National Review is saying everything I have said about President Trump:
“Has Donald Trump become a swamp creature? After repudiating Steve Bannon for having the temerity to criticize his son, the president spent the weekend holed up in the Maryland mountains with none other than Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. The man who was once the vanguard of the supposedly burgeoning populist–nationalist movement came out of his Camp David retreat with a newfound zeal for . . . supporting Republican incumbents in the 2018 midterm elections. …
Trump is a notoriously fickle man, but his embracing the role of cheerleader for incumbent Republicans has crystallized the reality of the moment: Far from remaking the GOP in his image, the president is taking his cues from the party apparatus that existed before he was sworn in.
In 2016, after Trump completed his hostile takeover of the GOP, many expected him to become its guiding light: Out with limited government, fiscal conservatism, and foreign-policy hawkishness; in with “I alone can fix it,” protectionism, and isolationism dressed up as “America First.” But a year into his presidency, Trump hasn’t changed the substantive policy priorities of the GOP so much as he has become a vehicle for their implementation. …”
And over the long term, what might be a small victory for the party establishment may prove to have perverse consequences. Months ago, Henry Olsen warned in City Journal that since Trump took office Republicans had shown a “blindness to the things that got them elected.” Unless party leaders came to see Trump’s victory as “a popular embrace of the heterodox positions that he championed during the election,” Olsen argued, they would be in for “a potentially rude awakening in 2018.” Though its officials have become more fluent in the language of populism and more willing to defend Trump’s outlandish forays into the culture war, the Republican party has not taken Olsen’s advice. Now it seems that Trump himself has forgotten it.”
Where do we go from here?
As I said yesterday, the logical conclusion of the debacle of the Trump presidency, the destruction of Roy Moore and the demise of Steve Bannon is that reforming the Republican Party is impossible. These backlash issues like abortion and immigration are simply bait that the GOP has used to lure in the populist voters it needs to push its neoliberal economics agenda.
It might be easier to split the GOP and come away with the bigger piece than to reform it. Let the cucks go down in a political bonfire. They’re not doing anything for us anyway.