Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why the GOP Can't Trump Trump

'Cuckservative' is a white-power term for a white politician who sells out his own race. It's popular with a set of Trump supporters.*
Trump continues to climb in the polls--even after his McCain remarks. John Podhoretz pens The Case For Despair:
No sense pretending: Donald Trump is the only news of the 2016 race, and this fact says something very troubling about the Republican party, the conservative electorate, the mass media culture, and the United States in general. Sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Really it’s not.
Efforts to figure out how to coopt him and his issues on the part of other Republicans are doomed to failure because it’s not the message that people are attracted to; it’s the messenger. Or, if it is the message, it is a message that cannot be coopted because it is little more than a vile expression of open hatred toward Mexicans in a country where people of Mexican descent make up 11 percent of the electorate. For those who want Trump because of it, anything less than his defamation will strike them as the castrated bleating of what they have started to call a “cuckservative.”
Conservative writer for Hot Air, Jazz Shaw is shocked to find gambling in this establishment:
Did he never read a comment section on his own blog? Of course he did--he just didn't believe what he was reading.

Throwing Fuel On The Fire

A cogent way to deal with Donald Trump would be to try to cool the passions that are driving him. To tone things down--to make a show of party unity and provide some conservative fan-service for the people giving the nod to a candidate who is, frankly, very unlikely to win. So let's see . . .
Okay (and you can read an actual Jewish person writing about it here--what Huckabee is doing is transparent).

Ted Cruz bites the hand that feeds him, attacking McConnell on the floor of the senate--baldly calling him a liar (YOU LIE! Remember that? Conservatives applauded!). McConnell enraged him by adding an Ex-IM bank resurrection plan to the Highway bill--which the House then refuses to take up!

It is worth noting that both Huckabee and Tex Cruz "doubled down" on their attacks--they learned something from Trump: No matter what the back-lash, keep moving forward. Trump showed them that you can never back-down, never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon (one of Ted Cruz's favorite super-heroes is the uncompromising Rorschach from Watchmen).

Noah Rothman surveys the field and notes: The Chaotic, Backbiting GOP Does Not Look Like a Governing Party:
To some extent, this internal tension is healthy. Only a minority coalition is small enough to ensure that most of its members agree on specific policy proposals. But a Republican Party at war with itself does not look to the persuadable voter like a party that is capable of governing in the executive. The truly independent voters who determine the outcome of national elections don’t care about the Export-Import Bank or the parliamentary machinations that have so roiled conservatives. They care about whether or not they’re handing the levers of power to an undisciplined group of loose cannons and ideologues, and, to a marginally tuned in swing voter, that’s what the GOP looks like today.
You, uh, you don't say, Noah?

Here's an ENTIRELY Unrelated Note

Here's a headline from CNN 12 hours ago: Boy Scouts Change Policy on Gay Leaders.
"On Monday July 27 the national executive board ratified a resolution removing the national restriction on openly gay leaders and employees," Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said in a video statement on Monday.
How do you think the group of conservatives who are not polling in the top 10 are going to react to this? How do you think the ones who are will react? How do you think Trump will react? Here are the Omnivore's guesses:

  1. Trump will condemn--perhaps not strongly--but he will condemn it since conservatives condemn.
  2. Rick Santorum and others will say something absurd to try to reach the Top Ten (and make the first debate).
  3. Huckabee and other people in the Top Ten will have to out-do the guys beneath them in (a) an attempt to unseat Trump and (b) an attempt to keep the lower-level guys from basket-of-crabing their way to a better position.
We'll see how this plays out. But keep this in mind: for a group that feels that society is falling apart and that the Left is sweeping the field the idea that their preferred candidate will not be a serious social warrior for their cause is a non-starter. No matter how much the Supreme Court has ruled, this battle MUST now be fought--and while talking about gay marriage is toxic in the general election, once anyone starts doing it (Rick Santorum) everyone has to race to the most extreme position available.

But it turns out that no one can go as far as Trump can.

Why The GOP Can't Trump Trump

The reason that the GOP can't outflank or co-opt Trump is because they've been pretending for a long time that their base didn't feel the way they did. Sure, having a horde of angry conservatives was a good way to beat Democrats--to stoke turn-out--to create safe House Districts. It was also a, well, a bit of a problem from time to time (government shutdowns, Todd Akins, and so on).

But mostly it was manageable. The GOP Establishment got Romney nominated and he wasn't an embarrassment. They gained the Senate in one of the lowest turn-out elections in modern history. The Chamber of Commerce was concerned about anti-immigrant sentiment--but, hey: Omelets, Eggs.

The problem comes when The Base feels heard. Ted Cruz, for all his recent dramatics, was a fairly well controlled demon: he could appeal to the GOP Base's appetite for war--but (a) his power was limited and (b) there was only so far he, himself, was willing to go (he voted for the TPP, for example). Cruz wasn't running a scorched earth campaign.

But he is now. He has to. Anyone up against Trump--except maybe Jeb, who is not appealing to The Base--has to. This is because while news like the boy scouts re-alignment continues to dribble in, and real-politik demands that the Senate do things like pass the Iran deal (which may or may not happen--but the vote on this really happened a while back)--and the Highway Bill (needed infrastructure) then conservatives who only see things in terms of pro-Obama or anti-Obama will feel continually defeated and victimized.

The fact that their leaders really cannot protect them from these things has never, ever been explained to them. From every blog-writer and talk-radio host to every Fox News talking head, people who are directly interacting with The Base have told them what they wanted--needed--to hear: that there was hope so long as their leaders were rock-ribbed enough.

They were never told their perspective on governing was basically unworkable. They were never told that the GOP housed some serious racists under its big-tent. This could never be said because it would be fatally wounding. The problem is that now The Base has a champion in Donald Trump: and he's thus far found a way to say exactly what they want to hear. This makes him very, very unpopular with a lot of people--but for an enraged base, they either have to hear it from their leaders--or they'll keep supporting Trump.

And that's the problem: what they want to hear isn't actually a governing solution. What the Mark Levins and Rush Limbaughs of the world (and even to a smaller degree the Jazz Shaws and Noah Rothmans) have been selling is a fantasy of righteous victimization and coming (always coming) dominance when Their Leaders are finally empowered.

Well, that's what Trump is--empowered, conservative (real or not, he's hitting all the right notes)--and now . . . they don't like it.

Who would have thought it??

A Note On Trump 'Raping' His Wife

The Omnivore is pretty sure that the latest Trump-tastrophe of his ex-wife saying she felt violated by him and Trump's lawyer saying "you can't rape your wife" won't bring him down. Why not? Well, folks, two reasons:
  1. Trump didn't say it--and like it or not, that matters. After all, much as we might like to think it would, Obama's pastor saying all kinds of anti-American bullshit didn't bring him down. Voters who like a candidate will dismiss/forgive anything that didn't come directly out of their mouth . . . and even then . . . 
  2. The Omnivore suspects that The Base either agrees that you can't really rape your wife (or, at least, that your wife feeling "violated"--but not in a criminal sense--doesn't count).
In any event, this will be solid gold with the women's vote next November--no matter how it plays out. Especially as The Omnivore thinks that with a non-negligible sub-set of Trump supporters, this window into Trump's gender relations will probably help him.

1 comment:

  1. So the next entry in this series might be titled "What to do about the Base?", as that is the real challenge facing the Right. 'Compromise' not in the Base's lexicon, though maybe 'Divorce' is...going to go refill my popcorn bowl now.