Friday, October 28, 2016

'We Are in for a Pretty Long Civil War...'

From Julia Ioffe, at Politico, "In back rooms and think tanks, Republicans are already mourning their party — and plotting the fight over who’s going to be in it after Trump":
As the country geared up for the third and final presidential debate last week, the fellows of the storied conservative Hoover Institution gathered in Palo Alto to present their research to the think tank's wealthy patrons. Elsewhere in America, in the homestretch of perhaps the weirdest election the nation has ever experienced, things were getting tense, excited, even feverish. But the rooms at the Hoover retreat at Stanford University could have doubled as a funeral parlor, and the lectures as eulogies for a bygone era. Larry Diamond, a prominent political sociologist known to fellow scholars as “Mr. Democracy,” talked about the breakdown of the party system. Kori Schake, a National Security Council official in the George W. Bush administration and adviser to the McCain-Palin campaign, spoke about how the U.S. was endangering the international order it had itself created. Peter Berkowitz, a conservative political scientist and commentator, gave a talk about “the unraveling of civil society” in America.

“Obviously the party and the conservative movement are very troubled, and there will obviously be a crisis whether Trump wins or loses,” Berkowitz told me later. “What are the core conservative convictions going forward?”

“If he wins, he will for all intents and purposes reshape what it means to be a Republican,” said Schake when I called her. “We’re fumbling our way through, which I hope will lead us to consensus, but we’re nowhere near it now.”

This election, the conventional wisdom goes, has done tremendous damage to the American body politic, but nowhere is the damage as severe as it is inside the party that nominated the wrecking ball known as Donald Trump. Now the party of Ronald Reagan is being led by a man with no discernible ideological leanings, save for an affinity with some of history’s ugliest. In the face of mounting evidence that Hillary Clinton is set to dominate the electoral map on November 8, Republicans across the right side of the spectrum recognize there’s defeat coming. And behind the scenes, in conversations and closed-door venues—the Hoover gathering was not open to the public—the people who once considered themselves the heart, or at least the head, of the party have begun a very pessimistic reckoning.

As yet there seems to be no coherent vision for what kind of future November 9 brings for the Republican Party—or, for that matter, if there will even be a Republican Party they could support. “You’re assuming that ‘establishment Republicans’ are going to be Republicans anymore,” said Juleanna Glover, a GOP lobbyist and former staffer to then-Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri.

“The likelihood of the Republican Party surviving this, of there being another Republican president in the future, is small,” said one movement conservative who served in the Bush White House. “I don’t think the party survives.”

Far from the halls of the Hoover Institution and big Washington policy shops is a force they cannot control: the Trump campaign, a small collection of social-media gurus, Breitbart alumni, and Trump family members who have managed to capture the majority of Republican voters in the U.S., and who may use their new power to launch a media network, or take over as the new axis of the GOP, or both. And as the old establishment looks on in horror, the civil war in its ranks has already begun.
I agree with this. The GOP is crashing, although the Republican establishment, including most of those up at Hoover, bear much of the blame. There's no underlying voter coalition supporting the GOPe. I doubt the huge white working class vote, especially the 60 percent-or-so of white non-college-educated men, will care much about rekindling the GOP if Trump loses on November 8th.

I personally welcome the crackup of the party. I've been saying for a long time that the two-party system needs a major realignment. It looks like the Democrats are going to be the majority party for a while, and there needs to be a real party of opposition to challenge them in upcoming elections. "Democrat-lite," which has been the sellout GOP in recent years, won't do.

In any case, still more at the link. (Via Memeorandum.)

(If Trump loses, I hope we can get a leader like Marine Le Pen to form an American nationalist party. Heh, that'd be so cool.).