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Hullabaloo


Monday, June 27, 2016

 
The conservative containment strategy isn't working

by digby


















This piece by Brian Beutler on how some conservatives who oppose Trump have shown that they still haven't learned the lesson by their Brexit reaction is very insightful:
Most conservative and liberal American elites here are alarmed by both the success of the Leave campaign and by Trump’s victory in the Republican presidential primary. American nativists, along with a subset of leftist radicals, support the Brexit along with domestic political threats to the established order.

The outliers are conservative elites who profess to oppose Trump’s candidacy, but who nevertheless celebrate or romanticize triumphant Trumpian forces in the United Kingdom.



It’s obviously not racist, per se, to support the notion of Britain exiting the E.U. But the elite right’s winking alliance with the bigoted faction of British voters that pushed Leave past 50 percent represents a swift return to form for elite American conservatives.
[...]
To the extent that these conservatives acknowledge the racial aspect of right-wing populism at all, it’s to intimate that progressives ought to dial back their cosmopolitanism–their hospitality to refugees, their more general openness to immigration–as ransom to bigots.

For Brexit foes preoccupied with the fact that forces of reaction and xenophobia carried the day in the U.K., New York Times columnist Ross Douthat suggested their own unwillingness to accommodate the reactionaries and xenophobes may explain their defeat...
[...]
When data show that support among Britons for Brexiting isn’t correlated with material losses associated with immigration—and where anti-immigrant sentiments long predate the migration explosion associated with EU liberalization—this counsel of prudence reads more like extortion. It amounts to setting forth conservative policy as the only way to keep truly dark forces at bay. Or, perhaps less generously, giving quarter to indefensible prejudices out of political expedience. Nice pluralistic society you’ve built there—hate to see anything happen to it.

And frankly, on some level, I have to assume that these people aren't quite as taken with pluralism themselves as they are currently pretending. You have to wonder is Trump weren't such a clownish figure, so obviously in over his head if a lot of them wouldn't have jumped eagerly on his bandwagon.

I've always felt that the chest beating over Trump's horrifying extremism seemed a bit weird coming from the kind of people who would call a Supreme Court justice a "goat fucking child molester." But even if one assumes Trump truly appalls them with his calls for a wall and deportations and banning of immigrants on the basis of religion, Beutler is right that catering to extremists hasn't really worked out very well to keep their destructive impulses in check has it? Maybe it's time to consider an alternative strategy.

.