The on-going investigation into FBI shenanigans trundles on and it is easy to be a bit cynical about the whole thing. It’s clear that the DOJ and FBI are stalling, hoping the Democrats take the House thus relieving them of their duties to Congress. The modern habit of the Washington elite giving themselves a pass for their bad behavior, should lead sensible people to assume nothing comes of this. After all, it involves some of the biggest players in the semi-permanent Washington ruling class and they are above the law.
On the other hand, the list of people who tangled with Trump and then came to a bad end is long enough now to think it is not a coincidence. The mass media and the NeverTrump loons like to paint the guy as a buffoon, but he is a very savvy political athlete. What makes it work for Trump is that when guys like Eric Schneiderman go up in flames, it looks like Trump was not involved, but curiously prescient. The fact is, Trump plays rough and the people in the FBI scandal have every reason to fear retribution from him.
That’s the thing with Trump. He is a genuine politician, who does not have his head in the clouds or frets about getting a little dirty in a street fight. This is something we have not seen on the Right in national politics since forever. Reagan, on occasion, would throw some sharp elbows, but all of his worshipers since then have either confined themselves to the world of forms or found a reason why their principles prevented them from getting into the fight. The result has been a once sided drubbing of the Right by the Left.
The great Sam Francis observed this about the America Right a long time ago. The Old Right, as he called what think of of as CivNats, lived in the world of ideas. They operated under the assumption that their ideas would take human form and do the practical work of politics without the creators leaving their salons. You hear echos of this with libertarians and TruCons today. Every discussion ends up with them quoting some theorist and waving around their Cato supplied pocket Constitution like it is a magic talisman.
On the other hand, the New Right, as he labeled the neoconservatives and Buckleyites, were willing to engage in practical politics, but assiduously within the rules, as currently written.This meant they were always captive to those rules. This gave the Left the whip hand, as they could change the rules whenever the Right was getting the upper hand in politics. The Buckleyites and neocons, instead of challenging the managerial state, have been absorbed by it and have become its champions. Sam Francis predicted this.
The fact that neocons and Buckleyites have been assimilated into the Borg that is the managerial class is evidenced by the people participating in the FBI scheme. You have neocons, their former critics and hard thumping Progressives working together in this conspiracy. Further, the extreme Left, that operates the mass media, is endlessly promoting the narrative cooked up by the conspirators. Whatever minor quibbles these people have with one another, defending the managerial state comes first.
It’s why, to some degree, the alt-right and its fellow travelers punch so far above their weight and scare the people in charge. Outside of a few basic ideas, the alt-right is non-ideological. Put three of these guys in a room and they have ten different arguments, depending upon how the alcohol is flowing. At the same time, this loose collection of the like-minded is willing to engage in ad hoc guerrilla war against the managerial class, mostly for the laughs. It is, in part, why the managerial class has over reacted to them.
That brings us back to how Trump is handling the seditious plot, currently being exposed by Congress and the Inspector General. The Right side of the managerial class is puzzled and frustrated by Trump’s unwillingness to put on his good government cap and yap about the process. The ridiculous bleating from National Review types about his boorishness or his recklessness reveals a central fact about Trump and the emerging political movement he has set off. Trump is not of the Old Right or New Right, and neither are his supporters.
For it’s part, the Left is unnerved by his success at undermining the Mueller plot, while exposing the FBI treachery. They are grasping the reality of Trump. He’s not a guy committed to winning them over with theory or looking for a way to join the club. Popular lore says he set off on this journey because he was insulted by the snubs from the political elite. The people peddling it hope it means he wants to join their club and will do so on their terms. It turns out that Trump is looking to bust up the club and make his own.
There’s a lesson here. A culture war is a zero sum game. The ground you gain can only come at the expense of the people in charge and there can never be peace. Complex political theories and carefully elucidated principles have no place in a culture war, or even a political war. It’s a rock fight and that means you have to use whatever is handy to take out the other guy. After you win and secure his turf, then you take a break and maybe use the off-time to think about theory. Principles are for the victory party.