Noonan, "the Insider" gets it right, Gillespie, "the Outsider" also gets it right, but Jindal, and the crew at the WSJ miss the mark . . .
The Republican Party Is Shattering
. . . Trump is the mercenary, hired by the Republican rank and file to perform a necessary coup d'état.
"I’m interested in where we are. I think we are seeing a great political party shatter before our eyes. I’m not sure I see a way around or through. I said so on TV the other night and got a lot of responses on social media. They said: Good. They said, “They are corrupt,” and “I am through.” Good riddance to bad rubbish. Next.
I am not experiencing it that way. For me the Republican Party was always the vehicle of a philosophy, conservative political thought—no more, no less. I have the past 10 years been its critic on wars and immigration, on the establishment’s self-seeking and failures of imagination. And yet at the prospect of the party’s shattering I feel somewhat shattered too. So many lives, so much effort went into its making. “I am more faithful than I intended to be.'"
In her last column, Peggy wrote of the protected and unprotected and how Trump was Champion for the unprotected. While she is one of the protected, she is deeply empathetic, and compassionate, which has allowed her to see into the reality of what motivates people to vote Trump. Regardless, she remains one of the Republican elite, the protected.
"But we are witnessing history. Something important is ending. It is hard to believe what replaces it will be better.
No one knows where this goes. The top of the party and the bottom have split. They disagree on the essentials."
Even so, Peggy still seems to believe the shattering of the Republican party is philosophical, but it is not. That there is a different philosophy among the rank and file Republicans, and the elite Republicans is obvious, but it is not this separation which has caused the hiring of The Donald.
"The establishment was slow to see what was happening, slow to see Mr. Trump coming, in full denial as he continued to win. Their denial is self-indicting. They couldn’t see his appeal because they had no idea how their own people were experiencing America. I have been thinking a lot about establishments and elites. A central purpose of both, a prime responsibility, is to understand those who are not establishment and elite and look out for them, take care of them. Not in a government-from-on-high way, not with an air of noblesse oblige, but in a way that is respectfully attentive to the facts of their lives. You have a responsibility when you lead not to offend needlessly, not to impose realities you yourself can buy your way out of. You don’t privately make fun of people as knuckle-draggers, victims of teachers-union educations, low-information voters.
We had a low-information elite."
Precisely. The Republican party is a party run by a venal elite who will say to the primary voters whatever they wish to hear, but once elected, these elites will do something else entirely. This is performed callously, and obviously, so much so, that no one could miss the contempt the elites have for their voters. The elites are simply too stupid to realize that the voters understand this. It is an infantile tactic, which any parent will see through in a New York Minute. But until now, the parents, er, voters, thought they could correct this problem from within. No longer, they now understand that while Jeb Bush wished to believe he was the parent at the debate, he was simply the lackey, the lickspittle for the elite. So, the Republican rank, and file, tired of being lied to, quietly hired a Champion to slay the dragon, er, Republican elite.
"This column has been pretty devoted the past nine months to everything that gave rise to this moment, to Mr. Trump. His supporters disrespect the system—fair enough, it’s earned disrespect. They see Washington dysfunction and want to break through it—fair enough. In a world of thugs, they say, he will be our thug. Politics is a freak show? He’s our freak. They know they’re lowering standards by giving the top political job in America to a man who never held office. But they feel Washington lowered all standards first. They hate political correctness—there is no one in the country the past quarter-century who has not been embarrassed or humiliated for using the wrong word or concept or having the wrong thought—and see his rudeness as proof he hates PC too."
The elite could have corrected this problem years, even decades ago, but they did not. They were to smart to be outsmarted by the hoi polloi. They were full of hubris.
So the rank, and file hired Nemesis, er, The Donald.
Bill McGurn is a perceptive writer, and thinker, but in this piece he simply misses the point.
"The caution has to do with the limits of a personality-driven populism for effecting conservative change." But the entire reason for The Donald has nothing to do with conservative change, it has to do with changing the elite at the top of conservatism, and the Republican party. The policy arguments are long over, the elites won, but then continued to lie each election cycle to the hoi polloi about the "planks" of the party.
This is simply a remake of Aesop's fable of the ant and the grasshopper.
The Ant and the Grasshopper
In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest. 1
“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?” 2
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.” 3
“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “we have got plenty of food at present.”
But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food, and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:
“IT IS BEST TO PREPARE FOR THE DAYS OF NECESSITY.”
The Republican elite played, danced, and fiddled while attempting to only return to the graft, and corruption trough in politics. The hoi polloi were unswayed, and continued to toil and work towards the party goals. The Republican elite have frittered away the parties strength on their personal desires, and now is the day of reckoning. Unsurprisingly, like the grasshopper, this comes as a shock.
It also, apparently, comes as a shock that the rank, and file party members are disinterested in policy, and politics, and only really want to spend time with family, friends, and work, and so often need to be instructed and helped to understand the reasons for various policies. A primary duty the elites have ignored for decades in favor of the more enjoyable soirees, dinner parties, and other party "necessities."
Daniel Henninger is also a perceptive writer over at the WSJ, but he too is the protected, and has too little compassion to understand what is happening. Henninger believes It’s Time for The Speech. Apparently meaning it's time for one of the Republican elite candidates still in the running to give "the Speech."
"Every one of those big speeches in some way talked about breaking away from an unacceptable status quo. Donald Trump’s lone achievement has been to reveal that an unacceptable status quo exists. That is all he knows. He has created the opportunity for Messrs. Rubio or Cruz to clarify a major political moment, to help voters understand what is troubling America and to explain a way out of a destructive status quo."
Not one person in the hoi polloi who is on board with Trump could be persuaded to hang up Trump and let the Republican elite have another go at it to prove their willingness to turn over a new leaf. There are no naifs left in the hoi polloi. Henninger, however, is sufficiently the naif to believe Cruz, or Rubio giving a speech could alter the outcome. It cannot.
The insiders are too close to what is happening, too close to the elite, too attached to the elites positions, and policies to see clearly what is happening. They lack the empathy, and compassion of Noonan, and so are blinded to what the hoi polloi see so clearly. Dan Gillespie is not so close, however, and he provides the Republican elites with a tour of what has created the current war between the Republican hoi polloi and the Republican elites.
How Mitt Romney Is Totally Wrong About Donald Trump
"As longtime Republican consultant, no in-the-tank Trump loyalist Alex Castellanos recently wrote,
'Donald Trump whipped the establishment and it is too late for the limp GOP establishment to ask their mommy to step in and rewrite the rules because they were humiliated for their impotence.
If Trump is going to be our nominee, as I believe he is, it is our mission to support Trump and make him the best nominee and president possible.'
What both sides—conservatives who say they will NEVER vote for Trump under any circumstances and conservatives who will grudgingly fall in line—misunderstand is that Trump isn't a fraud perpetrated on the Republican Party, nor on the throngs of Republican primary voters who have propelled him to victory all over the place.
Put simply, Trump is the distillation of conservative Republican politics for all of the 21st century. He's not the cause of a GOP implosion, but the final effect of an intellectual and political hollowing-out of any semblance of commitment to limited government, individual rights, and free markets. He is what happens when you fail to live up to your rhetoric and aspirations again and again."
The quote within the quote of Castellanos, saying, "Donald Trump whipped the establishment and it is too late for the limp GOP establishment to ask their mommy to step in and rewrite the rules because they were humiliated for their impotence." Is doubly delicious, because it so quickly and succinctly refutes Junior's, er, Holman Jenkins, Jr.'s, statement to the opposite, but a few days ago.
"To be honest and impolitic, the Trump voter smacks of a child who unleashes recriminations against mommy and daddy because the world is imperfect."
Trump Voters Need a Mirror
Castellanos gets this right and Jenkins gets it wrong, badly. It is the Republican elite who could have addressed these issues years, or even decades ago, but who did not, who are now whinging about this horrible outcome, which they created.
As Gillespie just said, "Put simply, Trump is the distillation of conservative Republican politics for all of the 21st century. He's not the cause of a GOP implosion, but the final effect of an intellectual and political hollowing-out of any semblance of commitment to limited government, individual rights, and free markets. He is what happens when you fail to live up to your rhetoric and aspirations again and again."
Brilliant! Clear, honest, accurate, concise, and still no matter how many times the Republican elite read this, they will be incapable of understanding it.
From here Gillespie hews his way through he dense underbrush of Republican party hypocrisy, and lies pointing out each slogging step of the way why the hoi polloi are angry with the elites. It is a tour de force similar to Stanley hacking his way through deepest, darkest Africa to find Livingstone. Read it all, it is through and enlightening.
I was a Democrat in my deep youth, and a Republican a bit later, but I have walked away from both for their venality, hypocrisy, and their elites willingness to sacrifice all for one more go at the money trough, with its graft, and corruption
"M. Batbie, dans une lettre trop célèbre, citait un jour, pour expliquer ses variations personnelles et bizarres, ce paradoxe de Burke: « Celui qui n’est pas républicain à vingt ans fait douter de la générosité de son âme; mais celui qui, après trente ans, persévère, fait douter de la rectitude de son esprit." If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain
I have no love lost for The Donald. His policies, at first blush would be antithetical to my own, however, as we have seen recently, The Donald is quite amenable to maturation of his ideas through the expediency of change of mind. For all their whinging, and huffing perhaps the elites should spend more time helping The Donald fine tune his policy ideas to meet the ideals of both the hoi polloi, and the elites as much as possible. I expect the opposite, with insiders like Jenkins, and William Galston continuing to pettifog in an attempt to regain the throne for the Republican elites.
The ultimate questions is whether the Democrat party voters can be peeled away in the same manner as the Republican have been. It is clear that within the Democrat party there are just as many disaffected cliques, but it is not clear these cliques have the intestinal fortitude to act. The Democrats are the party for security in the political effort to position the liberty versus security slider. These are people who eschew risk, in favor of anything which resembles or can be spun to resemble security. However, The Donald has been quite adept at providing the hoi polloi with the assurances he will do what then need him to do. If he can do the same with the Democrat hoi polloi he might just strip some away.
What is clear is Hillary is not a candidate who generates a strong outpouring of affection, and good will from her followers. Instead her candidacy can best be described as acceptable provided one holds ones nose while throwing the voting lever.
So how does this all line out? Peggy has an idea:
"The GOP elite is about to spend a lot of money and hire a lot of talent, quickly, to try to kill Trump off the next two weeks. There will be speeches, ads—an onslaught. It will no doubt do Mr. Trump some damage, but not much.
It will prove to Trump supporters that what they think is true—their guy is the only one who will stand up to the establishment, so naturally the establishment is trying to kill him. And Trump supporters don’t seem to have that many illusions about various aspects of his essential character. One of them told me he’s “a junkyard dog.'"
Oh goody, we get a ringside seat to a knife fight between the washed up Republican elites, and a street brawler from the Queen's?! And the elites think this is their fight? Dude? Do you even know which end of the knife to hold?
And what do the Republican elite themselves have to say?
Bobby Jindal Republican governor, believes President Obama Created Donald Trump. Oh come on, really? That's your play? What we didn't get enough of President Feckless ODither blaming Bush? So now you blame him? Cue the theme music for the Republican elite.
Now this is entertainment!