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The Beltway Continues to Delude Itself that the Republican Party is Hopeless Divided



Hey, it’s yet another essay claiming that Republicans are about to face a civil war.

How much of the GOP agenda is Trump really willing to expend political capital on? He must know he wasn’t voted in to enact Medicare reform, an idea without a constituency that is nonetheless near to Ryan’s heart and central to his thinking.

“he must know” LOL

Trump also promised not to let people die on the street during his presidency. How will he square that with an Obamacare repeal that puts an industry-friendly scheme in its place?

Because he won’t give a shit?

Or what about industrial policy, this practice of the government intervening to help manufacturing-sector workers, which Trump has fully embraced in practice before even taking office? Does anyone think Trump will stop attempting to keep manufacturing jobs here, even though doing so flies in the face of free-market orthodoxy his party embraces?

Or we could just look at the absurdity of the Carrier situation to see how this is going to go.

Deals can be hardened out of small-ball disagreements. But we are talking about major, fundamental disagreements. There is a looming Republican schism and it’s about more than Trump’s lack of philosophical mooring. It is about two very different visions of what the GOP should be.

There aren’t two very different versions of what the GOP should be.

Ryan rose in the Republican ranks by being an attractive, articulate ideologue in a party that was supposed to be all about ideology. The Trump-Bannon formulation of how the GOP should work, however, is not really ideological at all. It’s about getting better results for certain economic and demographic groups, presumably at the expense of others.

Paul Ryan, Serious Ideologue. Plus he’s so sexy!

Like most ideologies, modern conservatism insists that it contains the best set of policies for everyone: rich and poor, white and black, and so on. It’s difficult to know how many people actually believe all that, but it’s been the central message of the GOP for decades.

Bannon, meanwhile, has a habit of describing politics as a zero-sum game between competing groups, namely working- and middle-class Americans versus an ascendant elite class. And the populism Bannon talks about is, in a sense, neither left nor right, and instead all about serving the interests of the downwardly-mobile.

Yes, the congressional GOP has not been about a zero-sum game the last 8 years. Nope. Not at all. That’s why Merrick Garland is on the Supreme Court.

It goes on to claim that Steve Bannon and Paul Ryan have completely different beliefs, yadda, yadda. Anyway, I would ask how long Beltway hacks would continue to delude themselves with this premise, but we all know the answer is into eternity.

….I have been informed that the writer of this dish of boiled hack is the son of none other than Peggy Noonan. The meritocracy is strong indeed. And presumably he is very well-mannered.

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