Chickens Coming Home

GOPe to conservatives, 1988 to 2012: Look, we know our guy isn’t very conservative. Yeah, sometimes he’s even been on the other side of things. But you conservatives need to stop being such perfectionists and learn to compromise to get what you want. Our guy’s moderate positions will draw in independents and Reagan Democrats. There are even signs that he could get those minority votes we’ve been craving since forever! And the main thing is the Supreme Court; we have to win so we can keep Democrats from appointing pro-abortion justices. (Our guy will appoint people whose votes on abortion we can’t predict, because we let the Democrats make the rules, and they don’t allow a “litmus test.” But we promise they’ll be on the right side somehow, despite the historical evidence.) So hold your nose, be a team player, and vote for the guy we’re telling you can win, and we’ll sort out the rest after the victory. If you don’t, you’re a traitor to conservatism and probably don’t really care about abortion.
GOPe to conservatives, 2016: But he’s not a conservative! He’s not a conservative! We’d rather lose than elect a man who’s not reliably conservative! If you vote for him, you’re a traitor and don’t care about abortion! He’s not a conservative! Waaaaaah!
This is why some of us are enjoying the Trump campaign so much. It’s not about Trump, which is why the anti-Trump stuff rolls off like water off a duck. It’s about the way the party hacks have been telling us for years that we have to compromise our conservative principles, and now that some conservatives are doing just that for someone the party hacks didn’t choose, the butthurt is exquisite.  It’s not issues.  Oh, I could write a thousand words explaining why Trump is just as likely to govern conservatively as the other guys, but it’s not about anything as intellectual as that.  It’s about this.

9 thoughts on “Chickens Coming Home

  1. No one from the “party” talks to me, but I am curious how you think moderates are a bad general strategy. The country is sadly moving leftward. You only make changes by winning. Nothing else matters.

    Bush was pretty moderate and won twice. McCain was a disaster because he was not willing to fight Obama and freaked out over the financial crisis. He is pretty conservative. Romney was not a very effective campaigner but would have been an amazing president and was fairly conservative. Trump is orders of magnitude different and does not have a single conservative, libertarian, or intellectually “right” sided thought. He shows complete disregard for the serious job of learning the issues and international policy. He likes talking and getting attention. He is a democrat in every way except he is more nationalistic in nature. Trump does not even understand politics or the ground game of politics.

    And worse, Trump will get curb stomped by Hillary. He has poor ground organization. The media are all hoping and praying the Republicans blow this election and they are about to get their prayers answered. I think its ridiculous.

  2. Asked and answered. Moderate Republicans have won about half the recent elections, yet the country keeps moving leftward. This is not an accident. If conservatives get fed up and decide to try something radical, even if it means rejecting the latest moderate or “compassionate conservative” put forward by the Party, the Party has only itself to blame.

  3. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2016/01/27 | Free Northerner

  4. The cultural is shifting underneath the feet of the parties and out of their control. Sure, the Republicans can hold onto ideas that have so little support they are reduced to the libertarian party or they can elect people that a significant portion of the public find acceptable and try to make changes that might shape the country.

    If you are saying the new reality of the country means we must elect people who’s first impulse about judges is to choose the most pro-abortion jurist in the nation than you are far more in favor of moderation than I am. Trump hails from the left and big government and social degeneracy. He moves the country and politics to the left. His impulse is judges who repeal gun rights. Those are his gut instincts until someone takes him back and reminds him he is currently pretending to be a Republican. In one thing only does he have an impulse that is neither right nor left or conservative – he has an impulse to reduce immigration (which I agree with).

    Now if you think Trump is part of a great re-alignment where the Republican party becomes a left populist nationalist party and the socially conservative and small government contingent die – that may be possible. He is still too repulsive to the majority of Americans to ever be elected but he could represent a new middle class wave in which the republicans abandon all principles to win elections as a purely self-interested populist force. I view every one of those options as worse than electing moderate conservatives.

    I understand the desire to punish the party. Seems an outsider like Rubio, Cruz, Paul all accomplish those goals. They are principled people. Choosing an outsider that is both unelectable and has no small government impulses seems a weird way to fight the party, as a “conservative”. That seems a way to fight the party as a leftist, or as a moderate.

  5. I never said we should elect pro-abortion candidates. But you don’t know whom Trump would appoint any more than I do. Maybe he’s pro-life now; maybe he’s not. I think I have a decent guess, but I’ll save that for another post. I’m not certain he knows. But the pro-life candidates we’ve elected have appointed enough judges who turned out to be pro-abortion in practice that it’s clearly not that simple.

    This isn’t a “seamless garment” argument, where I’m saying a candidate’s stance on other issues we care more about should cancel out his stance on abortion, the way leftist Catholics who want to vote Democrat argue. We can’t vote for pro-abortion candidates when there are pro-life ones available, or for a candidate who says he’ll do nothing over one who says he’ll fight for it. But when candidates say they are pro-life, that’s all we have to go on, unless they have a voting record that supports or contradicts that.

    Also, this wasn’t a pro-Trump post; it was a pro-Trump-campaign post. I don’t necessarily think Trump is the best choice for president, even among the poor crop we have available. I can think of several men who aren’t running whom I’d prefer. But his campaign is doing great things, and providing an enormous amount of satisfaction to conservatives who are sick of being told, “Ah, suck it up and vote for our guy. What are you gonna do, vote third party? Enjoy your 2% over there, loser.”

    Lastly, Rubio, Cruz, and Paul are not outsiders. You can’t be an “outsider” of a club in which you’re a lifetime member. The effort to position these guys as anti-establishment outsiders, even more so than Trump at times, is laughable. Paul and Cruz have had their moments as ankle-biters inside the party, annoying the old guard like the Bushes who think they should mind their manners better — and good on them for it — but that doesn’t make them outsiders. Trump isn’t even that much of an outsider; he’s run before, after all, and has long had his dealings with the elites. (He golfs with Bill Clinton, for cripes sake.) He’s just the closest thing we have to an outsider this time, by far.

  6. Trump has already moved the Overton window on issues such as migration and the media; he’s shown the whole “debate” thing up as the fake reality show that it really has become, just to pick one example. Moving the window and revealing the media Emperor is nekkid is great. That alone is a good thing. However, he’s done so in a hugely entertaining way, so we gets LOLs as a bonus.

    The Karl Rove donor class of the GOPe has more in common with the donor class of the Dems than it does with the GOP base on the issue of cheap migrant labor alone, but also on a lot of other issues as well. Ignore the base for 20, 30 years and some of them might get a tad peeved; we see that in the Dems as well, where Her Nibs is in a fight with an old, white dude from Vermont that wasn’t even supposed to happen.

    It’s not the 20th century any more, in a whole lot of ways.

  7. Kevin,

    Both McCain and Romney are to the political left of GW Bush. Now personally, while I hope the Trump campaign fails and we get a better nominee, I’ve enjoyed how much he’s freaked out the GOPe and how they’ve used arguments that they say had no merit in any other year against his candidacy. The funny thing is a large swath of the grass roots agrees with them that Trump isn’t a conservative, they just don’t think their picks (i.e. Jeb) are substantively better.

    Paul and Cruz are the closest to outsiders we’ll ever get in a two-party system. Trump, while not an insider of the GOPe per se, he is the quintessential insider of the modern state. I’d actually only put Jeb as having more overall insider status than Trump out of all the Republican candidates. As a Kentuckian, I can tell you that despite certain support for his reelection, Paul is pretty much hated by the party establishment in the state and they’re still pissed six years later for him knocking out one of their golden boys.

  8. CShort, you’re judging them in terms of issues, but issues are mostly irrelevant in determining insider/outsider status now that the parties have merged on them in most practical terms. You’re right that Cruz and Paul are the closest to outsiders that we’re likely to get — from within the party system.

    Instead of issues, I’m looking at it in terms of years spent laboring the GOP back rooms and grass roots. If you’re a big-time GOP donor expecting a payoff for your industry, or a campaign precinct captain hoping to get tabbed for a nice White House job for a few years, you are worried that Cruz or Paul might not obey the system and follow all the unwritten rules. They might give the cold shoulder to a few GOP-donor industries or pass over some precinct captains and take some younger lieutenants, and you might get left out. But with Trump, you fear that he might blow you all off and staff the White House entirely from his casinos and golf courses.

    It’s the difference between The Heritage Foundation and the Miss Universe contest — both outside the GOP ruling core, but in very different ways.

    Now, Trump could get elected and then decide he doesn’t want to be known as the goofball president, and lean heavily toward the establishment to compensate. He could decide to spend his time playing golf and travelling the world, and hire Karl Rove to pick out his cabinet and run things for him. Things like that could happen. We just don’t know, which is why he’s a wildcard. We do know where Cruz and Paul stand — outside the center, but still in identifiable locations. Party insiders aren’t thrilled with that, but they hate uncertainty most of all, which is why Trump is the one they write entire magazine issues to oppose.

  9. Trump strikes me as a ’60s conservative Democrat. That puts him a bit to the right of JFK, and way right of any Republican candidate today. He seems to be an American, and willing to put Americans first. That is very different than the R and D candidates.

    This must be panic-inducing for liberals, who see 50 years of “progress” slipping away. It is obviously panic-inducing for conservatives who are trying to conserve what we have today, including those same 50 years of “progress “.

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