Mitch McConnell and his political allies think that money can win the war for control of the GOP. They think their political savvy, stratagems, and carefully cultivated candidates will beat the Trump/Bannon/Mercer axis.
They’re wrong. They’ve already lost, and McConnell doesn’t know it yet.
There’s one word that the GOP “establishment” (which is really a misnomer since the establishment is now TRUMP writ large in capital letters) hasn’t comprehended, that’s the reason for their demise.
I wrote about disruption in one of my first articles in The Resurgent in January 2016 (I just re-read it, and it’s on target). Hillary Clinton lost because of disruption. Ted Cruz couldn’t hang on because of disruption. Donald Trump understands disruption, and in fact he leverages it better than perhaps any candidate since John F. Kennedy or Teddy Roosevelt.
I will quote myself:
As the Millennial generation grows up and takes charge of the country, those who are leading the transition to their power can’t ignore the effect of disruption, and especially the pace of disruption. Consultants who care more about their 15 percent commission on ad buys than ensuring their candidate’s message reaches people who need to hear it are doing more than chiseling donors–selling shares in a photo film factory in a digital age–they are keeping the next generation from participation in American democracy.
And this, is why Mitch McConnell and the GOP old order (I think that’s a more appropriate moniker) have already lost.
Trump/Bannon/Mercer are using some traditional advertising and political tools, absolutely. But mostly they’re playing on the divisiveness of Trump’s comments and Twitter rants. They’re playing on the anger of voters who see their own Representatives and Senators abandoning them for their own selfish purposes.
Putting every single incumbent on notice (except Ted Cruz) is a very powerful message, and it’s working.
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Some Republican lawmakers have privately fretted that simply speaking out against Trump’s incendiary statements or the Bannon-aligned candidates that are rousing anger in their states will not be enough — and could backfire — as they try to survive the surge of grievance-driven politics that has gripped the GOP’s base.
Jeff Flake’s bad prediction
Jeff Flake made one prediction that won’t age well in his fire-breathing anti-Trump speech:
It would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone… This spell will pass, but not by next year.
The spell will not pass. Sure, the views on trade and immigration will pass–in fact, Trump has no intention of doing the things he campaigned on, they will remain permanent campaign promises, always in the future. But the “behavior that I cannot condone” is here to stay.
Trump has already won. He’s won on his Russia involvement, proving that both parties and candidates were corrupted and disrupted by Russia’s attempts to mess with our republic. Now Trump is winning his battle for the GOP. After winning, he will need to keep some issues to fight on–there has to be a “them” to fight, and the wall, and immigration, and trade will remain those issues (“look at what China did!”).
It’s not really a bad thing. People who blindly hate Trump think it’s bad because anything Trump does is bad to them. But for the GOP, shedding itself of faux conservatives, pretenders and political hacks is not a bad thing. Replacing them with Trump cultists would be bad, but Obama led a united party of cultists for eight years and America survived it.
The GOP’s future
As the GOP old order continues to fight against Trump, it will eventually run out of money, and the consultants will stop working. In 2018, this could lead to a Democrat wave, and loss of at least one house of Congress. But the GOP itself will be firmly under Trump/Bannon/Mercer control. Where does that lead?
Probably nowhere good for the party. The direction Trump and Bannon have been pulling is away from Christian conservative values and toward Christian heritage-based nationalism. It’s not a good place, culturally. It’s a place that plays to the worst impulses of man–ambition, greed, power, and pleasure. In fact, instead of pushing hard against the Godless excesses of the Democrats, it will accelerate our sprint away from Godly values.
And that will lead to more disruption, which will lead to the end of the GOP and the rise of something else.
The something else
At this point, I doubt the GOP can be saved by anything. The something else that comes along will either parallel the rise of the Republican Party itself, which was born in the righteousness of God’s calling against slavery; or it will parallel FDR’s failed attempt to make the Democratic Party into a fascist worker’s paradise, but without FDR’s innate sense of noblesse oblige.
I had written a few paragraphs describing these two paths, but then, thinking better of it, deleted them. Better to put that in a future post.
The old order is gone
In any case, disruption has removed the old order. Republicans are now faced with the choice to align themselves with the new reality of Trump, or to fight a lost battle.
Mitch McConnell would do well to study the Battle of Hastings in 1066, where the Normans knew how to leverage the stirrup in battle and the Saxons didn’t. McConnell is Harold Goldwinson, and Trump is William the Conqueror. Before the first arrow flew, Harold had lost. He just didn’t know it.
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Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and leader of an insurrection aimed at defeating mainstream Republican candidates in next year’s midterm elections. The effort reflects the growing concern of Republican lawmakers over the rise of anti-establishment forces and comes amid escalating frustration over President Trump’s conduct, which has prompted a handful of lawmakers to publicly criticize the president. It will also boost candidates with traditional GOP profiles and excoriate those tied to Bannon, with plans to spend millions and launch a heavy social media presence in some states.
Jeff Flake Authenticates The Party Of Trump, Ben Domenech, The Federalist
Flake is also one of the rare politicians whose brand changed dramatically. In the 2000s, he was a Jim DeMint ally who took a strong libertarian stand on several issues, and criticized the George W. In the Senate, his brand shifted significantly – and not just because of the Gang of Eight.
Disruption back then moved half as fast as it does today. It took 20 years for Nixon vs. Kennedy’s TV debate to soak into the political mainstream. As we hurtle towards a post-TV future, we can’t afford to become the Blockbusters or Kodaks of politics. If we do, the Millennials will pay for it and blame us for handing them the bill.
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When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
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