Friday, March 01, 2019

The Collapse of the Never Trumper Dream Palaces

As longtime readers know, many thousands of years ago when the world was young and we Libtards were being slandered by all the Very Serious People as deranged, terrorist-loving, Bush-hating idiots, I hit upon the brilliant idea of making myself 100% unemployable by the respectable media by taking up the task of documenting the Great Project of Mr. David Brooks: is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.
And so far, I can proudly report that I have been 100% successful!  

Decent Beltway media folk who now pay hardcore GOP goons and button-men like Rick Fucking Wilson and Bill Fucking Kristol to go on their teevee shows and call a Republican president "shithead" still won't touch me with a barge pole,  Which, if the stork just dropped you off the back of a turnip truck yesterday, might seem very strange given that I have such a long and storied history of using the English language to call Republicans "shitheads" in all kinds of inventive ways 

Ah, but you see, that's actually the problem.

Because the real mission of this tribe of Never Trumpers and their enablers in media is not to condemn Donald Trump.  If it were, then any dirty hippie -- drunk and hopping on one foot -- could do that job a hundred times better, with a thousand times more accumulated credibility. In fact, while practically every Liberal in Christendom began sounding the alarm the day Donald Trump came oozing down the Escalator of Doom, practically until election day, most of these same Never Trumpers were pooh poohing the very idea that Donald Trump could possibly win the Republican nomination --
Kristol: I Guarantee Donald Trump Won't Be Republican Nominee 

-- much less be elected president:
"Sure, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are now riding high in some meaningless head-to-head polls against Hillary Clinton, but the odds are the nomination of either would lead to a party-decimating general election." -- David Brooks, Jan. 19, 2016
So, since the Never Trump tribe has such a ponderous and unbroken record of being horribly wrong about everything, how is it that they still have reserved seating at the Beltway media table?  How does a manifestly empty suit and and unrepentant Iraq War pimp like Peter Wehner rate a self-pitying, self-absolving guest column in The New York Times?  And what to invisible authority does Lawrence O'Donnell answer that he permits Wehner and Bill Kristol go right ahead and lie and lie and lie about the noble history of their Republican Party?

All of this is happening because the mission of the Never Trump tribe and their enablers in media is not to condemn Donald Trump -- their mission is to exonerate themselves.  

Period.  Full stop. 

And they can't very well do that with assholes like me hanging around, recklessly reminding everyone what the Republican Party was like before Trump, because the only way for Never Trumpers to exonerate themselves and their media enablers is to once again bulldoze the entire history of the modern Conservative movement and the Republican Party right down the memory hole.  Once again reset the historical clock and declare that the arrival of Donald Trump to be the new Day Zero:  the new (as the poet Ursula Fanthorpe once wrote) "moment when Before/Turned into After".

Because, as I wrote two very long years ago (as a part of my Operation Memory Hole series) about yet another Never Trumper running exactly the same grift (because they are all run exactly the same grift):
Operation Memory Hole: The Douthatening 
...for all the sawdust and moonbeams and navel-gazing, at this moment in history the single most important task for trifling Conservative hacks with outsized megaphones like Mr. Douthat is to hang the blame for the Rise of The Bastard President somewhere far, far away from themselves. Somewhere far, far away from the sprawling, multi-media Conservative lie factory in which Mr. Douthat serves as a medium-sized cog.  
The sprawling, multi-media Conservative lie factory which created a political breeding ground for The Bastard President by building a Republican base that was malignantly ignorant enough to fling themselves into the arms of a gibbering beast who sold them a supersized version of the same grotesque fairy tale that the sprawling, multi-media Conservative lie factory has been telling them for years -- that their paranoia is actually patriotism and their ignorance and bigotry is a mark of special grace...
And so, having slogged halfway through the nightmare of administration of President Stupid, I find myself maddened to the point of exhaustion with pissing into this abyss.  With knowing that, whatever I do, however loud I shout, a year or two from now, whatever I explain today in clear and easy-to-understand English will have come to pass.

That the Never Trump tribe and their enablers in media will have succeeded in obliterating the past. That in the place of the grim events through which we have all struggled for decades -- catastrophes which the Republican Party has inflicted on us over and over and over again -- they will once again get away with ramming yet another Big Lie down our throats.  The Big Lie that Donald Trump was some sort of political Tunguska meteor strike.  Some massive, devastating and completely unpredictable event which knocked down their noble Republican Party without warning and for which none of them bear any responsibility.

I am exhausted by the foreknowledge that those of us who are today screaming "No! No! No!" will once again be suffocated into oblivion.  That the true history of the rise of Donald Trump -- the fact that he was merely the end point of a long, wide and well-marked highway down which the Republican Party has been roaring for decades -- will be bulldozed down the memory hole because the truth is too professionally inconvenient to too many powerful people to be allowed to breathe.

And you will be able to actually measure how completely this Big Lie has taken hold by how easily it will begin to come to the lips of the liars.  How no preamble or explanation will be asked for or offered.  How it will simply be assumed as a part of polite society that all the rot and degeneracy of the GOP began with the reign of President Stupid and anyone who dares suggest otherwise will mark themselves as a boorish interloper.

Which brings us at last to Mr. David Brooks' column today --
Morality and Michael Cohen
Wednesday’s testimony and the crisis of American conscience.
-- which the lads at Pod Save America characterize as --
-- so there you go.

And yet, from my boorish interloper perspective, when Mr. Brooks describes Michael Cohen in these terms --
There is none of the purgation of self and transformation of spirit that happens among people who have truly been altered. He’s just switched teams and concluded that the Democrats can now give him what he wants, so he says what appeals to them. That may be progress, but it is not moral renewal.
-- I don't find it "great".  In fact, I find it darkly amusing that no one but me will probably notice that when Mr. Brooks says -- "He’s just switched teams and concluded that the Democrats can now give him what he wants, so he says what appeals to them: -- he is also describing the same raw, transactional ethics that are practiced by every Never Trumper including Mr. Brooks.

When Mr. Brooks has a big ol' sad at the sudden plunge into hypocrisy --
Cohen has left the Thugs for Trump club and passed that baton to certain House Republicans. I would have loved to have been in the strategy session when the House Republicans decided to be incurious about Trump’s sins and crimes but to rip the skin off Cohen.
-- and moral depravity that the noble Republican Party has taken in the last two years --
Were Republican House members enthusiastic or morose as they decided to turn off their own moral circuits, when they decided to be monumentally unconcerned by the fact that their leader may be a moral cretin?
-- I wonder to myself how big a moral cretin must Mr. Brooks be that he can simply wish-wish-wish away the entire modern history of his Republican that led up to the Age of Trump?

And then the melancholy arrives on my doorstep because I already know the answer to my own questions.

So do you.

We all know that when Mr. Brooks asks --
Do they think that having anesthetized their moral sense in this case they will simply turn it on again down the road? Having turned off their soul at work, do they think they will be able to turn it on again when they go home to the spouse and kids?
-- he is perfectly aware that no one in the Beltway media will ever ask him what the hell ever happened to his own moral sense?  Everything he wrote during the Bush administration?  During the Obama administration?  Does any of this ring any bells?  Doesn't he have kids?  Doesn't he have a shiny, new, adoring second wife?

We all know that when Mr. Brooks declares --
Supporting Trump requires daily acts of moral distancing, a process that means that after a few months you are tolerant of any corruption. You are morally numb to everything. 
-- he knows damn well that no one in the Beltway will dare to rise and ask him the kind of simple, fact-based questions this unnamed woman asked him nearly a decade ago:

And finally, the world will little note nor long remember the irony that was Mr. David Brooks himself -- 16 years ago, during his Liberal-bashing glory days at The Weekly Standard -- who (with a couple of tweaks added by me) accidentally penned one of the most perfect descriptions of what a pack of craven, accountability-dodging scuttlefish the Never Trumpers would turn out to be:
The Collapse of the Never Trumper Dream Palaces

Mass destruction of mistaken ideas.

Now that the Republican Party is over, we'll find out how many people around the country are capable of facing unpleasant facts. For the events of past several years confirm that tens of millions of Republicans are living in dream palaces, to use Fouad Ajami's phrase. They are living with versions of reality that simply do not comport with the way things are. They circulate and recirculate conspiracy theories, myths, and allegations with little regard for whether or not these fantasies are true. And the events of the past several years have exposed them as the falsehoods they are...
My third guess is that the Never Trumpers will grow more vociferous as their numbers shrink. Even tangible progressive successes and the implosion of Donald Trump will not dampen their anger, because as many people have noted, compulsive Both Siderism  is all that is left of their Fake True Conservatism.  And this hatred is tribal, not ideological. And so they will still have their Bulwarks and their National Reviews, their reserved seating on national teevee an on the op-ed pages of American newspapers. They will still have a huge influence over the Beltway Conventional Wisdom, probably even dominating the conversation over which candidate the Democrats must nominate to win over the Imaginary Sensible Center. 
In other words, there will be no magic "Aha!" moment that brings the Never Trumper dream palaces down. Even if the entire, unredacted history of the their Republican Party claws its way out of the grave where David Brooks buried it,  no day will come when the Never Trumpers turn around and say, "We were wrong. The Liberal were right." They will just extend their forebodings into a more distant future. They will backtrack. They will claim that they always rejected certain realities, which, in fact, they accepted only months ago...
And so it goes.

UPDATE: A reminder that, on the Right, nothing means anything and there is never a downside as long as you're in the Club

The Tip Jar


joejimtree said...

The combination of the sophomoric and the condescending in Brook's explanation of how morality and character work was really especially nauseating. His column was really childish, digging into his smallness to tell us nugget by nugget what corruption is, how it works, and what the end game of dishonesty is, he sounded like a teenager, figuring it all out for the first time one furtive explosive night under the sheets.

Pretty sure it was written in one madcap tipsy draft. Because he's such a great writer he doesn't need to edit. Or even think.

Sharon said...

A weapons-grade vocabulary in the hands of a fool.

San Francisco Values said...

This post is a masterpiece. Full stop. Not a masterpiece of opinion writing, but a masterpiece of investigative reporting and news analysis. The Driftglass coverage of the Republican Party in general, and David Brooks in particular should be published by, for example, Pro Publica, as an open-ended investigative reporting series. It is fact-based, hard news. The Driftglass blog consists of opinion posts and hard news posts. Like a newspaper with hard news in the front, and an op-ed section in the back. This post is front page, above-the-fold news.

Retired Patriot said...

If only there was a way to monetize the foreknowledge....


Robt said...

Did you hear the news?

Republican House Rep. Jim Jordan came out of the closet.

No, not the Gay one..

The "stupid" closet in the Winchester Mystery House.