The TWS Party

In the 1980’s, the Republican Party became the party of National Review. It was a blend of the Old Right and the New Right, but mostly the Old Right. American Conservatism of that day was about free markets, free trade, personal liberty, preservation of the traditional culture and a tough stand against Soviet authoritarianism. Reagan famously said “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Imagine a modern politician of any stripe saying something like that today. Watch this speech from Reagan and try to imagine, without laughing, a modern Republican saying similar things about the American Left today.

Most people reading this understand that the National Review of today is not the National Review of yesterday. In the 90’s Buckley started to lose his marbles and then gave way to a new group of editors who think homosexual marriage is a sacrament and citizenship is a vice. That said, the GOP is no longer the party of National Review. It is the party of The Weekly Standard.

In the last quarter century, the Republicans have held the White House once and members of The Weekly Standard held key jobs in that administration. No man is more important to the Republican Party today than Bill Kristol, who was a Bush consigliere. He has selected their last two nominees and their running mates.

Long before the 2008 election, he “predicted” McCain would beat Romney and the others and then he “predicted” McCain would take an unknown governor from Alaska as his running mate. The next cycle he “predicted” that Romney would win and select Paul Ryan as his second. Kristol is really good at “predicting” these things.

But, the truth is the modern GOP is the party of The Weekly Standard. There you find the technocratic authoritarianism that embraces the universal state, but with a alpha male veneer as opposed to the feminine version offered up by American Progressives. Neo-conservatives want the state, for example, to encourage family formation so women can have babies. Progressives discourage family formations so women can have abortions. Same gun, different target.

That’s why it is a good idea to pay attention to Bill Kristol when he starts talking about Republican politics. Back in the summer he somewhat jokingly said he would start a third party if Trump win the nomination. Now he is quite serious about it and he is letting us know who he will select as the party’s nominee.

The Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol predicted Thursday that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina will eventually lead the Republican ticket, and that Donald Trump would fade.

“Now there’s this Trump thing going on, I gather he’s going to do OK in the polls for a while, but he’s not going to be the nominee. We’ll be fine,” Kristol told MSNBC. “Rubio-Fiorina or a Fiorina-Rubio ticket’s going to win in November everyone should calm down.”

After MSNBC’s panelists prodded him into acknowledging Trump has a chance of winning the nomination, Kristol indicated it might be time for him to leave the GOP if Trump becomes its standard-bearer.

“If all the other candidates remain as pathetic as they’ve been so far, I suppose it’s conceivable he’ll [Trump] be the nominee and then we’ll have to support a third party,” Kristol said.

There you have it. It will be war or it will be Rubio- Farina. I think given the way men are now portrayed in modern America, the proper ticket here will be Farina – Rubio, but Ben Carson will be taking over the important running mate duties, while Rubio watches from the side, maybe filming it for the campaign website.

All joking aside, Kristol could be whistling past the graveyard, but he is the man behind the GOP curtain. He was not right all those times before because he is a good guesser. He was right because his iPhone has the contact information of every major donor, campaign staffer and fund raiser in the country on it. He is the most connected man in America or at least one of them.

The problem, of course, is that the formula The Weekly Standard prefers works great if you are Mr. Roarke and your resort offers realistic fantasies about being a successful politician. In the real world, there’s little appetite for invade the world-invite the world polices. Rubio- Farina might play well on the cocktail circuit in Georgetown, but they will get destroyed by Clinton in the general election.

But, maybe that’s what it will take. The years from 1964 through 1976 saw Progressives running wild while normal people figured out what was happening and then fashioning a party to represent them. Perhaps the site of Clinton auctioning off national monuments for cash to the Clinton Foundation will finally focus the minds of people who really should know better.

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Buckaroo Banzai
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Buckaroo Banzai

That is a magnificent address by Reagan. I grew up listening to the liberal media continuously mocking Reagan as a folksy moron and a “C” student, so it was challenging for me to uncover the evidence and come to grips with the fact that he was in fact a self-taught intellectual giant of conservatism who towered over his peers. He was the right man at the right time– his first career as an actor served him mightily during the peak of the network television era, and those skills combined with his deep and thorough understanding of conservative principles put him… Read more »

Andy Texan
Guest

Excellent analysis. I was originally a strong Cruz supporter and he is the most excellent conservative politician in America but I doubt that he can win as the electorate is currently constituted (i e much more heterogeneous than Reagan years). On the other-hand, Trump strikes me as the right man with the right attributes at the right time. In my gut I feel that he can win in a landslide no matter what the RINO establishment thinks or does.

Aeneas
Guest
Aeneas

I love your analysis of our current situation, you have insight in how the things really work, the best networked person is the real boss.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

I am registered as a Republican only so I can disrupt the party line by voting for the most provocative choices, and so I can vote in the primaries. Of course, being in California, my vote has exactly zero relevance to anything. I would leave the Republican Party in a NY minute if there was a legitimate, big time alternative that actually represented my preferences. I don’t think I am the only one that feels this way. If the Republican leadership had any idea of how many of their own party members felt like I do…Wait, of course they do.… Read more »

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[…] The Z Man, from whom I got the link, says, Kristol is pretty much the voice of the Donor Class.  He’s […]

DOUG
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DOUG

These guys like Kristol are pretty smug fellows. Of course being a creature of omnipotant status quo has its benefits in a banana republic. You get to be right because you control the message, until you aren’t. But being the right wing of cultural marxism it is still gross hubris no matter how they brand their faction of the oligarchy. I think they are not intelligent enough to understand the dynamics here. Trump is the last chance they have to redeem themselves. Last chance for them, last chance for republican form of government. It don’t matter if Trump wins or… Read more »

james wilson
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james wilson

Billly is doing dads work, Irving Kristol-
“One can say that the historical task and political purpose of neo-conservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.”

It’s not the rats, it’s the fleas.

Aeneas
Guest
Aeneas

They look like RATS.

Kathleen
Guest
Kathleen

Kristol is irrelevant, he just doesn’t know it yet. Trump, without even trying, has tapped into the zeitgeist of the disaffected majority of the Republican party. There is nothing the Establishment can do about this.

Buckaroo Banzai, I enjoyed your comments on Reagan. I’ve always thought that in many ways his intellect and conservative ideals, his sheer love for America were under-appreciated. The Left thought they could destroy him, but the average person wasn’t buying their spin. We could really use a Reagan right about now.

alcogito
Guest
alcogito

If a “respectable” candidate like Kasich or Christie would start using some of Trump’s arguments, he’d see his numbers shoot up.