Friday, January 22, 2016

Goldberg's Piece Is Really Intriguing...For What It Doesn't Say

This is from Jonah Goldberg's defense of National Review's Anti-Trump Issue.

The idea that National Review should be lumped in with that establishment is the kind of insight one can only discover after successfully inserting your entire cranium past your sphincter. The K-Street/consultant-class Republican establishment is conservative, but their conservatism is secondary to their need to make deals, maintain access and, to be fair, win elections.

That last bit is important. The Republican party is in the election-winning business first and foremost. And that’s largely as it should be. That’s partly why former National Review publisher, the late, great Bill Rusher always used to tell the new hires at NR to be on guard: “Politicians will always disappoint you.”

The reason politicians will disappoint principled conservatives — and, for that matter, principled liberals and libertarians — is that there is always an inherent tradeoff between the purity of principle and the necessities of electoral politics and the limitations of what can be done via government action. National Review has always recognized this tension, which is immortalized in the rule of thumb that we should support “the most conservative candidate electable.”

Every conservative is supposed to believe that incentives matter. The incentives for the K-street/consultant establishment is keep their influence and their access. The incentives for the ink-and-pixel-stained wretches who run NR are different. I’m open to the complaint that our self-interest has driven us to become too invested in an ideology that too few voters subscribe to. But if that’s the case, the remedy isn’t to abandon all principle and just join the mob. I’d rather go down with my ship, thank you very much.

It doesn't actually say why they ran that issue.  Except that I think it does.

Here's the big picture.  Over the last few days a number of GOP zombies have been dragged out of their vats of formaldehyde, to announce that while they can't stand either one of them,  if they had to choose between Trump and Cruz it would be Trump.  They can deal with Trump being the candidate. They can push the "accept" button on Trump.

Orin Hatch, Bob (yes, I'm still alive) Dole, Trent (for fuck's sake) Lott, were the one's saying this.

The view is that Trump is the guy you can make deals with.  

Trump rushed to reassure an angry conservative base:   "You know what? There's a point at which: Let's get to be a little establishment," Trump told about 1,500 people at a rally at the Las Vegas South Point Resort and Casino. "We've got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don't worry. We're going to make such great deals...Guys like Ted Cruz will never make a deal because he's a strident guy," Trump said.

Okay, so really he was reassuring the GOP Establishment that he is perfectly willing to play ball. 

But here is the big thing Lott, Dole and Hatch do not  have the press hounding them for quotes anymore.  They had to pick up the phone and call old contacts in the press to get these things out there.

The guys that work at National Review are well connected enough to know that those calls were being made.

The question that needs to be asked is who benefits the most from the Establishment backhandedly backing Trump.  The answer is...Jeb!

Consider.  Somebody had to talk these old Establishment farts into making these calls.   They certainly wouldn't do it on Trumps say so but they would for other Establishment types.

So how does this possibly benefit Jeb!?  

Jeb's position is stronger than you think by just looking at the polls.  Right now Establishment block is split but add up the divided votes and you get something close to 30%.  Jeb is the one...the only one, with deep, deep pockets.  Right now he is concentrating his fire on Rubio because he can safely ignore the rest.  They will be dropping out and endorsing him before March.  

The only guy that Jeb is really concerned about is...Cruz.  Ted Cruz has a very disciplined and well structured ground game, easily the best in the GOP field and that includes Jeb's own.  

Here is the thing about Trump, so far as Jeb is concerned.  Trump will be hard to beat...unless he isn't. Trump has no kind of traditional ground game.  He has huge, luxurious and classy rallies but he's not flipping pancakes or eating chicken dinner at the VFW hall.

Yes Trump get's huge amounts of people to show up for his rallies but do these numbers equate to boots on the ground?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Nobody knows that answer yet.

The early primaries are proportional but the later ones are winner take all where a traditional ground game will make a big difference.  And Cruz does have boots on the ground big time.  

The two guys Jeb has to worry about first if he is going to develop any kind of path to the White House is Rubio and Cruz.

In Summary: I suspect that NR's hit piece on Trump wasn't anti-Trump...It was anti-Bush.

1 comment:

SciVo said...

It makes absolutely no sense to assume that they're wrong about their own motivation. Especially when Trump's a Jacksonian, and the media and academia are almost by definition not.

Of course they want to stop him! They despise Scots-Irish culture!

And you know what happens when you encounter a master persuader that you don't entirely agree with.