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Monday, January 30, 2017

Fact check for Republican Deep State parasites: You've been thoroughly rejected: "It's Donald Trump's Party Now"-NY Times Editorial Board, May 4, 2016. Republican voters' message "is testimony to how thoroughly they reject the Republican politicians who betrayed them"















Above, headline of NY Times Editorial, posted Tuesday evening May 3, 2016 for Wed., May 4, 2016 print edition 

Even the NY Times Editorial Board was honest enough to admit that the 2016 Republican voters' message "is testimony to how thoroughly they reject the Republican politicians who betrayed them."...Consent of the governed is required if you want to be in charge.  
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May 3, 2016, By The NY Times Editorial Board: 


"Republican leaders have for years failed to think about much of anything beyond winning the next election. Year after year, the party’s candidates promised help for middle-class people who lost their homes, jobs and savings to recession, who lost limbs and well-being to war, and then did next to nothing.

That Mr. Trump was able to enthrall voters by promising simply to “Make America Great Again” — but offering only xenophobic, isolationist or fantastical ideas — is testimony to how thoroughly they reject the politicians who betrayed them."... 

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1/3/17, "Trump utterly gutted the GOP in the primaries. That was the real landslide of 2016."...CNBC, Jake Novak
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6/27/2016, "The elites of both parties are, as if by rote, extreme globalists." 6/27/2016 

"He managed to prevail—to mount the most astonishingly successful insurgent campaign against a party establishment in our lifetimes....He won the GOP’s untapped residue of nationalist voters, in a system where the elites of both parties are, as if by rote, extreme globalists. He won the support of those who favored changing trade and immigration policies, which, it is increasingly obvious, do not favor the tangible interests of the average American.

He won the backing of those alarmed by a new surge of political correctness, an informal national speech code that seeks to render many legitimate political opinions unsayable. He won the support of white working-class voters whose social and economic position had been declining for a generation."...6/27/16, "Why Trump Wins," "He knows border wars have replaced culture wars." The American Conservative, by Scott McConnell
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Added: 

Sept. 2015 article:

"The Republican party has essentially exhausted the two ideological themes it has ridden on since about 1980-- free markets and social conservatism -- and needs new ones to survive."

9/30/2015, "Donald Trump Is Trying to Save the Republican Party From Itself," Ian Fletcher, Huffington Post
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"I'm neither endorsing nor condemning Mr. Trump, but I do think he's trying to save the Republican party from itself in a very rational way. The last thing he is is a clown or dilettante. (OK, maybe a clown.)
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Why? Because the Republican party has essentially exhausted the two ideological themes it has ridden on since about 1980-- free markets and social conservatism -- and needs new ones to survive.
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Any ideologues out there, I'm sorry: American history makes quite clear that partisan ideological themes don't last forever, in either party. They're good for a few decades, then they evolve or get dumped....
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First, consider the exhaustion of free-market ideology. This doesn't mean that free markets per se, which obviously have enormous validity, are dead as an idea. But it does mean that pushing even further in the direction of free markets is dead as an idea.
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Why? Most obviously, the 2008 financial crisis, whose effects we're still dealing with, was an effect of markets allowed to run amok, not of markets being insufficiently free. (Yes, I know you can blame it all on the government, but that's a tendentious "reality is the opposite of what you see" argument.) 
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There's a happy medium between too much and too little regulation, and we've basically reached the limit of our ability to improve our economy by deregulating further. 
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In public perception, this wasn't always the case. It certainly wasn't in 1980, when Ronald Reagan rode this theme to victory. And argue the timing if you like, but surely the reader recalls the romanticism about markets of the late 1990s? Remember California deregulating its electricity market in 1996? (Which handed control over to Enron, by the way, and led to blackouts in Silicon Valley.)
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So "Even freer markets!" has lost its credibility as an ideological theme. If you disagree, then what industries would you now propose to deregulate, and how do you think that would improve things?
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The increased public interest in economic equality is also playing a role here. There are conservative policies that reduce inequality, but they're old-school paternalist conservative policies, not free-market conservative policies. (Some people will tell you that "conservative" simply equals "free market," but this is simply ignorant of history, though I don't have the space to elaborate here.)
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Social conservatism is a more complicated topic, but in a country where both public opinion and the Supreme Court support, to take the obvious example, gay marriage, it doesn't look like a net electoral winner from now on....
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So what's the Republican party to do? Luckily, there are other right-wing themes out there to be had, though not an infinite number of truly big ones, substantial enough and popular enough to float a national political party on.
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Enter nationalism. Specifically, economic nationalism, because the economy is what voters care about most. Mr. Trump's protectionism is a form of economic nationalism. So is his stance against immigration. (Again, I take no position on the merits, but anti-immigrationism is definitely a form of economic nationalism.) 
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Trump is not the first person to come up with this strategy: as I noted in an article during the 2012 election, Mitt Romney was going in this direction already, albeit much less aggressively than Trump.

Romney pledged to crack down on China's currency manipulation. He threatened the use of countervailing duties if necessary, a serious and previously ideologically taboo attempt to blunt America's trade deficit. He said illegal immigrants should "self deport."

Why was Romney less aggressive? For one thing, that was several years ago, and the causative trends hadn't yet gone so far. Two, he wasn't a billionaire, only a humble multi-millionaire, so he had to cater to the Republican donor class. Which, while not sincerely socially conservative, very much adores free-market ideology as the perfect rationalization for their crony-capitalist reality. (Their interpretation of "free" markets is "government won't interfere with private distortions of markets in my favor.")
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Come to think of it, even Patrick Buchanan got there first, in the sense of taking economic-nationalist positions (anti-free-trade, anti-immigration) as a Republican primary candidate in 1992. 
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But Buchanan, of course, never attracted more than a fringe following. It's no mystery why. One, he wasn't a billionaire who could finance an entire campaign while defying the donor class and cowing the Republican establishment with the tacit threat of a third-party run tipping the election to the Democrats. Two, the credibility of "even freer markets are always the solution" economics hadn't exhausted itself in 1992. (As noted above, it didn't even peak until the late 1990s.) Three, there was not yet a collapse of social conservatism forcing a search for new ideological themes.
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Even poor old H. Ross Perot fits perfectly into this picture. He was a trade hawk, anti-immigration, and relatively socially liberal. But he tried to do it without the legitimacy and infrastructure of an established party, and his political inexperience led to him getting spooked out of the race by, among other things, Republican dirty tricks. Still, astonishingly popular with the voters for a while.
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So economic nationalism is a rich theme that's been waiting to be exploited for a long time. Like, say, civil rights in the early 1960s. Mr. Trump's comically blustering persona, which seems to confuse a lot of commentators, fits perfectly into this picture. Why? Because it enables him to seem much more right-wing than he really is, which is essential to retreating from obsolete rightist positions without incurring the wrath of primary voters. (Trump's the most experienced show-biz politician since Reagan; of course he figured this out.) Every time some liberal yaps about his being a dangerous crypto-fascist menace, it re-glues this mask, though one of his biggest vulnerabilities is that it will fall off.
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The bigger joke is that the Republican establishment is fighting so hard against being saved. They may be the last to figure this all out."



 


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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.