Sunday, August 30, 2015


So I'm looking at the op-eds in today's New York Times and I see that Ross Douthat, the reform conservative, thinks the deeper meaning of Donald Trump is that his candidacy could be a gateway to reform conservatism:
He won’t [win], of course, but it matters a great deal how he loses. In a healthy two-party system, the G.O.P. would treat Trump’s strange success as evidence that the party’s basic orientation may need to change substantially, so that it looks less like a tool of moneyed interests and more like a vehicle for middle American discontent.

In an unhealthy system, the kind I suspect we inhabit, the Republicans will find a way to crush Trump without adapting to his message. In which case the pressure the Donald has tapped will continue to build -- and when it bursts, the G.O.P. as we know it may go with it.
According to Douthat, if I'm reading this correctly, either Trump's candidacy will lead to Douthat-style reform of the GOP or it will lead to a crisis within the GOP that will destroy it -- and what will emerge from the ashes will be, I suppose, precisely the sort of reform Douthat likes.

That's Douthat seeing his own obsessions and hobbyhorses reflected in the Trump candidacy. What does Maureen Dowd see?
Trump is a manifestation of national disgust -- with the money that consumed politics, with the dysfunctional, artificial status quo and with the turgid return to a Bush-Clinton race, with a less adept Bush and Clinton.

“The prospect of Hillary and Jeb as the nominees created a huge opening for something like this,” said former W. strategist Matthew Dowd. “The American public looked at it and said, ‘I do not want that.’”

... Trump’s “gusto,” as he likes to call it, has thrown into sharper relief the grinding-it-out, impatient entitlement, the overthinking and overcorrecting of Jeb and Hillary.

Both campaign like they are owed, not because of their great national achievements, but because of their byzantine family dynamics....
Dowd looks at Trump and sees ... a pathogen that contains a precise cocktail of antibodies to the things she hates most in the world, Clintonism and Bushism!

Why, it's almost as if both Dowd and Clinton Douthat are looking at Trump and seeing a reflection of themselves! Funny how that works.


Victor said...

MoDerp's obviously broken into Nooner's Absinthe stash at the N TImes!


brett said...

Dowd and Douthat, not Dowd and Clinton in the last sentence, I think you meant.

Steve M. said...

Thanks -- fixed now.

Feud Turgidson said...

It's probably my own failing, but I've never understood what the Times' owner thinks he gets from employing St. Pithus and the snake in your salad bar. Polite fascists are nonetheless fascists.

marieburns said...

Yeah, that's what a good politician does: s/he makes people -- even NYT columnists -- think s/he's a lot like them, only better. A good politician cons people of many stripes into thinking s/he "shares your values" & will make a reality of your hopes & dreams for a better nation. Think Barack Obama.