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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Trump and the Republican Establishment

For John, BLUFThe local Democrat establishment seems pretty secure in believing it will be Ms Clinton.  Maybe not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is Mr Ezra Klein, writing in Vox"The Republican Party doesn’t want to believe its voters agree with Trump.  But they do."
Does Donald Trump's appeal have anything to do with his policy positions?  Republican political consultant Matthew Dowd says it doesn't — Trump's rise, he argues, is all personality, no policy:
trump's voter support has nothing to do with any issues.  it has to do with gut and bravado.
This is, for Republicans, the more comforting interpretation of Trump's emergence — he's a candidate powered by a potent mix of celebrity, outrage, and chutzpah, but he's not really a Republican, and as the primary grinds on, Republican voters will figure that out.
Well, how do we understand it?  Here is Mr Ezra Klein's shot at it:
But there's another possible interpretation — this one more worrying for Republicans.  In this interpretation, part of what makes Trump dangerous is that he's willing to cater to the opinions of the Republican base in ways that the Republican establishment wouldn't dare.  And in doing so, he can exploit longstanding cleavages between the Republican Party and the voters it represents.
There is a slight problem with this explanation.  It stands on two legs.
  • The first is Mr Trump is "willing to cater to the opinions of the Republican base".
  • The second is the "longstanding cleavages between the Republican Party and the voters it represents.
The problem is, if there are "longstanding cleavages" between the Party Establishment, including many leaders in Congress, and the Republican Voters, then the Party Establishment does not, in fact, represent those voters.  Nobody does.  Of course, it is the purpose of elections to try and determine if those voters are a big enough group to deserve representation.  If this was one of those European nations, with a Parliament, then those voters would be represented, albeit as a minority party.  Or as a party strong enough to form a coalition with one or more other parties to run the government.

But, this is the United States.  Aside from the odd individual (e.g., Bernie Sanders in the US Senate), you are either a Democrat or a Republican.  A very Anglo-Saxon way of organizing things.

One of the issues Mr Klein hammers in his article is immigration. I thought this item, "Floodgates Open:  Top Democrat Professor says 'I've Never Seen Any Politician' With Better Immigration Plan Than Trump", from Brietbart made an interesting point.  That "top Dem Prof" would be Norm Matloff, a professor at UC Davis, who has written extensively about H-1B visa abuses. 

Matloff, a self-described Democrat and “longtime admirer of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT),” gave Donald Trump’s H-1B policy “an A+”...
Then there is this view put out by Mr Ron Radosh, "Populism Is Back, on Both Left and Right".  Note that he says "Populism", not "Progressivism".  The sub-headline is "Will the ideas of Trump and Sanders guide the election just as prior populist movements have?".  Good question.

Here is the lede:

Populism from both the right and the left is sweeping the country, represented by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  Trump says he is a conservative while Sanders says he is a democratic socialist, but labels aside, the issues they are emphasizing which are drawing the big crowds often parallel one another.

This week, Trump unveiled his immigration plan.  Emphasizing “jobs, wages, and security” in a section titled “Put American Workers First,” Trump writes:

The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans — including immigrants themselves and their children — to earn a middle class wage.

. . .

We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to: help wages grow, get teenagers back to work, aid minorities’ rise into the middle class, help schools and communities falling behind, and to ensure our immigrant members of the national family become part of the American dream.

If you check some of Sanders’ speeches, he says the exact same thing.

In an interview with Ezra Klein in Vox, Sanders rejects “open borders” as both a Koch family desire as well as that of those he calls “the right-wing.”

Interesting.  Sometimes candidates don't so much articulate their ideas as allow us to project our ideas onto them.

Then there is this from Mr Kurt Schlichter, writing in Town Hall"The GOP Establishment Will Learn the Wrong Lessons from Donald Trump".

Let's be absolutely clear – Donald Trump is entirely the fault of a GOP establishment that lied to conservatives and refused to do what it promised it would do.  Trump is no secret Machiavellian genius cunningly outmaneuvering his enemies from his super-classy Atlantic City volcano lair.  He's a finger-to-the-wind charlatan who will say whatever he needs to say to maximize his own personal adulation.  And he would still be merely a tiresome reality TV catch-phrase generator if the GOP establishment had not treated the rest of us like dirt.

Donald Trump will be beaten, but it sure as hell is not going to be the establishment that does it.  Instead, it is hard-core conservatives like me and you who are getting out there and making the case that serious conservative renewal requires actual serious conservative candidates.  You know, ones who never voted for Obama or gave money to Hillary – conservatives who were conservative before conservatism was cool.

Bonus:  Mr Schlichter talks about drinking Glenlivet with John Boehner.  I am not so impressed with the John Boehner thing as with the fact that Mr Schlichter was at a party that served Glenlivet.

Hat tip to the blog Memorandum.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The article says "his work is widely cited in the H-1B reform community".
  I wonder if local Lawyer Jim Hall, also an Army War College Graduate, knows him.

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