Am I Insane? Part III [UPDATED]

The Z Man, quoting cuck columnist Ross Douthat:

In an unhealthy system, the kind I suspect we inhabit, the Republicans will find a way to crush Trump without adapting to his message. In which case the pressure the Donald has tapped will continue to build — and when it bursts, the G.O.P. as we know it may go with it.

It would seem to me that the collapse of half the two-party system would be, as Joe Biden might say, a big f’n deal.  That hasn’t happened since 1856, and the next election after the Whigs took a dirt nap was, ummmm…. problematic.

So why is nobody speculating about what comes next?

Imagine a country ruled by two kings — a sort of Austria-Hungary deal, except with two actual, co-equal monarchs.  Now, imagine that King A is on his deathbed, and King B ain’t looking so healthy either.

Wouldn’t everybody in the country have an opinion on what happens when A finally kicks the bucket?  Wouldn’t the pundit class spend every hour of every day poring through the constitution, or the common law, or whatever, to see what’s supposed to happen next?  Wouldn’t the tabloids be flooding the stands with dirt on every potential successor out to the Nth generation?  Wouldn’t there be just the teensiest tiniest hint of, I dunno, panic, given what almost always happens in a succession crisis?

But Douthat, writing in the New York Times, is blase.  He all but says the GOP is toast, and… that’s it.  No followup whatsoever.  And it’s not just the NYT.  I’ve seen it on big political blogs — Ace of Spades, Stacy McCain, they all declare the GOP a dead party walking, and then… post some other stuff about an entirely different subject.  Obviously I haven’t scoured the whole internet, but so far as I’m aware, the only guy to ever even pose what seems like an incandescently obvious question is… me.

Which is why I wonder if I’m crazy.  Maybe it’s only blindingly obvious to me, because I’m looking at the world through a cracked lens.


UPDATE (9/1/2015): Ben Domenech, the Federalist:

Donald Trump could transform the Republican Party into a coalition focused on white identity politics. We’ve seen this in Europe, and it’s bad.

OK!  People are starting to get the message… oh, no, wait.  He’s talking about fucking France:

Consider what it would look like for America to follow the path of France, devolving toward a new two-party system which has on the one hand a center-left / technocratic party, full of elites with shared pedigrees of experience and education, and on the other a nativist right/populist party, which represents a constant reactive force to the dominant elite.

Dude: We have that now.  The only difference is, our Republicans are only pretending to be “a constant reactive force to the dominant elite.”  Because, of course, they too are the dominant elite.  This is what Ace of Spades calls “Failure theater.”  He’s written a few zillion posts on it, and I’m 99% sure you read him regularly.  Look it up.

Domenech continues:

That antithesis usually is illiberal and adopts an aesthetic of anger, because it is the sort of citizenry that the administrative state produces, and because it is in the interest of that state to have that sort of enemy. Everyone who believes in the values that the administrative state at least claims to support and defend — societal pluralism, common decency, some sort of liberalism — gravitates toward it on Election Day. This is a story repeated across Europe – and in rare places like Hungary, we see what happens when the populist-right actually wins, and it isn’t pretty.

Ye cats.  Hungary, he says.  Hungary.

The United States has a long and storied revolutionary tradition.  “The tough outsider who takes on The Establishment” is America’s contribution to the world’s collective store of mythology.  And we have more guns per capita than most nations’ actual militaries.  That paragraph is Caesarism for Dummies, and he thinks the worst possible outcome is… Hungary.

Am I crazy?  Please tell me I’m crazy.

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6 thoughts on “Am I Insane? Part III [UPDATED]

  1. Gary

    So why is nobody speculating about what comes next [after the demise of the GOP]?

    Two quick hypotheses that might answer this question:

    1) I forget the psychobabble name, but it’s the bias most people have that things will continue as they currently are. So they note that the GOP will likely collapse, but then assume things will remain essentially the same, so there’s nothing much to say about the big changes that might ensue.

    2) The GOP has no real-world influence on anything, so it makes little difference if the party collapses.

    In your July 17th post, you quote Stacy McCain calling the Republicans “the Vichy GOP,” and Ace writing: “Democracy is not being practiced here; it is merely being stage-managed. [The GOP] have worked their level best to insulate themselves from the rebuking power of popular opinion…”

    So the GOP is just phony (“Vichy”) party pretending to counter the Democrats (and the left generally), but in reality is doing nothing or even cooperating with the left behind the scenes. If this is true, we already have one-party rule, so what difference does it make if the GOP dies and charade ends?

    These two ideas came quickly to mind. I tend to think they’re both true to an extent, but I’d have to think some more to decide how strongly I endorse–or reject–each.

  2. Severian

    Caesarism, baby. A *totally* hopeless population has nothing to lose by rebellion. A sham “opposition” party leaves open a slim possibility of change. Rome had a Senate down to the very end, and even out‘n’proud police states periodically have sham elections. In other words, the DEMS have the most to lose if the GOP blows up. That’s why they’re not attacking Trump, even though he’s the clear front runner. They need the Vichy GOP to do that for them so they can focus on the “real” “opponent.”

    1. Severian

      Of course that implies Douthat et al *know* it’s all rigged and are just playing along for fun and profit…. a horrifying thought.

  3. RW

    “So why is nobody speculating about what comes next?”

    Numbness or fear, perhaps.

    Actual conservatives have been beaten down through a series of defeats, disappointments, and unrelenting bad news. Many may be full of anger but too dispirited to speculate about the future after the demise of the GOP.

    Or they can see too clearly the chaos and violence of the transition to the future that you foresee.

    Continuity bias, like Gary postulates, is probably more prevalent as you move towards the center. I’m old and do not wish to see things go to smash, but the commentariat’s mood has gotten progressively bleaker and darker this past year. I look for someone to talk me into believing that things will continue as they are – hot water, modern dentistry, pork chops, etc., but I ain’t too sanguine about it these days.

  4. Nate Winchester

    I dunno….

    Something I read from a very smart (legal) immigrant to our nation that I’m going to paraphrase: Every 4 years the United States goes peacefully through a power shift that tears most countries apart in blood and violence.

    In a lot of ways, we are remarkably weird. I think a lot of people (count me as one) think that a party can dissolve and be replaced just fine in this nation. I certainly think it could do so a lot more peaceably than other nations.

    Maybe things have changed so that isn’t the case, but I hope not.

  5. Severian

    I think a lot of people (count me as one) think that a party can dissolve and be replaced just fine in this nation

    Assuming that’s true, my point still stands, doesn’t it? I’m not an expert on the media culture of the 1850s, but I find it really hard to believe that they saw the Whigs go tits up, briefly mentioned it in passing, then went on to talk about the hot new look in corsets or whatever.* Even if it happens without a hitch, in other words, the death of a party that has won more than half the presidential elections since 1860 would seem to be a rather big deal….

    For the record, I don’t think the election itself is going to result in violence.** It’s what happens after the election, when TweedleJeb voters realize they could’ve voted for TweedleHillary and gotten the same miserable result — and vice versa. That’s the scenario which keeps me up at night, because at that point, somebody will jump to the front of the Out’n’Proud White Identity Politics train that Trump set in motion, and then you get your armbands, jackboots, the works.

    *[Actually, I’m terrified to look. Maybe they DID shrug, briefly say good riddance, then went back to covering celebrities. Which would strongly indicate that they had no idea of the obvious catastrophe hurtling their way. Note to self: Buy lots more ammo and canned food].

    **unless, God forbid, somebody shoots Trump. That can’t be spun as “moar gun control!1” If that happens… bad, bad shit is coming down in a hurry.

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