08 Mar 2017

Whispering in Our Ear a Warning, 2

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Ross Douthat, speaking evidently from the irredentist #NeverTrump Right, points out that merely winning one election is no guarantee of the creation of a durable political movement. Policy success matters, and the American Health Care Act, intended to repeal and replace Obamacare, so far, does not seem to represent any such thing.

After the 1976 election, the Democratic Party seemed to enjoy a commanding position in American politics, with Jimmy Carter ensconced in the White House, a Senate supermajority and an advantage of nearly 150 seats in the House of Representatives. Yet over the next four years the Democrats achieved little of consequence, Carter passed into history as a failure, and Ronald Reagan ushered in a lasting rightward realignment.

I have compared Donald Trump to Carter before, but with the release of the House Republican “replacement” (I use that term loosely) for Obamacare, it’s worth returning to the analogy. It rests, in part, on the work of the political scientist Stephen Skowronek, who argues that certain presidencies are “disjunctive” — straddling a political order passing into history and another one struggling to be born. And “disjunctive” generally means ineffective, because the parties such presidents are leading are likewise trapped between past and future and unable to unify and act.

Carter is Skowronek’s prime disjunctive example, and a variety of writers, including Corey Robin and Dylan Matthews on the left and Reihan Salam on the right, have recently argued that Trump fits the role as well.

Just as Carter sensed that the New Deal-Great Society coalition was no longer viable and campaigned against certain liberal orthodoxies in ’76, so in 2016 Trump offered a vision of the G.O.P. as a nationalist “workers party” in which certain Reaganite pieties would no longer set the terms of conservative debate.

But just as Carter’s mix of proto-New Democrat centrism and old-school liberalism never translated into a workable congressional agenda, Trump’s bridge to a new conservatism will crumble if his party can’t agree on policies that fit his vision.

The health care debate makes this danger particularly clear.

Read the whole thing.

4 Feedbacks on "Whispering in Our Ear a Warning, 2"

Old Salt

The problem is that all the Republicans who spent the election yelling that “Trump isn’t a Conservative”, aren’t the least bit conservative themselves.

If the Democrats continue to ride their rocket-sled leftward into obscurity, the Republican party will split to fill the void.

The few actual conservatives at the national level – Cruz, Paul, and yes, Trump will form a conservative Party. Paul Ryan, Graham, McCain, and the rest of the losers will form a center-left party with the platform of the 1990 Democrats.


In my view, Trump wanted Ryan and his fellow slugs to put forward such a terrible plan in order to expose them as little more than fully-payed-up shills for the insurance companies. I think his plan worked. I’m waiting to see how Ryan talks his way out of this mess of his own making. After all, the Republicans in congress have had eight years to prepare for this moment… or have they been lying all this time?


The pendulum will swing left again. The biggest problem the Republicans have going for them is the Republican politicians. But the Democrats have a bigger problem. Look at the DNC the leadership and the officers are far left and going lefter everyday. They used to hide their connections with Communist organizations now they don’t even bother to. They are embracing the Muslims and when the next 9/11 happens, and it will, the Democrats will be complicit. Maybe not involved in the planning but useful idiots who willingly and eagerly embraced the next blind sheik or Osama Bin Laden. They are either willingly doing this knowing the risk or they are simply too stupid to know any better.

Dick the Butcher

Sic Transit RINO’s; or Sic Transit Trumpus?


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