Friday, March 25, 2016


David Brooks is certain that the GOP's Trump nightmare will be followed by a hopeful dawn, when all can be made new:
[Trump] will almost certainly go down to a devastating defeat, either in the general election or -- God help us -- as the worst president in American history.

At that point the G.O.P. will enter ... the revolution phase. During [such] moments you get a proliferation of competing approaches, a willingness to try anything. People ask different questions, speak a different language, congregate around a new paradigm that is incommensurate with the last.

That’s where the G.O.P. is heading. So this is a moment of anticipation. The great question is not, Should I vote for Hillary or sit out this campaign? The great question is, How do I prepare now for the post-Trump era?
Sorry, David -- there isn't going to be a "post-Trump era" for the GOP, if that means a period of time when all previous assumptions are questioned and everyone is searching for new answers. The GOP and the conservative movement don't build their identities on presidential nominees -- they certainly didn't do that in 2008 and 2012, when a lot of conservatives and Republicans didn't even like nominees the party was said to have "rallied around."

Conservatism doesn't build its identity on presidential candidates. It builds its identity on a series of hatreds and grievances, some temporary, others ongoing. Yes, there's a gradual evolution, so Cleek's Law is accurate:
today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today: updated daily.
But there isn't going to be a revolution -- certainly not one brought about by the collapse of a presidential campaign -- because the resentments developed and accumulated after Trump will be added to a solid foundation of old resentments that predate Trump. The GOP's true leaders aren't politicians, they're the media figures who stoke these resentments. (That's why, even in the midst of the war over Trump, the ratings at Fox News are still strong.)

Conservatives today may be battling over Trump, but they're united in their resentment of students who allegedly feel unsafe in the presence of pro-Trump graffiti and trans people who want to use public restrooms where they feel comfortable and President Obama doing the tango after the Brussels terrorist attacks. That's a list based on current headlines. Looking back on old favorites, they're united in their hatred of Hillary Clinton and "political correctness" and illegal immigration and whatever the hell they think sharia law is. And I'm just scratching the surface.

The one change I can imagine in the future is that the style of conservatism will simply have more Trump in it. More and more candidates will praise waterboarding rather than "enhanced interrogation," and will be open about identifying the ethnic groups they resent.

But the GOP will still be the GOP. It will be the same old grievance party it's been for years.


Victor said...

I have a close friend who is a conservative.

We never talk politics, which is why we'really still friends.

But yesterday, I mentioned something about about Fox, Rush, Sean, and Reich-wing talk radio, and he went off on me!
I criticize, he said, but did I ever watch or listen to them?

Of course, I said!
When you live in the South - NC, specifically - if you turn your car radio on while you'driving, you have to try really, really hard, to even find some music - which was often Latino/Hispanic. (Which, btw, I'm sure didn't help the conversation get any better).
Conservative yakkers were all over the AM and FM dials!

He said I was intolerant.
I agreed.
And I said he was too!

Except I'm intolerant about intolerance, and he was intolerant about tolerance.

Never Ben Better said...

Of course they'll stick to the same old, same old. What else have they got?

Greg said...

Don't know yet how much Trump's crass ass bombast (as a signifier of strong commitment to kicking liberal/terrorist enemy butt) will be required in future GOP primary seasons. Maybe as more angry GOP olds die off, someone younger (Joni Ernst?) can again prosper via putting a centrist-sounding smiley face on the ongoing neo-fascist agenda. But we'll first have to measure the full effect of the current crowd of assholes, and that won't start until November at least.

Feud Turgidson said...

This is how it'll be different: if Drumpf wins the RNC nom, he will treat the GOP like a business he controls. And all businesses he controls, he treats like he's the sole owner. He will treat this "business interest" no differently.

It's going to cost the existing owners and stakeholders a bundle to get rid of him, and in the end, only age, enfeeblement and death will do that. Drumpf had SEVERAL businesses removed from him by shareholder actions and the courts, yet he still managed to hold on to enough control of them that he was able to treat the corpse as a profit center for his own interests.

Say they buy him off. That'll cost a lot of money. A billion at least, I think more. He'll be able to point to all the money spent on presidential elections, this one particularly, by all sources, and point to the benefits of winning control over the even one piece of the whole of government, and put some outrageous price tag on it all for him to be placated and leave the building.

And when he does leave the building, he'll do with carte blanche to keep flapping at orange yam of mouth at the public. In several instances in his business career, he's been required to get out completely and say nothing, but STILL he's messed around as if he retains an interest and never curbed his mouth motor one erg.

How long can he hang on? Not forever; none of us do, or can. But the fat fuck is looking pretty full of himself right now, so I'd say minimum another presidential cycle, probably two to some extent, depending on the breaks. He's gonna be part of the furniture, like Harold Stassen was, except causing messes constantly.

AllieG said...

Big Business used to be the Republican center. Now it's 21st Century Big Business, not the DuPonts, General Electrics and J.P. Morgan Chase's, but the independent oil guys like the Koch's, the fast food chain impresario's like the Papa John's and Outback guys and the hedge fund private equity financial pirates. This election could make old Big Business a permanent part of the Democratic loose coalition, with consequences I can't foresee except that respectability always used to be a thing for Republicans and now isn't.

Ten Bears said...

I didn't know they had weed that good in New York City. Wait! Didn't they just legalize it in Jersey!? That's it: Bobo's slipping off to Jersey to walk the wild. I wonder if he's sniffing methamphetamine with transvestites?

bluespapa said...

I'd just like to commend your headline. Best I've seen on this.

paul said...

Heard DB on a regular weekly news round-up on NPR. He mentioned GOP and its "ethnic nationality" bent. Hmmm there's another word for that... ummm...damn what could it be...

ian said...

who wouldn't feel unsafe if pro-Trump graffiti just appeared one day (my guess is people who watch fox news regularly)

Feud Turgidson said...

I don't want credit for this, but I also don't want this to go by without it being posted on this site.

Whoever runs tweeted out a reference to a Reddit post where someone offered up a Game of Thrones counterpart for each of the remaining presidential hopefuls, and beside Drumpf is that homicidal pervert sleazoid skinny prince, along with these points of striking similarity:

"Narcissistic sack of shit
Loves inciting violence
Total lack of qualifications or experience
Actually just a big baby"

The middle two are factual no matter how one thinks about Drumpf, and the last seems so indisputable it might just as well be a factual assertion.

But that first one, man: it's a work of art in how it captures the scalp-tightened pencil dick.

So, my apologies to whoever came up with it, and of course the Internet, but I'm going to use it in something like how Charlie Pierce uses his multi-word characterizations, like goggle-eyed homunculus for Governor Scott Walker, and zombie-eyed granny-starver for Speaker Paul Ryan. I feel 'Donald Drumpf, narcissistic sack of shit, actually cuts closer to the tightened scalp and shriveled dick than "vulgar talking yam".

And FWIW, if David Brooks reads this blog - and you have to figure he reads sort of Mama Pajama every time his name gets mentioned (except Brooks spits tastefully into an embroidered linen hankie), then, Sir, I encourage you, too, do the same - because "gross" and "vulgar" aren't cutting it.

Robert said...

Has he forgotten the Republicans just had the worst president in history, I haven’t noticed the party getting better, in fact it seems to be getting worse.

Ten Bears said...

In my experience, narcissistic sacks of shit applies to its supporters as well.

Yes, "it". It is less than human.

Feud Turgidson said...

Ah, jeez 10B, I cant' go for that, oh no: no can do. I think Cruz is actually on to something with that 'denied proper unconditional affection and guidence as a child' thing about Drumpf, that narcissistic sack of shit. And Cruz, that, that twisted, God-bothering messianic creep, ought to know.

swkellogg said...

Ah, the pitfalls of a career that has revolved around internalizing, regurgitating and on occasion originating platitudes.

They're not laws Davy.

Yeah, it might be darkest before the dawn.

But it's not darkest yet.

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