Thought you were pretty foxy, didn’t you?By
It’s a joke. All of it: his candidacy, the apparatus of propaganda and grift surrounding it, the failures of governance and education and culture that have brought us to this place. What disturbs me most is the prospect that Donald Trump is what a very large number of Republican voters want: not a wonk, not an orator, not a statesman, not even a leader, really, if by leader you mean someone who persuades and inspires and manages a team to pursue a common good. They just want a man who vents their anger at targets above and below their status.
Of course, Continetti is venting his anger at targets above and below his, the kind of thing, he writes, “one expects of teenagers, artists, bloggers, pajama boys—immature, peevish, radical, self-destructive behavior.” The lack of self-awareness among Continetti and his peers is as stunning as it is predictable. Just last summer, Jonathan Chait reminds readers, Continetti was accusing John McCain staffers of revealing “disparaging material” about 2008 know-nothing VP-candidate Sarah Palin. As though that was not Palin’s métier.
Trump’s candidacy has given them the chance to debate the merits of an ignorant demagogue, rather than defend him reflexively. Many of them have decided that a president who knows things about public policy, and does not indulge conspiracy theories from email chains, has a certain charm. They have even come to view the dissent against such a candidate as an act of nobility, rather than traitorous currying of favor with the elite liberal media.
Continetti blames “failures of governance and education and culture” for bringing us to this place, when he would be better off looking at a family portrait. We have to go back to Warren Harding to find a comparable example of failed governance to the latter Bush administration, and the GOP turned into a grift machine under the watchful eye of the Bush family. As for education, has anyone treated it as more of a business opportunity than Jeb Bush? There’s a cultural rot here, but there are actual people to blame for it, and it’s not the recipients of catapulted propaganda.
Look in the mirror, friends. The T-party was all fun and war games until someone put the party’s eye out. Rush Limbaugh’s Monday-through-Friday Three Hours Hate fed red meat and dog whistles to the base for decades until the well-fed base got muscular enough to turn on its handlers and refuse to come when called. Hannity, O’Reilly, Beck, Savage, Breitbart. McConnell, Boehner, Gingrich, Ryan, etc. Thought you were pretty foxy, didn’t you?
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)