The Acela Republican is as comfortable in the green rooms of MSNBC as he is at a green energy conference. The Acela Republican isn’t one of those horrible Tea Party yahoos who comes from somewhere other than a big, coastal metropolis. The Acela Republican is softer, smoother, and less confrontational…unless he’s taking on his own party.
Then, he’s a ferocious scold. “Taking on his own party” is the passport of the Acela Republican to hundreds of stories about how he—and only he—can save the GOP. He talks about bringing people together, working with the other party, getting things done for everyone, regardless of politics…if only his own backward, hick, red-state, cousin-kissing bumpkin party will see the light.
Right now of course, it’s Governor Chris Christie. In 2012, it was Jon Huntsman. Most famous of all, of course, was John McCain. They’re not entirely new, but in an age of rising conservatism, the Acela Republican is just the kind of candidate America’s media class pretend they could almost possibly contemplate thinking of voting for in the general election. The Acela Republican is the one Republican who shares their contempt for the GOP broadly, and modern conservatism specifically.