One of the most underdiscussed parts of the current crisis is the war being waged against the infectious disease known as neoconservatism. It started in 2015 when Trump launched his bid for president. Even though he was never able to articulate it, he was running as a rejection of Bush and by extension the neocons. It was his win in the South Carolina primary, after he had unloaded on George Bush, which sent the neocons into a panic and started the Republican civil war.
It has been an interesting civil war in that it was mostly the party against Trump but it has turned into an old versus new since he left office. He had some allies in the party, for sure, but most were too afraid to be open about it. Some, like Lindsey Graham, pretended to be his ally so they could hell subvert his presidency, especially on the foreign policy front. Graham was sent in from the usual suspects to keep Trump in line on those issues.
Even so, there has been a slow realignment going in within the party as well as within what is left of the conservative movement. On the later front, the neocons have completely shed their skin and joined the Left. Bill Kristol runs something called the Bulwark, which no one reads. His other efforts are aimed at undermining his former party through the Republican Accountability Project. They used to be Republicans Against Trump, but that was too obvious.
Jonah Goldberg and Steve Hayes were both fired from Fox News for a lack of interest by the viewers. Hayes ran The Weekly Standard into the ground and now he runs something called the Dispatch. His partner in that is Jonah Goldberg, who was also jettisoned from National Review. Of course, they brought on the soy-faced wojack David French, who has stop pretending to be a Christian and instead has embraced the religion of post-Marx identity politics.
The return of the neocons back to their ideological home on the Left has left a void in what is left of conservatism. For two generations they were a golem for neoconservatism, despite their pretensions. Without their animators, they have been left to stagger around without purpose. There is a long debate among establishment intellectuals about what can replace it or reform it. Most likely, it is just pushed over the side in favor of something new and organic.
The crisis in the system is showing up in the primaries. The donor class is pouring cash into the Wyoming congressional primary. The neocons are rallying their supporters among the plutocrats in an effort to undermine the party. The effort in Wyoming is based on getting registered Democrats to cross over and vote in the Republican primary on election day. In other words, Liz Cheney is just a cat’s paw for the Trotskyist murder cult that has decamped for the other party.
Probably the most interesting race thus far is in Ohio, where you have three flavors of populists running for the open Senate seat. There is an old boomer running as if it is 1985 but he is rich and has party support. There is Josh Mandel, who will quickly morph into Lindsey Graham if elected. Then there is J.D. Vance, who is trying to run as a post-Trump populist. It is a three-way race at the moment and it reflects the currents within the Republican Party.
Gibbons will probably win the primary mostly because old white people will never come to terms with current realty. Instead, they will cling to the civic nationalist fantasy of voting our way out of the problems of democracy. The fact that just as many are easily fooled by Mandel hammers home this point. Both are creatures of the legacy talk radio culture. Only the actuarial tables will fix this problem within the Republican electorate.
The fact that J.D. Vance is in the conversation says that some people are waking up to the reality they face as a people. Vance is not a charismatic politician and there are genuine concerns about his sincerity. He was a Trump-hater back in 2016 so people should be wary of his judgement. Then again, he is not unusual in that many people have gone through a similar conversion. Vance often sounds like a guy who suddenly realized he had been lied to his whole life.
None of this is to suggest that the Republican Party is about to become representative of the people who vote for it. That will never be allowed. The point of the party is to make sure the majority population has no representation in government. If that arrangement is threatened, then it is mail-in voting for every state. It is just increasingly difficult to keep the old grift going. The old Red Team versus Blue Team dynamic is collapsing.
We are at the start of a volatile period in politics. The great tide of discontent that will sweep the primaries this autumn will bring in all sorts of people. The war between the ruling class and the people will shift to Washington, where there will be more than a few Marjorie Taylor Greene types roaming the halls of Congress. The main result will be the final purge of the neocons from the Republican side. The process that began in the 1960’s is about to come full circle.
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