They just can't quit him!
Now that the Party of Reagan has passed through another molting season and shed another layer of fake respectability to become an even more openly depraved version of what it has always been, all the Respectable Conservative Pundits who have spent their careers laying the predicate for the emergence of a party run by con men on behalf of oligarchs to the applause of imbeciles and racists...
...those Respectable Conservative Pundits want to flee from the DayGlo Orange Fascist nightmare that all their hard work and dedication have made manifest.
But flee to where exactly?
They can't go Left because the Left is dark and scary and full of Liberals. And Respectable Conservative Pundits have spent their careers preaching the gospel that we Liberals a buncha fuzzy-headed, Murrica-hating maroons who apparently spend most of our time yelling at Charles Murray and ruthlessly enforcing neofascist speech codes and America's institutes of high learning.
At least that's the hogwash that Respectable Conservative Pundit Andrew Sullivan has been troweling out for the past few weeks. Which is why, when Mr. Sullivan got around to populating the political cosmos with Public Persons Who Have Failed Him --
...One of the features of living in Washington is that one is rarely unmindful of humanity’s capacity to disappoint. I’ve long tried to be an optimist in these matters — because Washington contains plenty of individuals who are genuinely devoting their lives to the common good. (I swear. I know many of them, on both sides.) But watching previously rock-ribbed conservatives slowly give in to the pull of utter expediency these past few months has been a truly deflating experience. The grossest are those like Stephen Moore (or Mike Pence!), who were for decades a near-parody of ideological purism, and yet overnight saw the populist light.But the lamest of the enablers are the anti-anti-Trumpers, those conservatives who know full well the depravity of this president, and yet focus on his opponents (I’m looking at you, National Review, with a few honorable exceptions). So much hysteria, these knowing right-wingers sigh. Ignore the character flaws, they urge...
-- and Public Persons Who Have Performed Nobly --
But there have also been Republican writers who have bravely and clearly stood their ground. Avik Roy risked a lot to come out against Ryancare. Reihan Salam and Ross Douthat have not wavered from their prescient belief in reforming the GOP, while keeping Trump at a clear, distinct distance. My friend David Frum has had a real moment. George Will has been fired by Fox. David Brooks hasn’t caved. I even find myself in the odd position of being smack-bang at Bill Kristol’s side as he resists. Super-neocon Eliot Cohen has pulled no punches. Jen Rubin at the Washington Post is on a roll. Rod Dreher at The American Conservative believes the whole world is ending, but he still won’t acquiesce to Trump. Ditto Daniel Larison on foreign policy. David French, however, deserves a minor medal for this moment of dissent in National Review...
-- the Alert Reader might notice that Mr. Sullivan's political cosmology bears a comical resemblance to Dante's Divine Comedy.
Especially the Inferno
Like the narrator of the Inferno, in Mr. Sullivan's political cosmology, he is the Good Man who has perhaps strayed an entsy beentsy bit. but is back on the right path. And his journey to be reuinted with his Beloved Burke takes him through a hellscape populated almost entirely with Mr. Sullivan's old Conservative cronies and running buddies who have failed to live up to his standards.
As he ascends through Purgatorio we meet the Late-Repentant --
The Late-Repentant includes (1) those too lazy or too preoccupied to repent (the Indolent), (2) those who repented at the last minute without formally receiving last rites, as a result of violent deaths, and (3) the Negligent Rulers. These souls will be admitted to Purgatory thanks to their genuine repentance, but must wait outside for an amount of time equal to their lives on earth.
-- which, in this case, is basically every other Conservative Mr. Sullivan has ever hired or been on a panel with.
And being an Alert Reader you will also not fail to notice that Liberals in Mr. Sullivan political cosmology are much like Irishmen in Dante's Inferno: they simply do not exist (although, as I alluded to earlier, one suspects that in Mr. Sullivan's imagination, Liberals are to be condemned to a minor malebolge deep in Hell's eighth circle where "The Bell Curve" is read aloud by Laura Ingraham on an endless loop for all eternity.)
Nope, not a single Liberal in the bunch. Because there can't be. Because once you start down that road, you quickly end up having to acknowledge that the Left had been right about the Right all along, and the world would have been much better off of the entire Conservative movement -- from Rubin to Sullivan to Moore to Brooks -- had all been fired into the sun decades ago.
And speaking of David Brooks...
Despite expressing open horror last week at the unholy health care Repeal-And-Fuck-You monstrosity that his Republican party pushed and sweated and tried to give birth to --
I opposed Obamacare. I like health savings accounts, tax credits and competitive health care markets to drive down costs. But these free-market reforms have to be funded in a way to serve the least among us, not the most. This House Republican plan would increase suffering, morbidity and death among the middle class and poor in order to provide tax cuts to the rich.It would cut Medicaid benefits by $880 billion between now and 2026. It would boost the after-tax income for those making more than $1 million a year by 14 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center. This bill takes the most vicious progressive stereotypes about conservatives and validates them.
-- this week Mr. Brooks is back flying in formation. He simply cannot give up his toxic Broke Burke Mountain fantasy that behind the bestial insane Republican clown posse that now controls all three branches of the federal government, there is some other, invisible Republican party that yearns to rally and pivot and reform and get right with Conservative Jebus:
Can Elephants Learn From Failure?
And what better way to rally and pivot and reform and get right with Conservative Jebus than to all come together and, for the good of the country. strike a deal with Moderate Democrats to cut David Brooks' taxes!
Sure there might be risks. The way ahead may be fraught with peril.
By the time legislation is crafted, probably in early summer, the good basic framework could transmogrify into something completely ugly — a bill that explodes the national debt while handing massive benefits to the rich. Then we’d be back where we were with health care reform, with a bill that benefits very few and which no one likes.
But really, isn't the prospect of cutting David Brooks' taxes and putting a win on the board for David Brooks' Republican party and it's DayGlo fascist halfwit leader worth that risk?
Tax reform probably won’t survive if the Republicans try to do it the way they tried to do health care — staying within the lines of Republican orthodoxy while veering over to the extreme right in the hopes of winning the Freedom Caucus. Tax reform will probably only pass with bipartisan buy-in, if there are enough potential yes votes that you can afford to lose some off on the extremes.
Because it turns out that cutting David Brooks' taxes and putting a win on the board for David Brooks' Republican party and it's DayGlo fascist halfwit leader may be the last, best hope for our Land of the Free!
Tax reform is one of the few issues where Republican and Democratic thinking overlaps. It’s one of the few ways to significantly boost growth. If Republicans can learn from their errors, they can get this done. If, on the other hand, tax reform fails, the G.O.P. majority is forfeit and Washington will descend to utter dysfunction.
Of course, as any honest citizen could tell you, Washington descended to utter dysfunction long ago. It was led there step-by-step by Mr. Brooks's Republican party, aided and abetted every inch of the way by the sleazy little con men of the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism.
A guy named Barack Obama got himself elected president several years ago and tried his damnedest to lead Washington out of it's deep, Republican-induced dysfunction but his every effort was gleefully sabotaged by the same party that just made a DayGlo fascist halfwit the leader of the free world.
So no, Mr. Brooks, and no, Mr., Sullivan. There are no "good" Conservatives left in the public square and there are no "good" Republicans left in the Party of Trump..
There are merely Conservatives who are so desperate to survive the political implosion that Liberals have warned them was coming for decades, that they're now willing to steal the vocabulary of those of us they were calling "traitors" just a few years ago while never even acknowledging that we exist.
Behold, a Tip Jar!