“So you burnt down the GOP” or “There is no conservative base.”

I’m seeing a wide variety of reasons for Trump support ranging from CNN’s favorite to broadcast the “I loved him on The Apprentice” (I thought a Kardashian would be our first celebrity president, or Beyoncé) to “I like what he stands for” or “He fights!” or “He has the right people mad.” (These to me are all similar in theme.)

The one that intrigues me most is the idea that Trump is going to burn down the GOP. I suspect the more likely scenario is that like Giuliani or Cain before him, by the end of the year the GOP base (what’s left of it) will settle on someone more establishment and all this will be a memory. If that happens (once we see the power of a fully activated establishment death star) we’ll pretty much be where we’ve been the last 3 cycles, chugging along with ever more cylinders in our engine dying.

But still, I am curious what happens if Trump manages to successfully render the GOP shattered (or “riven” for you game/word geeks out there.) What comes next? That is what is stage two in the set of:

  1. Burn down the GOP
  2. ?????
  3. Profit.

Many of us (myself included) get upset by the establishment’s constant failure to be even remotely conservative, but the fact is the establishment is made up of primary voters, and be they perpetually naïve, simply LIV, or even (gasp!) moderate. When the GOP is shattered they won’t go away.

I’ve said before, and still believe that there really is no true conservative base. Yes there are conservatives out there, but a truly “limited government” conservative is few and far between. Most nominal conservatives have some ox they don’t want to see gored.  In Iowa (or Southern IL) maybe that’s farm subsidies. In MO, it’s probably a mess of “farming, bloated defense fighter jets and NIH funding.” In Florida, maybe it’s flood insurance, Social Security and Medicare.  The list goes on for each state/region.

Uniting all of these factions under a single “conservative” banner is unlikely to happen. (A part of me wonders if this is how we ended up with the feckless GOP we have now, afraid to cut anything at all.)

Now obviously this reality doesn’t make an argument for “Team GOP”. I can’t and won’t make any argument for them at this point. But even setting aside “OMG DEMOCRATS!” which frankly when Team GOP gives us Medicare Part D isn’t even a irrational argument anymore it’s just stupid, I’m not sure anyone is going to like what rises from the ashes of the GOP either.

Our constitutional system leaves us pretty well tethered to a two party system (with insurgent periods.) This leaves us with very few options. I would have like to see the party change from within, but as I said, there is no conservative base, so this seems unlikely to happen. So not an argument for “Team GOP” as much as a plea that someone start a plan for something next. Preferably something not bloody and violent.

22 comments to ““So you burnt down the GOP” or “There is no conservative base.””
  1. I don’t necessarily think of Trump as the solution – or to some the problem – as more of articulating the popular rage of the vast majority of Americans at the destruction of the country and society from within and without.

    Well, now that Trump has the ear of the American people, maybe it will take a bit of his tough love to tell them that the farm subsidies, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and all the other “entitlements” from Uncle Sugar are killing us.

    Political suicide? Maybe. But maybe Trump is the appropriate messenger for a message that needs delivering.

  2. Step 2 is to burn down the DNC. IIRC, Trump’s polling pretty well among “traditional Democrat constituencies.”

    Then Profit!

  3. The Elusive Regan Democrats.
    Although not really. Trump’s basically pulling the “more free shit” Democrat crowd that sees immigration as competition for said free shit, but he’ll be inevitably outbid by the party of free shit.

  4. Except that Trump, as a beneficiary of government largess himself (i.e. Kelo style arrangements and other protectionism won’t deliver that message.)

    Hell I worry in the end he’ll deliver the exact opposite of that message.

  5. “…articulating the popular rage of the vast majority of Americans at the destruction of the country and society from within and without.”

    This cannot be repeated enough. This is why Trump is leading. That his politics are a joke and his political intellect is sub-par is secondary to his ability to stoke the fires of rage and…can I hope…rebellion in this country.

    And I am not impressed by Trump, as my two posts in the last few weeks will demonstrate.

  6. I like to remind people that we have processes in place that will stop in his tracks Trump if he goes Full Crazy in office. White Republicans are subject to laws that black Democrats can safely ignore.

    Hell, Congress will do its best to derail Trump if if he is busy doing all the Good Things he talks about. It’s going to be a four-year adversary relationship.

    What impresses me most about The Donald is that he has generated a movement toward real change. No politician in our lifetimes has done that.

    He’s not particularly impressive as a potential president, I admit. But he’s the best thing going right now, and our best chance to start reversing eight years of ruinous national policies, treason and destruction wrought by Choom Boy.

    Have a better candidate in mind? I’ll look at him, as I feel no attachment to Trump personally. But said person better not be one of the establishment political hacks. They need to suffer the same fate as the Passenger Pigeon.

  7. Here’s the thing. I am not following Trump blindly, like the drones who shrieked “Obama Uber Alles” back in ’08. I am fully aware of Trump’s shortcomings.

    If -IF IF IF – he somehow secures the nomination, I will have to seriously assess his being the nominee and potential president means.

    Until that time, I am content to watch him run wild like Godzilla in Tokyo and crush the shit out of all in his path.

  8. Do I expect violence with “burn it down”? No, of course not. With all the cautions noted, Trump is an unknown, but I also think he will be restrained far more than our current President both by the media as well as the other branches if he strays from his populist positions. What I am 100% certain of is that any other candidate will just get me more of the same and that is the source of my rage.

  9. Dogfish, Trump will be “restrained” by Congress and the media no matter what he does. He is a serious threat to the system they have established and are profiting from, and they won’t surrender their fatcat lifestyles and feelings of “power” without a fight.

    What need will we have for people like Boehner, McConnell, “Poppin’ Fresh” Morrissey, Kristol, Rove and their kind if the government once again becomes our servant instead of our master? None at all.

    I don’t believe the Chattering Class has figured out what damage the Trump candidacy, if it succeeds, will do to them. Or if they have, they simply aren’t admitting it.

  10. Word, the candidate who profits incredibly off an ever increasing government to hand him non-competes and cheap property will totes be restrained.

    My concern is that Trump ends up being a “corporatist” on steroids, and that the willing corporatists in congress let him roll with that (because they want it too).

    Eminent domain for everyone!

  11. Understood, tsrblke. Of course one could, if looking logically, say the same about ANY wannabe in the race. IMO, there’s not a single candidate who comes across as trustworthy enough to be President.

    It still boils down to who has the best ideas and is most likely to follow through. For me, that’s Trump, even though — and I’ve said this enough times to be really, really boring about it — I would prefer a more, well, presidential President.

    My take is that Trump would, if only to embellish his own ego, follow through with what he has said so far, The rest we can fight about later, if necessary….

  12. The great Ronald Reagan tried and failed to abolish the Dept. of Education. His greatest obstacle was his own party.

    We’ll see what happens. We still have almost a year to the convention and then just over that to the election. It’s an eternity in politics.

    Let’s see what happens. Tonight’s CNN debate (what everyone seems to be hoping will be Trump’s public execution) should be interesting.

  13. Well, JJ, not EVERYONE hopes Trump will be strung up tonight. I sure as heck don’t!

    Yes, Salem Communications and its paid shills — the Corpulent “Captain,” EE, etc. — hope so, as do those who blindly retransmit their opinions as “commentary” and various past-their-sell-by-date types like George Will and Bill Kristol.

    The only way I’d be happy to see Trump cut down to size is if someone on the debate stage actually grew a pair and adopted the policies Trump claims to believe in (as I do), and forcefully presented them along with an added dose of governmental knowledge.

    Since I strongly doubt that Ronald Reagan will emerge from his crypt to take over the proceedings, I’m guessing that’s not going to happen.

  14. Overall, Trump isn’t a solution — he’s a symptom. It is the problems within the party that brought Candidate Trump into existence. He hates, hates, HATES Jeb Bush and what he represents, and I don’t believe that Trump would have even gotten into the race, but or the fact that Jeb got touted by the media as a frontrunner.

    I’ll disagree with you in only one small area, and it’s not even a strong disagreement: the question of whether there exists a conservative base. There is, but it’s a negative base, and not a positive one. It’s defined by what it’s against, not what it’s for, and what it’s against is RINOs. It’s a broad swath of voters that grumbled “gawdammit, not McCain” in 2008 and “gawdammit, not Romney” in 2012. They may be divided among five or six candidates they favor, but they agree to a man that it can’t be Jeb who gets the nomination.

    Most Cruz voters I know like Carson, Fiorina, and Jindal well enough to be able to vote for them if their man doesn’t get the nomination. Most Carson voters will be perfectly happy accepting Jindal, Walker, or Cruz, and so on. But nearly all of them have said something along the lines of “but if it’s Bush (or Christie, or Graham), I’m staying home next November.” I know people who are passionately opposed to those three, but let me ask you: how many passionate Bush supporters have you met? Or Graham?

    What there is of a conservative base, isn’t lined up behind a single candidate yet, but they’re royally and mightily pissed off at the Party Elite consistently shoving squishes down their throats year after year in the name of “electability.”

    Trump’s not what you’d call a complete idiot. He knows that there’s a big group of people that’s tired of losing every four years, who want McConnell and Boehner gone like Cantor, and who want desperately to be able to vote for someone as pissed off as they are. Trump is a showman, and he’s giving them what they want. Whether he himself believes what he says remains to be seen — let’s be honest, the Magic 8-Ball is having better luck than I am trying to identify Trump’s core beliefs.

  15. IMHO, all he’s said is “I’m going to do [something that gets applause.]”

    He has offered no actual plans (Save for the immigration plan, which itself is fanciful.) His foreign policy consists of “we’re going to be great again!”
    His economic policy “we’re going to get jobs again!”
    etc. etc. etc.

    He is a modern day PT Barnum.

  16. I have never seen any indication that Trump “hates” El Heb!, but plenty of signs that everyone else among the GOPe hates the living bejeebers out of Trump. Including El Heb!, in his own lackadaisical, wimpy way.

    One of the benefits — if one wants to see it that way — of the overcrowded, overheated field of wannabes this year is that we are getting a good read on their personalities, if not their philosophies and strengths. The ones whining most loudly about Bad Hair Boy are making themselves look pretty classless. Pathetic, really.

    And these are the Great Hopes of the GOPe? All I can say is “good luck with that, and don’t let the door hit…” and so forth.

    The Republicans basically outlived their usefulness when they put Bush 41 in the White House. From there forward, it has been downhill all the way.

  17. Step 1: Burn it down
    Step 2: Salt the earth
    Step 3: Is negotiable, but hopefully involves Kennedy’s head on a pike

    I care that those representatives of ours who have betrayed us do not profit thereby.
    Our profiting is already off the table. We’re screwed, and there’s not much we can do about it but rage at the dying of the light.
    But we can take some of the worthless sonsabitches with us.

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