At Christmas 2015, causes for conservative joy

A final note: If you’re a conservative who’s feeling oppressed — by the Republican establishment, by Obama’s power grabs or by the prevailing liberal media bias — I encourage you to take a step back and look at the state of the Republican Party.

Almost any analysis of the early primaries or the national polls will note that “establishment support” is split between Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and John Kasich.

Think about that. Six and a half years ago, Marco Rubio was considered the insurgent enemy of the Republican establishment. The National Republican Senatorial Committee was funding his moderate primary opponent Charlie Crist. Former Majority Leader Bob Dole, the GOP standard-bearer in 1996, actually donated to Crist after Crist quit the party.

Now Rubio is the highest-polling “establishment” candidate. Has he become more establishment? Only slightly. Mostly, the establishment has been forced to cede more governance of the party to the Tea Party base. Heck, conservatives threw out the House speaker and installed the more-conservative Paul Ryan.