Luckily for these GOP, you can still be a “MAGA” in good standing if you check all the right superficial Culture War boxes and engage in (what they know will be futile) attempts to block election results. Refusing minor adjustments to conservative economic orthodoxy? Irrelevant https://t.co/23fpFJOylq— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 29, 2020
Among the House GOP voting against $2,000 direct payments in defiance of Trump are some of the most hardcore MAGA boosters, such as Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Mo Brooks — which proves that for some, “MAGA” is really little more than an opportunistic branding exercise— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 29, 2020
130 House Republicans flouted Trump’s demands and voted against the standalone bill for a $2,000 cash payment. Turns out Republicans are more than happy to defy Trump when it comes to things like withdrawing troops from warzones and providing direct relief to Americans— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 28, 2020
Add to the list that GOP officials ultimately did little to accomodate Trump’s heterodox policy preferences circa 2016 and mainly just used him as a vehicle to 1) get tax cuts/judges 2) bolster their own support among demographics that would otherwise be alienated from the GOP https://t.co/gc8ljO9mZt— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 28, 2020
This was aided by MAGA Media, Inc. encouraging a wish-casting fantasy-land mentality among original Trump supporters who wanted radical reform to the GOP. Instead of applying political pressure, they lapsed into self-defeating magical thinking: Trust the Plan, 4D Chess, Q, etc.— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 28, 2020
As usual, I like and respect Rusty Reno and agree with his analysis.
The problem is that there doesn’t appear to be any appetite in the Republican Party for breaking with neoliberalism. Even after electing Donald Trump, we ended up getting more cultural and economic deregulation. We got the huge corporate tax cut and the mainstreaming of LBGTQ extremism. The Republican Party did not become more hospitable to nationalism and populism.
These debates about conservatism becoming more populist on economics continue to go on among conservative intellectuals. Julius Krein continues to write all of these essays in American Affairs. The Republican Congress under Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy operates on a different track. It votes to overturn Trump’s veto of the 2021 NDAA and to support the Porkulus and spins around on a dime and invokes Principles™ to oppose $2,000 stimulus checks. There has been no change in their vision, agenda and priorities since the 1980s. They would rather lose the Senate than give us $2,000.
Note: I’m not sure how you overcome this problem within the Republican Party. The Free Marketeers don’t believe in White identity, cultural conservatism or economic populism. They believe in classical liberalism, anti-racism, modernism, cosmopolitanism, free-market capitalism and Israel. Essentially, their worldview and policy preferences amounts to “Socialism Sucks.”