Is Mitt on a Suicide Mission?

Is Mitt on a Suicide Mission?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“It’s a suicide mission,” said the Republican Party Chairman.

Reince Priebus was commenting on a Washington Post story about Mitt Romney and William Kristol’s plot to recruit a third-party conservative candidate to sink Donald Trump.

Several big-name Republican “consultants” and “strategists” are said to be on board. Understandably so, given the bucks involved.

With the kind of cash that sloshes around in a presidential campaign, there should be no shortage of super PAC parasites at the enlistment office.

Still missing, however, is the kamikaze pilot who gets just enough fuel to make it out to the fleet. Efforts to recruit Sen. Ben Sasse, loudest of the “Never Trump” leaders, appear to have foundered.

Second thoughts set in this weekend when the Nebraska State Republican Convention voted thunderously to chastise Sasse for persisting in his anti-Trump antics, now that the Republican nominee has been decided by the voters.

Among others sounded out for the mission are ex-Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks. All have begged off.

Apparently, Romney, the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee, personally sounded out both Sasse and Gov. John Kasich, who will be hosting the Cleveland Convention where the coronation of the Donald is to be held.

How Kasich could expect to beat Trump in November, when he lost every state primary to Trump, save his own, is unexplained. And, indeed, Romney’s recruitment of Kasich raises a question.

If Romney believes that Trump is an unacceptable nominee and would be an intolerable president, and that Republicans have a moral obligation to prevent this, why does Romney not man up and take on the assignment himself?

Now, admittedly, Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, where Romney attended, does not have a long tradition of producing suicide bombers. Yet, Romney is asking others to undertake a mission that will kill their careers and make them pariahs in their party, but will not do it himself.

His father shared Romney’s mindset: If the voters have made a mistake, you are not obligated to support it. Just days after Sen. Barry Goldwater locked up the Republican nomination in the California primary, Gov. George Romney was at the Cleveland governors conference plotting to stop him.

Richard Nixon arrived to encourage Romney to step out onto the tracks in front of the Goldwater express. Romney thought better of taking Nixon’s counsel. But he did join Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in denouncing his own party for coddling extremists, and refused to endorse Goldwater, as son Mitt is refusing to endorse Trump.

It was after that Cleveland Convention that Nixon ruefully told me, “Buchanan, whenever you hear of a group forming up to stop X, be sure to put your money on X.”

In 1968, George Romney was so far behind Nixon in the early polls he dropped out, two weeks before New Hampshire. Though he quit the race, at the Republican Convention in Miami Beach, he allowed his name to be put in nomination for vice president, to protest Nixon’s selection of Spiro T. Agnew.

Agnew crushed him. But whatever you say about the political savvy of George Romney, he was stubborn as a bull in his convictions, and he had the courage to go down to defeat fighting for them.

Son Mitt, however, is pushing others into doing what he will not do.

Why is Priebus right when he calls the entry of a third-party conservative in the presidential race a “suicide mission”?

Such a candidate would siphon off votes that would otherwise go to Trump, bring down the ticket, and result in Hillary Clinton becoming the 45th president.

That would mean the next three justices on the Supreme Court would be in the tradition of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. And that would mean Roe v. Wade would never be overturned, affirmative action would be forever, and the social revolution that declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right would roll on.

A Clinton presidency would also mean Obamacare is forever.

The Romney-Kristol collusion thus overlaps nicely with the interests of the Clinton campaign and the agenda of the Beltway media elite.

By scheming to divide the Republican base, they are colluding to bring about the defeat of the Republican Party. And that means Bill and Hillary Clinton back in the White House.

In 1980, Republican Congressman John Anderson, defeated by Ronald Reagan in the primaries, refused to endorse him, and ran as a third-party candidate.

As of June, Anderson had 24 percent of the vote and Reagan was losing to President Carter. Fortunately, as Anderson moved left, he began to sink and draw as much from Carter as from Reagan.

What the Never Trump folks refuse to face is this transparent reality:

Either Trump or Clinton is going to be the next president. To the degree they succeed in wounding or killing Trump’s candidacy, they advance Clinton’s chances of succeeding Obama.

The Romney-Kristol cabal is Hillary Clinton’s fifth column inside the Republican Party.

Is the GOP Risking Suicide?

Is the GOP Risking Suicide?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Donald Trump has brought out the largest crowds in the history of primaries. He has won the most victories, the most delegates, the most votes. He is poised to sweep three of the five largest states in the nation — New York, Pennsylvania and California.

If he does, and the nomination is taken from him, the Republican Party will be seen by the American people as a glorified Chinese tong.

Last week, Ted Cruz swept 34 delegates at the Colorado party convention. Attendees were not allowed to vote on whom they wanted as the party’s nominee.

This weekend, Cruz shut out Trump in Wyoming the same way.

What does this tell us? Cruz has a better “ground game.” His operatives work the system better. Ted Cruz is the king of small ball.

But having gone head-to-head in some 30 primaries and caucuses, Cruz has fallen millions of votes behind Trump, and will fall millions further behind after New York, Pennsylvania and California.

Cruz will soon join John Kasich in being mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination on the first ballot. His fallback strategy is to keep Trump just short of the 1,237 votes needed for victory on the first ballot, and then steal the nomination on the second.

How? Poaching and pilfering. In state after state, he is getting Cruz loyalists elected as Trump delegates. After casting an obligatory vote for Trump on the first ballot, the turncoats will go over the hill and vote for Cruz on the second ballot.

Faithless delegates are preparing to switch to give Ted Cruz a nomination that he could not persuade Republican voters to confer upon him.

Like the 1919 World Series, the fix is in.

The rules are the rules, says Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus in defense of what went down in Colorado and Wyoming.

Priebus is correct. The rules are the rules. But what is also true is that the rules have been and are being manipulated by party elites to frustrate the expressed will of a Republican electorate, and to impose a nominee other then the clear winner of the primaries.

Republican elites are engaged in a conspiracy to frustrate and overturn the democratic decision of the Republican electorate.

Prediction: If Trump sweeps the remaining major primaries, comes to Cleveland with millions more votes than any other candidate, and then has the nomination stolen from him, the Grand Old Party will be committing hara-kiri on worldwide TV.

This political race ranks among the most exciting in American history. Seventeen Republicans entered the lists last summer in what party officials hailed as “the strongest Republican field since 1980.”

Then Trump came down the escalator, took them on, and bested them all. Can Republican Party elites think they will be celebrated if they substitute their wants for the will of the voters?

A Cruz nomination would be like taking the gold medal away from the man who won it, and handing it to a runner-up. The GOP elites would be about as popular as those Olympic boxing judges in South Korea.

The deeper problem here is the refusal of party elites to realize that the world has changed.

The Bush dynasty is done. Jeb Bush, the Prince of Wales, understands this. He will not be going to Cleveland.

The primaries have starkly revealed that a new era is upon us.

Even the neocons, the dominant element among the 121 foreign policy experts who declared in an open letter that they will never work for a President Trump, testify to this.

They see Trump’s victories as a repudiation of their legacy, and a Trump presidency as the end of their post-Cold War ascendancy.

And given the disasters they have produced for America, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya and Yemen, the nation would be well rid of them.

Indeed, Trump’s victories, and the energies he has unleashed, are due, not only to his outsized persona but to his issues.

People believe Trump will secure the borders, halt the invasion, embrace tariff and trade policies to reduce imports, and restart the production of goods, Made in the USA, by and for Americans.

In his first inaugural, Woodrow Wilson said, “The success of a party means little except when the Nation is using that party for a large and definite purpose.”

Bush Republicans saw their “large and definite purpose” as creating a “New World Order” and “ending tyranny in our world.”

Trump seems to see repairing, rebuilding and restoring America to greatness as the “large and definite purpose” of the party he would lead. And a new emerging Republican majority seems to agree.

If Trump had been routed, as first expected, then his message could rightly have been regarded as outside the mainstream. But Republican voters rallied to the issues he raised.

To either ignore the clear instructions of its electorate, or renounce their chosen messenger, would be for the Republican Party to forfeit its future, and cling to a discredited and dead past.

Can the GOP Get Together in Cleveland?

Can the GOP Get Together in Cleveland?

By Patrick Buchanan

After winning only six delegates in Wisconsin, and with Ted Cruz poaching delegates in states he has won, like Louisiana, Donald Trump either wins on the first ballot at Cleveland, or Trump does not win.

Yet, as that huge, roaring reception he received in his first post-Wisconsin appearance in Bethpage, N.Y., testifies, the Donald remains not only the front-runner, but the most exciting figure in the race.

Moreover, after the New York, New England, mid-Atlantic and California primaries, Trump should be within striking distance of the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination.

He will then have to persuade uncommitted delegates to back him, and perhaps do a deal with one of the defeated candidates, Marco Rubio or John Kasich, to win the remaining few needed to go over the top.

In 1976, Ronald Reagan, shy of the delegates he needed to defeat President Ford, offered second place on his ticket to Sen. Richard Schweiker, a moderate from Pennsylvania.

This brainstorm of Reagan campaign manager John Sears did not produce the required delegates, and Reagan received an envelope from a conservative Congressman with 30 dimes in it — 30 pieces of silver.

Still, Reagan was right to roll the dice.

But assume Trump reaches 1,237 on the first ballot.

Would the GOP establishment accept his leadership, back his ticket, and help to bring together all the elements — nationalist, Tea Party, conservative and moderate — of a grand coalition to defeat Hillary Clinton?

Or would the establishment refuse to endorse Trump, ensure his defeat, and hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered party, as Govs. Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney assumed they would do after they deserted Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Prediction: If the GOP establishment does collude to steal the nomination from the candidate who has won the most states, most delegates and most votes, not only could the party be crushed in November, but that establishment could be discredited in perpetuity.

For those who have come out for Trump, and have given the GOP the largest turnouts of any party in a primary season in history, will not be give their allegiance to a Beltway elite that cheated them of the prize they had won.

Sullen and angry, they will be going home, not soon to return.

An establishment embrace of a rule-or-ruin course — Better to lose, than win with Trump! — seems irrational. But it is not irrational if one’s preeminence and position are the summum bonum of one’s political existence.

To avoid the Hobbesian choice — back Trump or abandon Trump — the establishment must block him from a first-ballot victory. And indispensable to the Anybody-But-Trump coalition is Ted Cruz, whom the establishment, if possible, detests even more than Trump.

One testament to the esteem in which Cruz is held is that only two of his 53 Senate GOP colleagues have endorsed him, and one of these, Lindsey Graham, did so as the lesser of two evils.

Here is the second peril for the GOP elites.

If Trump is stopped on the first ballot, the delegates who leave him on the second ballot may go to Cruz, and the stampede could be on.

Yet, it is hard to see how a Cruz nomination is better for the party than a Trump nomination.

For Cruz cannot win in Cleveland, unless the man with the most votes and delegates is deprived of a nomination to which he has a far stronger claim, if this country remains a democratic republic.

A Cruz victory in Cleveland would likely lead to the angry and bitter departure of the Trump delegates, and, in the fall, to a mass defection of the blue-collar, Middle-American Trump voters, especially above the Mason-Dixon line where Cruz is already weak.

The latest poll of Republicans in New York has Trump above 50 percent, with Cruz running third at 17 percent. Even in the South, which was to be Ted Cruz’s firewall, Trump beat him repeatedly.

And while Cruz can claim to be a more reliable conservative than Trump, how does that translate into electoral votes in the fall?

Is the Republican establishment, having been repudiated in the primaries in a historic turnout by the party base, now engaged in a willful act of self-deception?

Can that establishment believe it can rob Trump of a nomination he has all but won, then hold off a right-wing Cruz surge that would ensue, then trot out of the stable one of its own, Speaker Paul Ryan, crown him at the convention, and then win in November?

This is delusional. And what this tells us is, to borrow from The Gipper, that the Republican establishment is not the solution to the party’s problems; the Republican establishment is the problem.

While the GOP appears headed for a train wreck in Cleveland, the principal ingredients of a Republican victory and a Republican future will all be present there: Cruz conservatives and Tea Party types, Trumpite nationalists and populists, Rubio-Kasich-Bush centrists and moderates.

Political statesmanship could yet bring about unity, and victory.

Unfortunately, the smart money is on ego getting in the way.

Is ISIS Faithful to Islam?

Is ISIS Faithful to Islam?

By Patrick Buchanan

“We are not at war with Islam,” said John Kasich after the Brussels massacre, “We’re at war with radical Islam.”

Kasich’s point raises a question: Does the Islamic faith in any way sanction or condone what those suicide bombers did?

For surely the brothers and their accomplice who ignited the bombs in the airport and set off the explosion on the subway did not do so believing they were blasting themselves to hell for all eternity.

One has to assume they hoped to be martyrs to their faith if they slaughtered infidels to terrify and expel such as these from the Islamic world and advance the coming of the caliphate of which the Prophet preached.

And where might they have gotten such ideas?

Kasich’s word, radical, comes from the Latin “radix,” or root.

And if one returns to the roots of Islam, to the Quran, does one find condemnation of what the brothers did — or justification?

Andrew McCarthy was the prosecutor of the “Blind Sheikh” whose terrorist cell tried to bring down a World Trade Center tower in 1993, and plotted bombings in the Holland and Lincoln tunnels.

The U.S. government depicted the sheikh as a wanton killer who distorted the teachings of his faith.

Yet, McCarthy discovered that Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was no imposter-imam, but “a globally renowned scholar — a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence who graduated from al-Azhar University in Cairo, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning for over a millennium.”

Seeking to expose the sheikh as a fraud who had led his gullible followers into terrorism, against the tenets of their faith, McCarthy discovered that “Abdel Rahman was not lying about Islam.”

“When he said the scriptures command that Muslims strike terror into the hearts of Islam’s enemies, the scriptures backed him up. When he said Allah enjoined all Muslims to wage jihad until Islamic law was established throughout the world, the scriptures backed him up.”

“[T]he Blind Sheikh’s summons to Islam was rooted in a coherent interpretation of Islamic doctrine. He was not perverting Islam,” writes McCarthy in the Hillsdale College letter Imprimis. McCarthy goes on:

“Islam is not a religion of peace. … Verses such as ‘Fight those who believe not in Allah,’ and ‘Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war’ are not peaceful injunctions….”

In its formative first century, Islam conquered the Middle and Near East, North Africa and Spain with sword and slaughter, not persuasion and conversion.

Undeniably, there are millions of Muslims in America who love this country and have served it in every walk of life, from cops, firemen and soldiers, to doctors, scholars and clergy.

Yet when “moderate, peaceful Muslims” were called to testify as defense witnesses, says McCarthy, they could not contradict the Blind Sheikh’s claim that he had correctly interpreted the Quran.

The questions that arise are crucial.

When we call Islam a “religion of peace,” are we projecting our own hopes? Are we deceiving ourselves? Are the Muslims we respect, admire and like, as friends and patriots, assimilated and “Americanized” Muslims who have drifted away from, set aside, or rejected many core beliefs of the Quran and root teachings of their own faith?

Are they simply secularized Muslims?

When the Afghan regime we installed sought to cut off the head of a Christian convert, was that un-Islamic? Or does Islam teach that this is the way to deal with apostates?

Is the hate spewing forth from the Ayatollah toward Americans and Jews un-Islamic? Is the Saudis’ cutting off of heads and hands of adulterers and thieves and suppressing of women un-Islamic?

Or is that what the Quran actually teaches?

Have the Islamists of al-Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, al-Qaida and ISIS in Syria and Iraq — who daily die fighting in the name of Islam — misread their sacred texts?

Are they all heretics who fail to understand the peaceful and loving character of their Islamic faith?

Or is the West deluding itself? Is it possible we are the ones misreading the sacred books of Islam and what the triumph of Islam would mean for our civilization — because we lack the courage to face the truth and do what is necessary to avoid our fate?

Islam is rising again. Of its 1.6 billion adherents worldwide, many are returning to the roots of their faith, seeking to live their lives as commanded by the Prophet, the Quran and Sharia.

Western survival would seem to dictate a halt to all immigration from lands where this deadly virus we call “radical Islam” — with which Kasich concedes we are at war — is rampant, just as we would halt immigration from lands where the bubonic plague was rampant.

That would surely contradict the cherished beliefs of Western liberals.

But, then, as James Burnham reminded us, “Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.”

Brownshirts & Republican Wimps

Brownshirts & Republican Wimps

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Friday evening’s Donald Trump rally in Chicago was broken up by a foul-mouthed mob that infiltrated the hall and forced the cancelation of the event to prevent violence and bloodshed.

Brownshirt tactics worked. The mob, triumphant, rejoiced.

And the reaction of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich?

All three Republican rivals blamed — Donald Trump.

With his “dangerous style of leadership,” Trump stokes this anger, mewed Rubio, “This is what happens when a leading presidential candidate goes around feeding into a narrative of bitterness and anger and frustration.”

Rubio implies that if Trump doesn’t tone down his remarks to pacify the rabble, he will be responsible for the violence visited upon him.

Kasich echoed Rubio: “Donald Trump has created a toxic environment (that) has allowed his supporters and those who sometimes seek confrontation to come together in violence.”

But were the thousands of Trump supporters who came out to cheer him that night really looking for a fight? Or were they exercising their right of peaceful assembly?

Cruz charged Trump with “creating an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord,” thus offering absolution to the mob.

Friday night cried out for moral clarity. What we got from Trump’s rivals was moral mush that called to mind JFK’s favorite quote from Dante: The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.

As news outlets have reported, Friday’s disruption at the University of Illinois-Chicago auditorium was a preplanned assault.

Behind it were the George Soros-funded MoveOn.org, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Hispanics hoisting Mexican flags and cop-haters carrying filthy signs to show their contempt for police.

People for Bernie, a pro-Sanders outfit, tweeted, “[This] wasn’t just luck. It took organizers from dozens of organizations and thousands of people to pull off. Great work.”

Now, Sanders did not order this assault on the civil rights of Trump supporters. But MoveOn.org has endorsed him and “Bernie” signs and T-shirts were everywhere among the disrupters. Hence, he has a duty to disavow this conduct and those who engaged in it.

If Sanders refuses, he condones it, and is morally complicit.

Can one imagine how the media would pile on Trump if working-class white males in Trump T-shirts invaded a Hillary Clinton rally and shut it down?

Can one imagine how the networks and cable TV channels that host town halls with the candidates would react if hell-raisers snuck into their audiences and shouted obscenities during discussions?

The keening over the First Amendment would not cease for weeks.

Some of us have been here before, and know how this ends.

When the urban riots broke out in the ’60s, Hubert Humphrey declared that, if he lived in a ghetto, “I could lead a pretty good riot myself.”

At his 1968 convention in Chicago, radicals baited and provoked the cops in the front of the Conrad Hilton, and as this writer watched, their patience exhausted after days of abuse, Chicago’s finest tore into the mob and delivered some street justice.

“Richard Nixon,” wrote Hunter S. Thompson, “is living in the White House today because of what happened that night in Chicago.”

Hunter got that one right.

That fall, Humphrey was daily assailed by the kinds of haters now disrupting Trump rallies. Everywhere he went, they chanted, “Dump the Hump!” At times, Humphrey came close to tears.

That fall, Humphrey realized the monster he helped nurture.

My tormentors, he said, are “not just hecklers, but highly disciplined, well-organized agitators … some of them are anarchists, and some of these groups are destroying the Democratic Party and destroying this country.”

In 1970, when President Nixon sent U.S. troops into Cambodia to clean out Viet Cong sanctuaries, and students rioted, Ronald Reagan called them “cowardly fascists,” and declared, “If there’s going to be a bloodbath, let it begin here.”

Not much Cruz-Rubio-Kasich equivocating there.

When radicals stomped down Wall Street desecrating Old Glory, construction workers came down from the building sites they were working and whaled on them.

Union president Peter J. Brennan was soon in the Oval Office — and in Nixon’s Cabinet. “Secretary Bunker,” we called him.

Prediction. Given their “victory” in Chicago, MoveOn.org and its allied nasties will try to replicate it, again and again. And as Americans came to despise the ’60s radicals, they will come to despise them.

And, as in the 1960s, the country will take a turn — to the right.

America has changed from the land we grew up in. But she is not yet ready to allow ugly mobs screaming obscenities at Trump and his folks inside and outside that hall in Chicago, or their paragons like socialist senator Bernie Sanders, to take over the country.

Those raising hell in the street in Chicago and that convention hall are unfit to be citizens of this democratic republic.

For as Edmund Burke reminded us, “Men of intemperate minds can never be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

The Oligarchs’ Super-PAC Anti-Trump Savagery

The Oligarchs' Super-PAC Anti-Trump Savagery

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Narrow victories in the Kentucky caucuses and the Louisiana primary, the largest states decided on Saturday, have moved Donald Trump one step nearer to the nomination.

Primaries in Michigan, Mississippi and Idaho on March 8, and in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina on March 15, may prove decisive. If Marco Rubio does not win his home state of Florida, he is cooked, as is Gov. John Kasich if he does not win Ohio.

Ted Cruz already looks to be the last man between Trump and a GOP nomination that has gone, in the last seven elections, to George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

All five of those nominees since 1988 seem appalled by Trump’s triumphs, and only slightly less so by the Cruz alternative.

Not in memory has the leadership of a party been so out of touch. The Republican rank and file are in revolt, not only against the failures of their fathers but the policies of their present rulers.

Some among the GOP elites, who have waited patiently through the Obama era to recapture control of U.S. foreign policy, are now beside themselves with despair over Trump’s success.

Fully 116 members of the GOP’s national security community, many of them veterans of Bush administrations, have signed an open letter threatening that, if Trump is nominated, they will all desert, and some will defect – to Hillary Clinton!

“Hillary is the lesser evil, by a large margin,” says Eliot Cohen of the Bush II State Department. According to Politico’s Michael Crowley, Cohen helped line up neocons to sign the “Dump-Trump” manifesto.

Another signer, Robert Kagan, wailed in the Washington Post, “The only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.”

Are they serious?

Victory for Clinton would mean her remaking the Supreme Court, killing all chances that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, or that we could get another justice like Antonin Scalia before 2021.

What are these renegades and turncoats so anguished about?

Trump calls the Iraq War many of them championed an historic blunder. Trump says that, while a supporter of Israel, he would be a “neutral” honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians in peace negotiations, as was Jimmy Carter at Camp David.

Trump says he would “get along very well” with Vladimir Putin, as Richard Nixon got along with Leonid Brezhnev and Mao Zedong.

Trump would launch no new crusades for democracy. He would not oppose Russia bombing ISIS. He would build that wall on the border. He would transfer from U.S. taxpayers to rich allies more of the cost of defending themselves.

Do not most Americans agree with much of this?

Yet this neocon ultimatum about deserting should the voters nominate Trump testifies eloquently to their loyalty.

With every ex-president and ex-nominee repudiating Trump, and foreign policy elites going rogue, the GOP hierarchy is saying: We will cut Trump dead, just as the Rockefeller-Romney crowd cut Barry Goldwater dead.

This is pure my-way-or-the-highway politics.

But it raises anew the question: Can the establishment stop Trump?

Answer: It is possible, and we shall know by midnight, March 15. If Trump loses Florida and Ohio, winner-take-all primaries, he would likely fall short of the 1,237 delegates needed for nomination on the first ballot.

How could the anti-Trump forces defeat him in Ohio, Florida and Illinois? With the same tactics used to shrink Trump’s victory margins in Virginia, Louisiana and Kentucky to well below what polls had predicted.

In every primary upcoming, Trump is under a ceaseless barrage of attack ads on radio, TV, cable and social media, paid for by super PACs with hoards of cash funneled in by oligarchs.

But Trump, who is self-funding his campaign, has spent next to nothing on ads answering these attacks, or promoting himself or his issues. He has relied almost exclusively on free media.

Yet no amount of free media can match the shellfire falling on him every hour of every day in every primary state.

Our Principles PAC, backed by Nebraska’s billionaire Ricketts family, has poured millions into trashing Trump. American Future Fund is dumping $1.75 million in Florida this week; Club for Growth $1.5 million.

Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer is backing the Conservative Solutions PAC, which has dumped millions into anti-Trump ads and plans to spend more than $7 million between March 1 and 15, with $4 million of that going into Florida. The super PAC pile-on is unprecedented.

How well Trump fares in Michigan and Mississippi, measured against how well he was doing in polls last week, will reveal just how successful super PAC savagery has been in changing hearts and minds.

Can millionaires and billionaires who back open borders, mass immigration, globalization and the disappearance of nation states into transnational collectives overwhelm with their millions spent in ads the patriotic movements that arose this year to the wonderment of America and the world?

Has that proud 18th century boast of Americans, “Here, sir, the people rule!” given way to the rule of the oligarchs?

War Party Oligarch

War Party Oligarch

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Is the Republican Party’s Middle East policy up for bid?

For four days ending Sunday, a quartet of presidential hopefuls trooped to Las Vegas to attend the annual gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Impresario: Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino mogul whose fortune is estimated at $39 billion — 8th richest man on the planet — and who dumped $92 million into the election of 2012.

Adelson kept Newt Gingrich alive with a $15 million infusion of ad money, gutting Romney, and then sank $30 million into Mitt’s campaign.

This time Sheldon wants to buy himself a winner.

Ari Fleischer, press secretary to Bush 43, and a member of Adelson’s RJC fiefdom, put it plain and simple: “The ‘Sheldon Primary’ is an important primary. … anybody running for the Republican nomination would want to have Sheldon at his side.”

One such man is Jeb Bush, son and brother to presidents, who was the prize bull at Sheldon’s cattle show. Daniel Ruth of the Tampa Bay Times speculates on Jeb’s motive in showing up:

“Would you slink into Las Vegas to schmooze gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson who regards GOP presidential nominees as if they were trophy heads mounted in his den, if you had no interest in the White House? Bush is not going to Vegas to catch Meat Loaf’s act at Planet Hollywood.”

The 2016 presidential hopefuls “are falling at his feet,” said a veteran Republican strategist of the 80-year-old oligarch. Each of those who came — Bush, Chris Christie, and Govs. Scott Walker and John Kasich — apparently auditioned, one by one, before the godfather.

In 2016, says Adelson’s top political adviser Andy Abboud, Sheldon’s “bar for support is going to be much higher. … There’s going to be a lot more scrutiny.”

Guess that means no more Newts.

Victor Chaltiel, a major donor and Adelson friend who sits on the board of Las Vegas Sands, tells us Sheldon “doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee.” Adds Shawn Steel, a big California GOP money man, Sheldon is a “very rational guy.”

Perhaps. But last fall at Yeshiva University, this “very rational guy” gave this response to a question from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on whether he supports U.S. negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program:

“No. What do you mean support negotiations? What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …

You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’

“So, there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.

“And then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.

“‘You want to be peaceful. Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.'”

Adelson’s response was recorded by Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website who was at Yeshiva and filmed the interview. Weiss says the audience cheered Adelson’s proposed nuclear strike on Iran and no one on the stage, not Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, peeped a word of dissent.

And this is a “very rational guy,” who doesn’t want “a crazy extremist to be the nominee”?

This is someone Republican presidential candidates must appease, if they don’t want tens of millions in attack ads run against them?

This is someone the Republican presidential hopefuls must hearken to now?

Again, so it would seem.

During his talk before the few dozen members of the RJC, Gov. Chris Christie recounted his recent trip to Israel: “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories” and came “to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day.”

Christie’s effort at bonding boomeranged. An angry Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America confronted Christie to demand that he explain just what he meant by “occupied territories.”

For half a century, the United States has considered the West Bank occupied land where Israeli settlements are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Whatever Christie’s response, it did not satisfy the ZOA or Klein who declared: “Either [Christie] doesn’t understand the issue, or he’s hostile to Israel.”

Whereupon Christie, in a private audience with Adelson, apologized.

A source close to Adelson told Politico that Christie made clear “that he misspoke when he referred to the ‘occupied territories.’ And he conveyed that he is an unwavering friend and committed supporter of Israel, and was sorry for any confusion that came across as a result of the misstatement.”

The governor is a tough guy, but this sounds like groveling.

Is this what Republican presidential candidates must do now?

Kowtow to this fattest of fat cats who wants to buy himself an American war on Iran?

Is that what has become of the party of Reagan?