HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014 11/01/2014 - 12/01/2014 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015 01/01/2015 - 02/01/2015 02/01/2015 - 03/01/2015 03/01/2015 - 04/01/2015 04/01/2015 - 05/01/2015 05/01/2015 - 06/01/2015 06/01/2015 - 07/01/2015 07/01/2015 - 08/01/2015 08/01/2015 - 09/01/2015 09/01/2015 - 10/01/2015 10/01/2015 - 11/01/2015 11/01/2015 - 12/01/2015 12/01/2015 - 01/01/2016 01/01/2016 - 02/01/2016 02/01/2016 - 03/01/2016 03/01/2016 - 04/01/2016 04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016 05/01/2016 - 06/01/2016 06/01/2016 - 07/01/2016 07/01/2016 - 08/01/2016 08/01/2016 - 09/01/2016 09/01/2016 - 10/01/2016 10/01/2016 - 11/01/2016 11/01/2016 - 12/01/2016 12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

 
The "populist-conservative" coalition

by digby

Here's an update from the conservative movement fever swamps. There are still some holdouts, but the professional movement conservatives are working the angles hard and are bringing anyone who might find Trump to be a bridge too far around slowly but surely:

Two conservative thinkers for whom we have a great deal of respect, Bill Kristol and Erick Erickson, have finally jumped the shark and entered a bizarre new #NeverTrump political dimension where Mitt Romney is a viable candidate for president and forming a third party five months before the election is a realistic means of electing an alternative to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

To be clear, we endorsed Ted Cruz and still believe Cruz is the candidate most likely to restore America to limited constitutional government, and if Senator Cruz had chosen to go to the Convention and challenge Donald Trump on the floor we would have supported him until the final votes were counted.

If Kristol and Erickson were advocating that Senator Cruz stay in the race we’d be there with them.

However, Ted Cruz for the good of the conservative cause, chose to suspend his campaign and he chose not to engage in a final round of political bloodletting with Donald Trump.

This is a harsh reality for many Cruz supporters who wanted to battle Trump until the bitter end, in part as payback for Trump’s scorched earth primary campaign.

The battle we wanted right now was Cruz versus Trump, the battle we’ve got is Trump versus Hillary Clinton, or the pipedream of a third party candidate.

Both Bill Kristol and Erick Erickson have recently made the case that a third party isn’t a pipedream and have pulled numbers from various polls to try to prove the claim that “Half the country is open to an alternative. The ABC poll shows half, basically half, 45 percent saying, we would like to have a third choice,” as Kristol told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

The problem for Kristol and Erickson is that their 45 percent is not ideologically conservative, so there’s no reason to believe that a conservative alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton automatically books that 45 percent of the vote.

So what’s the Kristol and Erickson “unity party” ticket, Mitt Romney and Bernie Sanders?

The idea that movement conservative should join forces with the #NeverTrump establishment Republican perpetrators of what has become a near-treasonous sellout of our country – and the country class citizens who believe in conservative ideas and have fought for them for decades – would be a disaster for the conservative movement and provide no guarantee of a conservative victory in November.

Setting aside the obvious challenge of funding a competitive campaign in an environment where the Democratic and Republican Party opponents would likely spend a combined total of over $2 billion, as they did in 2012, when Obama spent $1.123 billion and Romney spent $1.019 billion, the numbers just don’t add up for a candidate whose sole base is movement and especially cultural conservatives.

In 2012 about 117 million Americans voted in the presidential election, in 2008 about 125 million voted.

In 2008, white, born-again, Evangelical Christians represented 26 percent of the total vote for president, according to the exit polls. In 2012, white, born-again, Evangelical Christians represented 26 percent of the total vote for president, again according to the exit polls.

After four years of Obama’s disastrous anti-religious policies we saw no change at all in the percentage of the electorate accounted for by Evangelical Christians; no net gain, certainly no surge, and no record Evangelical turnout, despite the vast effort expended on contacting and turning out faith-first voters.

What’s more, when you zoom in a bit, according to Joel C. Rosenberg, you find that 21 percent of self-identified, white, born-again, Evangelical Christians voted for President Obama in 2012 – that means more than 6 million self-described “Evangelicals” voted for Obama.

It should also be noted that, despite his war on the Catholic Church, 50 percent of the Catholic vote went for Obama in 2012. This was down from the 54 percent that Obama won in 2008.

Plus, the reality is this cultural conservative #NeverTrump third party would not appeal to all cultural conservative voters; Trump booked forty-two percent of the Evangelical votes in heavily Evangelical North Carolina and in Ohio, 39 percent of Evangelicals voted for Trump.

The final issue to be dealt with in this scenario is the myth of the 17 million (or 10 or 5 million) missing Christian voters.

The argument is made every election that, if only we had a cultural conservative candidate, millions of hitherto absent Christian voters would show up and sweep a cultural conservative into the White House, but history has proven the idea that there are millions of “missing” Christian voters to be a myth.

Putting principled cultural conservative Rick Santorum on the primary ballot didn’t draw them to the polls in 2012, running Baptist minister Mike Huckabee didn’t draw them to the polls in 2008 or 2016, neither did putting high profile TV evangelist Pat Robertson on the ballot in 1988.

The reality is the millions of “missing” Christian voters are not missing.

After thirty-six years, millions of dollars spent on Christian voter guides, hours spent leafleting churches and intense telephone, mail and social media campaigns it is time to recognize that these voters are not “missing,” they are simply Christians who do not vote.

Counting on such people to power a Third Party campaign to victory is not merely the triumph of hope over experience, it is a fool’s errand that would have disastrous consequences for the preservation of constitutional liberty.

This deep-seated discomfort with Donald Trump’s life-style expressed by Erickson and Kristol is real, but from a strictly political perspective it does not constitute a reason for movement conservatives to abandon their natural populist allies to form a coalition with the establishment Republicans whose misrule, lies and betrayals have created the present political environment and enabled the rise of Donald Trump.

History, in the form of the 1980 and 1992 elections is instructive and history tells us that the only winning right-of-center coalition is one of conservatives and populists.

In 1980 the all-but-dead liberal Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party chose to walkout and back the Third Party candidacy of liberal Republican Congressman John Anderson against conservative Ronald Reagan.

The liberal Anderson booked 5,719,850 votes or 6.6 percent of the vote while Reagan won a majority of the popular vote with 43,903,230 votes and 50.8 percent of the total.

In contrast, in 1992, H. Ross Perot running as a conservative populist against the moderate Republican George H.W. Bush booked 19,743,821 votes or 18.91 percent of the popular vote. Bush was soundly defeated even though Democratic rival Bill Clinton did not get anywhere near a majority of the popular vote, booking only 44,909,806 votes or 43.01 percent of the votes cast.

So, on one side of the scale are principles and values, particularly the principles and values of our fellow cultural conservatives, and our desire to have leaders and elected officials who respect and live those values and principles.

On the other side is the white-hot anger of millions of grassroots limited government constitutional conservatives and conservative leaning populists who are not only angry with the leadership of the establishment Republican Party, but disappointed and frustrated with many leaders of the conservative movement as well.

The millions of disenfranchised country class voters who have been turning out for Trump look at the Republican establishment and see enemies who have been complicit in – if not the actual authors of – the three-decade long destruction of their quality of life.

But they have not found relief through many of Washington’s conservative leaders, some of whom have often failed to even try to fight the government policies that have contributed to the degradation of our culture that is enforced by political correctness, the vast increase in the spending and the reach of the federal government and the hijacking of middle class prosperity by crony government policies on trade and immigration.

Country class Americans are now tired of politicians and conservative movement leaders who lecture them about the Constitution, but who have done nothing to fight crime, improve education, prevent Islam from being taught in their schools, control the borders or encourage domestic economic growth.

The country class wants change and an end to the misrule of politically correct elites who are indifferent to their plight, and they may very well trample anyone who gets in the way of that change – even those who have heretofore led the long fight against the progressive Big Government Republican and Democratic establishments.

Don’t get us wrong – Donald Trump’s lack of interest in many elements of the cultural conservative agenda is no small thing – that’s why we preferred Ted Cruz over Trump.

In 1975, Ronald Reagan was approached by a number of leading conservatives, including ConservativeHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie, who wanted to launch a Third Party campaign with Reagan as the candidate.

As Mr. Viguerie recounted in his book TAKEOVER, Reagan heard them out and then told them they were nuts because most of America’s conservative voters were Republicans and he did not believe enough of them were likely to abandon the GOP to allow him to win a general election.

When faced with a choice between Trump’s lack of interest in many issues on the conservative agenda versus the deep and abiding hostility of Hillary Clinton, and the betrayals and lies of the Republican establishment, or a hopeless third party effort, Trump’s indifference to much of the conservative agenda would leave us with a candidate who, unlike John McCain and Mitt Romney, might at least be educable.

We haven’t endorsed Donald Trump, so at this point call us firmly against a third party effort and skeptical on the Trump candidacy, but persuadable if there’s concrete evidence of a Trump commitment to a populist – conservative coalition.

I still think it's so adorable that they tacked on the word "populist" without changing any of the their ideology. But they know their people and so they must believe that's all it's going to take to keep them donating and subscribing and reading and watching.

It just makes me laugh to think of The Club for Growth as "populist conservative."