Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Beltway Game Of Make-Believe

This was a delicious quote from The Zman regarding the Old Skool "Conservatives" at National Review....

That old crowd is still lighting candles, hoping the Left will get back to talking like socialists, so they can get back to pretending to be conservatives.

That is a great take. The Bill Kristol's and Jonah Goldberg's of the "Right" pine for the days when they could boil the political divide down into neat little talking points like higher or lower taxes. Most of that stuff was pretty inconsequential. Higher taxes always come with loopholes so that the filthy rich people writing the tax increase laws can avoid paying the tax increases they create. Does anyone seriously think that Elizabeth Warren's wealthy patrons are going to allow her to create a huge tax on their assets without building in a way for them to avoid it? Her asset tax scheme is just silly posturing to allow her to position herself to the left of Kamala Harris. All things equal lower taxes are better than higher taxes but when we are spending ourselves into oblivion and the "conservatives" are still, $21 trillion in debt later, calling for an increase in "defense" spending, it just shows that most Old Guard Conservatives™ are not all that conservative after all.

Our political dynamics have changed pretty drastically. Trump is evidence of this, he never would have been nominated by the GOP ten years ago when the GOP was still playing "Whose turn is it?" in the nominating process and throwing clowns like John McCain the nomination because they were up next. The Weekly Standard died because it never seemed to understand that things have changed and National Review is likely headed for that same fate. Gatekeepers in Conservatism Inc. like Ben Shapiro are trying to turn the ship but the future of American politics for the next decade is going to be very different from what it has been most of my life. The Left will continue to try to hold together a wildly disparate coalition of disaffected and mutually hostile minorities, uber-rich folks, government paper pushers and sexual deviants based entirely on a platform of punishing the evil white men. The Republicans will have to try to hold together the Trump coalition of middle/working class whites in sufficient numbers to win states like Michigan again. Unfortunately for Trump, other than judicial appointments, none of his accomplishments to date are going to resonate much with the people he needs to show up. He must get immigration reform and border security done. I don't think people will give him the benefit of the doubt if we roll into 2020 with nothing having been done on the issue that got him elected in the first place.

Regardless, the venerable voices of "conservatism" are not likely to last much longer. Too many people are on to their con game of pretending to be "standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'" as they have done very little other than talk and posture for decades. The Democrats have the same problem, trying to push ridiculous candidates like Elizabeth Warren and "Gropin' Joe" Biden on their primary voting base when that base is all in for the radical bimbos like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Being the adult in the room doesn't carry any weight with these loons.

We aren't going back to the old days of genteel arguments about tax policy. We are in an era of fighting for survival politics between identity tribes and that fight has no use for pious scolding from the old crowd.

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