Things in the tenured faculty lounge at the New York Times are getting tense.
At one end of the lunchroom table sits David Brooks and his youthful ward Ross Douthat, still trying to conjure a Reasonable Conservative orthodoxy out of old packets of Splenda, some sweet and (very, very) sour sauce left over from one of Maureen Dowd's drunken wingdings, and the ritual incantation of "Both Sides. Both. Sides. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders..." which has been going on for months now.
At the other end of the table, Dr. Krugman is having a merry old time making siege weapons out of sporks and lunch-lady hair nets, firing payloads of mashed potatoes and corn at his colleagues rickety bullshit --
I still sometimes see people suggesting an equivalence between Mr. Trump and Bernie Sanders. But while both men are challenging a party establishment, those establishments aren’t the same. The Democratic Party is, as some political scientists put it, a “coalition of social groups,” ranging from Planned Parenthood to teachers’ unions, rather than an ideological monolith; there’s nothing comparable to the array of institutions that enforces purity on the other side.
-- and generally making is really, really difficult for them to masturbate in peace:
But how does a party in thrall to a basically unpopular ideology — or at any rate an ideology voters would dislike if they knew more about it — win elections? Obfuscation helps. But demagogy and appeals to tribalism help more. Racial dog whistles and suggestions that Democrats are un-American if not active traitors aren’t things that happen now and then, they’re an integral part of Republican political strategy.During the Obama years Republican leaders cranked the volume on that strategy up to 11 (although it was pretty bad during the Clinton years too.) Establishment Republicans generally avoided saying in so many words that the president was a Kenyan Islamic atheist socialist friend of terrorists — although as the quote from Mr. Rubio shows, they came pretty close — but they tacitly encouraged those who did, and accepted their endorsements. And now they’re paying the price.For the underlying assumption behind the establishment strategy was that voters could be fooled again and again: persuaded to vote Republican out of rage against Those People, then ignored after the election while the party pursued its true, plutocrat-friendly priorities. Now comes Mr. Trump, turning the dog whistles into fully audible shouting, and telling the base that it can have the bait without the switch. And the establishment is being destroyed by the monster it created...
Very tense indeed.