Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Establishment has been heard from...they think nothing has changed.


Unlike Steve, I’m convinced that, unfortunately, Hillary Clinton win will this election. Assuming she does, and that the race isn’t very close, what will happen to Trumpism?
To answer this question we must identify Trumpism’s main characteristics. In my view, there are five: (1) the unbridled egotism of its leader and his whiff of authoritarianism; (2) gratuitous nastiness; (3) a strong stance against illegal immigration; (4) intense skepticism about the the virtue of free trade; (5) an anti-interventionist foreign policy.
(I should note that the first two traits don’t sharply distinguish Trumpism from leaders of the Democrats. However, they have not characterized GOP leaders in the decades since Richard Nixon.)
Let’s consider whether the five defining features of Trumpism will prevail in a post-Trump GOP.

Unbridled egotism and the whiff of authoritarianism
If Trump loses, those aspiring to lead the Republican party in 2020 are unlikely to emulate Trump’s demeanor and other personal characteristics. Similarly, Republican voters are unlikely to want to nominate another candidate who exhibits them.
Following a disappointing defeat, we often see the rejection of the losing candidate’s personal characteristics. Trump himself is the polar opposite of Mitt Romney in terms of aura and personal qualities. Romney’s personality and aura were very different than John McCain’s. I think this trend will hold in 2020.
Gratuitous nastiness
See above.
A strong stance against illegal immigration
Although this stance was crucial to Trump’s capture of the GOP, it is not uniquely Trumpian. The conservative wing of the GOP was, for the most part, strongly opposed to amnesty and a path to citizenship before Trump emerged as a force in the Party.
It’s true that leaders of the conservative wing wavered after the 2012 defeat, which is why Trump gained instant traction. But it requires no accommodation to Trumpism for the GOP to maintain a strong stance against illegal immigration going forward.
I fear, however, that Paul Ryan will work with Hillary Clinton to pass amnesty-style immigration reform. By doing so, he will all but guarantee a bitter and enduring fight within the party. I expect immigration to again be a defining issue in the fight for the GOP nomination, and I hope (and expect) that Trumpism will prevail on this matter.
Intense skepticism about the virtue of free trade
Unlike with immigration, Trump’s approach to trade represents a sharp break from traditional GOP thinking. In theory, then, trade could be another defining issue in the fight for the GOP nomination in 2020.
In practice, it probably won’t be. It should be possible for Republican aspirants to finesse the issue by saying (as Hillary Clinton does) “I favor trade deals that help the U.S. and oppose deals that don’t.”
That dodge won’t work if Clinton makes controversial trade deals. In that event, aspirants will have to say whether the deal is good for the U.S. or bad.
However, Clinton’s party is so divided on trade that she is unlikely to negotiate controversial deals during her first term. If I’m right about this, trade need not be a major issue in the next four years.
Anti-interventionist foreign policy
Here too, Trumpism represents a break with traditional Republican thinking. But it’s worth noting that, pre-Trump, the Party moved briefly in an anti-interventionist direction. The rise of ISIS pushed it back into a more normal posture.
The post-Trump thinking will be driven by events. If Clinton is an interventionist and things go poorly, the Party will embrace anti-interventionism (and this would be true had Trump never run). If Clinton interventions go well, the Party’s normal stance will prevail.
If Clinton fails to intervene and bad results ensue, the Party will become vocally pro-intervention. If Clinton fails to intervene and things remain relatively quiet, there will be disagreement within the Party about America’s role in the world, but the issue will be academic and have little bearing on whom the GOP nominates in 2020.
In sum, assuming Clinton defeats Trump fairly comfortably, I expect that the Party will nominate an anti-Trump in terms of personality, aura, and behavior. On substance, the Party ignores Trumpism on immigration at its peril; can probably finesse Trumpism on trade; and will embrace or reject Trumpism on foreign intervention depending on how things go in the coming years.
(So lets get this straight. All of the issues that propelled Trump to the nomination won't matter. Except maybe immigration and they can finesse that by lying and bullshitting the way they always did before. I mean he is a little leary of the issue but figures the establishment like Ryan can lie their way out of it. Otherwise he dismisses everything else that Trump is talking about as if it doesn't count. I think he needs to start a Kickstarter campaign so he can buy a clue. 
I still think Trump is going to win. But if he loses a close election with a lot of fraud and the establishment lines up with Hillary and doesn't contest it ....well it will get ugly. Amy Shcumer ugly. These cucks just don't have a clue.)


edutcher said...

PowerLine has been stridently anti-Trump since the Convention and, most of the time, it's pretty clear they can't wait for Trump to lose.

That said, most of "Trumpism" existed before he became a candidate and will exist win, loser, drawbridge. They don't see this. They don't see how the appeal of Sarah Palin morphed into Trump's appeal.

They also go out of their way to ignore how Junior McCain was far more willing to be a gracious loser than Romney ever was.

Thing is, the Whigs would hide behind the consent decree not to contest the election. Trump would not be so encumbered any more than Dubya was.

Certainly more so.

PS Good piece, Troop.

Leland said...

I would say the movement towards Trump begins with the Porkbusters and later the TEA Party. The common theme of both was fiscal conservatism. Some think that means free trade, but that's an ideal. These people didn't want ideal, they just wanted movement towards a smaller government, or if that's impossible, at least halting the growth. Bush didn't halt the growth, and it began to snowball in his 2nd term with a GOP Congress.

I know many people that didn't vote in 2006 out of disgust with the GOP. The idea then was losing Congress was better than losing the Presidency. And Hillary would run, and likely win the primary, in 2008; and she would be the weak candidate then as she is now. Instead, she was too weak and didn't win the primary. And the GOP establishment went for the seniority play thus giving us the weakest GOP candidate in 30 years. So people that sat out 2006, gave lukewarm support in 2008; came out in droves in 2010 to win back Congress. The enthusiasm continued right up to Romney's 2nd debate, when he utterly failed to respond to Candy Crowley neither in the debate nor afterwards. 2014 support came from a lack of any other option and some hope that enlarging GOP gains in Congress might help. Instead, the GOP Congress just became weaker.

It's amazing how much weaker they are acting. They always fought hard as a minority, but damn if they don't roll over for a tummy rub when they get near a 2/3rd majority. That behavior is as unsustainable as it is undeniable. Thus Trooper's number 2. Yeah, it won't continue, but it needs to.

3/4/5 simply don't matter so long as the GOP as a majority folds their strong hand. All we have, and its at the State level; are better laws on abortion, which allow for it up to 20 weeks and then limits afterwards. I support those laws, but that's no GOP type position that existed prior to 2010. Is there any other GOP plank that has progressed under a GOP majority in Congress? One? I don't count investigations that have not resulted in one person going to jail or one policy being reversed.

Chip Ahoy said...

I do not t agree those are the 5 defining characteristics. I define what I see slightly differently.

1) unbridled earned egoism about his rightful success in the real world governed by corrupt politics.

2) unrestrained returned attacks

3) strong stance against illegal immigration and implementation wide open unprotected borders and invitation by such policies accomplished fait accompli against the wishes of the electorate

4) intense skepticism about unfair trade where our markets are opened but our partners are not and foreign countries manipulate their currencies

5) skepticism regarding armed intervention

6) insistence on representative government, not its reverse.

8) hatred of corrupted parties and corrupted obviously partisan network media

9) acknowledgment of rigged system

10) dismantling disastrous Obamacaare.

11) Affection for his country, its laws, its values, its institutions that allowed him to flourish.

12) Skepticism of immigration from part of the world where its citizens do not share our values, our laws, our institutions.

Leland said...

Chip, I definitely agree with your number 11. Also 8, 9 and 12. I wish 10 was more true, but I'm not seeing it even from Trump. Although I'll admit that me not seeing it is because I'm not looking for it and the media sure isn't covering it.

bagoh20 said...

I don't agree with his five points. I just see one: people wanted change, and he was the most changy, period. All the rest is just variations on that theme. The more atypical he acted - the more Trumpers loved it.

Chip, I think you are like most Trumpers who assign qualities and motives to Trump out of desire for them rather than evidence they exist there. I don't really dismiss that, as I also hope he is more than I see, and that he will somehow manifest those things, but he has been a disappointment for me so far - not the cunning, focussed fighter I'd hoped for. But when in office I fantasize he will become like the old saying: "Some have greatness thrust upon them".

On this whole topic of next time: Who predicted Trump would be the nominee four years ago? Find that guy and ask him what's gonna happen. Everybody else is throwing shit on the wall, including me when I prognosticate, although mine don't stink.

Sixty Grit said...

There is no wall, bag.