Lion of the Blogosphere

Liberal MSM conventional wisdom and the GOPe

Liberal Nicholas Kristof writes in NY Times op-ed:

In part, I think, Republican leaders brought this on themselves. Over the decades they pried open a Pandora’s box, a toxic politics of fear and resentment, sometimes brewed with a tinge of racial animus, and they could never satisfy the unrealistic expectations that they nurtured among supporters.

. . .

The Republican establishment profited from the insinuations that Obama is a Muslim, that he’s anti-American, that his health care plan would lead to “death panels.”

. . .

This is a theme of a smart new book by E.J. Dionne Jr., “Why the Right Went Wrong,” who argues that Republican leaders repeatedly made unrealistic pledges — of smaller government, preservation of bygone values and an end to demographic change. “The history of contemporary American conservatism is a story of disappointment and betrayal,” he writes, and that helps explain the disenchantment with the Republican establishment.

This is the liberal MSM conventional wisdom. Zillions of liberal MSM political commentators other than Kristof have written similar things.

Just as I predicted that a Romney loss would cause the GOPe to accept the conventional wisdom that they need to be more pro-Hispanic to win elections (a strategy they failed to follow through on because of too much opposition to it from the more hardcore conservative elements), I predict that after the GOPe capitulates to Trump as the nominee, they will accept this liberal MSM conventional wisdom about why they lost control of the party.

* * *

Once again, to be clear, I don’t agree with Kristof, but I predict that GOPe will come to agree with him, because the GOPe always capitulates to the liberal world-view after losing.

* * *

And by “capitulate,” I mean that’s when the GOPe finally stops believing that Trump is magically going to disappear and that Rubio, Bush or Kasich will be nominated. Once they come to believe that Trump is the nominee and they can’t stop it, that’s when they will need an explanation for what went wrong, and they will accept the Kristof explanation.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 11, 2016 at 11:09 am

Posted in Politics

72 Responses

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  1. If the GOPe capitulates to Trump it only means that the true anti-establishment candidate is Cruz. Trump supporters never explain how Trump can be so revolutionary (in the good sense of that term) and at the same time have so many establishment figures of both the left and the right say that a Trump presidency would be better from their perspective than a Cruz presidency. Jimmy Carter recently made a comment that he preferred a Trump win because Donald doesn’t have any firm beliefs. This is proof that the Trump voters are being swayed by emotion. I agree that we need to shake things up politically, I just don’t think that Trump can be trusted to be the one who’ll do it. Just look at how many people, even on this website, are defending Trump’s vulgarity – as if the vulgarity is a necessary part of his message rather than just something designed to entertain his audience.


    February 11, 2016 at 11:31 am

    • Trump has a mandate to do something about immigration, which is the most important issue. Most of the other “conservative” issues like outlawing abortion and low estate taxes for the top 0.1% are stupid.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    • Maryk, the essence of great dealmaking, the kind that Trump speaks about at every opportunity, is to get what you want while making everyone else leave the room thinking they won.

      Andrew E.

      February 11, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      • Trump is not going to run the government like it’s his own corporation. And I resent his constant attempts to pretend he’s a social conservative by talking about trivia like whether department stores have signs saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” He also is lying though his teeth about having a change of heart on abortion. He apparently thinks the base is stupid enough to believe that he changed to a pro-life position because a young man he knows who is now a resounding success was almost aborted by his parents. As if everyone who supports abortion thinks “that’s OK, none of those aborted fetuses would have grown up to be successful anyway.” Trump has so little respect for the base that he didn’t even take the time to come up with what sounded like a plausible reason for changing his position.

        Trump has caused me to do something I never thought possible – develop a respect for Rudy Giuliani. At least Giuliani didn’t think the base was completely gullible.


        February 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      • Maryk,

        What you do not seem to realize is that social conservatives have never actually, truly engaged against the Left because they never developed the same hatred toward the Left that the Left has toward them. This is a struggle to the death with an implacable enemy that wants to see them dead, and social conservatives act as if this is a minor disagreement at a sock hop.


        February 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      • Maryk, you’re a dumb religious fool. Abortion is good for society. If only it was more acceptable among the lower classes then this countries future would be more secure. People like you who only think with emotion are the.problem with this country and you will destroy this country and western civilization unless you can be stopped.


        February 11, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      • ” He also is lying though his teeth about having a change of heart on abortion. He apparently thinks the base is stupid enough to believe that he changed to a pro-life position… ”

        Papa Bush was pro abortion and changed his position. Al Gore was anti abortion and changed his position. In both cases they changed their positions to suit the changing demographics and issues of their respective parties. Considering how abortion is the most meaningless of political issues*, what difference, at this point, does it make?

        * And what I mean is, the abortion position of Presidential candidates mean nothing when the issue is handled by the courts. It doesn’t matter what the President believes, he can’t do anything about it. Whether it’s Reagan or Obama in office, they have little power to do anything about it and it’s not worth voting over it.

        Mike Street Station

        February 11, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      • And Mitt Romney was pro-choice when he ran for governor of Massachusetts.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 11, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    • Just curious, other than his vulgar manner, why do you dislike Trump so much? What about his ideas do you disagree with?


      February 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      • She dislikes him because she is a SoCon first. She doesn’t care about America turning into Mexico, she cares about Christian identity politics.

        Otis the Sweaty

        February 11, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    • You say vulgarity is bad. Ok, definitely not ideal. But what about lying? You understand that Cruz lies when it’s convenient for him. He lied last night on Fox News about Trump’s positions. He lies in his campaign solicitations about not taking any money from lobbyists and special interests. He’s lied about his involvement in the election fraud in Republican Mississippi Senate primary race in 2014. He’s lied about his consistent opposition to the DC establishment when he cut a deal with McConnell to stay out of the 2014 election cycle in order to gain a blessing for a POTUS run in 2016. He says he had no idea he was a Canadian citizen until 18 months ago, and yet his birth records have been sealed by him for at least several years. He says he had no idea he had to report his loans on his FEC statements. He lies that the legal definition of natural born citizen is settled law. Come on.

      Andrew E.

      February 11, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      • Actually Cruz lies all the time, convenient or not. I’ll look some of them up and post them here for MaryK’s perusal.

        “Trump is not going to run the government like it’s his own corporation.”
        LOL, do you think running a real estate corp. in NY State is, like, a free ride? I will post again the link to the article in the LA Times how difficult it is. You make it sound as if running a corporation is like riding a bicycle in a vacuum.

        ” And I resent his constant attempts to pretend he’s a social conservative by talking about trivia like whether department stores have signs saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” ”

        What constant attempts? Everyone admits he’s not a social conservative. Everyone. Some of us like that. You don’t. Fine. But he doesn’t pretend to be anything he isn’t.

        “He also is lying though his teeth about having a change of heart on abortion.”
        For the dopes in Iowa. I’ll cut him some slack on that, like I’ll cut FDR slack for saying he would lie about anything to win WWII. We are in a war, MaryK.


        February 11, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    • “Trump supporters never explain how Trump can be so revolutionary (in the good sense of that term) and at the same time have so many establishment figures of both the left and the right say that a Trump presidency would be better from their perspective than a Cruz presidency. Jimmy Carter recently made a comment that he preferred a Trump win because Donald doesn’t have any firm beliefs.”

      Who are these “so many Establishment figures”? Jimmy Carter? That’s one. And he’s not really Establishment. He’s an ex-President who has done nice things and is not part of any power structure.

      Name a few more.

      No firm beliefs? How the hell many times does Trump have to say, “I’m going to build a big, beautiful wall” before you conceded he means what he says? Do you remember back when Macy’s wanted to break their contracts with them? When Bill De Blasio said NYC was going to break city contracts with him? And Trump told them he had lawyers too, go suck it.

      There’s an article in Politico that states that he’s been saying the same thing since 1987.

      Look, you don’t like Trump and that is OK. I dislike a lot of his act as well. All you talk about is Trump’s vulgarity. That’s your right. But please be factual, otherwise STFU.


      February 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    • I don’t think the Establishment consensus is that a Trump presidency is better than a Cruz presidency. I think the consensus is that Cruz can’t win a general election whereas Trump has a chance. Therefore, if the choice must be between Trump and Cruz, they choose Trump. I think they’re right.

      Great Again

      February 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      • I can’t understand why so many people insist that Cruz is unelectable. He’s a Reaganite conservative. Reagan got elected twice. Receiving the support of the evangelicals doesn’t mean someone is going to lose centrist voters. The Christian Right has been in politics for over 35 years and has never caused the defeat of a Republican nominee by taking him too far to the right. It’s true that America isn’t as white as it was in1 980 and 1984, but conservatism is actually a lot less radical-looking than it was back then. People keep assuming that Trump can win a general election. But before last month, Trump has never won any votes anywhere. And the polls indicate that Trump would LOSE a general election. Voting for a president who has never held any government/military position before is quite a radical move. I can’t figure out why so many people think the voters will be willing to do it. There is no evidence of a Trump juggernaut (is that the right word?) He’s proven he’s a serious contender for the nomination, but that’s all he’s done so far. Drawing huge crows (or even “yuuuge” crowds) doesn’t prove anything. Anyone entertaining can draw crowds.


        February 11, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      • Reagan won because he was a genuinely likeable guy. Cruz is the opposite. The he only inspires passion in hardcore conservatives. Moderates and undecideds will vote for Bernie or Hillary.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 11, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      • Yes, Cruz comes across as a condescending D-bag, who knows what’s best for everyone. Trump is only flamboyant and arrogant, by stating questions that his constituents would want to hear and get an answer.


        February 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      • Because it isn’t Reagan’s America anymore, Romney would have won a greater landslide than Reagan if America had the same demographics as then. What the hell can republicans offer non-asian minorities that democrats can’t? The only republican who can concievably offer them something different is Trump.

        With the thoughts you'd be thinkin

        February 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      • “Trump is only flamboyant and arrogant”

        Trump is always insisting that people who disagree with him are “stupid.” This is a thing he’s said over and over again. Yet he isn’t being condescending? Cruz is not nearly as condescending as Trump. Many people here dislike Cruz largely because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of a Christian conservative and a Southern evangelical. He’s too educated, intelligent, and well-spoken. Hard to say someone lacks intelligence when he’s referred to as “off the charts brilliant” and he graduated from Harvard.

        And Lion is not remembering the early Reagan years the way they really were.=. Reagan was not considered likeable. Nor did he win in a landslide in 1980 – Carter simply went down to about 43% of the vote because he was seen as a disaster the country needed to get rid of. In 1980 many people predicated that Reagan, seen then as a corny movie-actor turned Governor, was too far right to win the presidency. The bipartisan view we have of Reagan now took years to develop.

        Also, if the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders (a very real possibility) does anyone here think that he would beat Cruz? We’re talking about a Democratic Socialist. If we’re at the point where a socialist can defeat a Reaganite Republican, then I don’t see what good politics can do us anymore.


        February 11, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      • Demographics have changed. Reagan’s base can’t elect a president anymore. The white people who elected Reagan died and didn’t have enough kids, even as Reagan flooded the country with immigrants after his amnesty.

        You can’t get enough white voters to make the Reagan coalition work without the Trump Supporters who are Royally pissed at Cruz and other Bush administration politicians.


        February 11, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    • Cruz is not anti-establishment because he holds anti-establishment views. He is anti-establishment because he does not play by the genteel rules of the Senate. He gores oxes in an attempt to build a political polarity around himself, similar to what Rod Blagojevich tried to do in Chicago.

      The genteel rules of the Senate means every Senator and his constituency gets what it wants. Horse trading is made so that everyone is made better off without being made materially worse off. So a Republican Ted Cruz may tell his Democrat counterpart that said Democrat’s policy may make his group badly off now, so if he wants to get something that helps blacks, then cattle ranchers need to be made better off at some point in the future. The real Ted Cruz does not do that and that annoys his colleagues.

      The problem is that none of this principled opposition seems to translate into immigration wins or other conservative gains so for what purpose Ted Cruz is burning bridges is unclear.

      Trump definitely does have an immigration and trade agenda that he’s offered to follow through on in exchange for being president. And he is willing to do deals which seems attractive to sitting politicians. The problem is that these politicians probably greatly overestimate their own deal-making ability in relationship to Trump. They are used to making deals with wealthy and powerful businessmen on the other side of the table usually asking the politician to do something for them. This is not really deal-making but is instead simply allocating political favors to bids. The politician is really a market maker clearing political trades and just getting his cut.

      Trump is not going to be on the other side of any table. He doesn’t need to build political connections. He does not have to worry about having work outside of office when he is termed out. He doesn’t need to lay the groundwork for a career just to have additional money, like the Clinton’s did. He already has connections and he is already wealthy. He is in an enormously powerful position to wreak havoc on the political establishment in ways completely unforeseen.

      The fact that a milquetoast like Jimmy Carter thinks he can “deal” with Trump is due to an arrogance that presumes an equality between the two that does not exist. politicians are going to learn that the hard way once Trump shares the same office space they do.


      February 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      • Very well put.

        At this point, MaryK is simply trolling. When she says something substantive, I’ll respond to it.

        For now, I think everyone should read this article:

        Trump is a very calculating guy, who has accomplished enormous deals in a very tough environment.

        Take a look at Cruz’s Princeton roommate’s twitter feed. Cruz is simply a prick, always has been. Not one real friend in the world. Not one accomplishment.

        Comparing Cruz to Reagan is simply delusional. Reagan was the President of SAG, Governor of CA twice. Cruz? What’s he done. As for the political environment now – gemember the USSR? Geez.


        February 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      • Isn’t Gothamette, El Doctora Jekyll de Señora MaryK?


        February 11, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    • I think the establishment is just beginning to see what’s coming: Trump is probably going to win and Cruz doesn’t have a path to the nomination. If the establishment wants to live, it has to do like the Catholic Church, adapt.


      February 11, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    • Pro abortion politics have gotten so extreme that you can be pro life and still allow for some abortion.


      February 11, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    • All ideologists- left and “right”- believe that having firm beliefs, or commitment to an abstract ideology, is important. But it is not. Abstract models are useful to a certain extent but only to that extent, after which they become foolish. Practical, pragmatic thinking is the most functional and this is what Trump embodies. Carter seems to believe that a non-ideological Trump will be easily persuaded by ideological liberals, but this is the exact opposite of what is happening now.

      I’m getting tired of this “vulgarity” thing. Trump is not vulgar. The idea that you can only say things if they meet progressive tests of politeness is ridiculous, although adhered to by all socially acceptable persons.


      February 14, 2016 at 12:48 am

      • Well, I liked Romney’s presidential demeanor, but it was too high class to win the votes of white proles. Democracy, perhaps, is a race to the bottom.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 14, 2016 at 1:23 am

  2. “a Romney loss would cause the GOPe to accept the conventional wisdom that they need to be more pro-Hispanic to win elections”

    They never thought theyd win hispanic votes. They were trying to trick their base into believing it because that’s what their big money donors wanted.

    Kristol shouldn’t be so smug. Approximately 20% of Democrats said they’d vote Trump. Plus, Hillary is getting schlonged by the anti-establishment candidate on their side. The voters on both sides are fed up.


    February 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

    • “Hillary is getting schlonged by the anti-establishment candidate on their side.”

      It sure was fun watching Bernie schlong that shrill yenta. I realize it’s unrealistic, but I’m allowing myself to hope that Bernie might win the nomination if the only people who will show up to vote for Hillary are women over the age of 65. Bernie really needs blacks to start supporting him. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently said that he’s vote for him. Unfortunately, black people have no idea who Ta-Nehisi Coates is.

      I also think Trump could do a little better with voter outreach. Sure, he’s wildly popular with minorities, but that’s no reason not to reach out to other marginalized groups. He could do well with trans men. Any group of people who are regularly giving themselves testosterone injections would be receptive to Trump’s message of strength and courage.


      February 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      • “He could do well with trans men. ”

        Do you even math, bro? Only like 1 in 10,000 play-act at that particular fantasy. The only reason that vanishingly small group is even noticed is SJW status preening.


        February 11, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    • Speaking of schlonged, it is interesting that if only Trump had said BHO ‘screwed’ Hillary instead, nobody would have even noticed. They have exactly the same meaning. I’m not sure where ‘porked’ falls on the continuum this week. Won’t some celebrity venture into those waters and tell us exactly how much trouble to expect for saying ‘she got totally porked’? There’s just not much data on that one. Meanwhile the f-word seems relatively innocuous, at least in terms of SJW outrage. Nobody seems to get about ‘dicked’ either, another common turn of phrase.

      I think its because ‘schlong’ contains the word ‘long’. That just adds insult to injury especially when you draw it out.


      February 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

  3. It really is amazing to read. The left honestly believes that the GOPe created Trumpism and the Tea Party by playing to it when in fact Trumpism is just a rebellion against the GOPe’s open borders agenda.

    Otis the Sweaty

    February 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    • Its retarded.

      “sometimes brewed with a tinge of racial animus”

      “Sometimes” there is a “tinge”.

      If we have learned anything, its that the voter pay no attention to almost anything.
      People blow millions with no effect.

      Kristoff’s analysis is stupid, there is no evidence that any of the bogey men he imagines caused anything.
      Really this is just another excuse to shut down speech that liberals dont like.

      Lion of the Turambar

      February 11, 2016 at 1:59 pm

  4. Over at Sailer’s, Kristof is probably the chief ongoing joke. Amazing that you take him seriously. The reason he can never say anything trenchant about the Repubs is that he can’t admit what his own party is all about –
    exempting blacks from all civilized norms. Once you admit that, there’s nothing “toxic” about the Willie Horton ad, which is what’s been bothering him all these years.

    ethically grown

    February 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    • I don’t take him seriously, but I believe that the GOPe will take this analysis seriously, which is not limited to just Kristof it’s what many other MSM types are saying.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      • Who gives a shit what Kristof thinks? If he didn’t exist, Sailer would have to invent him.


        February 11, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      • That’s because they are almost all the same Generic White Guy!

        GOPe, Democrats, columnists – it’s the same guy, the same face, the same bodytype.

        Generic, unmanly, White male stiffs.

        They are just fans of different teams. Same sport.


        February 11, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      • Rifleman — That’s very true. They’re the same damn guy. The sad part is that even when someone starts out sincere, by the time they reach the higher levels they’ve become that guy, too. Even the Tea Party groups are starting to get co-opted by the establishment.


        February 12, 2016 at 3:26 am

  5. Watch Amnesty Wars, a PBS frontline documentary.

    The GOPe passed amnesty in the Senate (and Cruz was not able to do shit to stop it), and it had the votes to pass amnesty in the House. Fox News buried the amnesty debates with “look a squirrel.” And the Republican politicians in the house (and Marco Rubio) were scurrying around deliberately lying to the public.

    The man who stopped amnesty was Dave Brat & his overthrow of Cantor on the amnesty issue.

    So don’t say the Republicans didn’t try amnesty after the 2012 election.

    Hell, Jeb’s strategy is based on Republicans winning over the new entrants to the country after the courts implement Obamas executive amnesty.


    February 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

  6. “This is a theme of a smart new book by E.J. Dionne Jr., “Why the Right Went Wrong,” who argues that Republican leaders repeatedly made unrealistic pledges — of smaller government, preservation of bygone values and an end to demographic change. ”

    When did Republican leaders promise “an end to demographic change”?!? I somehow missed that.


    February 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm

  7. GOPe’s amnesty strategy makes absolutely no sense…the GOP was becoming the majority party through the 1980s and early 1990s and threw it all away with amnesty, refugee and illegal alien welcoming policies.

    Utterly senseless…truly: the Republicans are the stupid party.

    FB (Former Beta)

    February 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

  8. Liberals are classic Freudian projectors.

    It is they who brew fear and resentment among minorites and women ALL THE TIME that they don’t blink at the latest hate-whitey conference or MURDER of whites. To them, that kind of fear and hatred is NORMAL (and even good). The “average white guy” that the Left demonizes is basically a pretty friendly and hardworking guy/shlub who wonders why everyone thinks he’s evil incarnate for EVER trying to assert his own tiniest interest.

    All the loser Republicans and cucks were trying to stupidly achieve was an “equal playing field” for all. The libs wanted total power and endless grievance/victim politics and shakedowns.


    February 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

  9. In fact, it’s kind of fun to read Kristof, how clueless he is. Let him rot in his cluelessness.


    February 11, 2016 at 12:57 pm

  10. I agree with what Ace of Spades said. Too bad the GOPe won’t listen to it.

    I do not hate everything about the Establishment. I am, psychologically, kind of inclined to be an Establishment/corporate sort of guy. I’m not proud of that, but I am.

    Yet they have completely alienated me.

    I will repeat I point I made 20 times in 2014 and 2015: A political coalition is in fact a coalition. That means we agree, mutually, to advance each other’s interests, and not actively thwart each other’s interests.

    That means that the Establishment does not get to run the entire show, and get everything it wants, and block the Tea Party/grassroots from having anything they want, and attempt (successfully) to squelch and block every single Tea Party candidate.

    That means that the Establishment does not get to run on Tea Party rhetoric for three months every two years and then pursue nothing but Establishment agenda items for the next twenty one months, while frequently demeaning the Tea Party as “crazy” and “wacko birds.”

    This is a presidential nomination, but it is also an armed negotiation. We have tried persuasion; we have tried submission. We have tried everything, in fact, short of insurrection, and I guess, all other options having failed, we’re left with that one.

    I would not mind being in a coalition with the Establishment again: But it must be a coalition. The GOP cannot exist for very long as a vehicle for such a small cohort of the country’s population, while throwing out meaningless rhetorical chum for the Dummies they think will keep voting them power.

    It is too late for any negotiations this presidential cycle — no, we’re not going to agree to Rubio based upon some very-late-in-the-game, completely-insincere-promises.

    However, going forward, the Establishment may want to consider some consultation with, power sharing with, trade-of-priorities with, and basic respect for the Ugly Stupid Ill-Educated Unfashionable voters they trick into voting for them every two years.

    Or else this thing just ain’t gonna work, and it ain’t gonna be around much longer.


    February 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

  11. “a smart new book by E.J. Dionne Jr.”

    Wow, never thought I’d see THOSE words put in that particular order. Sheesh. But I guess one Liberal dummy thinks the other Liberal dummy is smart because he tells him what he already believes, for the umpteenth time.

    “…who argues that Republican leaders repeatedly made unrealistic pledges — of smaller government, preservation of bygone values and an end to demographic change. “The history of contemporary American conservatism is a story of disappointment and betrayal,” he writes”

    Well he is certainly right about the “betrayal” part. But of course he’s wrong about “unrealistic.” Really? All those ideas were and are totally “realistic,” it’s just that Republicans were lying about them. Conventional wisdom types like Dionne and Kristof take a lot of things at face value, but it’s all one gigantic facade. I’m never quite sure if they are utterly cynical — understand it’s all fake but just play their part in the game for wealth and access — or if they are really that foolish and naive.


    February 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

  12. I doubt it. That would require the GOP establishment to admit they were at fault, first of all. Beyond that, it asks that they agree that they deliberately stirred up fear, bigotry and racism in order to win power, and I don’t for a moment believe that the GOPe feels that way about themselves. Does David Brooks see himself as a neoWallace race-baiter? Come on.

    They spun 2012 as a failure caused by not achieving amnesty, the policy the GOPe wanted anyway. They’ll spin 2016 as a failure caused by Trump’s celebrity power mesmerizing the masses, Bush fatigue (they’re already conceding they made a bad bet by going with Jeb first rather than Rubio or Kasich), the moderate wing crab-bucketing each other (the hate for Christie is bitter right now), and …… not achieving amnesty. “If only Dubya had had the moral courage to pass immigration reform when he had a Democratic Congress!”


    February 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

  13. What is wrong with Dionne claiming conservatives feel “disappointed” and “betrayed” because the party has failed on its promises? What is the explanation on this board for the establishment’s loss of control?

    As Brooks and others will point out, the GOP has almost never been a governing party (their membership only exceeded Democrats shortly after 9/11). Since Ronald Reagan it’s been an uneasy ideological alliance marrying wealthy interests with religious fundamentalists. The latter pledge their votes, and get almost nothing in return; the country has become increasingly socially liberal on almost all issues except firearms and abortion (though the pro-choice side remains relatively dominant and abortion is not going away any time soon).

    The Republican Party has been quite successful on the state level. They control many state houses and governor mansions, but it’s going to be tough to create a national coalition, especially considering Republicans tend to engage in more ideological politics (whereas Democrats are the party of transactional politics). The Electoral College, which used to be an advantage, is now arguably a disadvantage as traditional red states have started to purple, Virginia and North Carolina in particular.

    A political scientist buddy of mine thinks Trump exposes the “fact” most Republicans are not ideologues, and a strong, narcissistic personality will prevail over the abstract reasoning of movement conservatives at the National Review. After all, Trump opposes free-trade and says he wants to tax the wealthy. I say Trump may appeal to that part of the electorate, but it won’t be enough.


    February 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm

  14. In my view Trump is following in the footsteps of previous outsiders like George Wallace.

    Wallace as governor of Alabama was famous in 1963 for drawing a line in the sand with “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” He ran in the Democratic presidential primary in 1964 and as a 3rd party candidate in 1968 on anti-integration platforms.

    In 1972 Wallace again ran in Democratic presidential primary, but he then said he no longer supported segregation. While he was now in favor of integration, he was still strongly opposed to busing to integrate schools. Wallace did well in southern primaries, winning big in Florida. His campaign was effectively ended by an assassination attempt in May 1972 that left him in a wheel chair. He did, however, win the Maryland and Michigan primaries while he was in the hospital recovering.

    In the 1960s and early 1970s the South was dominated by Democratic politicians, because Lincoln had been a Republican. Republican politicians studied Wallace’s success in 1972, the language that he used, and how he framed issues. Nixon, Reagan and many others took a lot of those ideas and incorporated them into their message. This was the cornerstone of Reagan’s appeal to blue collar Democrats.

    While in the 1970s school busing was a hot button racial issue for whites, today that is not an issue. There have long been substantial Spanish speaking Hispanic populations in the southwest and California, where I now live, but at the time I grew up in the Midwest, everybody spoke perfect English. Today in the Midwest, if you go to Walmart, you can hear shoppers speaking Spanish. That is causing a lot of angst among whites that they are being displaced by illegal Mexicans. Trump is capitalizing on that anxiety far more openly than any other candidate.

    There has for many years been an anti-immigration faction in the Republican party, but the business wing of the Republican has been pro-immigration. Reagan was able to support an amnesty program for illegals, but the spread of the Hispanic across most of the country has made the Republican base much more anti-immigration. Meanwhile the business elites and big money donors are still strongly pro-immigration.

    All political big parties are always coalitions of groups with different issues and sometimes these groups are in conflict about issues. The Democratic party had huge internal conflicts over integration in the 1960s that largely resulted in all Southern Democrats and some Northern working class Democrats moving over to the Republican party. Today the Democratic party has internal conflicts over immigration also. Blacks are not really supportive of illegal immigration because they view those immigrants as costing them jobs.

    Both parties have internal conflicts over immigration. I suspect a strongly anti-immigration position is not going to be a deal breaker for the business community as long as the Republicans cut their taxes and reduce regulation.


    February 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

  15. I thought you were predicting a Trump victory in the general. Also you need to flesh out what it means for Republicans to accept Kristof’s opinion. Are they gonna stop promising those things or are they going to make good on the promises? If it’s the former they need to figure out what they’ll promise instead. Low taxes for the rich, regulation favorable to big businesses, and cutting medicare/social security aren’t very popular. Ironically opening the border is probably the most popular thing republican elites actually want. They can’t respond by actually keeping their previous promises because Trump will have been by far the candidate most likely to keep them and in this scenario he lost.

    Lloyd Llewellyn

    February 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

  16. Isn’t this the Kristof that is married to a nice asian lady?


    February 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

  17. Oi because people are incapable of thinking things unless a politician tells them it’s okay…. typical asinine liberal.


    February 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm

  18. You really should pay more attention to the internecine battle in the Dem. party. They are having a genuine race war with social progs (white) vs. blacks. It’s unbelievable how they are treating Sanders, a decent racial liberal if ever there was one — a Jew from Brooklyn — dismissing the fact that he marched on Washington, etc.

    It’s all clear to me now. The media are playing up his NH win because they love a good story, but he will get slaughtered in SC and anywhere there are black votes. The reason is that he is running an insurgency against the Dem. status quo. Well gues what, blacks are the Dem. status quo, and they won’t give up power.

    This is great for Trump, but I worry that we really will get that race war the alt-right is salivating over.


    February 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    • White liberals finally get mad at the blacks for ruining things (by voting against Sanders)? No way, never going to happen.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 11, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      • You obviously haven’t seen any Bernie supporters. They are absolutely insane. When the blacks steal his nomination, they are going to get ugly.

        Otis the Sweaty

        February 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      • Agreed. The infighting among the left is really nasty. All kinds of sexism and anti-semitism is now oozing out now… the same stuff they accuse Republicans of. I predict regardless of who wins the Democratic primary, turn-out will be low due to 1/3 of the party staying home in November. The question is which 1/3.

        Bilbo Baggins

        February 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      • Bernie supporters aren’t nice white liberals. They are young, passionate – and they owe shit tons of money. They don’t owe anything to blacks, they don’t even *think* they do. They owe to banks. He’s their guy, and he is gonna get slaughtered by the sea hag and her black firewall.


        February 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      • The believe they have “white privilege.”

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 11, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      • @Otis, are you saying that blacks are going to steal the nomination, or that Bernie’s supporters think that?


        February 11, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      • They’re too chickenshit and too cucked to cross swords with blacks. When Proposition 8 passed a few years ago, it was hilarious to go on forums and watch liberals tearing their hair out. They were lashing out almost indiscriminately, even against Hispanics, despite that group being only maybe 3 points less in favor of gay marriage than white voters. But none of them had the stomach to get riled up against blacks, who had voted 75-25 against gay marriage when everyone else was more or less 51-49 in favor, thus all by themselves ending gay marriage in California.

        If he loses Sanders supporters will flip out for sure, but their targets will be safe white scapegoats like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Gloria Steinem. We already saw how things are going to be in those photos of Bernie ducking his head submissively while Black Lives Matters agitators stormed his stage and took away his podium.


        February 11, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      • “When Proposition 8 passed a few years ago, it was hilarious to go on forums and watch liberals tearing their hair out. They were lashing out almost indiscriminately, even against Hispanics, despite that group being only maybe 3 points less in favor of gay marriage than white voters. But none of them had the stomach to get riled up against blacks, who had voted 75-25 against gay marriage when everyone else was more or less 51-49 in favor, thus all by themselves ending gay marriage in California.”

        Heh that was true. If memory serves, the gays took it out on Mormons, and the typical leftist figured out a way to blame just Republicans and white churchgoers; the real enemy.

        Mike Street Station

        February 12, 2016 at 6:26 am

    • @ Otis,

      I suspect their reaction will be similar to when a gay marriage proposal was knocked back in California, in part by minority group opposition. Liberals will channel their rage at the usual bad guys. As Jonathan Haidt points out, criticising minorities is a taboo so they’ll distort evidence to avoid doing so.


      February 11, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    • Hillary’s team of Brock and Blumenthal and others need to make her the “black candidate” and make sure everybody but the bernieoids among the White left see Bernie as the “white male privilege” candidate.

      They need to turn Bernie into a johnnycomelately who represents only White college kids.


      February 11, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    • Its pretty clear that the Lion doesn’t understand Bernie supporters and the divide on the left.

      The left is divided between the SJW/Vox/Salon/New Republic faction, which is the Democratic party establishment, and the Bernie faction.

      The Democratic establishment is essentially indistinguishable from the Republicans in terms of what both groups actually care about: crony capitalism and open borders. Where both groups differ is what they throw out to their respective bases. The Dem establishment throws out SJW stuff, higher minimum wages and spending bills and the Republicans do Benghazi hearings and defund Planned Parenthood for their own base.

      Well just like the Trump faction of the GOP is no longer willing to satiated with crumbs from the GOPe, the Bernie faction also wants real reform. Bernie supporters will generally give lip service to SJW causes but, at the end of the day they are middle class SWPLs who don’t really care much about such issues. But while they might not be passionate about “social justice”, they are extremely passionate about “economic justice”.

      Gothamette: yes I am saying that blacks will steal the nomination from Bernie. Bernie has the support of the majority of non black Democrats, or at least close to the majority, but he can’t win because black voters will vote as a bloc for Clinton.

      And when it happens, the Bernie supporters are going to be pissed. They will feel, correctly, that the top and the bottom have teamed up against the middle.

      Otis the Sweaty

      February 12, 2016 at 11:01 am

  19. The latest post on the Dilbert blog says of Trump, “I don’t even share his politics on a number of topics,” but then goes on to argue at length that Trump’s positions are reasonable and basically come down to “protecting American citizens from non-citizens,” which is “the job description of the President of the United States.” He also says positive things about him on the basis of “where I grew up…”

    Maybe he really is a Trump-supporter, and keeps saying “but I don’t agree with him” simply because agreeing with Trump is viewed as low-class by his audience.


    February 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    • Scott Adams grew up prole in a small town. That’s why he likes Trump.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 11, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      • Scott Adams grew up prole in a small town. That’s why he likes Trump.

        So did Stephen King and Michael Moore and they HATE Trump and despise his supporters.


        February 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    • He loves Trump. He is just too much of a pussy to come out and say it.


      February 11, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    • ‘Fooled by Randomness’ & ‘Anti-Fragile’ author Nicholas Nassim Taleb is also something of a fan judging by his tweets. Particularly after Trump told Saudi Arabian prince that he wouldn’t be influencing the US with daddy’s money once Trump was President. Taleb suggests that Trump would actually be relatively risk averse given his background.


      February 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      • Taleb, as an outsider, sees little difference in the early career tracks of Barry Soetero and Donald Trump. Both were pampered prep school boys who got into, respectively, Harvard Law and Wharton without having to really work for it. Both made lots of money and lots of contacts in, respectively, the liberal worlds of community activism and real estate. They are different in other ways, though. And yes, one would be much more risk averse than the other. The guy who really does not like Saudis influencing the US with daddy’s money is the more risk averse one. From my point of view, another advantage Trump has is that he realizes how good life has been to him and he feels at least some compunction about allying with the cluelessly selfish pro-choice crowd.

        howitzer daniel

        February 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm

  20. “You obviously haven’t seen any Bernie supporters. They are absolutely insane. When the blacks steal his nomination, they are going to get ugly.”

    They’re already ugly, no pun intended. And sadly, they aren’t going to do anything, unless you consider whining on the interwebs as doing something. Seriously, what are they going to do as revenge, wreck Baltimore? Trash Detroit? Riot in Ferguson? Kick some bruthas around on mass transit?


    February 11, 2016 at 9:08 pm

  21. My personal opinion is the GOP leadership pooped on blue-collar whites for 40 years and they’re getting their comeuppance.


    February 11, 2016 at 9:40 pm

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