Wednesday, February 24, 2016


That National Review broadside against Trump last month seems not to have done the trick, and the magazine's employees are hysterically demanding Republican Presidential contenders lay down their political lives for the good of the Bush tax cuts and their phony-baloney jobs.

Culture-warrior David French sputters that Ben Carson and John Kasich, good Christians though they may be, have given in to the sin of Pride by staying in the race, and must repent:
And here’s the ultimate irony — these pro-life Christian candidates can do nothing by staying in the race except help a biblically illiterate, thrice-divorced, proud philanderer hurtle ever closer to the nomination. Every vote they take from Cruz or Rubio is a vote toward embracing Planned Parenthood and cozying up to Vladimir Putin. It’s a vote away from sensible judicial nominations or a rational foreign policy. And it’s a vote toward the potential destruction of a Republican Party that — for all its faults — is America’s last political hope of protecting life, religious liberty, and national security...
Ah, but "every vote they take from Cruz or Rubio" is also a potential vote for John Kasich or Ben Carson! Think how many more books they'll sell, how many more dollars their speaking engagements will draw! And isn't that really what the Almighty wants -- whatever will make any given member of the Elect richer? Read your Bible, French!
As the race goes on, my respect for Scott Walker and Jeb Bush grows. Both men had plausible paths to the Oval Office. Both are immensely accomplished public servants with solid conservative records. Both were once favorites to win the nomination. But they both had the integrity and foresight to bow out the instant it was clear they’d missed their chance.
Walker had the "integrity and foresight" to see he'd run out of donor-suckers, and Bush, whose heart for the struggle seemed to have caved in like an overdone soufflé months ago, probably quit in dutiful response to a note shoved under his door by The Family.

Meanwhile imported wingnut Charles C.W. Cooke says "It’s Time for an Anti-Trump Manhattan Project," and blames not the candidates but that plurality of the GOP electorate who won't vote for National Review-approved, housebroken wingnuts:
For the last eight months or so, a significant portion of the Republican party’s voters have been in thrall to a bizarre, Occupy-esque conspiracy theory, which holds as its central thesis that sabotage and pusillanimity are the root causes of the Right’s recent woes. In this mistaken view, the conservative movement’s failure to counter all of the Obama era’s excesses is not the product of the crucial democratic and structural factors that prevent any one faction from ushering in substantial change, but of a lack of will or desire...

On its face, this theory is irrational to the point of absurdity — if I am told one more time that it makes sense to nominate a single-payer-supporting defender of Planned Parenthood because Congress’s repeal-and-defund bill was vetoed by the incumbent, I shall begin to order bourbon in bulk.
Shall he, now? Yet Cooke is the same guy who, a few years ago, wrote in "In Praise of Paranoia" that "reflexive suspicion of government power is a magnificent and virtuous tendency, and one that should be the starting point of all political conversation in a free republic," and also this:
Odd as it might sound, having a sizeable portion of the population reflexively take the view that the government would hurt them if it could is, I think, a good thing. There are no black helicopters and there may never be any black helicopters. But isn’t it positive that people are worried about them?
Now, having fluffed the black-helicopter-watching, lunatic fringe of his movement in expectation that all the benefit would accrue to him, Cooke has seen them go Trumpers -- who could have predicted! -- and tries now to summon sensible conservatives to shut them down. But don't worry, he has suggestions:
If Donald Trump can flood the airwaves with his nonsense, his opponents can counter it incessantly. And while they are at it, they can tie him up in court, just as he’s trying to do to Cruz. There are a good number of “just asking” questions ready to be put to them, among them “Trump’s mother was Scottish, can he really be president?” and “Trump ran a host of scams designed to rip off the poor; surely one of them would like to sue him?
Ha ha, Scottish! Imagine the confusion among the Trump fans: "S'coatish? Is thet what them funny-boys call a nigger?" Also try to imagine Trump confronting an aggrieved poor person in front of an audience of Republicans -- they'll probably start chanting "moocher!" and kill the pauper before security can haul him away. Here's Cooke's closing peroration:
“If not us, who?” Ronald Reagan asked in the heat of the 1981 budget battle. “If not now, when?” Time to go nuclear, chaps.
I say! Screw your courage to a sticking place, wot? There's a good fellow. I hope they pushed a few desks aside to make some room for volunteers at NR headquarters.

But hold on, it's not over till the fat homey sings: Jonah Goldberg, raise the roof!
As things stand, Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee. That’s awful news, and depressing to contemplate. But terrible possibilities don’t become less terrible if we refuse to contemplate them. Rather, they become more likely.
It may be cribbed from his freshman comp assignment "Our Friend, The Beaver" but it still sings! After some similar rhetorical dazzlers, Goldberg proposes to the Presidential Candiate action figures on his desk "a Rubio-Cruz ticket":
Cruz won’t work at the top of the ticket for the simple reason that too many GOP quislings fear Cruz more than Trump. But a unity ticket — a la Reagan–Bush in 1980 — in the form of Los Hermanos Cubanos might just do the trick.
But the silence of the action figures seems to have gotten to Goldberg --
There are real costs to such a deal (not least the fact that there are better general-election running mates for Rubio).
A series of tiny farts like the squeaks of a trapped mouse (Frrt frt frt FFrrt frt), a drop of flop-sweat,  and Goldberg lunges to close the deal:
Maybe there’s another way, but I haven’t heard it.
[A concussion grenade of farts.]
And in a race where Trump has changed everything with his boldness, it’s long past time for his opponents to provide some of their own.
Be bold, shitheel Republicans who will never have a better chance at the Presidency, and stand down at the command of magazine editors! Your reward will be great in the buffet of their next subscriber cruise!

UPDATE. The struggle is joined! Pimped by futility infielder Megan McArdle herself, there's a conservative anti-Trump PAC called "Make America Awesome" -- cuz "America's already great," get it -- run by Republican operative Liz Mair. Did you know they've been around since December? They kinda sneak up on you. Check out their humorous ecards, e.g., "When I get hitched, it'll be to a guy who won't invite Hillary Clinton to our wedding." Feeling the Rubiomentum yet? No? Obviously they need more donations to make the magic happen. Then, when the GOP finally puts Trump on Double Secret Probation, they can have a beer bust with the leftovers and pad their resumes with declared victory. The grift goes on forever and the party never ends!

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