Wednesday, September 02, 2015


In a truckload of Trump articles A-list conservatives have tried in vain to get B-listers-and-lower to abandon Trumpism. They've compared him to everyone they don't like from Obama to John Stewart to Gore Vidal*. Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review, who previously compared Trump to Allen Ginsburg, shows the growing exasperation this week in a column called "Trump Has Succeeded in Convincing Conservatives to Discard their Principles Overnight." The British transplant sniffs at the salt-of-the-earth Americans who have elevated Trump to the lead in GOP Presidential polls -- why, don't they know Trump is a tax-and-spend liberal? Cooke explains to the lumpen what they're supposed to think:
Contrary to the fevered imagination of the exasperated American Left, conservative candidates for public office do not tend to take a free-market approach to fiscal policy because it helps “the rich,” but because they believe in earnest that it helps the whole country. By and large, this same rule applies to conservative voters, many of whom may not always benefit directly from the lack of meddling and modest confiscation, but who conceive nevertheless that a capitalistic economy is likely to deliver better results in the long term than is a power-hungry Uncle Sam... 
Honesty requires us to acknowledge that had President Obama endorsed exactly the same policies and rhetoric, the reaction from the Trumpkins would have been little short of nuclear. Where are those fawning Paul Ryan memes and indignant Founding Fathers’ quotes now, chaps?
I like to imagine Cooke reading this aloud to the "chaps" at a county fair, through a megaphone and while sporting a straw boater.

Maybe Cooke and the rest of the wingnut welfare top-feeders are upset because they find themselves on the wrong side of conservative history (which, I will tell you right now, ends in fiery ruin either for conservatives or for America). Once upon a time, any bylined rightist in need of an Amen could call out those true believer's mortal enemies, the RINOs, either vaguely or with some Congressional figurehead's name attached, and the whole congregation would have a nice grouse over the not-right establishment that was holding them down. Now the punters consider Cooke and his buddies to be the RINOs. You see it in the comments sections of all their anti-Trump columns. And you can hear it from the commentary choice of Trumpites, rightwing radio, which has seized the market opportunity presented by the occasion. At the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens has his own snarl at Trump-followers ("[Trump] isn’t the problem. The people are. It takes the demos to make the demagogue"), and is answered by broadcast shouter Mark Levin:
Freaking out at WSJ -- the editorial page stands for amnesty and open borders, endless debt ceiling increases, hundreds of billions in bailouts for Wall Street under Bush, attacks on the Tea Party movement, etc., and now this guy pretends to hold the banner for conservatism as he smears conservatives and laments the state of conservatism. Many conservatives have not endorsed anyone yet, but are attentively listening to the candidates as the primary season has barely begun. The WSJ editorial page has become mouthpiece for the GOP establishment and an overall joke.
In a year this may all be forgotten. Or it may turn out to have been a hardhats-vs.-hippies moment, leaving lingering resentments and schism. Mister, we could use a man like Mittens Romney again!

*UPDATE. Speaking of those Trump comparisons, about the stupidest has been the comparison with Bernie Sanders made by Glenn Reynolds, Ira Stoll, Nick Gillespie et alia. Well, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stuffs it today:
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders faced his own challenge at a political event last month, when two African American women pushed in front of him to use the microphone to demand four and a half minutes of silence to honor the death of Michael Brown. Sanders left the stage and mingled with the crowd. Later, Trump criticized Sanders as being “weak” for allowing them to speak, but truly he showed grace under pressure by acknowledging their frustration and anger. Instead of bullying their voices into silence or ridiculing them as losers, pigs or bimbos, Sanders left. After all, it was not his event; he was a guest. Besides, his voice was not silenced, but came back booming even louder: The next day, Sanders posted a sweeping policy of reform to fight racial inequality. (The timing coincided with Michael Brown’s death and had nothing to do with the two women.)
The two approaches reveal the difference between a mature, thoughtful and intelligent man, and a man whose money has made him arrogant to criticism and impervious to feeling the need to have any actual policies...
All this and the Hall of Fame, too. In alicublog comments, coozledad remind us of Krugman's column on the Trump travesty ("What happened to conservative principles? Actually, nothing — because those alleged principles were never real"), pretty good for a guy with no hoop skills.

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