Conservative intellectuals to issue manifesto denouncing Trump

posted at 8:41 pm on January 21, 2016 by Allahpundit

It’ll appear tomorrow in a special all-Trump edition of National Review. Fair enough, but the guy’s campaign slogan might as well be “f*** the eggheads.” How is a manifesto going to peel off any voters who have absorbed that and are still considering him? At this point, if you’re one of the dwindling few who remain invested in movement conservatism, you’re probably already locked down for Cruz or Rubio. If you’re on the Trump train or are open to climbing aboard, it’s because his previous 8,000 sins against conservative dogma didn’t move you. I’m sure it’ll be eloquent given the caliber of talent mentioned by the NYT, but trying to convince Trumpers or people who are Trump-curious to abandon ship in the name of conservative ideals is like trying to persuade people who like punk through reasoned argument to abandon it for pop instead. The things they don’t like about pop helped lead them towards punk in the first place. If anything, a full frontal attack from mainstream conservative pundits will only bind Trump’s audience closer to him.

My sense of the dynamic is that the manifesto’s going to sound something like this (minus the Cruz-hate) when the audience for Trumpmania is looking for something more like this:

Follow the link up top for details. These paragraphs from the Times’s story are actually more interesting, and revealing. The conservative pundiocracy fears and loathes Trump, but Republican lobbyists fear and loathe Cruz. What could explain it?

[T]he cadre of Republican lobbyists, operatives and elected officials based in Washington are much more unnerved by Mr. Cruz, a go-it-alone, hard-right crusader who campaigns against the political establishment and could curtail their influence and access, building his own Republican machine to essentially replace them…

“We can live with Trump.” said Richard F. Hohlt, a veteran lobbyist, reflecting the sentiment of his colleagues at last week’s meeting of the Republican National Committee in Charleston, S.C. “Do they all love Trump? No. But there’s a feeling that he is not going to layer over the party or install his own person. Whereas Cruz will have his own people there.”…

If Mr. Cruz were the party’s nominee, said Charles R. Black Jr., a lobbyist who has worked on numerous Republican presidential campaigns, “what would happen is a lot of the elected leaders and party elders would try to sit down and try to help Cruz run a better campaign, but he may not listen. Trump is another matter. You can coach Donald. If he got nominated he’d be scared to death. That’s the point he would call people in the party and say, ‘I just want to talk to you.’”

Mr. Trump is also a recognizable type in the political world. A wealthy businessman, he has given money to donation-hungry candidates for decades, often welcoming the supplicants to his Manhattan office. He has also employed a small stable of lobbyists in Washington, such as Mr. Black, and in state capitals to promote his real estate and casino empire. He has had large law and lobbying firms, like Greenberg Traurig, on retainer.

“Trump won’t do long-lasting damage to the G.O.P. coalition,” said John Feehery, and by “GOP coalition” he means the coalition of Republican office-holders, business interests, and lobbyist/consultant middlemen. If you prefer Trump to Cruz despite the fact that K Street strongly prefers him too, no ideological manifesto is going to turn you.

But I don’t mean to tease. What’s the point of writing if you’re not going to write about what moves you? Pro- and anti-Trump bloggers have been writing manifestos piecemeal over the last eight months, me included. Few of us are under the illusion that we’re persuading anyone. You write because your conscience nudges you to do it, not because you think anyone in Iowa’s going to say “eureka.”

Here’s the USA Freedom Kids — remember them? — singing songs of Jeb Bush’s mediocrity on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night. Exit question: How long before Trump starts attacking Cruz for not tithing like a good Christian should?

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It feels like a repeat of the election of 2008 when every one was swooning for Obama as a dynamic, unprincipled, self-promoting narcicisst, with a very spotty personal history; and those of us on the right could see that he was an empty chair fascist who had no clue how the real world worked.
It is just as terrifying when the dynamic, unprincipled, self-promoting narcicisst with a very spotty personal history is coming from your side.
I thought we were better than that…

ndalager on January 22, 2016 at 9:46 AM

No, the “Leader on a White Horse” who will lead us out of this mess is a human trope: The French Terror, the Wiemar Republic, the Batista regime, etc. all had their Leaders, their uber-alpha male types leading the followers out of their misery… into new miseries.

Trump is actually comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He ran against a much much better Conservative
candidate, Tim McClintock, who really would have turned California around after the Grey Davis debacle. But Arnold’s star power was too much to overcome and he was elected in a veritable landslide.

How did that turn out for Kaliforia? The same fate awaits America.

NOMOBO on January 22, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Yes. That, too. Another uber-alpha, leading away from This Mess.

ReggieA on January 22, 2016 at 11:06 PM

Such a fake the man is. Tweets and talks all the time, but on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade he is silent.

And his silence speaks loudly as to where he really stands on abortion.

Donald Trump noticeably absent from GOP candidates standing for life on anniversary of Roe

On the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, many GOP presidential contenders were not silent. While Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton continue to defend the horrors of abortion, Republicans Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson took to social media. Recognizing the tragedy of over 58 million lives lost, these candidates explained why they stand for life.

Donald Trump, however, has been silent on abortion, the March for Life, and Roe v. Wade all day. He is the only GOP front runner to avoid making a statement. Issues concerning Trump’s pro-abortion past continue to rise – including his statement that his sister would be “one of the best” justices for the U.S. Supreme Court, despite her ruling in favor of partial-birth abortion as a circuit judge.

I do not know why anyone trusts him to hold to a position if it becomes inconvenient for him.

INC on January 23, 2016 at 4:26 AM

From Twitchy:

Donald Trump at the #SHOTShow: Don’t give federal lands to the states to manage?

… First up, the GOP front-runner came out against letting states control public lands now run by the federal government saying, “I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do”…

Later in the interview, Trump seemed to signal that we shouldn’t allow oil and gas companies to drill any new wells on federally-controlled lands because there’s already “so much energy”…

Longer quotes at the link plus a link to the interview.

INC on January 23, 2016 at 4:31 AM

…uber-alpha male types leading the followers out of their misery… into new miseries…

ReggieA on January 22, 2016 at 11:06 PM


INC on January 23, 2016 at 4:33 AM