George Will declares: There is no Republican ‘establishment’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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As the conservative movement has ascended, some see new tensions between conservatives and the more moderate Republican “establishment.” But that’s no longer the case, says Washington Post columnist George Will — because Republican establishment doesn’t exist.

On Sunday’s online “Green Room” segment of ABC’s “This Week,” Will said the “establishment” of the Republican Party died nearly 50 years ago. (RELATED: Bachmann takes Sunday show victory lap after Ames Straw Poll win)

“Amy [Walter] used the ‘e’ word that I would like to ban from public discourse: ‘establishment,’” Will said. “There is no Republican establishment. In 1966 its house organ — the Republican establishment’s — the New York Herald-Tribune died. The establishment itself died two years earlier in Cow Palace in San Francisco with the nomination of Barry Goldwater.”

Will’s co-panelist, syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham, suggested the modern version of the Republican establishment could be defined as the Bush family. But she added that this definition of the Republican establishment was also weakened when the GOP lined up behind Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Texas gubernatorial race against incumbent Rick Perry.

And Ingraham explained that the “establishment” has deteriorated as conservatives have found other vehicles for getting their messages across.

“I think the establishment has been in the wrong since the Internet recently, and since talk radio, the Internet and Fox News — sorry — everything else that’s out there bubbling around,” Ingraham said. “I think it’s been difficult for that kind of party line.”