The Trumpeteers’ New Emmanuel Goldstein

Trying to keep Trump supporter logic straight is a harrowing ordeal. When confronted with the reality of Trump’s many, many, many (did I say many?) deviations from conservative orthodoxy, Trumps fans respond with an “argument” that employs “GOPe” “Jeb Bush” and “RINO” in some form. The irony of calling any other candidate a Republican in Name Only while supporting the one candidate who is – based on his actual voting and ideological history – quite literally a Republican in Name Only is often lost on these individuals.

Throughout the campaign the big bad for most Trump supporters was Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush was held up as the Establishment darling, and as such the symbol of all that was wrong with the GOP (e). This is perhaps the one time the Trump supporters were largely right. For reasons that defy explanation the GOP Establishment, such as it is, has propped up Jeb Bush. Despite being arguably the absolute worse type of nominee the party could hope for to run against Hillary, the big donors flocked to him. As such, any attempt to criticize Trump has been met with accusations that one must therefore support Jeb Bush. Again, this ignored the fact that at one time 15 (now 12) other candidates were in the race, and the combined polling support for those other candidates has hovered around 60-70 percent, which would seem to indicate to anyone with either a sense of logic or ability to do math that Republicans had other choices in the primary.

Now that Jeb’s star has faded he has been replaced with a new Emmanuel Goldstein. It’s not Ben Carson. Though Trump has personally attacked Carson (and quite maliciously), the real subject of his supporters’ vitriol is Marco Rubio. Just as Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, and never Eurasia, evidently the real enemy has been Marco Rubio all along.

You can see it in comments sections of right-leaning blogs all the time. Marco Rubio is the clear GOPe darling (not Jeb Bush – it’s never been Jeb Bush), and the man to be feared. Now as Bush fades in the polls it’s quite possible that that hefty six percent or so of the electorate currently supporting Jeb will swing Marco’s way, and that indeed the big bad Establishment might see Rubio as their new savior. But the almost delusional antipathy to Rubio is only starting to peak, as can be seen in this bizarre rant where Ace of Spades lays the blame of Donald Trump’s inability to answer a question in a coherent manner at the blame of Rubio’s followers. Yeah, it’s the GOPe that rendered Trump incapable of clearly and convincingly saying no to a reporter who asked if we should just round up all of the Muslims in the USA and force them to register in some kind of database.

Sadly this is all too representative of the basic gist of Trump support, which is entirely grounded in some kind of hate towards the “other”: other candidates, other cultures, other ways of communicating that are more sophisticated than grunting. It also highlights how the Trump phenomenon is built on a foundation of sand. Even though Jeb Bush never reached particularly high in the polls, we were repeatedly told that if you didn’t hop aboard Team Trump then we were cruising towards a Bush coronation. Now Marco Rubio is the new scarecrow and symbol of all things to be feared.

And now that Ted Cruz is climbing higher in the polls, undoubtedly we will soon come to learn that the true Establishment darling all along has been the man that seems to be the most despised figure among this same so-called Establishment. In fact one Trump supporter has already assured me that “[m]any of us had Cruz pegged as a stalking horse before Trump even announced.” Scooby and Shaggy will soon unmask Ted Cruz only to see Mitt Romney in disguise, I suppose.  We’re not going to want the GOPe to get their man, they’ll say, and there’s no one that the GOPe loves more than Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz has always been their dream candidate, and never Marco Rubio. Or Bush. Or Romney.

And so it goes.

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  1. “Despite being arguably the absolute worse type of nominee the party could hope for to run against Hillary…”

    Except for Romney.

  2. My choice is Ted Cruz. Next would be Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee. If the GOP insiders put up another RINO/Chamber of Commerce/country club loser like McCain and Rollo Romney, I will depart for the bush of Alaska and go off the grid.
    I’m reading a new book on Bosworth/Richard III. I’m beginning to think about the Bushes as the dynasts of York and the Clintons as Tudors.

  3. You must have been reading “The Last Refuge” (formerly “The Conservative Treehouse”). That site has turned into a headcase collecting pool.

    While we’re at it, discriminating Republicans have every reason to be antagonistic to Rubio, who is simply inadequate on several distinct axes (breadth and length of experience, integrity, the immigration issue, and, perhaps, general intelligence) and actually would be the Chamber-of-Commerce lobbyist / Republican congressional caucus leadership choice in lieu of Bush or Kasich.

    This campaign has been a minor tragedy (or a hideous farce). You had four adequate candidates drawn from the GOP’s bench of governors and three of them have withdrawn and the fourth is in the undercard debates. You also had Rick Santorum, who is abnormally principled for a pol and has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi as a campaigner which has allowed him to exceed expectations throughout his career. Instead, we’re stuck with three people who’ve never held elected office (of whom one is a complete wildcard and one has no background as an executive), a Bush scion, Gov. Asshole of Ohio, the South Florida Ken Doll, and a superlatively intelligent lawyer who also has no background as an executive. If most GOP voters want to locate their enemy, they can look in the bloody mirror.

  4. Been a Conservative Republican all of my political life.Worked for Barry G. as a teenager as my first campaign. Worked for Bill Buckley on both of his mayoral campaigns and worked to get his brother Jim elected to the US Senate . But this bunch of potentials … feh . except for Trump. The only one with ANYTHING exciting to say. The rest not so much, As for Jeb, too pastrami on white bread with mayo.

  5. except for Trump. The only one with ANYTHING exciting to say.

    Anyone can get on the stump and say spectacularly stupid thins. That is not a particularly good reason to vote for said individual, particularly when said individual holds or has held positions that make Hillary herself look like Goldwater.

  6. Yes Art, it is disappointing that the three best candidates are out, though I still like Cruz enough (and to a lesser extent Rubio) not to feel complete despair. If Trump somehow gets the nomination, though, suddenly Australia ain’t looking so bad a place to live.

  7. One more thing since Art mentioned him: Rick Santorum. Yes, I also still like him very much, though sadly I do not think he is going anywhere. Anyway, when you look at his actual record over the years it is evident that his is the most hard-lined position of all the candidates on immigration. Unlike Trump who blusters but who still seems to basically favor amnesty through the front door instead of the back, Santorum has long held a very tough line against both legal and illegal immigration. Yet the Trumpkins dismiss him despite saying that immigration is the only issue that matters, indicating to me that they are thoroughly unserious and simply looking for someone who will satisfy their id by saying outrageous things.

  8. Trump is the only candidate the establishment doesn’t want. The establishment which consists of Big Business, Big Media and Big Government really don’t care who gets elected, Democrat and Republican, as long as they can be controlled. Donald Trump is their greatest fear because he can’t be controlled. That’s why I favor Trump.

  9. Trump is the only candidate the establishment doesn’t want

    Yeah, they’re obviously nuts about Carson and Cruz.

    After four months I have yet to read one coherent rationale from a single Trump supporter that indicates why anyone should want to vote for this man other than “GRRRRR ESTABLISHMENT!!!!” I am not exaggerating. Even the Ron Paul supporters, despite their heated rhetoric and obsessive behavior, had principled attachments to Paul and could articulate substantive ideological reasons for voting for Ron Paul.

    Trump is an empty vessel who blusters on the stump, but whose stated positions conflict with the idea that he is some kind of rebel who will protect American values. It’s a sad spectacle, and I can only pray that the consistent 70% of the GOP electorate that continues to reject Trump can finally unite behind a single candidate.

  10. There isn’t anyway I’d vote for Cruz. I’d be afraid he would cater in the long run to the people coming across the border. Carson, no way! He’s anti-gun, has been sucking up to Al Sharpton, and is a member of the 7th Day Adventist cult. There’s no way a former cult member like myself will vote to put another Anti-Christian in the White House. Trump, regardless of any faults he has, isn’t afraid to speak out on the immigration crisis, like the other wimp candidates.

  11. There isn’t anyway I’d vote for Cruz. I’d be afraid he would cater in the long run to the people coming across the border.

    Based on what? Your fevered imagination? Meanwhile Mr. Never Will Bend has already indicated this his plan includes readmitting the people he deports after they go through the right channels. The guy with all that blustering rhetoric is openly confessing to a front-door version of amnesty.

    Whatever. I realize that confronting the Trump cultists with logic and facts is a fruitless endeavor. So continue to comment away, I’m done trying to respond.

  12. Look, I completely understand why Trump took off the way he did and am even sympathetic to some of the reasons. What saddens me is the continued denial by his supporters of who he truly is.

  13. Paul Zummo

    Thanks, I like Trump right now because he is ‘out there’ stirring things up There will come a point when we need to settle down and get serious. Right now Trump is a great catalyst to get controversial narratives going, which, if he wasn’t, this wouldn’t happen. So, to me, Trump is my interim candidate. After all the fun, I will probably vote for Marco.

  14. Understood, and I apologize to you and Stephen if I was a bit too harsh in my comments.

    Fascinating that you feel you would ultimately vote for Rubio, as that’s not necessarily the fallback for too many Trump supporters, especially considering the immigration issue.

  15. Question: Did so-called evangelicals sit out 2012 and hand his second term to Obama?

    “If most GOP voters want to locate their enemy, they can look in the bloody mirror.”

    I love you, man. I held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney, and for 40 years every GOP on every level. Now here this. I will not do it again. The GOP establishment puts up another such loser who can’t articulate why Hillary is utterly incompetent and dishonest, and they can go the way of the dinosaurs.

    First, I am independent, but GOP candidates generally/minimally were perceived as preferable to the Dem idiot. No more.

    Second, to see my enemy, I look at pictures of Obama, Hillary, Kerry, McCain, Romney, Rubio, Kasich, Bush, Christie – because insiders, the Second Amendment and amnesty.
    Thanks, I’ll check out that website.

    Re: Trump. I “get” all your qualms, but the Dem, GOP and DC elites prove far worse. Trump’s meager qualifiers are that he’s an outsider and he’s a self-made billionaire/goal setter/achiever. I’m old enough to remember Ike. He could have gone GOP or Dem. Ike’s only qualification was that he had been CINC, Supreme Allied Commander, over the ETO and an outsider.
    Spare me. I’ve prepared for the GOP establishment to have its way; a Hillary regime; and the zombie apocalypse.

  16. Cruz an Establishment darling? That level of dissonant doublethink might cause the universe to implode.
    There will come a point when we need to settle down and get serious.
    Hopefully that point comes before it’s down to Trump v. Clinton. Trump is the most authentic phony since Holly Golightly. No doubt the Establishment will be shocked, (shocked!) at how amenable to their control he turns out to be.

  17. Trump is not a conservative but rather a very expensive empty suit. Of all choices, he would be Hillary’s own best hope. Trump appeals to our nearly ubiquitous frustration with Obama’s insouciant response to a host of grave problems confronting the country, many of which are of his own doing or lack thereof. I am old enough to clearly remember Harry Truman’s walking press conferences, vaguely recall a few fireside chats between naps and cast a first Presidential vote for Barry Goldwater. So it is not without some sense of history and considered judgment that I think I’ll settle my hopes on Ted Cruz as the nearest to true conservative in the race. How about a campaign slogan suggestion but slightly altered from 1964? Solicitousness in the Defense of Liberty is no vice. And Insouciance in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue.

  18. In Trump’s defense, he’s a man of considerable accomplishment, though done in a way that’s aesthetically unappealing. Trump’s business skills might be better preparation than would otherwise be the case because real estate development is so intertwined with local politics, especially in New York. Ronald Reagan’s career suggests that time as a union official can be satisfactory preparation for negotiating with Congress.

    One other utility Trump has: he gets away with it. One irritating thing about the Capitol Hill GOP is the degree to which they’ve absorbed the media narrative and the artificial sensibilities which attend that narrative – hence their treatment of Todd Akin, which just sprayed blood on the water. It’s of a piece with their alienation from, and contempt for, most of their electorate. Trump does not play along offering canned apologies. The rest of the Republican candidates need to learn from that and emulate that with their own modes of expression.

    You want to blame someone for the Trump phenomenon, his name is Addison Mitchell McConnell, our waste-of-space Senate majority leader. More than any other single individual, he’s made the federal Republican Party into a worthless entity which can accomplish only one thing: sluicing bits of graft to favored constituencies. One thing I like about Ted Cruz: he despises McConnell and was willing to say so on the floor of the Senate. Of course, the congressional Republican caucus unloads John Boehner, who was less of a problem, and replaces him with Paul Ryan, open borders aficionado, fitness fanatic and Butch Patrick lookalike. It’s all just too stupid.

  19. I look for three things in a candidate: experience, ideology, and character. Trump is zero for three, or at best, two foul balls and a clean strike three.

    In terms of experience, I want to see at least 8 years, ideally, in top government positions – you can transfer in a few years of business experience, but only a few. Cruz and Rubio are a little light for my taste, but since the most experienced candidates have all dropped out, I’m ok with either of them. I don’t prioritize executive experience over legislative or, say, being a state’s AG. I don’t understand the argument for doing so. I’ve been known to count running an Olympics as decent experience, although it wasn’t my ideal.

    In terms of ideology, I’m not voting for a pro-choicer, a supporter of big government social programs, or an indiscriminate tax-raiser. Trump happens to have reversed himself on the first one, presumably for political convenience, but he still seems to support something bigger than Obamacare, and would raise taxes some while raising spending a lot. Even if I believed him on immigration, he’s talking Perot-type nonsense about how to go about doing it. The Constitution exists – we don’t need another president who pretends it doesn’t.

    I’d forgive a little inexperience and the occasional wrong position, though, if I believed that the candidate was a good person. I see nothing in Trump’s character that makes me believe he has a moral center. For years, I’ve used him as an example of spiritual defect. In other words, of all the people alive today, he was my go-to example of someone who displayed the moral characteristics of an animal. I see no higher, human moral function in him.

  20. What bothers me most about Trump is the way in which he always says exactly what his supporters want to hear, and promises far more than he can possibly deliver. I’ve seen the same thing happen with two successful IL candidates for governor – Rod Blagojevich and now Bruce Rauner, who is in many ways a low-wattage version of Trump – and I could not bring myself to vote for either. I do not demand perfection from any candidate – we ‘re electing a president, not a savior – and I could live with any of the other GOP candidates being POTUS, but if the choice comes down to Trump vs. Hillary, I’m probably not going to vote at all.

  21. Elaine – that’s my plan as well. I would somewhat prefer Clinton to Trump, but I wouldn’t vote for her. Other than Trump, I’d gladly cast my vote for any of the Republicans.

  22. I don’t prioritize executive experience over legislative or, say, being a state’s AG. I don’t understand the argument for doing so.

    Ted Cruz was never the attorney-general of Texas. He was the solicitor-general. The solicitor-general is an appointed official responsible for a portion of the appellate practice of the attorney-general’s office. The solicitor-general employs about 20 attorneys and some support staff. They do one thing: prepare cases for appeal and argue them. Ted Cruz has supervisory experience and brains. He’s never been an executive.

    I cannot figure why you fancy that squatting in a legislature is equivalent to work as an executive given that the candidates are competing for an executive position. That makes no sense. I’d refer you to John Dean’s memoirs of the Nixon Administration or Ron Nessen’s of the Ford Administration or Richard Nathan’s work on ‘the administrative presidency’ if you want a sense of what it looks like when career legislators are learning by doing. The making of them sausages is not pretty. You might just consider aspects of the modus operandi of BO.

  23. I look for three things in a candidate: experience, ideology, and character. Trump is zero for three, or at best, two foul balls and a clean strike three.

    If you’re willing to tolerate Hildebeast, Trump’s a piece of cake.

  24. Art – You’re right, Solicitor General. My mistake. I wouldn’t say that executive and legislative experience are equivalent, but they’re both governmental. A general, ambassador, judge, departmental secretary, senator, congressman of significance…as long as it’s high-level, it demonstrates the ability to function in government, and provides an understanding of it.

    In experience, Hillary outweighs Donald. In ideology, I’ve seen very little difference except over the past year. In character, Hillary has at least stayed in a marriage. I would rather have a somewhat knowledgeable dishonest liberal as president than an ignorant one.

  25. “In experience, Hillary outweighs Donald” – Please provide a list of positive achievements by HRH Hillary. .

    She is a psychopathic liar, and really not too smart (like all liberals). Tear off the “beer goggles” pinky. B. Franklin, “Admiration is the daughter od ignorance.”
    Trump shows strength. She’s the anti-feminist. Hillary stood by her serial sex-abusing/rapist husband based on the promise to someday be president. Hillary shows pathological ambition with no real-world props.

  26. The empty suit the otherwise highly successful Trump is his having only recently garbed himself in “Conservative” clothing. It doesn’t fit well on the body of his political past. Hillary is a political quick change artist but no matter the cut of her political pant suit on any given day, beneath it all, she wears the skin of “an early Twentieth-Century Progressive”, as she herself affirms. I would never vote for one, nor would I stay home and cast a non-vote for one.

  27. By empty suit, I mean the conservative clothing he has so recently donned. I just don’t think he is conservative to the bone. He does express the frustration most of us endure with the feckless current President, and that has set him apart from the crowd.

  28. T. Shaw – Accuse me of anything other than admiring Hillary Clinton. She’s awful. In any normal year, she’d be the worst possible choice. To say that Trump is worse than she is isn’t meant as a compliment to her.

  29. In experience, Hillary outweighs Donald. I

    Experience of what? Of buckraking on a brobgingnagian scale? Adventures in futures and options trading? Maintaining a skeezy law practice? Seven undistinguished years in Congress? As for her years as Secretary of State, there was a prima facie case she was attempting to thwart FoI requests and congressional subpoenas. She lied through her teeth about Benghazi, as did the President. She was a dependent of handlers like Huma Abedin who could not even commission an accurate translation of the word “Reset:.

  30. T. Shaw and Art – You’re making some fine points against Hillary supporters, who on this site number somewhere between “there aren’t any” and “you’ve got to be kidding”. Let’s toss the question back at you: describe for me a time when Donald Trump has taken a moral stance that cost him something. He’s 18 years older than I am. There must have been occasions for him to draw a line, based on principles, when doing so would have required personal sacrifice. Give me one.

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