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Friday, December 02, 2016

"How to Rebuild the Republican Party" after Trump

My time machine went back two months to an article in the Atlantic by David Frum, the George W. Bush speechwriter, Yale '82, Harvard Law '87. The headline was: "How to Rebuild the Republican Party: Incorporate the best of Trump’s insights, while discarding his volatile personality and noxious attitudes."

From Frum:
The problem is that pro-Trump Republicans may not agree that Trumpism failed. They may not be amenable to a reconciliation based on acknowledging that they, uniquely, were wrong—and that their defeated party opponents were in the right all along.
Unless their guy loses to Hillary Clinton in a 2008 style deluge, Trump backers will be much more likely to blame traitors inside the party for his defeat than their own bad judgment in supporting him. Pro-Trump media outlets and personalities (Sean Hannity; Ann Coulter; Laura Ingraham; and have gained audience. Anti-Trump media outlets and personalities lost viewers, listeners, and readers. Trump will almost certainly win more total votes than either George W. Bush in 2000 or John McCain in 2008. He could easily match Mitt Romney’s 61-million-vote, 47-percent-vote-share performance in 2012. If that happens, Trump himself may not go away so quietly, instead continuing to dominate the political stage to insist that he was right and all his critics were wrong, stupid, losers.
He posted this on October 7, a month and a day before the election.

In fact, he could have posted it after the first Super Tuesday primaries on March 1 when it became evident to everyone but the malevolent forces of the DC-Manhattan conservative commentariat that Donald Trump was the nominee and therefore owned the Republican Party.

That meant the party reversed itself and now favored building a wall, stopping one-way trade deals, and getting smart on the war on Muslim terrorists.

But Frum and the rest of this cabal of neo-conservatives pushed for his defeat so they could take back the party.

So much for any -- and I mean any -- criticism of the Supreme Court by neo-conservatives who opposed Trump because they wanted Hillary Clinton to pick Antonin Scalia's successor.

Noah Rothman of Commentary was another vulture circling the party.

From Rothman on October 5:
Early this year, I noted that Republicans have a model to turn to in the pursuit of reconciliation in works of Edmund Burke. A man of foresight, he warned against waging a perpetual conflict that inevitably seeks to punish successive generations for the sins of their fathers. The petty, vengeful prosecution of a feud long after one side has been unambiguously defeated is not just unproductive but morally questionable. The vanquished must furl their flags and renounce their cause, but they should be left to keep their side arms and return to their fields.
That is not to say that there can be no reckoning. While the average voter seduced by the promise of #MAGA should be returned to the fold, there are those who collaborated with Trump or whose narrow self-interests led them to believe he would preserve the comfortable order of things. For some, examples must be made. Republicans in Washington who, for example, found the prospect of losing with Trump preferable to winning with Ted Cruz for fear of overturning the profitable applecart on K-Street. And conservative performance artists who impugned both the inefficacy of conservatism and the vestigial idol worship of constitutionalism. And those who seemed intent on reinvigorating white supremacy, undoing decades of noble stigmatization in the process. Those who legitimized Trumpism with all its self-evident warts must be made to confront the fruits of their labors.
For the rest of the GOP, however, reunification and a recapitulation of something resembling a national governing coalition must be the foremost priority. Unity of purpose will be necessary to serve as a bulwark against Hillary Clinton and her efforts to chisel Barack Obama’s achievement into America’s foundation. The pressures on Republicans will be immense. Democrats will do their best to exacerbate the fissures within the coalition, and the talker class will surely return to the profitable work of naming alleged quislings within the GOP. It will be on those who kept Trump at arm’s length to put this conflict to bed as magnanimously as possible. If they succeed against these odds, the Republican Party can renew itself and return to the necessary work of preserving the ideals of America’s founding.
We should reward Frum, Rothman, and the rest by exiling them just as the neo-cons exiled and ridiculed Patrick Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, and others.

They had their shot for eight years under President George W. Bush.

Now it is President Trump's turn.



"Trump the Press" skewers media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. I use my deadliest weapon: their own words. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.

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  1. Love that close Don - LOL!

    I agree completely. People like Frum, who I generally respect, have had their day and been rejected by voters. If we wanted more of that crap, we'd have nominated Jebbio Cruzney, like obedient little sheep, and then watched him lose to Hillary. None of that happened. We got wise to the game. We're tired of it. Next!


  2. To steal a line from CPUSA;

  3. The Republicans didn't win the White House. Trump won it.

    Democrats and Republicans; both are losers this time around, and both remain our enemies.

  4. Yeah, sorry aboot Frum chaps. His mother was a pain in the arse up here in the Great White North, guess we just wanted to share the contempt for ordinary folk with you beautiful people to the south of us. Couldn't believe his performance on CBC on election night. He was more anti Trump then the socialist gal they had on the panel from your great country. But by the end, when Frum was frummping and frothing, it made it all worth it.

    What a douche!

  5. I'm guessing he will never admit he was wrong.

  6. ... "vestigial idol worship of constitutionalism" ???

    1. The original lyric was:
      "One of sixteen vestigial idol worships of constitutionalism
      "Who were leaving for the coast"

  7. I've read a ton of Burke and for the life of me I can't tell what Rothman is referring to. Maybe the letter from the new to the old whig? Also I find it a little humorous to read it from Commentary. Maybe he can give us a disquisition on Burke's opinion of bankers stockjobbers and Jews.

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  9. "The vanquished must furl their flags and renounce their cause, but they should be left to keep their side arms and return to their fields."

    I do agree with this statement Rothman made above (although I'm not sure he would still stand by it today.)

    We do need to eventually gather together the old groupings and cliques and clans if we hope to carry on post-Trump. We have a sort of accidental gathering right now, but I fear it's going to be a tenuous one going forward.

    But if Rothman and company want to fandango with us, they are going to have to furl their flags and renounce their cause.