MAGA vs. MAGA: Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter attack over the shutdown surrender

I think of the two wings of Trump’s core base as “Trumpists” and “nationalists,” people who trust his judgment and will stick with him through thick and thin versus people who have a specific set of policy goals on trade and immigration which they insist that he implement. The first group is whom he had in mind when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes. The second group is the border hawks and economic populists who view him as their best chance in decades to move the ball forward legislatively and will defend him towards that end, but aren’t truly part of the Trump personality cult.

If you don’t like my labels for those two wings, here — enjoy Ann’s:

In time the most notable thing about Friday’s surrender may be how it bred distrust of each wing in the other. Here’s Newt Gingrich, very much a Trumpist, on Fox today dropping a truthbomb on Coulter: There are many more people in his wing of the right than there are in hers, which is why all the hype this weekend about Trump “losing his base” is garbage. The Trumpists and even most nationalists will come home to him. He’ll pay no meaningful price for ignoring Coulter.

Coulter saw that and lobbed a truthbomb of her own back at him on Twitter: He’s a toady, and like many of Trump’s media-friendly toadies, he’s thinking about his bottom line at least as much as she is.

We have, it seems, arrived at the hour at which the author of “In Trump We Trust” lectures others about kissing ass to sell books. Still, you can understand her frustration. She’s had rank-and-file Trumpists sniping at her for days on social media for the sin of demanding that Trump actually follow through on the one thing more than any other that he promised to deliver while on the stump in 2016. She’s sticking her neck out, knowing how grassroots righties dislike seeing him attacked, to try to hold him accountable on his most basic populist pledge and her reward is getting slammed on Fox News and online by Trump fans who claim to want a wall. She tweeted at Newt half out of annoyance, I’d guess, and half out of disillusionment after coming face-to-face with just how thin the commitment is even among many populists to bold gestures on border security. It’s a weird echo of what conservatives went through in 2016. We attacked him every day during the primaries: “This guy doesn’t care about small government. He doesn’t care about ‘constitutionalism’ and he certainly doesn’t care about making the executive branch less powerful. He’s opposed to all the things tea partiers said they cared about.”

To which the reply came: We want Trump. Now here’s Coulter experiencing the nationalist version of it. “This guy doesn’t care about building the wall.” We want Trump.

The president himself is watching the “Trumpists versus nationalists” squabble play out and trying to steer wayward members of the flock back into the first group:

How many big names in right-wing media have turned sharply on him over Friday’s surrender? Coulter, of course, plus Tomi Lahren had some chilly things to say. Anyone else? Rush, Hannity, talk radio, Fox primetime all seem to be sticking with him, although we’ll see what Tucker Carlson’s and Laura Ingraham’s moods are like tonight. Without quantifying it, my sense is that right now there are many more influencers saying, ahem, “in Trump we trust” than following Coulter’s lead by clubbing him. And since the pointless three-week negotiation period we’re about to embark on is destined to lead to a face-saving national emergency declaration in the end, it’s hard to imagine them turning on him as this plays out to its conclusion. Via the Right Scoop, I’ll leave you with Jeanine Pirro’s commentary on Coulter that aired on Fox on Saturday night. Which wing of the base do you suppose she belongs to?