Connect with us

Published

on

Advertisement



After Ryan suggested that the conservative movement was about more than fealty to the defeated president, Trump called the former House speaker a “RINO” and a loser. And then Trump, the rare Republican who has criticized Reagan himself, went after Fred Ryan, chair of the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

“Ronald Reagan would not be happy to see that the Reagan Library is run by the head of the Washington Post, Fred Ryan,” Trump wrote. “How the hell did that happen? No wonder they consistently have RINO speakers like Karl Rove and Paul Ryan. They do nothing for our forward-surging Republican Party!”

One year ahead of the midterm elections, and with the earliest stages of the 2024 primary already underway, Trump is still backseat driving the Republican Party at every turn. And every sign suggests that the GOP is still with Trump — and has little interest in the kind of introspection that Ryan and traditionalists like him are begging for.

Even the Reagan Library’s “Time for Choosing” series — named for Reagan’s famous 1964 speech — is likely to come with a heavy dose of Trump-ism. Ryan will be followed by a set of speakers more sympathetic to the twice-impeached former president: Mike Pence, the former vice president; Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state; Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador; and Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Aside from Ryan, all of them are prospective 2024 presidential contenders. And the response that Ryan received from Trump will remind them of the necessity of calibrating their remarks for Trump and his base.

Two of the upcoming speakers, Pence and Haley, have already paid for their lack of total allegiance, and the field is so deferential to Trump that most would likely not challenge him if he runs again in 2024.

In Ryan’s case, it’s not just that he was critical of Trump. It’s that the direction he wants conservatives to take is not in vogue in the modern GOP. A large majority of Republicans still believe Trump’s lie that the election was rigged. The party has declined to conduct the kinds of election post-mortems that both parties have traditionally performed following electoral defeats — party leaders weren’t willing to have a public discussion about what role Trump might have played.

Nor did many Republican voters see much reason to. When asked in a CBS News poll recently whether the GOP’s strategy for 2022 should be to prioritize the party’s message — telling the public about policies and ideas — or efforts to change voting laws, 47 percent of Republicans prioritized changing voting rules over ideas.

That’s despite the party continuing to lose market share nationally. Since the 1990s, Republican presidential candidates have won the popular vote only once, in 2004.

Ryan — once one of the GOP’s brightest stars — is clearly cognizant of the party’s diminished standing, having run on Mitt Romney’s losing ticket in 2012. Without naming Trump, he said at the Reagan Library that it was “horrifying to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and disgraceful end. So once again, we conservatives find ourselves at a crossroads.”

Advertisement

“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or of second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere,” he said, adding that Republican voters would “not be impressed by the sight of yes-men and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago.”

That is a prediction shared by some other establishment-minded Republicans, many of whom take comfort in past examples of the party evolving — and relatively fast. At the prodding of William F. Buckley in the 1960s, the party did reform, distancing itself from racists and “kooks.” In the 1970s, Richard Nixon’s resignation — and the tumult within the party that followed — gave way to Reagan just six years later.

Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, a Trump critic who announced this month that he wouldn’t seek a second term, said recently that his “gut tells me that an overwhelming majority of Republicans are going to, over the next few years, begin to realize that there is a new way forward.”

Trump’s hold on the party was not pre-ordained, after all. It was only about five years ago that he lost the Iowa caucuses to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and if Trump doesn’t run again in 2024 — or if he’s felled by a criminal investigation — his hold on the GOP may loosen over time.

“It can happen relatively quickly,” said Tom Campbell, a former California Republican congressman and Reagan administration staffer who began collecting registrations last year for his new party, the Common Sense Party. “Many people did not know of Donald Trump before he ran for president.”

But so far, the prospect of the party breaking with Trump is not in evidence. In a spring-long purge of the unfaithful, Republicans have censured GOP lawmakers critical of Trump and removed one of his fiercest critics, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, from her post in House leadership.

In the past, successful efforts to change the direction of the party “really took the intellectual class of the party to… articulate an intellectual vision,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist who was a co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project before stepping down in December.

Today, he said, “That’s what’s missing. The William F. Buckleys of the world have been replaced by the Diamond and Silks of the world… All of the brain trust has essentially left.”

Zach Montellaro contributed to this report.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Comments

Politics

How Republicans Became the ‘Barstool’ Party

Published

on

By

Advertisement



A half-decade ago, the originally Boston-based site and its rabid fan community wouldn’t have scanned as “political” at all. But now, its proudly Neanderthal, reactionary ethos aligns perfectly with the side of our political binary that Trump reconfigured: the one whose common denominator is a tooth-and-nail, middle-finger unwillingness to accept liberal social norms.

If you looked at Portnoy circa 2010 — a budding bro-entrepreneur, popping champagne with models in cheesy photo shoots — you’d have to squint pretty hard to see a potential Republican standard-bearer. If you look now, it’s hard not to. It’s commonplace by now to observe that the Trump presidency “changed everything” for Republicans, from conventional wisdom on policy to how their internal politics are conducted. But first and foremost, it changed the face the party presented to the world. Where onetime nominees like Mitt Romney and John McCain tried and failed to subordinate cultural grievance to a more professionalized, inclusive style of politics, Trump succeeded by placing it right on the front of the tin. And when he casually dismantled that old fusion of free-market economic fervor and country-club traditionalism, Barstool was ready.

The rise of the “Barstool Republican,” to coin a phenotype, doesn’t necessarily explain Trump. It is, however, a useful way to understand what’s happened to American politics without constantly invoking the former president’s name. Portnoy’s devotees aren’t MAGA fanatics or Q fans who live to torment liberals, and they’re certainly not part of the GOP’s evangelical base. (One could imagine the last thing they’d want is a Supreme Court that strikes down Roe.) But the Barstool Republican now largely defines the Republican coalition because of his willingness to dispense with his party’s conventional policy wisdom on anything — the social safety net, drug laws, abortion access — as long as it means one thing: he doesn’t have to vote for some snooty Democrat, and, by proxy, the caste of lousy deans that props up the left’s politically-correct cultural regime.

The backlash to liberal domination of pop culture and the past decade’s transformation of speech norms created the Barstool Republican long before Portnoy’s name was bandied about in jest as a political candidate. And if you’ve been paying attention, their cultural revolution dates back to a time when such antics were more likely to get you kicked out of Mar-a-Lago than installed as its lifelong “El Presidente.”

***

Lost in the annals of a time when culture wars weren’t quite as central to our national politics is a nomenclature that now seems almost quaint: the so-called “South Park Republican.”

As far back as 2001, the gadfly conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan was using the term to describe members of his political tribe who shared the anti-P.C., socially libertarian views of “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Stone and Parker, true to form, loudly protested their hatred of both major parties. Still, the label stuck, inspiring sparring New York Times columns and even a book-length exploration of the concept by conservative writer Brian C. Anderson.

In the political climate of the mid-2000s, the concept’s appeal was obvious: As Gen X-ers and younger Baby Boomers entered the ranks of the political elite, it made sense that they would dispense with the blue-blooded stuffiness and social conservatism of the Reagan-Bush imperium in favor of a vaguely countercultural, post-Sixties tolerance. W traded his father’s country-club affect for a pair of cowboy boots, but he wasn’t fooling anyone: The cultural energy in the Republican Party, to the extent that it had any, was in its feather-ruffling libertarian wing, whose influence would soon reach its zenith with the self-proclaimed Ron Paul Revolution. But like so many would-be revolutions, this one was denied — or at least delayed and mutated.

Paul’s 2012 bid to become the Republican Party’s presidential standard-bearer fizzled out in spectacular fashion, failing to convert internet hype into any meaningful primary support. Romney won the nomination and invited the youthful Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan along for the ride (whose rad workout gear and politically inscrutable love of Rage Against the Machine, alas, failed to inspire a Romney-Ryan youth movement).

Crashing on the rocks of both Barack Obama’s megawatt cultural celebrity and the looming coronation of Jeb Bush as the post-“autopsy” face of the GOP, the Rude Republican cohort was at loose ends — until an unlikely salvation came in the form of a 6’3” reality show host and frequent Howard Stern guest descending his golden escalator into the first paragraph of 21st-century American history.

Trump was at first an uneasy fit for both the more culturally-sophisticated, libertarian-leaning members of the Republican coalition as well as their staid religious counterparts. But at the same time he was hotwiring Republican culture and pushing it to the limits of street-legality, anti-P.C. critics saw another revolution happening within liberal politics — and, by the transitive property, pop culture writ large. In their eyes, Hillary Clinton’s campaign represented the triumph of a pro-establishment cultural nanny state that rejected Obama’s attempted de-escalation of the culture wars in favor of a rigid new etiquette of social justice: A rainbow flag hoisted, in effect, over the Bushes’ Kennebunkport compound.

One of Trump’s early adopters articulated the mindset perfectly in August 2015, back when Jeb! was still his closest primary threat: “I am voting for Donald Trump. I don’t care if he’s a joke. I don’t care if he’s racist. I don’t care if he’s sexist. I don’t care about any of it. I hope he stays in the race and I hope he wins. Why? Because I love the fact that he is making other politicians squirm. I love the fact he says shit nobody else will say, regardless of how ridiculous it is.”

Advertisement

No points for guessing the author: Dave Portnoy, birthing the Barstool Republican with a single 200-word blog post. Trump transformed the political landscape by tapping into a powerful desire for freedom from criticism or censure — a desire that Portnoy shared, and which has only grown more intense and widespread as the panopticon of social media becomes the primary stage for not just national politics, but civic life at every level.

In a column this February for The Week, the Catholic social conservative writer Matthew Walther referred to “Barstool conservatives” as primarily sharing a “disdain for the language of liberal improvement, the hectoring, schoolmarmish attitude of Democratic politicians and their allies in the media, and, above all, the elevation of risk-aversion to the level of a first-order principle by our professional classes.” In other words: culture-war issues.

Oddly enough, despite the inherent thirst for conflict that it brings, the ascent of Barstool-ism within the Republican Party can be chalked up to ideological diversity within the GOP. What could unite free-market libertarians, revanchist Catholics, Southern evangelicals, and working-class Reagan Democrats but their shared hatred of… actual Democrats?

With that as the party’s guiding principle, and no clear policy agenda to speak of — the 2020 RNC literally did not have a new policy platform — those willing to trash the Democratic cultural regime most loudly and consistently are firmly in command, with more staid Republicans forced to at least provide cover, if not actively follow their cues.

They’re forced to defend freshman North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn in the face of his attention-seeking tweets and allegations of sexual harassment from his (very recent) college days, while he ranks in the top 10 members of Congress in missed votes. They’re forced to defend Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz as he faces his own allegations of sexual impropriety — not to mention his frat-boy antics, like showing up to Congress in a gas mask in the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic. They’re forced to defend Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert as she fends off complaints from constituents about her “embarrassing” freshman term in Congress, after winning a primary and general election largely on the strength of her, well, bar ownership.

So just as anti-P.C., vaguely amoral Barstool-ism can be a strength, it can also be a weakness. In a media environment built to reinforce and intensify one’s ideological beliefs, being on the attack all the time can leave you in an exhausting state of constant defense. Yes, it can galvanize — nearly 75 million people voted to re-elect Donald Trump, the Stoolie-in-chief — but it can also exasperate and infuriate in turn — a record 81 million Americans voted for Trump’s purposely less-pugilistic opponent, Joe Biden. It also runs the risk of all novelty: that people might just bore of it. Yesterday’s provocation becomes today’s status quo, and in turn tomorrow’s epic cringe.

When Republican voters made Trump their presidential nominee in 2016, they chose gloves-off culture war over either Jeb Bush’s earnest compromise or the imitations of a careerist provocateur like Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump tapped into a very real dissatisfaction in the American electorate with the liberal status quo around speech and culture, and reaped both the attendant rewards and backlash. Someone like Dave Portnoy is, if not a viable presidential candidate, at least a credible successor to the role of the office’s last Republican occupant: Trump, Gaetz, Boebert, Cawthorn and their ilk all share Portnoy’s single-minded obsession with scoring headlines and affirming their constituents’ cultural identities at any cost.

In a media-obsessed world, it’s a powerful, intoxicating skill. And now that it’s proven a viable pathway to electoral success, Republicans are — perhaps wisely — clinging to it for dear life. As a creation of Judd Apatow, the 21st century’s great dorm-room comedy auteur, once said: “Pandora doesn’t go back in the box, he only comes out.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Joe Biden

Ted Cruz EXPLODES on Senate Floor with BRUTAL Speech Aimed DIRECTLY at Creepy Joe

Published

on

By

Advertisement

Martin Walsh from Trending Politics reports, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz went after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this week for their failure to do much of anything to address the border crisis their policies created.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Democrats

YES! Republicans TORPEDO Pelosi After She Was CAUGHT Trying To SLAM 2 Bills Through The House

Published

on

By

Advertisement

Mike LaChance from American Lookout reports, Republicans managed to take the wind out of Nancy Pelosi’s sails this week. She was using a procedural trick to fast-track two bills through the House but Republicans didn’t play along.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Politics1 week ago

No Masks, No Distancing – The Disgraceful Covid Hypocrisy of the G7 Elite

Capitol Hill3 months ago

FIRST PHOTOS — Capitol Hill Killer is Black Muslim… Louis Farrakhan Supporter… Identified as 25 Year-Old Noah Green…

biden administration2 months ago

VIDEO: It’s ‘not a great time’ for America to have a ‘weak’ president: Andrew Bolt

Nancy Pelosi3 months ago

VIDEO: FAIL: Nancy Pelosi’s Effort to Change GOP House Seat Blows Up In Her Face

2020 Election3 weeks ago

Sidney Powell’s bold prediction…

Candace Owens1 month ago

VIDEO: “No Escape For Pelosi, Jail Is Sure” Candace Owens Destroys Nancy Pelosi……

Whistle Blower5 days ago

Reporter Releases Undercover Video EXPOSING Media Bosses

Daunte Wright2 months ago

MSM will never show you this… Video of Daunte Wright waving around his gun…

President Trump3 days ago

Trump announces brand new 2,000-mile long luxury hotel at Southern Border…

Facebook3 months ago

Facebook removes Trump interview where he signals he will run for President in 2024…

president biden7 days ago

‘Concerns’ for Joe Biden’s ‘mental capacity’ raised amid gaffes at G7

Border Patrol3 months ago

6 month-old baby tossed into Rio Grande by Joe Biden’s border smugglers…

Candace Owens Show2 months ago

Special Interview Episode 8 – The Road Ahead With President Donald J. Trump

Democrats6 days ago

“This Is Complete Madness”: GOP Lawmaker Explodes On Democrats On House Floor

Black Lives Matter1 month ago

‘Get Them Out of Here!’ Man Confronts Black Lives Matter Protesters Blocking Intersection in Viral Video

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Candace Owens Fans by TSD