Last week Karl Rove, the official voice of what Sarah Palin calls the “GOP Establishment,” took the bait. He called Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE a “joke candidate.” Then at the end of the week Charles Krauthammer ran a lineup of what he considered to be the GOP potentials for 2012. Krauthammer, who might be considered the GOP Establishment’s apparatchik-in-chief, said of Trump, “He’s not a candidate, he’s a spectacle,” calling The Donald “merely vulgar.” A “provocateur and clown,” like the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Krauthammer proposed Mitt Romney as the GOP Establishment’s first (and only, really) choice. That’s terrible news for Romney, because in a Trump vs. Romney race with Romney as the official representative of the Rove/Krauthammer/Bush/Cheney GOP Establishment, Trump wins.

Consider conservative influence, which is not part of the GOP Establishment that has awakened, say, since Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote this in The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 2, 2008: “As governors and citizens, we've grown increasingly concerned over the past weeks as Washington has thrown bailout after bailout at the national economy with little to show for it.”

Since then we have seen Perry reelected with the GOP Establishment in full opposition, and we have seen Sarah Palin, Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony This week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill US-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' MORE, Ron Paul (pulling over 40 percent of young conservatives), and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller Time: Dems, GOP ready questions for high-stakes testimony This week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Health care moves to center stage of Democratic primary fight | Sanders, Biden trade sharps jabs on Medicare for All | Senate to vote on 9/11 bill next week | Buttigieg pushes for cheaper insulin MORE of Utah in the Senate and libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano and friends going nightly on Fox Business, and Fox News (without Beck), Joe Miller of Alaska taking the leadership of Western Representation PAC, 87 new congressmen, 17 new conservative governors, the Tea Party with its 3,000 chapters, New Hampshire’s Free Staters (“opposing gun laws, legalize marijuana and Hillary is a b---h”), the 10th Amendment Center, state sovereignty movements in 37 states and did I mention Chuck Norris?

The GOP Establishment is Inside the Beltway. Trump is old-school New York; the Easter Parade, Fred and Ginger, but as new again and innocent as John L. Sullivan half-naked in the ring, taking on the world alone with his own two fists. Some of these by no means would find Trump representative of their interests, but all have risen in opposition to the GOP Establishment.

The GOP Establishment peddles INFLUENCE. Trump understands POWER. And marketing. And packaging. And he sees what is quite obvious by now: an amorphous American movement looking for form and structure; a play like Pirandello’s looking for an actor; looking for a champion. And he understands that the old establishments, both Democrat and Republican (Ford and Chevy? meat and potatoes?), are arid and calcified and lost in the wrong century. His combination of Bismarck and Phineas T. Barnum could well be the catalyst. It is not far from Ronald Reagan’s approach. Sending Rove and Krauthammer to apoplexy all in a weekend suggests he is on his way.