Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Great Divorce

Anyone who is surprised that Conservative shock troops like baby-faced God-botherer and Jack Abramoff bag-man, Ralph Reed --
Ralph Reed, all in for Trump, urges Evangelicals to follow

As Ralph Reed, the longtime evangelical leader, sees it, Donald Trump did two smart things in his appearance before Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition Road to Majority conference in Washington recently.

First, Trump showed up. “Showing up really matters, and we have not had, either at Faith & Freedom or my preceding work at Christian Coalition, a nominee show up, announced, with a full-dress speech, since George H.W. Bush in 1992,” Reed told a small group of reporters after Trump’s appearance. (Bob Dole did an unannounced drop-by in 1996, Reed said.)

Second, Trump hit the right notes, according to Reed, focusing on the issues that resonated with the activists in the audience: right to life, traditional marriage, religious freedom, support for Israel, opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.
Laura Ingraham Asks Republicans To Stop Calling Trump "Racist, Islamophobic, Hateful, Awful"

Ingraham: "Republican Leadership ... Might As Well Be Getting Commission As Ad Salesmen For Hillary Clinton"
-- have jumped on the Trump Train have not been paying attention.

Or at least they have not been paying attention to this little corner of the blogosphere.  Because back in April of 2013 there was a Mighty Debate --  "The GOP Must Seize the Center or Die" -- over the future of the Republican Party (noticed by almost no one but your humble scrivener :-)

For the proposition were Mickey Edwards and David Brooks; against the proposition were Laura Ingraham and Ralph Reed.

Here is an excerpt from what I wrote about that debate ("The New, New, New, New, New Right")
It was a long "debate" among unsavory types that cannot be compressed into 140 characters. Maybe that's why, when four leading Conservatives sat down across from each other and made it perfectly clear that they know damn well who really makes up the base of the Conservative Movement and the GOP.

Yes, I watch such things so that you won't have to.

And guess what?  It turns out the Movement's rank and file are exactly the same wretched hive of scum and villainy that Liberals have been telling you about for decades -- and the Conservative Brain Caste knows it.  Sure they dance around for awhile,  but eventually Mickey Edwards gets to the point:
The Republican Party we have today could disappear and be replaced by a range of its little subsets, all these other -- a Christian right party, a libertarian party, a no government, no tax party, a gun owner's party, a no gays and no immigrants party, each one with its own small niche of true believers...
And that is the conversation we will never, ever have at the national level.

That is the reason that it doesn't matter how many tea leaves and goat entrails and academic papers David Brooks pores excitedly over to predict his Awesome Whig Tomorrow.

Because you can't make bricks without straw, and you can't make a political movement without people.  And the plain, cold, ugly truth of the matter is that the Right is really nothing but the sum of its parts.

And its parts are grotesque.

And the reason we will never have that conversation is because, floating along at the ippy-tippy-top top of the movement you find people like Mr. David Brooks, busily making an obscenely profitable living by insuring that every time that subject is broached, it is smothered under an avalanche of Both Siderism.

They all know it, and they have known it all along, because they all feed at the same trough -- all depending on the same mob of paranoids and morally truncated imbeciles to pack their pews, pump up their political muscle, read their columns, buy their books, watched their teevee shows and, in general, make it possible for them to enjoy lives of tremendous prosperity and power.

The real difference between them is that Ingraham and Reed want to the GOP to drop the charade and start acting proudly and publicly in the same way they act in private, while traditional Party apparatchiks like Brooks and Edwards are much more deeply invested in the Straussian Noble Lie theory of governance, and are thus horrified by that thought

Sure we have the gun nuts and the Fundies. Yes, we have made the Party of Lincoln a lavishly appointed safe house for the racist and the paranoid -- Hell, we've set up an entire politico/media empire designed to do nothing more than flatter them, sanctify their idiocy and feed their bigotry and rage back to them as patriotism and intelligence -- but for fuck's sake, don't talk about so loud it or you'll ruin everything!

Shorter Brooks and Edwards:  See, if you let the rank and file of the tribe that rubs shit in its hair out in public, you'll scare the squares and the kids and we need them to win elections!

Short Ingraham and Reed:  Conservatism was awesome and doing great until Dubya fucked it all up.

Shorter Brooks and Edwards:  But that's not how it happened!

Short Ingraham and Reed:   Reagan! Reagan! Reaganity Reagan!

From the debate transcript:
Laura Ingraham:
Reagan was a great example for me as a young person. I think as time went on, they had some successes obviously in the '90s. Republicans took the House of Representatives for the first time in 50 years in 1994. Seemed like we were back on track. And George Bush -- I mean, I sound like I'm beating up on George Bush, but George Bush comes along, I like him very much. We had an idea that Republicanism...needed to expanded.

The Republican Party turned its back on core conservative principles. Conservatism was never about remaking the world in its image. Conservatism was not about starting wars that we didn't have clear exit paths with. And it wasn't about running up big deficits. Conservatism became that sadly during the Bush years. And it nearly destroyed the Republican Party. It wasn't the Tea Party in 2010. It was Bush from 2004 to 2008.

David Brooks:
I just want to respond to the Reagan revisionism which I knew would come up. It took a lot longer than I thought. So Reagan raised taxes 14 times. He included the biggest tax hike in American history to that point. Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Act, which was one of the bigger liberalizations of abortion laws. That didn't make him a moderate. It made him someone who was practical politician. And he fought for what he could and tried to get things done, but he was willing to address real problems and not govern on the basis of a prefab ideology.

Laura Ingraham:
Was he a centrist?

David Brooks:
No. But he was someone who was willing to govern.

Laura Ingraham:
He took on the Republican orthodoxy which was made up of centrists. From 1976 onward and years before that, he debated everybody from RFK to Republican -- Rockefeller Republicans, many of whom would probably agree with a lot of the points you're making and you're making well.
And that, in a nutshell, is what the Conservative "civil war" is all about and where its actual future lies: in the outcome of a pissing match between the movement's Upper Class and it's Upper Middle Class over who gets the keys to the Imbecile Base they both conspired to create, and what exactly they want to use that electoral battering ram to accomplish.

Three years later and it is now painfully obvious who has won the debate.


bowtiejack said...

"And its parts are grotesque."

Hey kid! Those are beautiful patriotic Americans admiring the Emperor's yuuuugely beautiful new clothes and don't you forget it!

Robt said...

Conservative history is a fickle subject only to be rewritten.

Republican anti abortion ideologues impounded themselves as God's warrior because abortion never existed until the beginning of history after Roe V Wade.

The Earth is younger than the matter that makes up the planet. Science is a bite of the apple. A serpent's lure.

Overlook and accept, never to speak of the inheritance of failed ideology. Purity of conservatism has no responsibility of failure. It is only the lesser believers and lack of complete death of free objective thought replaced by fun filled propaganda will a conservative reach optimum levels of ideological purity understanding.
( the use of religion doctrine to control the masses politically).

There are many links to the chains that bind.

Take a "Free Market" that never has existed. "let my corporations go" decries the Conservative business Moses. Unshackle the corporations to run rampant.

But when it comes to moving their businesses into other countries. These corporate entities sprint to Government for rules of the game, for intellectual property protections, and so much more. With the full backing of the U.S. Military and Government diplomatic prowess.

As we watch the battle to regain the GOP base that has been raised and corn fed for 30 years to the reactionary faithful reliable vote. The base that Trump so far has instituted his corporate hostile take over of. This battle is being waged by profiteers of war that never will understand the sacrifices the soldiers of their ranks must endure.

trgahan said...

So, in short, the Republican "civil war" is :

The majority of Brooks and Edwards income comes from the conservative oligarchy. It is guaranteed regardless of what is going on west of the Hudson River/outside the Beltway/northern Virginia suburbs/Aspen Institute or Davos meetings.


The majority of Ingraham and Reed income comes directly from the GOP's base. It is more inconsistent and less secure requiring continual effort to maintain a cash flow needed to even be considered relevant enough to even be allowed in the room with Brooks and Edwards.

Both sides know Republican need the base, AS IS, to maintain electoral dominance at the local, state, and congressional level in 2018, 2022, 2026, etc. Brooks and Edwards just needs the base to shut up enough during a Presidential year to get ANY Republican in the goddamn White House so they can finish what Regan and Bush began. Reed and Ingraham literally can't afford to allow the base to be muzzled for a two year span without killing their bank accounts and careers.

RUKidding said...

Good post and nice comment from trgahan - that pretty much nails it.

It's my contention that all of these hucksters know exactly what's going on and why/how they earn their filthy lucre. As pointed out, Ingraham & Reed have to interact a bit more directly with the base, as it's constituted, and they have to woo them more. I always felt that Reed really didn't give a crap about any of his stated "beliefs" - or the base - but really enjoys the set up and ripping off the rubes. Ingraham - shudder - I don't like thinking about her, but I do feel she's a bit more personally "into" the general belief systems of the base.

Brooks and Edwards? Well Brooks clearly sees himself as this intellectual/philosophical giant, who's more la di dah than everyone else. He clearly loathes and detests the base but realizes he has to sort of pander to it for his bread & butter. Brooks is only in it to rub shoulders with those he considers his equal - the super wealthy (who most likely look down on Brooks, if they even ever think about him), the powerful & well connected. I know less about Edwards, so cannot comment, but probably similar to Brooks.

Brooks, I think, does realize on some level that compromise makes sense & that the world/times are changing, but the Reeds and Ingraham's are more responsible for pushing the Overton window so far right that it's right out there in cloud cuckoo land. They do that because their living is so much more closely tied into ginning up the rabble in order to fleece them. Compromise, pulling the Overton window back somewhere close to reality, truly having an "open tent"?? That's a death knell to Reed's and Ingraham's paychecks. Can't go there.

Brooks & Edwards suck up to the wealthy in order to get paid.

n1ck said...

Absolutely this.

There are essentially two types of Republicans:

1. The Grifter Sub-type. David Brooks, John Kasich, and friends. They aren't lunatics, but they'll pretend to be, for the right price.

2. The True Believer. These are the Republican base voters who believe whatever it is they're been trained to believe, this week. And when it becomes convenient for them to believe something different next week, they'll believe it, dutiful, as they are.

The only difference between Trump and Kasich is whether they use their inside voice and play the dog whistle with care and skill, or whether they scream their fears and lusts out loud and project them on Others, out loud and in public.

The Grifter Sub-type Republican wants you to vote for Kasich, because he has a much better image with the non-brainwashed. The True Believer wants you to vote for Trump, because he's "telling it like it is" and will Make America Great Again as a consequence of Trump's rightful authority. Remember, Mammon worshipers don't just worship Mammon, but those who Mammon has blessed. Trump has been blessed by Mammon. He, could, uh, "shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters".