February 26, 2016

Cargo cult conservatism in the age of realignment: Why a more intense level of attacks-as-usual will continue to have no effect

Tonight's was by far the most tiresome and aggravating debate, and we ought to be grateful to Trump that he's the one up there having to put up with all this bullshit instead of us. It was like a pair of spastic protesters disrupting one of his rallies, only he couldn't just call security on them. One forgettable gotcha talking point after another from the Cuban twosome, for 120 minutes straight.

Foam party robot was by far the worse, with his gay "I'm such a little stinker face" going off every five seconds, like some fifth grader mouthing off to the teacher and looking for cheers from the other little brats in the audience. Too bad there were cameras rolling, or the teacher would've whipped his ass -- although maybe not, Rubio would probably enjoy that too much.

Once you distill the barrage of attacks, they amounted to two claims:

1) Trump does not pass some purity test of Republican orthodoxy that ossified during the 1980s (libertarian economics, warhawk foreign policy, guided by Israel).

2) Trump, a billionaire, does not pass some purity test of 100% always lifting up the little guy.

Gee, do ya think so?

Trump has been hammering away at the neocon orthodoxy since he launched his campaign. No one except for Beltway gloryhole enthusiasts cares if he wants the government to pay for desperately poor people to get health care so that "people won't be dying in the streets". No one cares if he wants foreign nations pay for our military protection, instead of over-extending our military. No one cares if we start a trade war with Mexico to get them to pay for the wall that will seal off their flood of illegal immigrants, drugs, and potential terrorists into our country. And certainly no one gives a damn if we're going to be neutral in the Israel-Palestine negotiations.

In fact, not only are these examples of "we don't care" -- we actually WANT these things to happen. He drew us in by promising to repeal and replace the Republican orthodoxy with something much, much better -- you're gonna get to keep your common sense, you won't be denied for a pre-existing empathy, and we're gonna get rid of all the monopolistic lines around the issues, so that many different points of view can compete.

And do the shills who wasted so many millions of dollars on "opposition research" really think we were so naive that we assumed a billionaire, who made his fortune in Manhattan real estate, beauty pageants, casinos, and mass entertainment, had absolutely zero blemishes? And the best they could find was him hiring some Polish illegals way back in the early 1980s? That's nothing compared to Trump's peers on the class pyramid who hire millions of Mexican illegals right now.

We're not voting for the next candidate for canonization -- we're voting for the best candidate to turn around our great big fat mess of a country, and stabilize what has been falling apart. That's his forte -- turning around failing enterprises, where "buy low and sell high" comes from his improvements of what started out as garbage, not from luckily timing a speculative bubble like the stock market gamblers.

So, despite what you'll hear from the clueless pundits, nothing at all changed tonight in the attacks on Trump. They're still going after him for not being an Israel-first libertarian warhawk, and for not being a saint. All that's changed is the intensity of these attacks.

This far along into the primary season, the cuck candidates and their (bare)backers still don't realize that we're in a qualitatively different environment in 2016. Doing what worked 5, 10, 20 years ago does not work this time around. If anything, it may harm rather than help. Likewise, doing what would have been suicidal 5, 10, 20 years ago will if anything help out in 2016.

In their minds, the first mistake was ignoring Trump as a real threat. So then they turned to attacking him -- but on the outmoded factors of neocon orthodoxy and "the personal is political" purity tests. That didn't work, so they figured the mistake was quantitative (instead of qualitative), and would fix that by dialing up the intensity of the outmoded attacks. That will still fail, and Trump is going to come out of Super Tuesday with many times the number of delegates as either of the spaz crew.

They still haven't learned that we're moving away from elitism to populism, and from globalism to nationalism, and that the culture war is dead -- we want real results now, not empty symbolic grandstanding. It's all to the good for the Trump movement, since it means our main enemies can't even tell which way their gun is pointing. Like a cargo cult, they're just going through the same old motions, blindly believing that they'll produce the same effects.

Political realignment can feel like stepping into bizarro world, where the trusty old rifles of yesteryear have been bent to point backwards, while someone who appears to shoot himself in the foot only grows stronger, as though bullets were now filled with vitamins and steroids rather than solid metal.

In fact, the only non-Trump candidate who has done consistently better than initially expected is Kasich. He was always thought to be a non-entity, and of course he has no shot of winning the nomination. But he's still in the race, he has 6 delegates to Jeb's 4, even managing to score 2nd in one state, whereas Jeb scored nothing anywhere. Jeb was the favorite from the very beginning, yet Kasich managed to out-perform him.

I think he's still hanging on with fundraisers and delegate counts because, unlike the other also-rans, he didn't make his platform purely reactionary to Trump's platform. By now, Rubio and Cruz are running exclusively on the promise that "I can defeat Trump" -- what the hell kind of distinctive platform is that? Kasich taps into the populist sentiment, however weakly and folksily. And he keeps emphasizing that change begins at home, at the community level, etc., and let's not get so bogged down in foreign policy wonk circle-jerking. He has played down the culture war in favor of concrete results.

He's a total Establishment puppet, but so are the two Cubans, and so was the presumed heir Jeb. Yet this Establishment puppet has outperformed expectations, while the other puppets have had dismal and failing results compared to what was expected of them. That shows that even in the "pat on the head" tier of candidates, voters are looking for someone more in the direction of populism, nationalism, and concrete results over culture war grandstanding.

23 comments:

  1. I bet Trump even opposed the Bush tax cuts! That'll really get him in trouble!

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  2. Random Dude on the Internet2/26/16, 9:49 AM

    The debate was a mess. Rubio didn't really do all that well, all things considered. Trump's popularity has little to do with what insults he can lob towards the other candidates. Rubio smiled wide when he thought he laid down some sick burns but remember, the past two debates, the audiences were booing Trump. Not only that but the debate before last, Jeb Bush was considered the winner because he "finally stood up to Donald Trump." What happened is that seven days later, he dropped out of the race.

    It is likely that Marco Rubio will fail to get a single state on Super Tuesday. Ted Cruz will only win Texas. Marco Rubio is losing badly to Trump in his own home state. Even if the public were more receptive to Rubio, it won't be enough to bridge that gap. Donald Trump will still win, except maybe by a point or two less than if Rubio said nothing at all.

    To further confound the establishment, Trump will likely win a majority of delegates, avoiding the brokered convention. Everyone not named Donald Trump is underperforming and Trump is doing better than everyone imagined. There is also the distinct possibility that he will get into WTA situations, with states like Massachusetts where he is at 50% in the polls.

    The establishment won't dump Trump because I suspect deep down even they know that if they pull any tricks like that, they lose the election to Hillary Clinton, who seems like an easy win. The GOP would rather take a Trump victory than 8 years of Hillary.

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  3. Trump is the most vulnerable candidate against Clinton, he turns off a lot of moderate Republicans and independents, many of whom will stay home on election day. He has a hard time containing his obvious disdain for women who challenge him, and will blurt out something even more "unpresidential" than his Megan Kelly comments. While that will only make his base love him more, his base is not even a majority of Republican voters, let alone the general population. Rubio would be a stronger candidate, because ALL Republicans and many independents will support him, if only to not allow Clinton a win.

    That's my take on it. I actually agree with Trump on more issues than any other Republican candidate, and if he didn't appeal to our ugliest tendencies, I'd be OK with him.

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  4. Rubio is a stinker with Republicans and independents -- witness his 0/4 record in winning the popular vote, and having as many delegates as Cruz, both dwarfed nearly 5 times by Trump.

    All entrance/exit polls show that Trump carries every ideological group except for extreme conservatives, who go for Cruz.

    Trump will easily get a double-digit Democrat defection, unlike Rubio, who Democrats view as a watered-down (foamed-down?) version of their own candidate. Why not just vote for an open Democrat?

    And Cruz alienates 100% of Democrats.

    Moreover, these Democrats who defect to Trump will allow him to carry the electoral votes in states that neither Rubio nor Cruz has even the remotest chance of winning -- New England, the Rust Belt, and the East Coast down through Florida.

    Trump even has a decent shot of turning Oregon red. It's the least faggified of the Pacific Coast states because the hipster striver transplants have only arrived recently (last 10 years), as opposed to being dug-in for decades (Seattle, all of California).

    Really the only blue states that would be beyond his power to convert are California, Washington, Hawaii, and probably Colorado (AKA the West Coast diaspora that's moved in search of cheaper living).

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  5. And I know it can be hard for Californians to understand, but this election is not show business or entertainment. People are turning out in record numbers to vote for Trump's positions on immigration, trade, cleaning up corruption, national defense, etc. -- no one cares about his brash personality (more people are attracted to it than are turned off by it).

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  6. Your understanding of the west coast is pretty funny. Have you ever been here? Doesn't seem like it.

    Again, most Republicans do not like Trump. Rubio will gobble up the remainder of Bush's and Kasich's supporters, and will get about half of Cruz's. Trump is doing amazingly well with people who are energized enough to actually show up for caucuses and primaries, but I'm betting in the general election, he won't pull much from undecided people and moderates/independents. Hell, I hope he's the Republican candidate, because that would energize Democratic voters to actually vote.

    Whatever happens, this has been a crazy election cycle so far. With Sanders and Trump doing better than anyone thought they would, the establishment on both sides is going nuts. Which is great.

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  7. Which Repugs dislike Trump so much, Israel-firsters? They aren't that numerous, and he even threw them a bone with his criticism of the Iran deal.

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  8. Gov LePage of Maine has just endorsed Trump, only a couple hours after Gov. Christie endorsed.

    It's over.

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  9. "Have you ever been here?"

    Yes. And you guys aren't exactly invisible on the internet. For example, why is Steve Sailer so quiet and nonplussed by the Trump phenomenon? Suggesting how Bloomberg could do well by apostasizing from Jewish elitism-globalism, and then how Rubio could save his campaign by examining some HBD spreadsheets? Clueless and hopeless.

    "Rubio will gobble up the remainder of Bush's and Kasich's supporters, and will get about half of Cruz's."

    And Trump will gobble up the other half of Bush and Kasich, who are not values-voter extreme conservatives that would join Cruz. Trump will get the other half of Cruz's supporters. Add that to Trump's double-digit lead over Rubio, and he's over 50%.

    Remember: it's not a popular vote that determines the nominee. It's the delegate count, where Trump can and already has leveraged his share of the popular vote into an even larger share of the delegates.

    In the general, Trump steals the blue states with a history of labor unionism, while Hillary only holds onto the pure lifestyle striver states out West, and at most a handful of them back East.

    You talk about Trump only doing well among those who are energized enough to vote in primaries -- remember that record numbers are turning out for Trump in the primaries. It is not a fixed population of primary voters, with more of them going for Trump. It is a much yuger population of primary voters in the first place -- people who never have voted in their lives.

    If he's turning them out in record numbers already, there will be record turnout in the fall -- that I can tell you. Just like the 1896 realignment election that was won by Trump's earlier incarnation of William McKinley (turnout over 80% of the entire population, not a measly 50%).

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  10. "You talk about Trump only doing well among those who are energized enough to vote in primaries -- remember that record numbers are turning out for Trump in the primaries. It is not a fixed population of primary voters, with more of them going for Trump. It is a much yuger population of primary voters in the first place -- people who never have voted in their lives."

    Another reason why Cruzio so tinny-eared last night: the Republican electorate has both enlarged and moderated as you pointed out. Yet, they were still talking to this Republican electorate as if it were the same 'ol. Their devastating retort to Trump's, "I won't let people die on the streets" was "You sound like a Democrat"...!?!
    Do you not know who your audience is? Especially this late, looooong after the ideologues have chosen?

    BTW, back to LePage. Had just read a couple guys who predicted that w/ Trump, after the Christie endorsement, the desire to get in early with endorsements would be more overwhelming than usual. Within the hour, the LePage endorsement came.

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  11. "Gov LePage of Maine has just endorsed Trump, only a couple hours after Gov. Christie endorsed."

    Sweet. Like I said awhile ago, this election is shifting power back East where it belongs -- not the lawless West. Reagan, Bush Sr. and Jr., Clinton, McCain, Obama, etc. -- they're gonezo.

    In South Carolina, obviously the Indian Governor was going to go for the Cuban, but Trump had the Lt. Governor on his side, who stumped for him at his rallies. Similarly, Jindal will not endorse Trump, but whoever the latter-day Huey Long is, will get on board.

    Jeff Sessions will endorse, and there's a strong chance that Trump is considering him for VP. And Scott Brown from MA has endorsed.

    Too bad that Santorum caved into the Establishment, when he could've helped Trump clean up the northern Appalachian vote (who will vote Trump anyways, but an endorsement would've made the margin larger).

    Also too bad that Kasich will probably not endorse Trump when he's out. I'd consider it good if he just stays neutral rather than sticking up for fellow fag Rubio.

    Huckabee is still neutral, but Trump hired his daughter into a senior spot in his campaign, and Huckabee hates Cruz. If Huckabee not only endorses but stumps for Trump, it would help to deprogram the Cruz cult in the Plains states, who would pay attention to Huckabee.

    Walker hasn't endorsed anyone either, and just recently said how remarkable Trump's ascent has been. He may be too wimpy to stick up for him while the nomination is still up in the air, but once it's Trump, he could go to bat for him and help turn Wisconsin red in the fall.

    Kasich could do so as well for swing-state Ohio, after Trump gets the nomination. Ditto Santorum in and around PA, once Trump gets the nom over Rubio.

    As we've been saying over the past week or so, it's Trump. The only open questions are how much he'll be able to accomplish once he's in office.

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  12. I'm in Louisiana, and I have to say Jindal is no Haley, he's a sincere conservative (stood up to fed gov. on Confed monuments, fag marriage, and refugees) if ineffectual and charmless. He's be better in a less visible cabinet position, though I believe he had some friction with Trump during his short-lived campaign. His successor, Edwards, is a Dem establishmentarian, despite his protests to the contrary.

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  13. WRT the winner-take-all states, I tried to discern which states go that way, although some of the precise procedures are a little confusing (I left a state out if I couldn't figure out wiki's explanation of the state's procedure)

    Pure Winner-take-all: S. Carolina (Trump won these)
    Wisconsin (42, current polls are a bit close)
    Indiana (57)
    Montana (27)
    Ohio (66): Kasich is getting out polled here
    New Jersey (51): Trump has it in the bag
    Florida (99): Rubio is out polled at home too
    Arizona 58: probably a lay-up for Trump at this point
    Delaware (16)
    Maryland (38): Another lay-up for D.J.T.
    Nebraska (36)
    California (172): Haven't seen any polls yet. But are Rubio or Cruz really exciting anyone?
    South Dakota (29)

    Trump is gonna win most of these; even if he loses a few it's offset by the gains of the wins. Obviously, California is huge and a loss there would stir whispers of a brokered convention. Let's hope he gets these contrived sun-belt delegates. It's too bad that rotten sun-belt culture gets more influence then it deserves. If delegates were awarded on the basis of regular Americans, maybe it would've helped stave off the onslaught of sand & sun bozos in recent decades.

    50% Winner-take-all states (win 50%, get all or the vast majority of delegates depending on provincial quirks). This is where it get interesting:

    Alabama (50):
    Georgia (76): Trumps' doing well, but could he go for 50%? We'll see.
    Texas (155): Cruz will be blessed by slithering from a sneaky Sun-Belt state, but he ain't getting 50%. Looks like Trump and Cruz might be pretty even in terms of delegates awarded. At least they have the decency to not be a pure W.T.A. state that awards phantom delegates to just one guy, unlike Cali.

    Missouri (32)
    Oklahoma (43)
    Idaho (32)
    New York (95): Trump, duh
    Connecticut (28) Trump lay-up
    Washington (44)
    Maine (23)
    Utah (40)

    I dunno about Trump getting over 50% in most of these states,but there is the momentum argument especially for the later voting states.

    Now for the weirdo states:
    Minnesota (38): 85% winner-take-all rule. The hell?
    Rhode Island (19) 67% winner-take-all.
    Tennesee (58) 66% winner-take-all

    The other states are proportional, though I could be wrong given the idiosyncrasies of each state's rules.

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  14. "Sweet. Like I said awhile ago, this election is shifting power back East where it belongs -- not the lawless West. Reagan, Bush Sr. and Jr., Clinton, McCain, Obama, etc. -- they're gonezo."

    Is Arkansas considered "the West?" Genuine question.

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  15. Their devastating retort to Trump's, "I won't let people die on the streets" was "You sound like a Democrat"...!?!

    Actually, sounding like a human being might get fashionable again. The fabled "Reagan democrats" of the 80's were middle aged Silents and young Boomers who bought into libertarian style "everybody" gets what they deserve glib individualism. This judgmental and selfish attitude doesn't play as well with Gen X and Millennials who've grown up amid chaos. It also comes off as out-dated and cruel to aging Boomers, many of whom realize how badly they were suckered in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's.

    The 1980's were the first period since the 30's in which many people ended up on the street. But the 20's and 30's saw a conscientious public make attempts at reforming a screwed up America. Whereas the 80's were the beginning of the modern period of inequality, robber barons, and kiss-ass politicians who are blatantly indifferent to regular people.

    We're seeing an epochal shift like 1980 right now. But the NATURE of that shift is going to be much different this time. No longer will we glorify the hungry striver intent on buying gigantic homes, having 1-3 children, and focusing on carreerism, fashion, and THE FAMILY instead of communal well-being. Nope. It's time to revive modesty, practicality, and amiable concern for all, not just your immediate family.

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    1. It's ironic that men, a demographic that mostly votes Republican, is by far the most likely to die on the street. In particular, childless men are very vulnerable. Just look at any homeless camp, soup kitchen etc...men are in the large majority. I would guess many of them paid taxes at one time, yet there is no safety net if they need one. Look at how Republicans are against expanded medicaid, yet it is mostly poor, childless men who benefit from it. Women with illegitimate children always get Medicaid and Republicans never dare try to take it away from them. So Republican voting men (which I am one of) should realize it's a positive for them as much as anyone that Trump is against dying on tbe street.

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  16. Yeah, the Eastern pols. are going to have a much easier time getting on board with Trump. The sand, sun, and mountain states are far too wracked by transients, cynics, hedonists, and religious zealots at this point. Their rulers/representatives don't really have any clue as to how to unite such a horde, so they fall back on promoting individualism, paranoia, and cultural/religious fervor. Don't look to your fellow man to save you; save yourself.

    This attitude defies Trump's Robin Hood style leadership ideas (being a gallant leader of a selfless and cheerful team). The Sun-Belt and the West would rather continue to celebrate fatalistic and reckless cowboy culture.

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  17. On the ground level in a Midwestern hospital, you get to see every socioeconomic level (except the mega rich who have their VIP suites), Trump is making in-roads to say the least.

    Donald Trump is a conversation topic that comes up quite a bit randomly. The usual union employees don't seem as afraid of him as they do of a Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, or even Kasich (those people actually shoved right to work, or attempted to in Kasich's case). These same people, overwhelmingly white, weren't exactly rushing to go vote Democrat anyways. You could say these voters are significantly in play (big tent philosophy right?)

    The suburban Republican/cuckservative Fox News crowd will always have their Hillary hate and will crow about some how "abhorrent" Trump's immigration stances are. At the end of the day, they will get with the program. I still put their chances of betrayal at a non-0 number though.

    O my God what about all those Hispanic votes that the 2013 GOP autopsy talked about - well they sure as hell aren't in the Midwest. Congratulations, those Rustbelt electoral votes (MI 17, OH 20, PA 21, IA 7, WI 10) that R-Money lost are in play and very appealing, and all the Trump had to was give up Western states with high Hispanics that... R-Money lost anyways (CO 9, NM 5, NV 5).

    Good God, then there's MA's 12 votes. Someone's going to bring up those refugees who made the Boston Marathon bombing. Expect those old industrial towns to have people show up on election day for a Trump, but not the standard wannabe "Next Reagan."

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  18. A little OT, but something about people getting behind or moving in the direction of Trump... Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson (influential non-pol), Mike Huckabee (daughter)...
    Ag, you're surely aware of how GOPe felt about Palin, mainly after she was gone, but Huckabee, especially, and Robertson were also snickered about and Huckabee has had a major chip on his shoulder about it. I never understood why, in the case of Robertson, some treated him as a joke: I used to love his program (700 Club) when I was in my early 20s though I'm Catholic, but it was that type of show that draws so many in: cheerful, wholesome, fun, never boring, and how can you not like praying?

    Anyway, the reviled populists (or in Robertson's case, just not respected) are back and I expect we'll see that the early joiners will have been "beaten up" or looked down upon in the past. Gingrich comes first to mind. Giuliani, too.

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  19. "I'm in Louisiana, and I have to say Jindal is no Haley, he's a sincere conservative (stood up to fed gov. on Confed monuments, fag marriage, and refugees) if ineffectual and charmless."

    SC Attorney General Alan Wilson (albeit a popularly elected officer, not a Haley appointee) mounted a spirited, federalism-based defense of SC's ban on the granting of marriage licenses to Sodomites and cohabiting spinsters, as recently as last summer, after last year's Supreme Court decision came down (http://www.supremecourt.gov/ObergefellHodges/AmicusBriefs/14-556_State_of_South_Carolina.pdf). Haley and Wilson had spent the two years prior fighting off federal suits (Bradacs v. Haley and Condon vs. Haley) filed by upset SC couples who wanted the luxury of drawing spousal benefits without the hassle of moving to Gomorrah.

    There are confederate monuments on the SC State House grounds, and I challenge anyone to find a larger nutsack than that which graces the statue of a Confederate general on the SC State House lawn (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ec/Statue_of_Wade_Hampton_(lawn_of_the_South_Carolina_Statehouse).jpg). The State House itself, with damage from Union shells still visible on the exterior, is itself a historical monument. I find it impressive that state Republicans managed to hold out on flying the secessionist flag as long as they did, after the narrative about it being pro-slavery gained currency in many quarters. A Confederate flag waving psycho was the wild card that forced Haley to act. It's also worth considering that the state was under significant economic pressure to lift the flag (contra the notion that the fight was purely ideological), due to numerous boycotts with a total economic loss estimated in the millions. One might argue that Haley took the opportunity of the renewed national controversy mainly as an avenue to alleviate economic pain while conceding very little in real terms. So much emphasis was placed on the flag itself that General Wade's freedom sack flew clean under the SJW radar.

    Haley said yesterday that she'll support Trump if he is the nominee but that she has reservations about his electability in the general (http://www.wyff4.com/news/despite-backing-rubio-govhaley-will-support-trump-if-hes-nominated/38196764).

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  20. What does "support" mean for someone who tried to sabotage him on multiple occasions? Like, she won't get up in front of a national political audience and say he's the Anti-Christ? Like, she won't sneak in a bunch of boo-ers to his rallies?

    Let's not be naive here, people.

    And let's not be naive about the plantation owners being forerunners of Southern populism just because they didn't want to intermingle with the blacks. They were the predecessors of today's Californian elites who bring over hordes of foreigners to undercut the American worker's income for farm labor, and kept the local economy so backward (crop cultivation) that white people had no opportunity to get gainful employment and live well like they did up in the North.

    Like California's elites today, those of the old South deserve a special place to burn in Hell. They couldn't have been any worse for populism and nationalism.

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  21. Just think of how ridiculous it's going to sound when, 100 years after we destroy the Western American elites, and return real jobs to the common people out West, the gated community dwellers continue to loudly proclaim the superiority of the Real Housewives lifestyle and culture. "The West shall rise again!" "We seceded in order to preserve our West Coast way of life (built on Aztec peasant hordes)." Etc.

    That's how stupid Southerners sound when they defend the plantation owning elites and their secession.

    Defend your populists, not your elitists.

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  22. "Is Arkansas considered "the West?" Genuine question."

    As far as history and its continuing influence, I'd say yes. It's west of the Mississippi, came in with the Louisiana Purchase, didn't get statehood until the 1830s, not heavily settled until after that.

    It's not far out West, maybe "Near West" along with Texas, Oklahoma, etc.

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