GOP intelligentsia deeply offended and worried by Trumpism

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It has been fascinating to watch the conservative intelligentsia struggle with the phenomenon that is Donald Trump, the man whom Kevin Williamson of National Review dismisses as “a witless ape,” “a ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula,” “a reality-television grotesque with his plastic-surgery-disaster wife, grunting like a baboon about our country’s ‘brand’ and his own vast wealth.”¹

Williamson is not alone in his disdain. Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard has called Trump “a complete and utter disgrace. An embarrassment to humanity.” “Trump is a fascist,” says neocon historian Max Boot. “And that’s not a term I use loosely or often. But he’s earned it.”

The elite’s disgust is not limited to Trump. It is also directed at those who support him.

“If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling….,” writes Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Trump is a loudmouth vulgarian appealing to quieter vulgarians. These vulgarians comprise a significant percentage of the GOP base. The leader isn’t the problem. The people are. It takes the demos to make the demagogue.”

Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard reaches a similar conclusion, expressing deep frustration that the GOP base has slipped the leash and no longer obeys its betters. Under the arrangement in effect until now, Cost writes, “The party voters possess the formal power to decide, but there is a vast infrastructure of donors, strategists, and insiders — an elite establishment — whose job is to control informally the people’s decision.”

According to Cost, that “informal control” wielded by the elite establishment was made possible and necessary by the fact that “a vast swath of the GOP primary electorate … pay scant attention to the details of politics.” And as he makes clear, the conservative elite has been just fine with that arrangement. They controlled the information flow, they decided what was ideologically acceptable. It worked because the base trusted the elite to guide them; the elite trusted the base to follow them.

But in a world of Fox News, social media, talk radio and profit-driven rabble-rousers disguised as Tea Party tribunes of the people, the party elite no longer serve that function. They have lost control, and the resulting sense of desperation is palpable. Judging from their rhetoric, it’s as if the barbarians are at the gate.

Before Christmas, for example, Trump announced that he admires the leadership style of Vladimir Putin, a fascistic sentiment that had been getting significant traction on the right for months before Trump voiced it. Even when it was pointed out that Putin’s leadership style includes the murder and incarceration of his critics, including journalists, Trump brushed such transgressions aside with the observation that “at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

That sent Charles C.W. Cooke at National Review into another operatic anti-Trump screed:

“This, it should go without saying, is a disgrace of the highest order. It would, of course, be unseemly to hear anybody in the United States downplaying the murder of dissenters. But a presidential aspirant? In the Republican Party?

… This will not ‘finish’ Trump off, of course, for Trump is the focal point in what has essentially become an unfalsifiable conspiracy theory in which the “establishment” is always wrong and Trumpism is always the solution. Facts, frankly, no longer enter into this calculation; reason, too, has become an afterthought.”

Cooke’s sense of despair is pretty clear, and I suspect it was compounded rather than eased after reading the comments section to his own article.²

I do give Cooke and others credit for this much. Sure, their anger at Trump is based in part on their own loss of influence. Trump’s ascension has also exposed the fact that the modern conservative movement is grounded not in the lofty principles of Edmund Burke and William F. Buckley, as they liked to assume, but instead in anti-intellectualism, fear and resentment. And in practical terms, they have good cause to worry about Trump’s impact on the GOP’s electoral ambitions in 2016 and beyond.

But deep down, I think, their sense of despair is driven by a sincere and patriotic concern for the country’s future. Like many of the rest of us, they are honestly appalled by what they are seeing, and honestly worried about where it might lead. And with the connection between base and elite now severed, they feel powerless to intervene.

—————————-

¹ Someone has compiled a whole series of such rants by prominent conservative intellectuals, unfortunately updated only through late August. It’s really something.

————–

²Here’s a brief taste of those comments:

“When the Revolution comes, led by the American Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, the first to go against the wall should be ‘journalists’ and MSM Leftists, followed by Democrat Party bigwigs and their RINO stooges. We will need to shoot many to properly purify the land.”

“If Putin did have journalists killed that is wrong, but how does that have any bearing on Trump? How many people have Obama, and the Clintons had killed? I guarantee it is more than a couple. Trump should be the next president, period.”

“I can think of a few “journalists” I’d like to see ‘offed’.”

Reader Comments 0

1262 comments
DohBee
DohBee

Cruz doesn't have the Cohones to call Trump out.  Cruz is despicable.

1stTruthOMeter
1stTruthOMeter


Since when are conservatives afraid to call out Obama? That's all the GOP has done for the past 7 years, totally ignoring the fact that he was elected twice to lead this country in a certain direction.


lighteredknot
lighteredknot

To Interesting take on Donald Trump

To each his own and as each dratsab chooses.
Former U. S. Secretary of Education , William J. Bennett's frankly candid and shocking observations of Donald Trump's impact on the behavior of the entrenched Washington D. C. bureaucrats in both parties -- and the risk The Donald faces in so doing.

William J. Bennett, Host of Bill Bennett's Morning in America Show, is one of America 's most important, influential, and respected voices on cultural, political, and education issues. He has one of the strongest Christian world views of any writer in modern times.

What I See Happening In a Trump Presidency

By Bill Bennett

They will kill him before they let him be president. It could be a Republican or a Democrat that instigates the shutting up of Trump.

Don't be surprised if Trump has an accident. Some people are getting very nervous: Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few.

It's about the unholy dynamics between big government, big business, and big media. They all benefit by the billions of dollars from this partnership, and it's in all of their interests to protect one another. It's one for all and all for one.

It's a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich, everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We're the patsies. But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media, and the biggest corporations of America has been so
swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened.

Donald Trump can self-fund. No matter how much they say to the contrary, the media, business, and political elite understand that Trump is no joke. He could actually win and upset their nice cozy apple cart. It's no coincidence that everyone has gotten together to destroy The Donald. It's because most of the other politicians are part of the a good old boys club. They talk big, but they won't change a thing. They are all beholden to big-money donors. They are all owned by lobbyists, unions, lawyers, gigantic environmental organizations, and multinational corporations - like Big
Pharmacy or Big Oil. Or they are owned lock, stock, and barrel by foreigners like George Soros owns Obama or foreign governments own Hillary and their Clinton Foundation donations.

These run-of-the-mill establishment politicians are all puppets owned by big money. But there's one man who isn't beholden to anyone There's one man who doesn't need foreigners, or foreign governments, or George Soros, or the United Auto Workers, or the teacher's union, or the Service Employees International Union, or the Bar Association to fund his campaign.

Billionaire tycoon and maverick Donald Trump doesn't need anyone's help. That means he doesn't care what the media says. He doesn't care what the corporate elites think. That makes him very dangerous to the entrenched
interests. That makes Trump a huge threat to those people. Trump can ruin everything for the bribed politicians and their spoiled slave Masters.

Don't you ever wonder why the GOP has never tried to impeach Obama? Don't you wonder why John Boehner and Mitch McConnell talk a big game, but never actually try to stop Obama? Don't you wonder why Congress holds the purse
strings, yet has never tried to de-fund Obamacare or Obama's clearly illegal
executive action on amnesty for illegal aliens? Bizarre, right? It defies logic, right?

First, I'd guess many key Republicans are being bribed. Secondly, I believe many key Republicans are being blackmailed. Whether they are having affairs, or secretly gay, or stealing taxpayer money, the National Security Agency knows everything.

Ask former House Speaker Dennis Hastert about that. The government even knew he was withdrawing large sums of his own money from his own bank account. The NSA, the SEC, the IRS, and all the other three-letter government
agencies are watching every Republican political leader. They surveil everything. Thirdly, many Republicans are petrified of being called racists, so they are scared to ever criticize Obama or call out his crimes, let alone
demand his impeachment. Fourth , why rock the boat? After defeat or retirement, if you're a good old boy, you've got a $5 million-per-year
lobbying job waiting. The big-money interests have the system gamed. Win or lose, they win.

But Trump doesn't play by any of these rules. Trump breaks up this nice, cozy relationship between big government, big media, and big business. All the rules are out the window if Trump wins the Presidency. The other
politicians will protect Obama and his aides but not Trump. Remember: Trump is the guy who publicly questioned Obama's birth certificate. He questioned Obama's college records and how a mediocre student got into an Ivy League
university. Now, he's doing something no Republican has the chutzpah to do. He's questioning our relationship with Mexico; he's questioning why the border is wide open; he's questioning why no wall has been built across the border; he's questioning if allowing millions of illegal aliens into America is in our best interests; he's questioning why so many illegal aliens commit violent crimes, yet are not deported; and he's questioning why our trade
deals with Mexico, Russia and China are so bad.

Trump has the audacity to ask out loud why American workers always get the short end of the stick. Good question! I'm certain Trump will question what happened to the almost billion dollars given in a rigged no-bid contract to college friends of Michelle Obama at foreign companies to build the defective Obamacare website. By the way, that tab is now up to $5 billion. Trump will ask if Obamacare's architects can be charged with fraud for
selling it by lying. Trump will investigate Obama's widespread IRS conspiracy, not to mention Obama's college records. Trump will prosecute Clinton and Obama for fraud committed to cover up Benghazi before the
election. How about the fraud committed by employees of the Labor Department when they made up dramatic job numbers in the last jobs report before the 2012 election?

Obama, the multinational corporations and the media need to stop Trump. They recognize this could get out of control. If left unchecked, telling the raw truth and asking questions everyone else is afraid to ask, Trump could wake a sleeping giant. Trump's election would be a nightmare. Obama has committed many crimes. No one else but Trump would dare to prosecute. He will not hesitate. Once Trump gets in and gets a look at the cooked books and Obama's records, the game is over. The jig is up. The goose is cooked. Holder could wind up in prison. Jarrett could wind up in prison. Obama bundler Corzine could wind up in prison for losing $1.5 billion of customer money. Clinton
could wind up in jail for deleting 32,000 emails or for accepting bribes from foreign governments while Secretary of State, or for misplacing $6 billion as the head of the State Department, or for lying about Benghazi .
The entire upper level management of the IRS could wind up in prison.

Obamacare will be de-funded and dismantled. Obama himself could wind up ruined, his legacy in tatters. Trump will investigate. Trump will prosecute. Trump will go after everyone involved. That's why the dogs of hell have been
unleashed on Donald Trump.

Yes, it's become open season on Donald Trump. The left and the right are determined to attack his policies, harm his businesses, and, if possible, even keep him out of the coming debates. But they can't silence him. And
they sure can't intimidate him. The more they try, the more the public will realize that he's the one telling the truth.

honested
honested

@ligfhteredknot 

I wondered why you were wasting so much space to say nothing.

Then I noticed you were quoting bill bennett.

I always wondered why he wasted so much air to say nothing.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@honested @ligfhteredknot 

I didn't read it, but I know well how Bill Bennett thinks.  That's why I could "like" your comments, honested, in good conscience.  And, I didn't have the patience to read all of that by Bill Bennett.

JayBook
JayBook moderator

@ligfhteredknot Bill Bennett never wrote any such nonsense, and your eagerness to swallow it as true is quite telling.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Ted Cruz trickle-down SHEETZ

gotalife
gotalife

Peyton did not hire a bushie because he is innocent..

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@fedup52 @gotalife Be careful - might have some digestive issues with too much of those. Tart Cherry juice did it for me (turns out that engineers should not be allowed to play football). 

skydog12
skydog12

@gotalife


Where is Johnny Cochran when you need him?


"If the drug wasn`t taken.......you must be mistaken"

TBS
TBS

Not sure what he is guilty of or not

However when you look at all the "supplements", steroids, speed / coke, adderall (sp) and masking agents athletes in many sports have been taking for many years now I wouldn't be surprised

And let's not forget all the pain pills that have been prevalent for many many years especially in football

fedup52
fedup52

@gotalife Got I found yesterday something what helps the heart and the BP and all.

Check capsicum (from chilli pepper) and Piperin (from black and white pepper).  Google them and check them out.

They sure helps my arthritic knees.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Why should I care about Al-Jazeera's credibility?

I haven't posted anything from their site.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Paul42 

I've posted this before but I tried to watch Al-Jazeera and happened to catch the business reporter Ali Velshi. He is as big a drama queen as any of the talking heads on CNBC.

TBS
TBS

Someone is desperate in their efforts to deflect from breitbart's face plant and his own knee jerking when the issue is brought up

Paul42
Paul42

@Kamchak

Never saw him but as honested noted, it's not a case of one station being the complete opposite of the others.

I've found the more indepth reporting and special segments worthwhile.

OldEngineer
OldEngineer

@Paul42 @Kamchak What manner of heresy is this? Stick a mirror on your TV and you can see everything to need to know!

skydog12
skydog12

@fedup52 @Kamchak


They hate Trump......but can`t.


That would have me f `ed up two.....ah.... to...ah.....also.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Paul42 

I've gotten to the point where I can't stand the diction used by broadcasters. It's like watching an episode of Real Housewives of Wherever.

Amy Goodman's no nonsense dead-pan style is my preference.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Don't watch it at all, but any "news" outfit so universally acclaimed by lib loons can only be just another lump floating in the MSM cesspool.

Paul42
Paul42

@Kamchak

Their US operation is quite credible, going into much more depth than many US-owned media sources.

I think a lot of the US potential audience has a built-in bias against 'that's just some A-rab Mooslim propaganda station."

Kamchak
Kamchak

@honested 

Probably a job requirement.

I guess so. I wanted to call him up and say "Dude, Nancy Grace called and said you're over-the-top and dial it back three notches."

Paul42
Paul42

@Kamchak

When I lived in England the news would come on and the voice-over would intone "the news will be read by...."

No celebrities.  Nothing cutesy.  Just 'the news will be read by..."   Kept it in perspective.

One of the political analysts was a pretty homely woman with a background some would wish to have.  Forget her looks.  Her mind was brilliant.

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany 

Now we're quoting the 'Hollywood Reporter'?

To question the credibility of an international News Service?

fedup52
fedup52

It is fun getting all these cons all bent out of shape.

Peachs
Peachs

@InTheMiddle2 @fedup52 I am pulling for Trump, elect him and you won't have a party this time next election, it will be two Democrats running against each other. 

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@fedup52 Sooo, how many of the comments are from Libs going nuts over what Trump say vs the number of Cons going nuts over what a lib says.

honested
honested

@fedup52 @honested 

Bennnngggggaaazzzzzziiii

Leeeewwwweeennnnskkkkiiiii

Whiittttteeee  Waaaaattttteerrrr

As opposed to pointless, economy crippling tax cuts, unfunded wars, gutting of the middle class...

I can see why they focus on the things that just don't matter to most people.

Paul42
Paul42

@fedup52

Especially when it follows their pattern of "facts don't matter."

honested
honested

@fedup52 

Without pointless outrage, they would have to focus on sober governance.

It's a shame they never learned to do that.

Peachs
Peachs

@fedup52 they move down south thinking they are getting away from all this and boom we are here bringing them back to reality. 

fedup52
fedup52

@InTheMiddle2 @fedup52 Just the one I made up (half true) about Trump fooking his daughter.

Half true because he said he would like to date Ivanka if she wasn't hi daughter.   Who would thunk that.  EEEEEW

honested
honested

@InTheMiddle2 @fedup52 

Who cares what chump says?

If he becomes the nominee, it will permanently discredit the republiklan party.

If the republiklan party keeps focusing on old news that is of no interest to the majority of Americans, they will permanently implode.

skydog12
skydog12

@fedup52


They hate Trump.....but can`t. Sticky wicket for those with very little logical thinking.

skydog12
skydog12

@fedup52


They hate Trump.....but can`t. That would have me f^%k`ed up two....ah.....to....ah....also.

skydog12
skydog12

@fedup52


They hate Trump.....but can`t.


That would have me f&^%k`ed up two....ah..to....ah....also.


I want my hate back.