In a recent article, Politico seems to believe that former consultant Steve Schmidt’s divorce from the GOP is a big story and that party stalwarts are all abuzz. The article almost reads like a PR piece for Schmidt. The truth of the matter is that all the commotion over Schmidts departure is much ado about nothing. Well over a year after the election people in the party care not one whit about Steve Schmidt’s current views of the GOP or his plans for the future.
The reality is that Steve Schmidt has never really been interested in any one other than Steve Schmidt. His attack on his former client’s running mate was beyond the pale and indicative of a mercenary whose allegiances blow in the wind.
How convenient for Schmidt to have his road to Damascus moment well after his disastrous involvement in the 2008 campaign. It should be noted that Palin was Schmidt’s recommendation for VP. If he had second thoughts and believed Palin would be an anchor around the ankles of McCain’s presidential bid, he could have eliminated her as a running mate. Instead, Schmidt got on board at the time and along with many other GOP illuminates, including the now exiled Bill Kristol, thought it was a shrewd game-changing political event.
No one in the GOP is weeping over Schmidt’s departure from the Republican Party. Long before Trump announced his candidacy, the execrable Steve Schmidt, was a regular and very welcome guest on partisan hack, Chris Matthew’s MSNBC talk show. How anyone could consider Schmidt remotely resembling a member of the Republican Party at that time beggars the imagination.
Schmidt is but one of many exiled former GOP consultants, who for years have milked the Republican Party. Vying for this distinction along with Schmidt is his fellow has-been GOP consultant Rick Willson, another one of the many perpetually deranged never-Trumpers.
Here is the most important and salient fact to remember about Schmidt and his fellow former GOP consultants: their records in terms of winning elections was dreadful, yet they continued to remain on the GOP payroll. As I note in my book, Election 2016: How Donald Trump And The Deplorables Won And Made Political History,
Some of the most prominent members of the Old Guard are the consultant class, who for the past several election cycles maintained an incestuous and profitable relationship with the RNC. Win or lose, the same names would usually crop up: Mike Murphy; Steve Schmidt; Stuart Stevens; John Weaver and Rick Wilson. These political strategists all fed off the parasitic relationship with the party establishment. They repeatedly bilked the RNC and its donors —both large and small. They all sang the same old song. They could all be seen on the cable TV and Sunday morning talk show circuit, their appearances ostensibly booked due to their expertise, which was comical, given their dismal track record.
Schmidt is leaving the GOP not on principle but because his cushy consultant gigs with the party is over. As I further note,
The track record of the consultant class pariahs was dreadful, yet the party continued to hire them. It was a unique and enviable employment relationship where the worse you performed the greater your job security and the more you were paid.
What is astonishing, is that the Republican Party is known, above all else, as the party of business and home of successful entrepreneurs. How members of this elite business club could repeatedly shower astronomical sums and continue to employ the consultant gang that couldn’t shoot straight, time and again, is one of the most endearing mysteries of the GOP of the past thirty years. If the Republican Party were forced to compete in the private sector with the same business plan employed repeatedly by the RNC, they would sooner or later be forced to file for bankruptcy.
After the election, Schmidt realized he had no prospect of ever working for another Republican politician ever again. Hence, his recent and expedient conversion to the Democratic Party.
Whatever fellow Republicans one thinks of Trump, all should be delighted that this Quisling will never set foot in party headquarters for the remainder of their lifetimes.