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JimDelRey @JimDelRey
, 25 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
"Trump makes people mean-spirited", says the guy who calls Trump-supporters stupid racists.…
I hate to say it...because it involves rehashing the last few elections...but it has to be said: The disconnect between rank-n-file righties and the conservative intellectual class didn't need to happen. It shouldn't have happened, really.
Since 1996, conservatives were advised by various righty big-wigs to support various candidates. Dole, Dubya, McCain, Romney, Jeb!/Rubio: All were approved (in various strengths of approval, to be fair) from most rightish writers/thinkers at the prestige publications/think tanks.
Righty consultants, think-tank folks, conservo-commentators at the prestige sites--the majority of them gave the establishment GOP candidates their blessing.
Now, to be fair, Conservatism Inc didn't just endorse candidates. There was a lot of strong research and analysis. A lot of those policy recommendations make a lot of sense and should be enacted, especially on spending/entitlements.
And, I'll grant Conservatism Inc this as well: Most of them said that the issues in America couldn't be solved through elections alone. I agree. Lots of people think this way. There are cultural problems that can't be solved by Congressional majorities and a signing ceremony.
Now, here's where we get to the problems: Conservatism Inc, the GOPe, the consultant class--whatever you want to call it--couldn't adjust to the changing electoral conditions on the ground.
Look at Dubya: The guy had GOP majorities. He had high approval ratings. What conservative policy items did he get done?

Sure, tax cuts are nice and the assault weapons ban lapsed.

But never-ending nation-building wars are not long-standing conservative traditions.
Bush also gave conservatives a new federal entitlement program (you know, the thing Conservative Inc says is bad, except when Bush does it), Supreme Court John Roberts, and he tried to foist immigration amnesty onto the nation.

But tell me how Trump is a conservative apostate.
And remember: Bush was the Establishment guy that actually won. Dole, McCain, Romney, and Jeb!/Rubio couldn't even get that far.
Meanwhile, rank-n-file conservatives/traditionalists noticed that the Establishment candidates couldn't win. They also noticed that they weren't getting much from Conservatism Inc's policy prescriptions.
Normal-"The factory closed, I don't have a job."
GOPe-"Free trade!"
Normal-"ObamaCare wiped out my plan."
GOPe-"Here's another pointless repeal vote!"
Normal-"My wages have stagnated."
GOPe-"Amnesty! And if you complain about it, we'll call you a racist, you moron!"
Normal-"These nation-building wars seem to be going on for forever, and we're not getting anywhere, and they seem like thankless police actions that get us nothing but trouble and grief."
GOPe-"Lock-n-load, cuz you cannon-fodder types are going to the Crimea! YAY!'
Here's the great irony: Conservatism Inc couldn't--or refused to--figure out what rank-n-file righties saw much more quickly: That the GOPe's policies and tone hadn't changed to match what was happening on the ground.
So while the Consultant Class was busy readying yet another Standard Issue Interventionist Non-Judgmental Centristy-Rightish Nothingburger to run against Hillary Clinton, the rank-n-file was exhausted and ready for change.
Then Jonah Goldberg wonders why the rank-n-file are annoyed at The Weekly Standard and didn't mourn the loss of such an august publication.
The Right doesn't need to be lectured to by Bill Kristol. It especially doesn't need a 'conservative' lecturing them using the same scuzzy hateful language that the Left uses when they describe righties/Republicans.
Why do conservatives need Bill Kristol or Rick Wilson or John Podhoretz or Tom Nichols to call them bigots when MSNBC, CNN, ABCnews, The NYTimes, and WaPo do that 24/7/365?
The Weekly Standard: Trump sucks and his supporters suck.
Rank-n-File: I think I'll read something that doesn't sound like it was a fifth rate Rachel Maddow brainfart.
Jonah Goldberg: How dare you not support a diversity of opinion? Conservatives are so anti-intellectual!
FYI-If something attacks you on a regular basis, it's no longer an ally or even a neutral.

It is an enemy.

Ergo, you do not have to tolerate it because 'we need a diversity of opinion'.
This gets me back to my original point: The rank-n-file/Conservatism Inc split did not have to happen.

The GOPe, and their media folks, could've done a hundred different things to make this thing work.
A GOPe that recognized some of it's past failings, a consultant class that was a bit more humble, a Conservatism Inc that was more about constructive criticism of Trump...those things were possible.

Hell, all of that is still a possibility.
Instead, the GOPe has spent 3 years being dickish smug gasbags to the people who should be their strongest allies.

And before you say, "Well, relationships are a two-way street", remember that Conservatism Inc has the louder microphone. They're the ones with platforms.
Conservatism Inc occupies leadership positions at think tanks and political parties. They have a lot of power.

Great leaders listen to the people they intend to lead. They listen to their concerns. They don't lie and call them 'racists' when they disagree.
I still think and hope that this thing can be mended.

Call me a hopeless optimist.

But Goldberg and the rest need to figure out that being whiny little assholes to the people they're hoping to influence isn't the way to get us all back together.
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