What the Fresh Hell is Going on with the Republican Base?
I begin by citing three op-eds that purport to offer insights into what the hell the 74 million Trump voters were thinking—but whose diagnoses differ dramatically.
What that tells me: a big portion of the 74 million are Trump cultists, but a another large part are something else, and at this point nobody has a good handle on what the something else is.
The three articles are
Michael Gerson, Trump’s rot has reached the GOP’s roots
Megan McArdle, There is no Trumpism. There is only Trump.
Greg Abernathy, Trump may be done, but Trumpism is the GOP’s future.
In case you were wondering, Mr. Abernathy, who appears to be living in a parallel universe, informs us as follows:
What is Trumpism without Trump? It’s an emphasis on individual freedoms, a belief in energy independence through deregulation, an “America First” approach to foreign policy, a dedication to secure borders, a pushback against cancel-culture “wokeness” (in a surprising alliance with France) and the kind of unapologetic embrace of “God and Country” values that are guaranteed to fuel culture wars for years to come.
Whew! What a relief! Trumpism has nothing at all to do with White identity or White Christian nationalism, let alone misogyny. Abernathy really needs to convey these good tidings of great joy to his fellow WaPo pundit Michael Gerson.
Moscow Mitch Versus Loathsome Lindsey: Comparison and Contrast
Meanwhile, the talking heads talk this morning about the tiff between McConnell and Graham. I will summarize.
One: A Shared Burning Desire. Both Moscow and Loathsome share one burning desire: to put Humpty Dumpty together again.
In other words, to restore the status quo to what it was before He Who Must Not Be Named appeared on the scene. To roll the reel back to those golden days of yesteryear when the country club crowd dog whistled just enough to keep the rednecks riled up and voting Republican, so that the country club crowd could pursue its economic objectives.
Two: Different Assessments, Different Tactics. The differences between Moscow and Loathsome lie not in their objective (see point One), but rather in their perception of the situation. And, differing in their assessment of the situation, they also differ in their prescription for Republican bliss.
Loathsome thinks that, if the God Emperor will just dial it down a couple of notches, and if the country club crowd will just toady enough to the God Emperor, then things may be restored to their former happy state of affairs (see point One, once again).
Moscow thinks that Republican politicians will never again be able to suck at the teat of corporate America unless they repudiate Trump. Therefore, Republican politicians must repudiate Trump.
That would be because sucking at the teat of corporate America is sort of the whole point of the exercise of being a Republican politician.
Three: Alternative Hail Mary Passes, Both Born of Desperation. Neither the Loathsome Lindsey approach nor the Moscow Mitch plan is likely to work.
Both are Hail Mary passes.
Both are born of desperation.
But the Loathsome Lindsey plan is just about 100 percent likely to fail. Whereas the Moscow Mitch plan is only 90 percent or so likely to go down in flames.
Advantage, therefore, to Moscow Mitch over Loathsome Lindsey.