Sunday, December 31, 2017


You know what you never read about?

You never read about Binny's Beverage Depot managers who, after working at Binny's for, say, 11 years, suddenly freaking out because, OMFG!, Binny's sells booze.

You know what you also never read about?  Chick-fil-A franchise owners suddenly quitting and collapsing into a heap like Heston at the end of Soylent Green because --

-- OMFG, you mean we serve chicken here!

And yet just about every day damn day in the Land of the Free, along comes another life-long Republican pundit or politician or Respected Public Intellectual trying to cop a plea that, although they've spent their entire adult lives serving the Republican Party and going after anyone who dared speak against it, they now swear by Jebus, Mary, and Santa Claus that they had no fucking idea that the Republican Party is, OMFG, full of Republicans (fun starts at around the 3:10 mark):

This is a scam they repeat roughly every two to four years depending on which way the prevailing political winds are blowing, and which can be plotted along a 20 year time-line by simply following the public writings and comments of Mr. David Brooks -- America's greatest exemplar of the rot at the heart of the intellectual Right and the greatest beneficiary of this Long Conservative Con.

Here is Mr. David Brooks in 1999 explaining that the mistakes of the past were behind them and a glorious new Republican Party was right around the corner:
How George W. Bush and John McCain -- without quite realizing it -- are creating a new Republican philosophy

...together, Bush's Compassionate Conservatism and McCain's New Patriotic Challenge are steps toward a fresh vision for the Republican party. Indeed, if you meld the core messages of the two campaigns, you get a coherent governing philosophy for the post-Clinton age.
And here is a link to Mr. Brooks in 2003 predicting that, now that the Iraq War is over and George W. Bush's genius can no longer be denied, we Libtards will no doubt start back-peddling and lying about all the foolish stands we took during the Age of Bush.

Here is Mr. Brooks in 2006 as his beloved Bush Administration was in full public collapse for exactly the reasons about which we Libtards been sounding the alarm.  Mr. Brooks' solution?  Bitterly complaining that America needed a Third Party!  A McCain/Lieberman Party!  Because Both Sides!
The McCain-Lieberman Party begins with a rejection of the Sunni-Shiite style of politics itself. It rejects those whose emotional attachment to their party is so all-consuming it becomes a form of tribalism, and who believe the only way to get American voters to respond is through aggression and stridency. 
The flamers in the established parties tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too. They rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country. They imagine that once they have achieved victory through pulverizing rhetoric they will return to the moderate and nuanced sensibilities they think they still possess. 
But the experience of DeLay and the net-root DeLays in the Democratic Party amply demonstrates that means determine ends. Hyper-partisans may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist, and pretty soon they were no longer the same people.

Here is a link to Mr. Brooks in 2009 following the complete repudiation of his Republican Party and it's disastrous policies suddenly becoming really, really interested in all these brand-new "independents" who were suddenly appearing out of thin air.  And who had, as a group, according to Mr. David Brooks, taken a sharp turn to the right ever since the Kenyan Usurper was elected!

Here is a link to Mr. Brooks in 2010 -- right on schedule and caught on video shot by me -- back-peddling and lying about the foolish stands he took during Age of Bush.

Here is Mr. David Brooks in November of 2014 explaining that this time the mistakes of the past were definitely behind them and a glorious new Republican Party was really right around the corner.
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. 
Here is a link to Mr. David Brooks in February of 2016 explaining that, however bad Donald Trump was, Bernie Sanders has to be just as bad because Both Sides.  

And anyway, no need to get one's pantaloons in a bunch, because Donald Trump will never be nominated because Marco Rubio has got this sucker in the bag!  After which...something something...glorious new Republican Party...right around the corner!
DAVID BROOKS: It's going to be Rubio. I'm telling you, it's going to be Rubio. Right now, you have the conflict between the conservative, the philosophical conservative wing, which is the National Review crowd, and the rogue wing, which is talk radio and Trump. And so it's interesting to see how that breaks down. 
Right now, Trump has the advantage in that, because the conservative movement is less conservative than it was ten years ago. The financial crisis has hit people hard, and they want a government that's on the side of the little guys, as long as it's not filled with liberal values. So Trump, in the short term, but we're prepping the establishment. Do not panic. There are going to be months of this. Wait for Rubio.
Here is Mr. David Brooks in April of 2016 just after Rubio got knocked off explaining that a magical Third Party inside the Republican Party -- a veritable League of Extraordinary Whig Gentlemen called the "Lincoln Caucus" -- could be put together to put things right again: 
This process would bring the Trump and Cruz campaigns back toward the Republican mainstream. It would create a road toward party unity after one deal or another was reached. It might go some way toward heading off a general election debacle. 
It would also create a democratic path toward a Republican nominee who is not Trump or Cruz...
Here is a link to Mr. David Brooks in September of 2016 explaining that, however bad Donald Trump was, Hillary Clinton has to be just as bad because Both Sides.  

Here is a link to Mr. David Brooks in just three weeks ago explaining that, however bad the "pro-Trump right" may be, the "woke activists, the angry Sanders socialists and social justice warriors" are just as bad because Both Sides.  

Here is a link to Mr. David Brooks in just two weeks ago telling the same blatant lies about the record of the Obama Administration twice in three days because, however bad Donald Trump might be, President Obama has to be bad too because Both Sides.  

This, in sum, is the history of the American Conservative intelligentsia.  A history of flagrant lies and fairy tales passed off as insight.  A history of failure after failure, all simply wished away or deflected into nothingness with massive, sustained barrages of Both Siderist false equivalence.  A history of getting pretty much every single fucking thing completely wrong, every time, decade after decade and never having to pay any price for any of it. 

A history which has now led them once again to disaster.  To a Dumbkirk entirely of their own making. 

And yet, with their backs against the sea, facing an enemy of their own creation who cannot be reasoned with or bargained with (because reason and compromise are for Libtard snowflake pussies and not Real Freedom Lovin', God Fearin' Murricans), and with each new day arriving with another avalanche of proof that the Left has been right about the Right all along, instead of being laughed off the stage and drummed out of public life once and for all, the elite members of the Conservative Brain Caste are still invariably treated with the utmost deference and respect. 

Here are a few selected shorts from "On The Front Lines Of The GOP's Civil War" in which we learn, among other things, that Andrew Sullivan is now a "liberal journalist" --
Some of the guests were liberal journalists whose faces were as familiar as their bylines: Jane Mayer and Elizabeth Drew, Andrew Sullivan and David Corn.
-- which is definitely exciting news for anyone who has actually followed Mr. Sullivan's checkered career.

If you read the entire article (or any article of this genre...or half of what I've written over the last couple of years) you will not fail to notice that, right down the line, the men and women who have profited mightily from being the public faces and voices of the Republican Party and movement Conservatism for decades now almost uniformly draw a clear, sharp distinction between everything that has happened since the Spring of 2016 and All That Went Before (emphasis added):


In 2016, a group of Republicans broke ranks with their party to try to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidency. Now they’re rallying once more to keep him from destroying the country...

Call them Republicans with a conscience, conservatives without a party, or simply, as most do, the Never Trumpers...

As the party got under way, [David] Frum and his wife, the author Danielle Crittenden—he in a dark-blue suit and white shirt; she in black pants and a sleeveless blouse—greeted their guests. With his broad forehead and Tory accent (“agaynst”), Frum still has the manner of the Toronto gentry in which he was reared. Standing near a pair of museum-quality African sculptures, he gently urged his guests down a small flight of stairs to the backyard, which was getting crowded and buzzy in the fading light.

This is not the sort of thing Frum said in his former life, as a wunderkind of the American Right. But for him, as for many of the guests at his party, the rise of Trump changed the old refrain “It can happen here” into something more dire and pressing: “It’s happening now and must be stopped.” One guest, the affable conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, has called Trump a “European-style blood-and-soil nationalist.”

One august figure on the Right, the Post columnist George Will, renounced the Republican party in June 2016, declaring himself unable to witness its submission to Trump.

Others, such as longtime GOP operatives Mike Murphy and Rick Wilson, began appearing on MSNBC, where they swung hard at nominee and party alike...

“There wasn’t a single conservative I talked with at the beginning of 2016 who thought Donald Trump was a remotely acceptable candidate for president,” says Max Boot, a neoconservative foreign-policy writer who served as an advisor to John McCain in 2008 and Marco Rubio eight years later...

In March 2016, as Trump closed in on the nomination, another neocon, William Kristol, a founding editor of The Weekly Standard, tried to engineer a third-party escape hatch. It went nowhere...

A group that includes Boot and Applebaum is creating a centrist sanctuary and talk shop, the Renew Democracy Initiative. They’re polishing up a manifesto and plan to bring out a book, “a kind of Federalist 2.0,” says one contributor, the columnist Bret Stephens, a Never Trumper exile from The Wall Street Journal. In April of last year, Stephens went to the Times and hasn’t looked back, except to toss grenades at Sean Hannity, Steve Bannon, and the rest of what he calls “the bigoted, dipshit wing of the Republican party.”...

Conservative opponents of the ACA were well aware of the bill’s provenance. But since attacking Obamacare worked at election time, they pretended otherwise, inventing the fiction of “repeal and replace.” The same dishonesty explains why they couldn’t come up with a workable substitute: Obamacare was the GOP plan. “The Republicans never had a health-care alternative,” says Ross Douthat, the New York Times op-ed columnist who counts himself among the Never Trumpers...

“Conservatives have decided they are a tribe,” says Jennifer Rubin, the conservative Washington Post writer who has declared war on both Trump and his GOP. “They’re not Americans first. They’re Trump defenders first.”..

But in truth, “Conservatism, Inc.” was never the luxury gravy train its critics depicted. It was closer to a Soviet-style nomenklatura, with a good deal of ideological policing. “I had the president of a small conservative think tank tell me he admires my anti-Trump position but he just can’t be identified that way because his donors would cut him off,” says Boot. Even now, the Never Trumpers I talked to, though freed from the grip of the old dogma, were constantly going off the record or pleading, “Protect me.” Who can blame them? For all their resources, they are indeed outnumbered—unwanted and unloved...
Just like the base of the party they blindly served their entire professional lives, these elite, intellectual enablers of the most horrendous political crime in modern history are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong.  So, like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms and deny that any of it had anything to do with them.

And yet they are lauded by their cronies in the press as men and women of conscience.  For example, here is Conor Friedersdorf laying on the plaudits with a trowel in The Atlantic -- a magazine at which, coincidentally and for no explicable reason, David Frum (majordomo of the Never Trump crew) is now a Senior Editor:
'Never Trump' Will Be the Only Faction Still Standing When He's Gone

When the Republican Party’s current coalition falls apart, those who stood up to bigotry will be the only ones with the credibility to rebuild

And the most important and damning traits that distinguish Trump from his predecessors are his willingness to stoke animus against minority groups for political gain; the energy he has given to white supremacists; the indiscipline of his public statements; the frequency with which he blatantly lies to the public; and the unsavory characters that he brought with him into the federal government—including Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka, for starters.

Only Never Trumpers can credibly claim to stand against the moral abominations that suffused Trump’s political rise and the first year of his presidency. They alone are conserving a faction on the right that stands against deplorability in the face of a president who remains a cruel, mendacious egomaniac. They alone can credibly claim to oppose racial demagoguery...
Over and over again, places are reserved for them at the head table of our national political conversation (from The Hill with emphasis added) --
NYT conservative columnist: I'm still 'never Trump' after first year

New York Times conservative columnist Bret Stephens revealed he still sees himself as a "never Trumper" after a year of President Trump's term in the White House, despite agreeing with many of Trump's policy moves.

In an op-ed in the newspaper Saturday, Stephens wrote, "I still wish Hillary Clinton were president."

"[C]haracter does count, and virtue does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily," Stephens writes. "This is the fatal mistake of conservatives who’ve decided the best way to deal with Trump’s personality — the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness — is to pretend it doesn’t matter."

“'Character Doesn’t Count' has become a de facto GOP motto," Stephens adds. “'Virtue Doesn’t Matter' might be another."

Stephens joined The New York Times in April 2017, leaving The Wall Street Journal to join the more liberal ranks of the Times opinion page, and at the time was a vocal member of the #NeverTrump movement of conservatives that had sought to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination the year before...
-- while the people who have been right about the Right all along never make it past the rope line.

As they stand on the beach of this Dumbkirk of their own doing, with the tide of history licking at their heels  and a mob of reprogrammable Republican meatbags breathing down their necks, for reasons that no one will explain, the owners of the Beltway media are once again handing them a sweetheart Han-Landa-in-Inglourious Basterds deal --

-- with nothing being asked of them in return.  They are not offering to share the plans to the Republican Death Star, or even the names of the hotels where GOP goons stash their mistresses.  

They and their whole, filthy ideology are simply being let off the hook without so much as a slap on the wrist.

Because in the end, making sure the elite D.C. book party scene is never disrupted --
But in D. C., book parties are social occasions, even when they involve business, which is to say politics, the only business that matters. One Saturday evening in late October, some of the brightest figures in Washington’s media elite streamed into a splendid Colonial Revival house on Foxhall Road in Wesley Heights. “Outer Georgetown,” someone clarified: The phrase implied more than it said, like so much else in this surreal time in American politics. Some of the guests were liberal journalists whose faces were as familiar as their bylines: Jane Mayer and Elizabeth Drew, Andrew Sullivan and David Corn. But among them, too, was a cadre of the uprooted and displaced, writers, intellectuals, and pundits who, had they gathered in Paris or London—well, Ottawa, anyway—might have worn the haunted glamour of émigrés and exiles, though in this case they are strangers in the same precincts where they once felt very much at home. Call them Republicans with a conscience, conservatives without a party, or simply, as most do, the Never Trumpers.

Liberals and conservatives have always commingled easily in Washington, but a year into the presidency of Donald J. Trump, old lines are blurring and new alliances are forming in remarkable ways. Exhibit A is the owner of the grand house on Foxhall Road: David Frum, a former hardcore conservative and speechwriter for George W. Bush. It was Frum who, with another Never Trumper, Michael Gerson (now a Washington Post columnist), coined the phrase “axis of evil” in 2002 and promptly entered the annals of liberal infamy. These days, however, Frum is better known as a heretic and outcast, primus inter pares of the Never Trumpers.
 -- will always be vastly more important to the Power That Be than bringing these maker-of-monsters to book.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


dinthebeast said...

"The financial crisis has hit people hard, and they want a government that's on the side of the little guys, as long as it's not filled with liberal values."

Being on the side of the little guys is a liberal value.

-Doug in Oakland

ziply said...

Yeah, we saw what he did there.

ziply said...

Happy New Year!!

Alexis Jester said...

It's sickening, and I just want to burn their lifeboats down around their ears.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Your "history begins on" thesis reminds me of a concept in fiction called a "floating timeline"...

Short version: you allow the picture of the present to be unaltered by the passage of time by perpetually moving the starting date of your timeline forward (usually by not mentioning the year, though this is more difficult in politics).

This is how James Bond and the Simpsons don't age. It's also used by both DC Comics and Marvel comics.,,

Be seeing you.

XtopherSD said...

Great piece, as always.

Happy New Year DG!

Barry Lyons said...

You should take your favorite essays from the past couple of years, tweak them a bit to show the thread that connects them, and then put them in a book called The Long Conservative Con .

Robt said...

Them Changes?????????

John Birch - Reagan Revolution= Gigrich Revolution- compassionate Conservatism-
-Tea Party- Trumpadorian Soviet soft and considerate White Supremacy- Never Trumpers.

Each time the media controlled by Corporate bring aboard the conservative rats that took refuge in the lifeboats of more incorrigible disgruntled-ness.

Expanding the lexicon by creating new verbage to describe very old right wing political agendas to those unaware of the historical conservative re-branding. To iterate that of which is tried and failed, for those that have not lived through losing in real live Monopoly game by Parker Brothers.

The Tea Party. New political group?
All republicans Burning their GW Bush uniforms when the ideology Blitz ran its course into the caverns of hell for everyone not a billionaire and their Inheritance princesses.

An ideology that says, no matter what works best for all. It is not good enough. It can work much better for the deserving ones at the top and they can decide what is best for others.
We shall never admit the Earth is Round. That Keynesian economics while not perfect. Accomplished bringing America to some of its greatest achievements as a people, a nation, an influence on the world.

We will hire our Frank Luntz's to use words to puke on the round Earth theory while promoting its Flat Earth's inevitable insanity's end to profit off conservative ideological Viagra boners implementation of the moment and for the moment in time.

Those people had it pretty damn good in those shanty towns. Blacks lived the gravy train life before that stinkin Civil WAr. Even the Whites lived a much better life during times of slavery.

They do actually peddle this on their full fledged Right Wing Media. While sending the lifeboats of the rats abandoning the latest ship. Are rescued again. Provided the accustomed lifestyle. To espouse the Rhetoric that brought on their abandoning of the conservative sinking ship.

Moving the the goal posts further right. Only to condemn their Evil ISIS Liberal enemies for attempting to set the goal posts back where they belong.

The Oingo Boingo tume is a wrap up to the finish line.

It is just the dead have their private gated cemeteries of conservative socialistic entitled comfort from their wealthy proponents. To provide people in the future of the wonders of conservative suicide.

BongoShaftsbury1 said...

Spiting dotards from the sky
Cheerless men who tweet and lie
Men who glean and eat their scat
The cavemen of the MAGA hat

Thanks Driftglass, for allowing us to say Happy New Year again

Spocko said...

Good piece! Being correct when you are on the left gets you nothing. Heck, I've predicted the future 3 out of three times, but it is expected of us.