The Crackup Continues

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Obama Administration

Rick Klein has a pretty good analysis of what ails the GOP right now.

What’s left of the GOP establishment is so deeply divided that it can’t even decide which of its two frontrunners needs to be stopped more urgently. That says nothing of the party’s inability to settle on one or even two candidates to represent its traditional power bases, despite a deep talent pool helped by opposition to President Obama. …

…The conservative National Review has taken the unprecedented step of publishing an entire issue aimed at blocking the party’s leading candidate. Generations of prominent conservative journalists, tea party activists, and former administration officials are uniting to say that Donald Trump should not even be considered a true conservative.

Meanwhile, in the halls of Congress, Republican lawmakers are coming together to argue that one of their own, Sen. Ted Cruz, is the candidate who must be blocked. Their argument is that Cruz would not just lose but damage the party brand for years to come.

I didn’t read any of the National Review issue — life is way too short for that — but Amanda Marcotte did read it.

The editors can’t quite seem to decide what their exact objections to Trump are. Is it that he’s driving the right too far in the direction of fascism or that he’s a secret liberal in disguise? Both! Whatever you need to hear! The strategy is argument through overwhelming. They’ll throw everything they’ve got, even contradictory stuff, at the reader and hope the sheer volume of words impresses them enough to vote for Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush.

The everything-and-the-kitchen-sink strategy produces some hilarious contradictions. The main anti-Trump editorial, written by the editors, darkly warns that Trump isn’t the racist that his followers think he is. “Trump says he will put a big door in his beautiful wall, an implicit endorsement of the dismayingly conventional view that current levels of legal immigration are fine,” they write, even trying to get the reader to believe that Trump’s mass deportation plan is “poorly disguised amnesty”.

Of course they can’t come up with a coherent objection to Trump, because Trumpism is the inevitable extension of their own deranged politics.

Charles Pierce, on the National Review anti-Trump issue:

OK, I have decided that, for the next two hours, I am going to be a supporter of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign. Why? Because the nation’s most conspicuously advertising-free longtime journal of white supremacy has gathered the finest minds in American conservatism to create the world’s biggest mudpie with their toes, that’s why.

I mean, look at this wingnut slide zone: Beck, Loesch, Podhoretz, Erickson, Bozell, a few of the now completely laughable reformicons, Butcher’s Bill Kristol. This is like the ’27 Yankees of bad ideas.

This crew is incapable of generating anything resembling a coherent ideology, but they are too self-oblivious to see it.

Andrew O’Hehir:

So when I read through National Review’s barrage of “Conservatives Against Trump” broadsides, a collection of mini-essays from miscellaneous haters with little else in common, I didn’t just notice the desperation, the flailing, the misplaced snobbery and self-righteousness, or the pervasive sense of abandonment and bewilderment. All of which were considerable: Trump was variously compared to Hitler, Mussolini and Barack Obama (I’m not sure who’s supposed to be worse); derided for his outer-borough accent and the vulgar design of his casinos; accused of being a phony conservative and a phony Christian (guilty as charged) and described both as a hateful racist and a stealth advocate of illegal immigration.

But when you get past the outrage, anger, betrayal and name-calling, you get to the unexpected but powerful nuggets of truth. To a significant degree, the National Review roster of right-wing philosopher-kings perceive that the jig is up, not just in terms of the 2016 nomination but in terms of the entire jury-rigged Frankenstein apparatus of the Republican Party.

The elites and insiders have lost control. Can they pull themselves together before the general election?

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Dukkha Earl  •  Jan 23, 2016 @2:53 pm

    Be that as it may, the Repubs do have a secret weapon that just may pull their fat out of the fire: the Democratic Party!

  2. erinyes  •  Jan 23, 2016 @4:13 pm

    Dukkha Earl….
    A rich woman, a Jew, and an Irishman walk in to a bar. They all get a concussion.
    Jesus Lawd a Mercy.

  3. grannyeagle  •  Jan 23, 2016 @4:46 pm

    “Can they pull themselves together before the general election?” I hope not. It’s too much fun the way it is.

  4. Swami  •  Jan 23, 2016 @7:00 pm

    It’s sorta like the parable of the young ruler… the conservatives are asking..What must we do to be saved?

  5. Ed  •  Jan 23, 2016 @11:01 pm

    Maybe in the next “debate” Trump will walk across the stage, put his hand down the front of Carly Fiorina’s dress, and shout, “What we need is more cleavage here and less cleavage in the Republican party!” His followers will eat it up and the National Review writers will cluck and squawk and say, “Oh my, what shall we do? I know! Let’s write an op-ed in the New York Times!”

  6. Dan  •  Jan 24, 2016 @12:03 am

    But, instead of actually reading and understanding their religious tracts, they are eternally listening to the political charlatans in sheep’s clothing (disguised as religious leaders) who want to use them for their own purposes.

  7. uncledad  •  Jan 24, 2016 @1:13 am

    “what ails the GOP right now”

    To me the slightest analysis is faulty. The GOP deserves no serious consideration, they are a cartoon. Reasoned analysis is futile!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLCR9qZFNss

  8. uncledad  •  Jan 24, 2016 @1:25 am

    Twit filtered again? It looks like NYC got some real snow? Maha here’s hoping your high and dry!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZEH_aWaLLE

  9. Swami  •  Jan 24, 2016 @3:12 am

    Here’s the scriptural interpretation of Trump slipping his leash.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+3%3A25&version=KJV

    I gotta say..I’m loving every minute of this. I knew from the start it would get ugly for the Repugs, but I didn’t anticipate such beautiful and brutal infighting.. I kinda like the verbal jab that the establishment Repugs are tossing at Cruz..Nobody likes him! It has a Yogi Berra essence to it in its similarity to Yogi’s saying..Nobody goes there anymore..it’s too crowded.

  10. Doug  •  Jan 24, 2016 @11:01 am

    “Republican Establishment” – The term, as I understand it, refers to the leadership within the party apparatus and elected officials who declare very similar views on: people with dark skin, women’s rights, sexual orientation outside a heterosexual relationship, the role of religion in government, branding Islam with terrorism and the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

    Then you have the “Democratic Establishment”. With less clarity and uniformity, (hey, we’re democrats) the liberal establishment stakes out opposite positions on equal rights regardless of complexion, equal rights regardless of sexual orientation, a prohibition on commingling religion and politics, recognizing terrorism as a vice and threat outside of Islam which is NOT representative of Islam, and an affirmation of the right to keep guns but WITH sane regulation. Again, there’s less uniformity among even the ‘establishment’ liberals on these issues, but that’s a fair summary of the ‘democratic establishment’ position.

    If you listen to the left wing or the right wing of either of the party media outlets, you would conclude that those items are the sum total of governance because those issues make up almost all the noise. All the jabber, the screaming, the wailing are about those topics. Now,pull up a pie chart of the federal budget and look for an overlap between the money and the crap which dominates in political discourse – whether it’s FOX or Daily Kos doing the talking. There’s an almost complete disconnect between the noise and the dollars – on BOTH sides.

    Politics is about developing the power to distribute the money. Establishment democrats will play footsie with establishment republicans when the lobbyist money from the special interests overlap. The special interests don’t give a rat’s fuzzy rear end about hot-button issues because the hot-button issues are not money issues! This isn’t an argument of false equivalence. Pay attention to the next sentence.

    ALL establishment candidates of BOTH parties have as their primary mission to divert government funds or influence to the special interests in proportion to the support they get in their election, or the rewards they expect from that group after they leave office. Hot-button issues are how candidates manipulate the electorate for the purpose of delivering promised rewards to the real constituents who actually are being represented.

    Those I call ‘populists’ are those members of Congress who have rejected the ball and chain of special interest influence. What’s hard to accept is that ideologues who reject the control of Wall Street and K Street exist on BOTH ends of the spectrum and populists, whether Alan Grayson or Dave Brat are more at war with the establishment majority of their own party for the heresy they espouse by rejecting money than they are in conflict with the zealots on the opposing side.

  11. goatherd  •  Jan 24, 2016 @11:31 am

    Wow, blues with French subtitles. That will be a great lesson for today.

    OT, but relating to the bigger picture:

    I am trying to screw up the courage to read Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty First Century.” But, I fear it might be nearly as depressing as something by Chris Hedges. We do seem to be slouching towards plutocracy. Citizens United and Donald Trump’s popularity, seem to indicate that it may be too late to turn back. As we get closer it becomes like an event horizon and everything gets sucked into it. For example, we can’t take action on global warming because it might hurt because the bottom line for some of the rich and powerful. Since they have the money and power to shift public opinion, they can manufacture climate denial. Soon, they may do away with all this pesky democracy stuff and get real.

    Anyway, have any of you read Piketty’s book? What did you think?

    By the way my spelling Nazi program keep’s changing his name to “Piety.”

  12. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 24, 2016 @11:53 am

    Who knew conservatives could be so much fun?!?!

    Now, let’s hope they don’t win in November!

  13. uncledad  •  Jan 24, 2016 @1:18 pm

    “Who knew conservatives could be so much fun”

    It’s all fun and games until someone actually gets elected!

  14. uncledad  •  Jan 24, 2016 @1:24 pm

    Hey lookey here a good guy with a gun!

  15. goatherd  •  Jan 24, 2016 @7:44 pm

    The “good guy with a gun” was in the neighboring county.

  16. joanr16  •  Jan 25, 2016 @9:54 am

    I knew from the start it would get ugly for the Repugs, but I didn’t anticipate such beautiful and brutal infighting

    I know, right? Does it make me a bad person that I can’t stop chuckling?

  17. uncledad  •  Jan 25, 2016 @10:32 am

    Goat,

    That N.C. story is exactly why most people should not be carrying weapons, I’m sure that guy was a real asshole and who knows maybe the three guys that stopped to help were assholes as well, but nobody should die just because some shmuck gets pissed off. I own lots of guns and have a carry permit, but I keep everything locked up in my gun safes at home, I wouldn’t even consider having a pistol in my truck, I don’t get it?

  18. maha  •  Jan 25, 2016 @11:28 am
  19. goatherd  •  Jan 25, 2016 @10:39 am

    Well put, Doug.

  20. Swami  •  Jan 25, 2016 @5:37 pm

    ALL establishment candidates of BOTH parties have as their primary mission to divert government funds or influence to the special interests in proportion to the support they get in their election, or the rewards they expect from that group after they leave office.

    Doug..I think that’s a little too bold a statement to make. I agree there are quite a few whose sole purpose is to feather their own nest or expand their own ambitions,but there are some —I believe— who are sincere in furthering the benefits of the national interest.

  21. Doug  •  Jan 25, 2016 @11:53 pm

    Swami, my friend – I said ‘establishment’ candidates. I agree there are many many candidates who will divert government resources to worthy causes whenever those causes don’t conflict with whoever holds the first mortgage on that candidate. However, an ‘establishment’ candidate, when forced to chose between a worthy cause and the special interests who have given to his campaign – or have become major benefactors at the lobbyist firm where said candidate plans to retire will throw the citizens and the worthy cause under the bus – and never look back.



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