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Trumpism's Enduring Legacy to the GOP will be a Relentless Culture War

The party's commitment to fiscal restraint and limited government have vanished

Michigan State University's Matt Grossman recently argued in the New York Times that conservatives tend to forget about theirPlayboy TrumpLANE HICKENBOTTOM/Reuters/Newscom commitment to fiscal responsibility when they control all the levers of government and then rediscover it as soon as a Democrat becomes president. This has no doubt been the pattern in the past and it would be reassuring if it were to be again in the future.

But that gives Trump's GOP too much credit, I argue in The Week. The fact of the matter is that Trump has dealt a body blow to the Grand Old Party's traditional agenda and he has done so after the party spent a decade erecting bulwarks against much of what he has done.

Indeed, the Tea Party movement initially emerged expressly as a backlash to the Bush years when a conservative president squandered trillions of federal dollars not only on two disastrous wars abroad but also new domestic programs such as the No Child Left Behind Act (that bribed local schools to hew to Uncle Sam's educational standards) and Medicare Part D (that paid for a prescription drug benefit for seniors). The movement's frenzy reached its zenith after President Barack Obama spent a trillion dollars on a fiscal stimulus that built bridges to nowhere and then ramrodded Obamacare on an unwilling nation without even bothering to lighten the fiscal burden of the existing entitlement state.

Yet Trump in just his first year has managed to explode the country's debt and deficits to the extent that even presidents fighting wars and slaying recessions never managed to do. And the party's stalwarts and mavericks alike did nothing to stop him.

"Never before has a party fought so hard for something and then given it up so quickly," I note. "All of this goes far beyond the customary hypocrisy of politics. It is an epic self-repudiation that won't easily be reversed."

This means that the GOP agenda will face a vast emptiness. And what's likely to fill it is some version of Trump's populist attack on America's institutions—and an economic agenda that is rife with nativism and mercantilism. Sadly, the GOP's economics will become a mere extension of the culture wars.

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  • SIV||

    Bush was a "conservative president"?

    We need to tighten up that citizenship test!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You know what else SIV wanted to tighten up?

  • Tankboy||

    But Bush 43 was hailed as being much more conservative than his father. This is on the same scale as Cuba is a free country compared with North Korea.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The fact of the matter is that Trump has dealt a body blow to the Grand Old Pearty's

    As much as I hate The Dotard the real body blow was done by the Bushpig GOP and Congress 2003-2007. Trump is just following in their Big Government footsteps.

  • Maddow's Fleshlight||

    Agreed, Bush's poor fiscal management just made it easier for Obama and now Trump to spend like drunken sailors.

  • Brandybuck||

    Trump is presiding over Bush's fifth term.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Trump is presiding over Bush's fifth term.

    That speaks highly of Bill Clinton.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Clinton had plenty of his own sins. Fiscally, he was reigned in by Gingrich and co.. he did have the good sense to work with them, to their mutual success. Nowadays, anyone preaching fiscal responsibility is treated like they're toxic.

  • Tankboy||

    Drunken sailors spend their own money. If I were a sailor, I would resent this analogy. I propose, "spend like an advocate of fiscal responsibility."

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The real deathblow was when Goldwater lost. That was the last real fiscal conservative.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    If there's one thing the Republican Party screws up, it's destroying itself.

    Year after year, it destroys itself over and over again.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama reduced the deficit from the $1.2 trillion he inherited to $500 billion. That $9 trillion would have been worse with a GOP POTUS.

    (mostly because the GOP House magically opposes Dem spending only)

  • Maddow's Fleshlight||

    Agreed, slow moving cancer is better than the aggressive kind.

  • dave b.||

    $2 trillion of which was officially putting the Iraq war on the books instead of paying for it through deficit spending and imaginary accounting like Bush.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The debt is counted regardless of where it's placed. If you actually read the Treasury statements you'd know that.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I know college educated older progressives that fervently believe that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have all the answers and would quickly balance the bufpdget if only republicans were out of the way.. seriously, they actually beleive that bullshit.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yet Trump in just his first year has managed to explode the country's debt and deficits to the extent that even presidents fighting wars and slaying recessions never managed to do.

    His fawning idiot followers won't admit this.

  • Maddow's Fleshlight||

    Yeah, Trump and his followers are awful. Maybe he can save some money by not paying some things that he made an agreement to pay if certain conditions were met...

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    You can say that again, Maddow's Fleshlight.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Are you referring to his ridiculous border wall?

    MEXICO HAS TO PAY FOR THAT!

  • Maddow's Fleshlight||

    Too bad he didn't make a bet about how that would turn out, he'd look pretty silly now, but he probably wouldn't pay it anyway.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Listen here, Fleshlight, Cockring, and Buttplug. This is a family website. Let's keep it civil.

  • Brian||

    And progressives won't admit that it's just what they've always wanted.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, that is why Bernie-Bros like Michael Moore called Bill Clinton a Republican for his fiscal restraint.

    The GOP needs a Bill Clinton today.

  • Brian||

    Funny: I was just thinking that there's a proportional relationship between:

    1. How pissed off and upset Michael Moore is about a presidential candidate
    2. The likelihood they win elections

    Keep doing God's work, Michael Moore!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Bill Clinton had fiscal restraint because the GOP controlled Congress.

  • damikesc||

    Michael Moore is a stooge of Russia anyway. After all, he was a major force behind the anti-Trump protests Moscow funded and controlled...

  • Jerryskids||

    Trumpism's Enduring Legacy to the GOP will be a Relentless Culture War

    I suppose technically that may be true, a war takes two sides and for the last 30 years or so there's only been one side attacking the culture known as Western Civilization.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Really?

    Western academic tradition is typically defended by liberal historians and critics. It is the conservative movement that has become anti-Western with its disdain for modern culture, art, and literature.

    I suspect you are referring to the small cadre of black anti-Western militants who have no widespread support among liberals. It is amazing how often wingnuts commit the fallacy of 'hasty generalization'. If anyone is hostile to academic tradition it is the ignorant conservative anti-intellectual set.

  • Maddow's Fleshlight||

    Agreed, those stupid conservos have been attacking the principles of burden of proof, innocent until proven guilty, and the scientific method for years, and it's time someone called them on it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    MAN DID'NT EVOLVE FROM NO APES!

  • Maddow's Fleshlight||

    Yes, that seems to be the consensus.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Men and apes evolved from a common ancestor.

    We diverged before there were 'apes'.

    Thanks for playing, please take your consolation prizes on your way out.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Western academic tradition is typically defended by liberal historians and critics.

    Look who hasn't been paying attention to Academia the last few years. Photoshopped right out of his memory.

  • Rhywun||

    Up is down, left is right. It's bizarro world in what passes for that brain of his.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Being a Culture Warrior is only bad if you are on the resistant side, don't you know?

  • Rhywun||

    Modern architecture is mostly garbage and what I've seen of the literature isn't much better. But by all means let liberals keep trashing everything that was once appreciated in Western civilization whilst claiming to be the ones supporting it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I'm a liberal and a Western Civ supremacist. Western Civ is a liberal tradition in fact. Conservatives contribute little to culture although I am a fan of TS Eliot.

  • Jerryskids||

    Western Civ is a liberal tradition in fact.

    If you adhere to any tradition at all, you're a conservative. I don't know where you've been the last 30 years, but "liberal" doesn't mean what you think it means any more. It's "progressive" and it's all identity politics and the supremacy of the collective over the individual.

    I've said here before I consider Martin Luther to be the first American, when he stood up to the Pope and declared that human beings could read the Bible and understand for themselves the meaning of the Word of God, he was speaking out for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech and the sovereignty of the individual. Western Civilization and its culmination in the founding of the USA is nothing if not a declaration of the sovereignty of the individual. And "it takes a village" Hillary and "you didn't build that" Barack are not big fans of individualism last time I checked, and those two are considered moderates by the more leftist heart of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party just needs to go ahead and change its name to The People's Democratic Party so we all know where they stand.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    If you adhere to any tradition at all, you're a conservative.

    Not as it is happening.

    Martin Luther was a radical liberal in the 15th and 16th century just as Darwin was in the 19th and John Locke in the 18th.

    And speaking of the collective - there is no more human effacing collective than the modern GOP and its Bible Beating conformity to the Religious Right's numb ignorance. I live in Georgia and see these fucking idiot conservative zombies every day. They don't give a fuck about the individual. All must serve their Gawd and their Gawd only. Only Muslims are worse.

    You lose.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I live in Georgia and see these fucking idiot conservative zombies every day. They don't give a fuck about the individual. All must serve their Gawd and their Gawd only.

    I recently read a post by a far-leftist complaining about having to live in Douglas County, CO which is a relatively conservative part of the metro area. Said he couldn't wait for his son to graduate high school so he could move to a more liberal area. The silly twat didn't even have the self-awareness (or maybe it was resentment, since the more "diverse" areas of Denver have such shitty public schools) to realize that the very community that he held in such contempt was providing his son with one of the best educations in the state.

    I find it hilarious that both of you bitch about "bible-thumpers" but have no problem living around them when it benefits you.

  • chemjeff||

    "there's only been one side attacking the culture known as Western Civilization."

    Oh come on. "Western Civilization" includes luminaries such as Hobbes AND Marx. Everyone on every side is defending "Western Civilization", just not the whole thing, only a small subset of it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Conservatives have been hostile to Western Civ since the Realist movement put man at the center of the universe over God.

  • chemjeff||

    Well I suppose that depends on what you define as a "conservative".

    Old-school Bible-thumping conservatives, who think everything would be better if only there were prayer in schools again? Sure, you have a point.

    But there's also plenty of libertarian-minded conservatives who don't give a fig about prayer in school or religious issues but instead look to Hobbes and Locke. The problem with those is that too many of them glorify the state ("USA! USA! USA!") instead of transcendent principles of liberty. They are defending a small subset of Western Civilization, but not just the religious bits.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    But there's also plenty of libertarian-minded conservatives who don't give a fig about prayer in school or religious issues but instead look to Hobbes and Locke.

    You're have to help me think of one.

    Show me a conservative today who is a genuine secularist and is pro gay marriage liberty.

    Like Barry Goldwater was. BG would be a Democrat today after the GOP merger with the Religious Right.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Thankfully we have modern liberals committed to the suppression of free speech and fascism. That mask is down around your ankles.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    A handful of college radicals don't matter, idiot.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Butt, you're a fascist and want to end all civil rights including free speech.

  • DajjaI||

    Actually his enduring legacy will be Americans' repudiation of strong-man fascism. Good work, people. Next step is to stop the hemmorhaging spending spree. This will have to come from the younger generation and a repudiation of socialism (weak-man fascism).

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I'd say if anything, Obama's Dems thought they had the messiah to end all messiahs and could do anything, say anything, and get away with it; and the press went with it because everything was glorious.

    And then comes Trump, dashes all their dreams, breaks the story, and they all go bananas in shock reaction. Hitler literally could not have been worse.

    And if anything, Trump may at least make the next three years a useful palliative to 8 years of messiah worship. I doubt he's anywhere near as dangerous as 8 more years of messiah complex would have been.

  • ||

    "Hitler literally could not have been worse."

    Huh? You still don't understand the meaning of literally, do you?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Indeed, the Tea Party movement initially emerged expressly as a backlash to the Bush years

    You still actually believe this? Ha!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    What? You mean the fact that the Tea Parry began precisely the moment Bush left office wasn't a coincidence?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Because nothing else was going on then. Like the establishments of both parties agreeing to massive soending to bailout a lending crisis the government's policies helped cause.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    TARP was a big deal in Oct 2008. I'll give you that. But there was no Tea Party until after Obama's inauguration.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    Bullshit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What about the Tea Party in 1773? It was in Boston, so some called it the Boston Tea Party.

  • JWatts||

    That's completely wrong.

    "Fox News Channel commentator Juan Williams has said that the Tea Party movement emerged from the "ashes" of Ron Paul's 2008 presidential primary campaign.[77] Indeed, Ron Paul has stated that its origin was on December 16, 2007, when supporters held a 24-hour record breaking, "moneybomb" fundraising event on the Boston Tea Party's 234th anniversary,[78] but that others, including Republicans, took over and changed some of the movement's core beliefs.[79][80] Writing for Slate.com, Dave Weigel has argued in concurrence that, in his view, the "first modern Tea Party events occurred in December 2007, long before Barack Obama took office, and they were organized by supporters of Rep. Ron Paul," with the movement expanding and gaining prominence in 2009."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Rick Santelli is generally blamed for creating the TP with his outburst in early 2009.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Do a google search for tea party 2007

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The first TP gathering/protest was in 2009.

    Really, if you want to get pedantic it began before the American Revolution as a tax protest.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, Santelli definitely sparked the Tea Party, but opposition to TARP went back to the beginning of TARP.

    Obama's actions were the straw that broke the camel's back, but they'd been building up on that camel's back going back to the Bush administration.

    Only Shrike would need it pointed out that the Tea Party wasn't originally part of the Republican party either--they had to be wooed. And the first thing the Tea Party did was challenge Republicans who'd voted for TARP in the primaries.

    The Tea Party was the scourge of the Republican Party right up to and through the time that cry baby Boehner lost his place as Speaker of the House.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama's actions were the straw that broke the camel's back

    Must have been that Feb 2009 $250 billion tax cut.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's amazing, not just how little you know--but how little you care about how little you know.

    You were dragged through the truth every day while all this was happening and had the truth smeared all over your face by other commenters--every day while it was happening--and you still act like none of that ever happened!

    We are the same people who saw the stupid shit you said back then, Shrike.

    It was absurd and stupid then. It's absurd and stupid now--and we're the same people!

    This is why everyone laughs at you, Shrike. Don't you see that?

    Don't you care?

    Do you not care that you're a laughing stock?

    Do you not know why?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Ken, it is odd how you react to a FACT that I give you like Obama's big Feb )9 tax cut and think it disproves something I said and proves you correct when the opposite has occurred.

  • JWatts||

    "Rick Santelli is generally blamed for creating the TP with his outburst in early 2009."

    Yeah, I posted actual documentation that proves you wrong. You counter with an unsupported factoid. My approach is Fact seeking, your approach is Narrative.

  • Ken Shultz||

    At some point, wasting logic on Shrike is just that--a waste.

    Jesus said something about throwing pearls before swine. I think this is what he was getting at.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Juan Williams said" is not a fact. There has been a Tea Party since the John Birch movement in the 1940s.

    It has a hundred origins.

    The first TP gathering was in 2009.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The First know Tea Party was in 1773 in the Boston harbor.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Movements like the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street don't spring up like that over night. There's a lot of grass roots resentment in this country which has been brewing for a long time, and Trump (to name just one example) is a symptom. Worldwide, Technocrats are falling out of favor. Bush was seen by a lot of the conservative base as a technocrat. Obama was the technocrattiest of the technocrats, as was Hillary.

    Even if you ignore the conservative movements such as the Tea Party, there's a major, and I mean major rift going on in the left right now which isn't really being covered by the media, because the media is seen by many on the left as being part of the problem.

    Progressives who voted for candidates like Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein are turning hard against the Democratic party, and the media-- especially outfits like MSNBC. Rachel Maddow is seen as a 'darling' of the left, but she's not to the progressive base.

  • Rebel Scum||

    The party's commitment to fiscal restraint and limited government have vanished

    It never really existed. They were founded as the party of mercantilism and remain the party of mercantilism.

  • chemjeff||

    Yeah it's pretty much all culture war all the time now.

    One tribe thinks that to be a "real American" you have to support diversity and tolerance and embracing all choices even the bad ones.

    The other tribe thinks that to be a "real American" you have to own guns and live in the rural heartland with a "real job", not one of those pansy desk jobs.

  • damikesc||

    No, one tribe feels demanding that I lie to spare your feelings about what sex you really is fascistic. That demanding a baker be forced to do extra work to celebrate an event he opposes is fascistic. That demanding nuns to pay for birth control for others is fascistic. That making US citizenship meaningless by just letting in anybody and everybody for whatever reason is offensive. That saying white folks are all racist simply because we are white is no better than parroting KKK talking points.

    The other one feels that you should be forced, under force of a gun, to do whatever they want,. whenever they want, however they want.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The party's commitment to fiscal restraint and limited government have vanished


    Never existed in the first place. And if you thought it did, then you're a fool.

    Indeed, the Tea Party movement initially emerged expressly as a backlash to the Bush years [...]


    You do know that folks remember 2009, right? Those Tea Partiers weren't protesting Bush's taxes, they were protesting Obama's taxes. The fact that the 2008 rates was from the Bush administration was completely irrelevant.

    It's partisanship. All the way down. The Tea Party was about partisanship, the Republican "fiscal responsibility" notions are about partisanship. Pretending there was ever sincere principle to it is self deception.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    All true.

    And the first major bill Obama signed included a tax CUT. Yet the Tea Party raged on.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But that tax cut was both temporary and inflated the deficit. Funny how you're only concerned about that now that your messiah is gone.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    A Bush era tax cut continuance for 1 year. Obama signed additional TARP spending. Obama signed the revival of the inheritance tax.

  • damikesc||

    Ah, missed the Porkbusters movement, eh?

  • Ken Shultz||

    What culture war issue is Trump a champion of?

    Is he big on abortion, prayer in public schools, the drug war, the death penalty, euthanasia, or pr0n?

    Do you not think Trump is associated with tax reform and deregulation? What about Trump's return to a pragmatic foreign policy and his abandonment of the ex-Marxists who made neoconservatism what it was?

    Trump has more in common with Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan than George W. Bush did, that's for sure.

    And those are the two figures that 1) dominate modern conservatism and 2) eschewed culture war issues--just like Donald Trump.

    Sure, Trump has said some terrible things about free trade agreements, but only fools and journalists can't tell the difference between tweets and news.

    Donald Trump = Culture War?!

    Ha! You must think words can be used arbitrarily to mean anything!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Don't be an idiot. His whole Con is based on white cultural nationalism.

  • TLBD||

    I find it hilarious how the left insists on keeping up with that shtick.

    They stole the stupid party mantle and ran straight off the edge of the world with it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Reason were a board game, being called an idiot by Shrike would get you a free turn.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nice Ken. The idea of a Reason board game and that everyone else would win because Shrike would constantly be calling Libertarians "idiots".

  • chemjeff||

    To many, Donald Trump is an avatar for those who want to subsume policy differences within a culture war framework. Trump's signature issue, immigration, is defended almost entirely in a culture-war framework. He says we have to stop "chain migration". Why? What's his rationale? Is it due to some cost-benefit analysis? Not really, it's more about creating a cultural aversion to *those people* who *don't belong here*. I think that is part of the modern right's schtick now - to problematize the concept of immigration. That's not based on policy analysis, that's based on cultural preferences.

  • TLBD||

    Why? What's his rationale? Is it due to some cost-benefit analysis?

    It actually is, but whether it is correct or not should be the debate. Not debating on whether he is racist. The fact that people just call him a Nazi looks like they don't have the capacity to argue on merit.

    The gist of it is that Trump and his followers believe illegal immigration drives down wages, shrinks the job pool, and increases crime.

    Those things can be argued. Calling Trump's followers names is not an argument.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Calling Trump's followers names is not an argument."

    Because Trump fails to fight the culture war on the side of the SJWs and progressives, in their minds, that means he's fighting a culture war.

    Their logic is pathetic.

    If you don't see the immigration issue primarily in terms of race, then, in their minds, you're a racist.

    Orwell would have field day with this shit.

    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.
    Everything is racist.

  • chemjeff||

    "The gist of it is that Trump and his followers believe illegal immigration drives down wages, shrinks the job pool, and increases crime."

    Hint: Their concerns are not just about "illegal immigration" anymore. It's about all immigration.

    And when you point out study after study that these concerns, while legitimate, aren't nearly as dire or consequential as they seem to make it, then the rationale shifts, eventually, to "we just don't want them here and we have a right to keep them out".

    I honestly don't think it matters to the hardcore Trumpists that the effect of immigration on crime is very small. A lot of them take the attitude of "if the wall stops just one illegal immigrant from committing a crime it's all worth it".

  • TLBD||

    There is not much difference between illegal and legal immigration, I'm sure. Either way, to most Trump supporters it is economic. To a smaller percentage it is about crime, and from my experience these people have either been affected by illegal immigrant crime or know someone who has. Both groups are willing to use the arguments of the other, just like where I believe people have the right to bear arms, I will point out various statistics that support that it is just a good idea, even though it being a good idea is irrelevant to me personally.

    Either way, Trump's ideas on immigration are supported by a majority of people. It is not like they're some fringe racist group. Again, what exactly they are right or wrong about is up for debate.

  • chemjeff||

    " Either way, to most Trump supporters it is economic."

    And I suppose this is where we disagree. I don't get that impression at all. I think the economic arguments are used to justify a deeper concern that modern immigrants "just don't belong here", that they don't assimilate, that they bring foreign values, that they do things in weird abnormal ways that just don't or shouldn't fit in America. Look at what Rush said about amnesty - he's willing to grant them amnesty as long as they don't vote for 20 years or whatever. He's not making an economic argument, he's making a cultural one. Modern immigrants don't belong here because they will eventually lead to the downfall of the Republic. That is the tone and tenor of most immigration debates that I have encountered anyway, not arguments about wages and employment.

  • TLBD||

    Well, in my experience, to the vast majority of Americans, the economy is the number one priority, whether they will admit it or not. Race, liberty, everything else is secondary, which is why property rights and consistent rule of law are keys to any successful liberal (in the classic sense) society.

    As far as Rush, I think he is more of a GWB/Regan guy on immigration. It was his attempt to compromise, I think. Either way, he is a populist first, so it is hard to ferret out exactly what his angle is. But it does do one thing, and that is expose the real reason the left wants immigrants, and it is for their votes.

    Personally, I'm more concerned about this than the crime or economic angle. The Democrats are using immigrants to dilute the vote of the American citizen. You cannot be the party of the poor without poor people. You can't be the party of the victim without victims. This is the essence of every collectivist ideology, and how they gain power. Immigration is not some benevolent issue for the Democrats, it is keeping a steady stream of poor people and brown people voting for them. I find it disgusting.

  • Rhywun||

    Those things can be argued. Calling Trump's followers names is not an argument.

    +1

    God I miss reasonable.

    This place gives me angina every day now.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Trump's immigration policy appears to be what it is to try and help disaffected blue collar workers in rust belt states.

    The racial dimensions you're talking about are almost entirely an invention of SJWs and progressives, who are so quick to denounce anything that could be interpreted as having a racial component as if it were all about racism and that was the only explanation.

    Trump is not a culture war president. He does not pursue culture war issues, and he doesn't do it in terms of the culture war.

    George W. Bush was more of a culture war president--see Terry Schaivo and the culture of death as examples.

    Barack Obama was a culture war president--almost everything he did was cast in terms of race, sexual politics, etc.

  • chemjeff||

    "Trump's immigration policy appears to be what it is to try and help disaffected blue collar workers in rust belt states."

    Yes, and that is the front of the culture war that he's fighting. That the blue collar workers in the heartland are the "real Americans" that the government should be most concerned about. It's not a culture war in terms of traditional morality or religious values, like W. fought.

    It is not a division between race per se although IMO the racial component can't be ignored altogether. It is a division between the "true Americans" and the "librul seditionists".

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Thankfully we have you to show us the way. Smash that patriarchy!

  • Ken Shultz||

    The white, blue collar, middle class is the backbone of this country.

    They're disaffected because they've been abandoned demonized by the SJWs and progressives who run the Democratic party.

    "Reagan Democrats" no longer saw the Democratic party as champions of their working class aspirations, but instead saw them as working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos, and other groups."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_Democrat

    That could have been written about the white, blue collar, middle class in the Midwest in 2016 who voted for Trump.

    They think the Democratic party only cares about BLM, illegal immigrants, LGBTQI+, feminists, radical environmentalists, etc.--and because the SJWs and progressives kept hating on the white, blue collar, middle class, they defected to support Trump, who was preaching the same economic message that the unions and Democrats themselves used to preach back during Obama's first term, back when Bill Clinton was president, . . .

    Just because the SJWs and progressives say the white, blue collar middle class is racist for being white doesn't make it so--not even if they blame illegal immigration for making it so hard for blue collar Americans to find and hold a good paying job.

    If SJWs imagine that the only reason white people in the Midwest oppose immigration is because white people are racist, then they're the ones who should be suspected of racism.

  • chemjeff||

    "The white, blue collar, middle class is the backbone of this country."

    But see that is part of the cultural argument that the Trumpists are trying to make - that the white, blue collar, working/middle class Americans are not just THE backbone of this country, but the representatives of what constitutes "real America" (as Sarah Palin might say). IN REALITY, there are many "backbones" - the Wall Street bankers, the tech professionals, the artisans, the educators, you name it. What gives Trumpists the right to declare that they and only they are the ones who really matter? It's trying to appropriate the term "America" itself to represent not the collection of all of us Americans, but the down home decent folk who vote for Team Red, and that if you don't stand in solidarity with them, then there is something suspect about your patriotism. It's a bit shameful, but that is the culture war that we are in now. Not about abortion or religion or morality. But about patriotism itself.

  • damikesc||

    But see that is part of the cultural argument that the Trumpists are trying to make - that the white, blue collar, working/middle class Americans are not just THE backbone of this country, but the representatives of what constitutes "real America"

    You invent a quote and then attack people over it, I notice. Ken didn't mention "Real Americans" at all. That seems to be you doing that.

  • TLBD||

    That the blue collar workers in the heartland are the "real Americans" that the government should be most concerned about.

    Yes, they are real Americans, and from a libertarian perspective I would think our government would put them at a higher priority than foreign citizens. I don't see anything jingoistic or racist about that.

    The racial component is only really there because the Democrats have convinced large percentages of minorities that the Republicans wake up every day plotting ways to lynch them. It's like when you see pictures of Trump's Cabinet lacking the same number of black people as Obama's. Well, Democrats have 90% of the black talent pool, and Republicans have probably 3% of that talent pool. I'd be very concerned if Republicans were hiring black people in the same numbers with those percentages.

  • chemjeff||

    "Yes, they are real Americans"

    When I say "real Americans", I don't mean "real" as in legitimate - of course, every citizen is a "real American" - but as in "authentic", that the good down home decent folk are more authentically American than the ivory tower intellectual. That is the offensive part I find about the modern culture war that the right is fighting.

    " and from a libertarian perspective I would think our government would put them at a higher priority than foreign citizens. I don't see anything jingoistic or racist about that."

    Actually, from a libertarian perspective, I would expect our government to treat each individual on his/her own merits.

    "The racial component is only really there because the Democrats have convinced large percentages of minorities that the Republicans wake up every day plotting ways to lynch them"

    Oh come on. Really? Yes, many Democrats of course engage in demagoguery on the issue of race ("they'll put you all back in chains!", etc.). But Republicans themselves are the ones who come up with ideas about building giant walls and claiming that Mexico "doesn't send their best and brightest". Democrats don't do that, at least not recently.

  • TLBD||

    Actually, from a libertarian perspective, I would expect our government to treat each individual on his/her own merits.

    I'd say that is more of an anarchist perspective than a libertarian one regarding citizens and non-citizens. Which is fine if you're arguing from that perspective. Even the most limited government should be expected to prioritize its citizens over non-citizens.

    Logically, saying that Mexico doesn't send their best and brightest means that those brown people have some really awesome and smart people among them. I'm not sure how that is racist.

  • damikesc||

    The racial dimensions you're talking about are almost entirely an invention of SJWs and progressives, who are so quick to denounce anything that could be interpreted as having a racial component as if it were all about racism and that was the only explanation.

    The view is that any policy done not to harm white folks is de facto racism. True, he's ALSO got black employment to the highest levels recorded, but he's still racist. Somehow.

  • JoeBlow123||

    The well was poisoned man. I do not find it a massive surprise that people start to become more extreme when they are ignored for a pretty long time.

  • chemjeff||

    To many, Donald Trump is an avatar for those who want to subsume policy differences within a culture war framework. Trump's signature issue, immigration, is defended almost entirely in a culture-war framework. He says we have to stop "chain migration". Why? What's his rationale? Is it due to some cost-benefit analysis? Not really, it's more about creating a cultural aversion to *those people* who *don't belong here*. I think that is part of the modern right's schtick now - to problematize the concept of immigration. That's not based on policy analysis, that's based on cultural preferences.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Aryan Nationalism = Trumpism.

  • TLBD||

    You're like the Nancy Pelosi of Reason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    By comparison, Nancy Pelosi is well informed.

  • JWatts||

    No, not really. She says stuff every bit as stupid as what Buttplug says.

    I have to say, he has the most accurate pseudonym ever.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Can somebody explain to me a) why someone would choose a username like that and b) why someone would choose a username like that--and expect to be taken seriously?

  • Rhywun||

    He's a troll. Nothing it says or does is expected to make any sense.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    To piss you conservatives off, Ken.

    As a classic liberal I don't like conservatives or progressives. The latter has no representation here. The former has plenty on this board.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No one's pissed off about your stupid name, Shrike.

  • TLBD||

    I find its name just uncomfortable like in the way you feel bad for someone who kills a lively conversation by telling a terrible joke.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This is not helpful to speak this hombre. Calling people racists for having a different opinion is not a very good way to endear them towards working with you or compromising. If anything it probably hardens them, their opinions.

  • chemjeff||

    So please show me where I am standing up for Obama and his culture war nonsense. Hint: I'm not.

    I think what pissed off a lot of people on the right about Obama was that he could engage in a culture war while pretending not to.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You're just far more respectful of them than those "real americans" are of those "libruls."

    What pissed off conservatives was Barry's socialist policies. Water carriers like yourself were just an added annoyance.

  • chemjeff||

    What pissed off conservatives was Barry's socialist policies.

    Uh huh. You mean like runaway spending or his massive stimulus bill or "government takeover of health care", all of which Republicans themselves are emulating or doing next to nothing to stop?

  • damikesc||

    Well, pulling the tax from Obamacare might end up making Obamacare unconstitutional now, you realize. Without the penalty --- the government has no apparent right to force anything.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "What culture war issue is Trump a champion of?"

    The fight against Leftist indoctrination in government, media, and academia. This is probably his most important potential legacy.

  • TLBD||

    I'm not sure how the spending plan is Trump's fault. It is the Senate's fault, full stop.

    Trying to shift the blame to Trump is just childish.

  • John||

    If Trump ever shut down the government to try and force Congress to cut spending, Reason would be on here calling him reckless just like they did when the Republicans shut down the government over Obamacare. So, you can't take them very seriously on this stuff and you shouldn't take Dalmia seriously about anything. She is just a troll.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    CBO scored keeping the dreamers as costing 26BB dollars. Funny how there's no lementing the impact on the debt from reason all of a sudden...

  • John||

    Or paying the way for refugees to come here. Reason was all for that.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If Trump ever shut down the government to try and force Congress to cut spending [...]


    Seeing as this can only happen in an alternate reality, I'm not sure it's safe to assume that alternate-reality-Reason is similar enough to this-reality-Reason to draw any meaningful conclusions on the later based on the hypothetical alternate reality actions of the former.

    Or to put it in other words: the described scenario is so unbelievable that it is not instructive to consider.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The culture war was started by the left a long time ago and leftists have been prosecuting it with a vengeance ever since.

    Trump had nothing to do with starting it.

  • NoVaNick||

    I agree that the left fired the first shots in the culture war and has not wanted it to end. Trump has tried to call them out on it, which only makes them fight harder. These people need to be ignored.

  • John||

    The problem with the culture war is that the left derives its entire reason for existing in fighting it. So there is no way to ever end anything. Look at gay rights. It starts off with the reasonable contention that gays should be left alone. Then when that happened, it moved to gays should get married. Then when that happened, somehow trans rights became part of gay rights and now everyone has to let men shower with women. And when that is over it will be something else. It never fucking ends, because the left's only reason for existence is the smug feeling of fighting to change things. So, it doesn't matter how much you give them, they will always demand more because the act of demanding more is an end in itself to them.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance. And eternally fighting back.

    The Right forgot that for decades.

  • NoVaNick||

    I always found Trump to be a relic of the 1980s, when putting gold fixtures in your bathroom and gold lettering on your Town Car or Eldorado was all the rage. His policies, especially with regards to crime and the drug war, seem to be relics of that era too, along with his love of deficits.

  • John||

    I am pretty sure the government loved deficits after the 1980s. It sure as hell loved them under Obama as it ran up more debt in 8 years than in the previous 223 combined.

  • Tony||

    That's a disingenuous assessment of history to say the least. Obviously Obama was responsible for the global recession that happened before he took office, but still.

  • John||

    Math is a harsh mistress. The deficits are what they are. I understand you think Obama was infallible. But he wasn't. Get over it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Recessions can last longer or shorter partly because of how governments respond. Obama added more TARP money than dipshit Bush did and it prolonged the Great recession.

    In fact some locations in the USA are just now coming out of the Great Recession. The Great Recession certainly didn't end in 2010 like Democrats would have you believe.

  • Trigger Warning||

    We already have a culture war. That is what got him elected.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I voted for Trump as the first Republican who actually fought back.

  • Trigger Warning||

    I don't like him, but better him than The Hag. He didn't win as much as The Hag lost.

    Gorsuch: great
    Sessions: Not as bad as Janet Reno, but that's a low bar
    Fiscal: shitty, like they all are
    Border wall: extremely complex boondoggle. I suppose the basic idea is sound. Converting to reality would be a huge undertaking, take decades, and make Kurt Russell appear as Snake. I only support a wall if we are consistent in our reasoning, a build a wall to keep those goddam filthy hockey-loving canuckitards off my land at the same time.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This thread is probably stale, but here's a little insight into what's going on with the left. I'm starting to get these in my youtube feed (along with some conservative stuff that would probably be defined as 'alt-right' by the usual suspects who don't like to debate facts).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMhdkOVCtOE&t=609s

    Listen carefully, there's stuff going on that's very deep in the weeds here and the establishment media is looking the other way... I think some people call this "intersectionality", but I'll leave those labels to the experts.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The first went after alternate sources to them since they considered themselves the gatekeepers. After quite a few of the new media websites, like FB, started toeing the lefty media line the media went after any media outlet that couldn't be controlled. The media takes plays right out of Joseph Goebbel's playbook.

    One of the prime tools for socialists is to be in a position to dismiss all information that counters their established propaganda.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Nice piece, but you're way off in thinking that the Republican Party has, since Reagan, ever had the slightest interest in fiscal responsibility. Mr. Government is the Problem doubled the size of the national debt in eight years. Even as a percentage of GNP he increased it by 46%. Republican hostility to immigrants manifested itself strongly in the 1996 welfare reform package, which was the main reason why Clinton was reluctant to sign it, and after Bush gathered strength with every presidential primary.

    Trump is very much a continuation of the Tea Party, which is simply right-wing Jacobinism, longing for absolute power to protect "us" from "them". The Tea Party "hated" government because it was taking their money and spending it on "the other"--blacks, immigrants, abortionists, etc., people they despised as effectively less than human. With his endless hypocrisy, Trump "justifies" their hatred, feeds their fantasies of revenge, and may even gratify them. Other countries have had wicked leaders, not just incompetent, but wicked. Now it's our turn.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There are some Republicans who have some fiscal conservatism but there are far more RINOs who think they will lose their seat if they cut the government.

    Trump wants to cut government in some areas but Congress has to make most of the cuts.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Now it's our turn.

    Actually it was Her Turn(tm), but she missed both free throws.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Evidently, Trump announced running for President in 2020!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano finally woke up from his nappy.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Shikha is a typical Progressive. They've had been fighting a culture war for decades, if not a century. When the Right *finally* lifts a finger to fight back, she blames them for the existence of the war.

    I hope Trumpism's enduring legacy to the GOP will be in actually *fighting back* against Leftist totalitarianism.

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