Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Hollow Men of the G.O.P.

Among those who got this year’s election wrong was Ross Douthat. One can think of a few more, but since today is presumably a day of good cheer, we will refrain.

Today, Douthat does a mea culpa. Apparently, he mistook foggy bottom for a crystal ball. Among his sage remarks is the following, an explanation of what the Trump ascendance said about the Republican Party, its leadership, its principles and ultimately, its decadence:

In the case of the G.O.P., that decadence was the party’s “Reagan yesterday, Reagan today, Reagon forever” commitments, which seemed to me misguided but powerfully entrenched, so that an assault on party orthodoxy as frontal as the one that Trump mounted would eventually forge a defensive unity among the party’s politicians and ideological enforcers.

As indeed it did — in exactly one place, the Wisconsin primary. But everywhere else, from the talk radio dial to the halls of Congress to Fox News, Trump’s assault revealed that the party’s would-be statesmen were mostly hollow men and its enforcers were mostly ratings-hungry cynics. I had thought that the G.O.P. was run by true believers in a dated catechism. But really it was run by people for whom the Reaganite catechism only mattered because they controlled the inquisition, and once Trump’s army of heretics refused to disperse they had no stomach for a fight.

Food for thought….


Anonymous said...

Only a "conservative" at NYT could describe Hillary merely as "a flawed candidate."

Blame, blame, blame everyone for failing to stop Trump...
...while *never* considering the possibility(read: REALITY)
that Americans heard and supported the message/s of Trump's campaign.

That's what hanging out with professional victims too long will do to you, it seems.

Sam L. said...

The GOP was run by people who ignored the Tea Party and were "fat, dumb, and happy" not caring about their base, and what the base's concerns were. Sooooo, Trump trumped the other candidates, and Hillary, too. Oh, the great wailing of terrible wails and gnashing of terrible teeth! And the base was quietly happy.

Teapartydoc said...

The average person doesn't get into ideology or political philosophy. They see what's going on around them and what is happening to them and their families. Granted, some who you run into will use some of the buzz words of the rhetoric associated with the ideas, but they are not by any means ongoing students of them, but regardless of their distance from them they cannot be classified as simple reactionaries, either. To do so is the same caricaturization that our adversaries engage in. For the most part they went along with the GOP program after Reagan because they were told that what would ensue would be a continuation of his policies. They patiently went along until it became so blatantly obvious that they were being lied to that they began sitting on their hands until the tea party came along. Then the GOP establishment stabbed them in the back again. Meanwhile they continued to work behind the scenes to transform the party at its base while the establishment still controlled the commanding heights, and put up McClame and Wrongnee only to see them flame out, when the exact same electoral wins were available to the party that Trump gained. He recognized the dynamic in play and simply took advantage of it. Not to say that anyone could have done so. It took his special talents.
People like Douthat need to recognize that the paradigm is shifting, and that the shift is not yet complete. Until they learn to alter their thinking they will remain in a state of clueless reaction that they stupidly think the man on the street is in.