampshire is left-leaning.

The question is this: Will enough of the conservatives in S. Carolina drink the Trump Kool-aide and believe he’s on their side? Will the conservative vote remain split between Cruz/Carson/Rubio? (People are miss-categorizing Rubio for many of the same reasons.)

Please, forget this whole “establishment” meme! Look what’s happening to us: the moderate/liberal republican is going to run away with the nomination if we don’t wake up. And its the exact same thing that happened to conservatives for the last I-don’t-know-how-many cycles. The moderate tricks some conservatives into thinking he’s conservative. The rest of the conservatives split their vote. The rest is history.