Charles C.W. Cooke (you've probably seen Bill Maher fawning over him on Real Time) is that creature most beloved by Real Conservatives: an honest-to-God Mid Atlantic Man who validates the fever dreams of the ideological elite with a British accent! (Well, someone had to take Sully's place in the opening left in the conservative firmament.) He graduated from Oxford (take that, Bill Clinton!) and he's a "classical liberal" libertarian author who just loves his guns.
Today I had absolutely the yummiest expensive-account lunch with Mr. Lowry ("please call me Rich") and he mentioned how much slimmer I was looking. !!!! (Down two stone, but who's counting?) I blushed a bit, discreetly pushed his hand off the knee of my screamingly expensive new Italian trousers, then changed the subject to the perfidy of those who would use this latest shooting tragedy to push their gun control agenda. I'm afraid I had a bit too much wine, dear diary, and when he told me the AEI was looking for a new senior fellow, I squealed. Yes, like a pot-bellied pig. But he didn't seem to mind. And Oakley, our darling Lab, has to eat, yes?
I don't quite get the conservative love affair with British accents that started with the quasi-Brit intonations of Bill Buckley (having grown up in Revolutionary War-heavy Philadelphia, I automatically associate it with the bad guys) -- it seems there's some deep compulsion to bend the knee in homage to the Mother Country, there -- but Cooke's usually clutching pearls over some liberal notion or another. (In high school, I used to bus tables at U of Penn's International House, and many an evening's plan was ruined by self-important Brit grad students like him holding forth at the table, as it were, about the shortcomings of America -- I wasn't allowed to leave until the last table was cleared, and finally, one night, I sweetly suggested they all go home to their native lands, since this one was so very unsatisfactory.)
But I digress.
He's an America-loving immigrant (although the very moneyed suburban/exurban Connecticut is hardly the American Heart of Darkness, is it?), but he has his own fixed projection of what that America looks like.
This morning, in the National Review, he is very, very peeved at the lack of ideological consistency of Donald Trump and his supporters. He is either deeply uninformed or perhaps just plain stupid, since any random liberal blog reader could have predicted this Fascist-lite nativism bubbling up, just waiting to explode into the electoral process. And any of us could have pointed out that Republican "leaders" have been turning up the flame under that particular kettle for a long, long time. (What did he think "I want my country back" meant, anyway?) How could he be a Republican (well, okay, a libertarian, and we all know that child-like world in which they dwell) and not understand the fear and racism that undergirds it all? The sheer hedonism of "I want mine, fuck you!"?
Oh well. He gets the well-paying gig and the TV shows, and I get reality. On the whole, I'd still rather be in Philadelphia. Via the National Review:
Since he jumped self-confidently into the political limelight, Donald Trump has been quite the upside-down man. Customarily, primary seasons permit each party’s voters to indulge in a rational process of elimination: First, they discover which candidate most closely agrees with them on policy, and then they ask themselves whether that person is capable of representing their ideas in public. This time around, however, this process has been disastrously inverted, a solid portion of the Republican party’s balloters having decided first who they want to speak on their behalf, and then, as if t’were a mere afterthought, wondered what he might end up saying. That their pick lacks any sort of conservative message at all does not seem to have mattered in the slightest.
You silly man. It never has. It's all about the (racist) base, the base, the base....
"We want that guy,” a host of voters have determined. “Whatever he believes, he says it so well.” If you have in the last few years become vexed and frustrated by the Republican base’s penchant for political purity, you should perhaps be breathing a little easier. A handful of months ago many of those who now make up Trump’s rank-and-file were ideological perfectionists who hated the GOP’s leadership, believed to their souls that the country was becoming a socialist hell-hole, and insisted vehemently that they had sat out the 2012 election because Mitt Romney was such a terrible squish. Today, by dint of some dark and unholy magic, these wannabe purists have hitched their wagons to Donald Trump, the greatest shape-shifter of them all. Thus it is that an array of self-described “true conservatives” have put themselves in the awkward position of supposing that an “assault weapons” ban isn’t that big a deal after all. Thus have the pioneers of litmus testing lined up obediently behind a guy whose position on Planned Parenthood is identical to Hillary Clinton’s.
Proving once and for all that the Republican party is the party of Eric Cartman's id, and it has little to do with the liberal issues which the public at large consistently supports. Up until now, the GOP has been quite deftly playing a shell game that encourages voters to look elsewhere.
Thus have the Scalia-citing “constitutional conservatives” taken to lionizing a man whose primary criticism of the liberty-shredding Kelo v. New London ruling was that it didn’t go far enough. Thus have the screaming eagles of Twitter and beyond taken to contending that the class-conscious tax hikes that the America-hating communist Bernie Sanders proposes are akin to apple-pie-and-motherhood when they’re floated by Donald Trump.
Really, Charles? "America-hating communist"? I think the people who really hate America are the class-jumpers like you who insist that it would be just perfect, once 1) everyone listens to you and 2) it more closely serves the interests of our betters.
What horrible luck that you signed onto the conservative gravy train just when it's headed into the tunnel. See that light? It's not the Libertarian dawn, dear, it's an oncoming populist train.