Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Who Exactly is the Establishment?

 
caryatid
It’s hard to tell from the avatar but I believe the lady in the middle is Western Chauvinist

Let’s have it out. I’m sick of listening to people talk past each other because they’re using wildly different definitions of “establishment.” I’m sick of everyone having their own personal definition which doesn’t ever match anyone else’s. So, let’s settle this: Does the Establishment exist?

Or, perhaps, is there any definition of “Establishment” that’s common enough to be meaningful? Jay Nordlinger said in a recent podcast that it doesn’t exist, and that when he was young it referred to the Rockefeller Republicans, which I’m given to understand are an extinct species much like the woolly mammoth. People are always throwing that word around, though. With all due deference to Mr. Nordlinger, can we at least say that any definition has to be relevant to this election? You may cite history, but any historical examples of same must be directly relevant to circumstances of today.

A quick definition might be that the Establishment are the people who decide what the party is going to do. This is in contrast to the base, which has little say in those matters. There are those who disagree. After all, the guy who gets nominated has to win the primary by having people vote for him. If the people voted for him, he can’t hardly come from a smoke-filled room now, can he? There’s some merit to the argument, but it’s possible to game that outcome. You can select all the available choices beforehand, or you can hector people into believing that only a subset of the choices are even reasonable. Who decided that Carly Fiorina is only running for a vice-president slot anyway?

Who’s in the Establishment?

This is where the definition really breaks down. For some people, the Establishment consists of anyone they don’t like at any given moment. For others, ages ago someone called Ted Cruz “Establishment,” therefore the term can’t have any meaning that doesn’t include him.

Acknowledging that no one ever quite agrees on this, who would you include? Jeb Bush? Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz? Donald Trump? Moving away from candidates, would you say that Mona Charen was in the Establishment? Peter Robinson? Rush Limbaugh? Anyone else in the pundit class?

What Defines the Establishment?

Is there an overriding principle that separates the base from the Establishment? Ryan M suggests that we know from the word itself: We know the establishment are the people that have power. This would naturally include the elected officials who have been in Washington for a while and who are thus reticent to spend their power. Ball Diamond Ball described it in a recent audio meetup as the politicians, big money donors, and pundits who determine what direction the Republican Party goes in. In my formulation, the Establishment are the people who are willing to go for the incremental change strategy, and the base are the people who don’t believe that will work.

Just like everyone defines the Establishment differently, everyone is going to draw that line somewhere else. Where would you?

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  1. Arahant Member

    Bwahahahahahahaha! (For those who need to know exactly what this sounds like, the beginning of this podcast will tell you.)

    You’re definitely in the Establishment, Hank.

    • #1
    • January 15, 2016, at 2:53 AM PST
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  2. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Arahant:Bwahahahahahahaha! (For those who need to know exactly what this sounds like, the beginning of this podcast will tell you.)

    You’re definitely in the Establishment, Hank.

    At first I though your mom was the establishment, but then I realized she was merely sitting around the house.

    • #2
    • January 15, 2016, at 3:31 AM PST
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  3. Arahant Member

    Hank Rhody: At first I though your mom was the establishment, but then I realized she was merely sitting around the house.

    Momma’s a Trumpeter, Cod help us all.

    • #3
    • January 15, 2016, at 3:40 AM PST
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  4. I Walton Member

    The establishment in the US, like everything here, is diverse, ever changing, and impossible to put on a list. The process is easier to see where it’s extreme. In Japan the establishment is composed primarily of kids who get accepted at Tokyo University, a few of whom by their test scores and their subtle leadership skills are known to be the next batch of leaders. All owe deference to the class above them and the class below them owes them and when they leave to join the Ministries of Finance, Industry, Foreign Affairs their cohorts will remain their primary contacts in the other ministries, they will continue to owe deference to their upper class mates. They will retire into the private sector when one of their cohorts becomes the senior bureaucrat. As employees in the private sector they will finally earn big bucks but they will continue to owe loyalty to their cohorts in the various ministries. Lessor cohorts will have entered the big trading companies where they will continue to owe deference their classmates. A very different but family based system exists in Latin America. The most powerful families will run sugar plantation and mills, large industries, banana etc. plantations. They will own newspapers and be key journalists and Presidents will be chosen from their ranks. They will hold key Ministries and vice ministries as they are tested for presidential leadership and their journalism marks them as intellectuals. Here it’s a little of both and more.

    • #4
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:11 AM PST
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  5. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Here is my explanation of what it is and who is in it.

    https://ricochet.com/my-attempt-to-explain-the-establishment/

    • #5
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:22 AM PST
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  6. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    I Walton: The establishment in the US, like everything here, is diverse, ever changing, and impossible to put on a list. The process is easier to see where it’s extreme. In Japan the establishment is composed primarily of kids who get accepted at Tokyo University, a few of whom by their test scores and their subtle leadership skills are known to be the next batch of leaders. All owe deference to the class above them and the class below them owes them and…

    So, I’m trying to establish this back in American terms, because as fascinating as Japan is, it’s a little less relevant to me.

    But If I’m reading you right, we’re talking about a persistent upper class, and the main thing that defines you in that upper class is your relations to others in that stratum. Donald Trump, who has his billions, couldn’t be considered part of the establishment because no one offers him this kind of obeisance? At least no one in the smart set of New York Society. Whereas Mona Charen, for example, who’s charming and urbane and sophisticated and clever, Mona would be in the establishment. I don’t know how the rest of New York Society treats her, but I have difficulty imagining her bored on a Saturday night.

    • #6
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:31 AM PST
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  7. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Robert McReynolds:Here is my explanation of what it is and who is in it.

    https://ricochet.com/my-attempt-to-explain-the-establishment/

    There are 177 comments on that post. I’m not gonna finish it any time soon.

    • #7
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:35 AM PST
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  8. BrentB67 Inactive

    There are several ways and examples of what is the establishment. The past tense of the word – established – is a good place to start, incumbent. Amplifying:

    • Believes federal (also applies to states in different ways) government can be managed by people who are better angles and that the limits set in the Constitution are antiquated and malleable.
    • Believe the federal government should have an active role in commerce regardless of the the antiquated limits set out in the Constitution.
    • Solicit and receive donations from those with commercial interests that will benefit from specific federal policies.
    • Expand the (over)reach of the federal government to expand the base of commercial interests willing/required to donate and influence policy.
    • Grow legislative staffs and increase ‘think tank’ interactions to drive self importance and sphere of influence.
    • Leverage expanding sphere of influence to increase the quantity/quality of the donor base.
    • Become infatuated by one’s own self importance, detach from God, family, perhaps have affairs, and succumb to corruption.

    The above list becomes a self reinforcing feedback loop the preservation of which is paramount and takes precedence over individual citizens’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

    It would be naive to say Ted Cruz, Sen. Sessions, Mike Lee, and other Tea Party aligned folks do not partake in some of the bulleted points, but for the most part they and others, especially Trump, are a threat to the self-perpetuating legislative industrial complex that exists outside the Constitution.

    That’s my $0.75.

    • #8
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:46 AM PST
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  9. BrentB67 Inactive

    Hank Rhody:

    Robert McReynolds:Here is my explanation of what it is and who is in it.

    https://ricochet.com/my-attempt-to-explain-the-establishment/

    There are 177 comments on that post. I’m not gonna finish it any time soon.

    Unfortunately many of them wander off the reservation. Not RM’s fault.

    • #9
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:46 AM PST
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  10. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Hank Rhody:

    Robert McReynolds:Here is my explanation of what it is and who is in it.

    https://ricochet.com/my-attempt-to-explain-the-establishment/

    There are 177 comments on that post. I’m not gonna finish it any time soon.

    I would recommend you just read my piece. Once I have said it, there really isn’t anything else to be added. ;-)

    • #10
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:48 AM PST
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  11. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    BrentB67:That’s my $0.75.

    Brent, you should at least get the same price as what we are charged at the pump my friend.

    $1.79?

    • #11
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:49 AM PST
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  12. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Robert McReynolds:

    Hank Rhody:

    Robert McReynolds:Here is my explanation of what it is and who is in it.

    https://ricochet.com/my-attempt-to-explain-the-establishment/

    There are 177 comments on that post. I’m not gonna finish it any time soon.

    I would recommend you just read my piece. Once I have said it, there really isn’t anything else to be added. ;-)

    James of England jumps in at comment #8. While I usually find him worth listening to, that makes for a very long comment thread.

    • #12
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:52 AM PST
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  13. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    I’m not a fan of the word, but I’d offer this as a definition:

    Any Republican figure of import whose power comes primarily from sources other than the conservative base and who likely would lose that power if it were put up to a vote by the base.

    Two easy examples under this definition:

    • Jeb Bush: Total establishment. Bush has very little popular support among conservatives but has (had?) the backing of wealthy, unelected donors.
    • Reince Preibus: Establishment. Duh.
    • Donald Trump: Anti-Establishment. Trump’s political power comes solely by a direct appeal to voters.

    Some harder ones:

    • Mitch McConnell: Establishment. Despite having been elected to the senate by the people of Kentucky six times, McConnell is a member of the Establishment because the major of his power comes from his status as Senate Majority Leader, rather than his being a senator.
    • Marco Rubio: Non-Establishment. Rubio’s power comes overwhelmingly from his 2010 win. His status as a senator and his willingness to work with a variety of colleagues have eroded this.
    • Ted Cruz: Anti-Establishment, but not as much as he thinks. Cruz won popular election relatively recently, and has positioned himself as opposed to the Republican Establishment, but he’s also a member of the same exclusive club as Rubio and McConnell and not quite as pure as he likes to present himself.
    • #13
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:56 AM PST
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  14. I Walton Member

    Hank Rhody:

    I Walton:

    I’m limited in words, so couldn’t really go from Japan and Colombia to the US. I thought the US was different, but it’s not, just more complex and changing. It’s meritocratic like Japan, but not rigidly so, its family based like Colombia, but again far more diverse and key positions, such as committee chairmen, CEOs of the big corporations and finance wield great and enduring power and people get there though talent and effort. Who are members? When you get a call from one of them you answer and if they ask a favor you deliver. This was the key in Japan and Colombia and I’ve seen it here with senior senators and CEO’s. This is what makes getting things done, reformed, stopped so difficult. Too many favors are owed, too many obligations, rice bowls to be broken, relationships that are important that have to be maintained. It’s the way the world works, but through time these normal relationships harden and narrow. This is why it’s important to shake things up periodically, reform with a broad sword not a scalpel, It’s why no matter what the management theory put forward by a new batch of management theorists, it works, because what they do is break things up and rearrange them.

    • #14
    • January 15, 2016, at 4:59 AM PST
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  15. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    BrentB67: That’s my $0.75.

    So, if I’m understanding you correctly (one of my favorite phrases; I think it’s going to get a lot of play on this thread) …if I follow, the establishment members can be defined by those pursuing personal goals (largely related to the prestige of the office and a cushy job once they retire), and that, if they came to Washington with any principles involved, they lost them in a tragic canoeing accident in the Potomac?

    Futhermore, that most people aren’t definitely in, or definitely out, they can be 80% establishment, or 20%, based on how much they prioritize their own goals over the Constitution and the welfare of the Nation. So rather than taking the incremental approach I mentioned as the best way to advance conservatism, they take it because it’s also the best way to advance themselves?

    • #15
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:00 AM PST
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  16. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One of the indications of someone who sympathizes with the establishment is that he/she denies it’s existence. I recognize that is tautological, but it happens because they just don’t see it, like a fish doesn’t contemplate water. But denial can’t be the only criterium.

    Jeff Foxworthy hit upon a formula that’s useful. There is this term, loosely applied, “redneck”. It has no concrete definition, but we all know what it means, however. it’s easy for the accused to escape the charge by crafting a definition, and then claiming he falls outside that definition.

    In the case of an alcoholic, he might say, an alcoholic drinks every day, I don’t drink every day, therefore I’m not an alcoholic. Alcoholics have drunk driving records, I haven’t had a ticket in years, therefore…etc

    A long list was compiled by Foxworthy to help enlighten these folks by providing examples. In order to avoid giving offense (you don’t want to offend a real redneck) Foxworthy crafts the question; You might be a redneck if:

    • There are more than five McDonald’s bags currently on the floorboard of your car.
    • You can field dress a deer, but can’t change a diaper.
    • You think espresso means 8 items or less.

    You get the idea.

    So in order to explain ‘establishment’, I propose a parlor game of….

    You might be establishment if…

    • #16
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:00 AM PST
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  17. Saint Augustine Member

    A great topic. Well done.

    I don’t use the term much because I’m not sure what it means. It might be helpful to drop the old term and invent some new ones–like the Elected GOP, the Party Apparatus, the Old Guard, the Moderate Wing, the Commentariat, and the Donor Class.

    So I guess Rubio would be part of the Elected GOP, has never been a part of the Old Guard, is a former enemy of the Party Apparatus but potentially a future friend, and is partially supported by the Donor Class.

    Cruz, I suppose, would only be a member of the Elected GOP (so far), and would never be part of the Moderate Wing or the Old Guard.

    A careful look at his history and principles might make Trump a current or past member of the Moderate Wing, but he’d be anti-establishment respecting the others (with potential to be supported by the Donor Class and to be part of the Elected GOP).

    (Beware! Our most successful Ricochet writers become part of the Commentariat!)

    • #17
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:02 AM PST
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  18. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Marco Rubio: Non-Establishment. Rubio’s power comes overwhelmingly from his 2010 win. His status as a senator and his willingness to work with a variety of colleagues have eroded this.

    So if he wins the primary, that’s evidence that he’s still getting his power from the voters, and he’s not establishment, but if he loses, it indicates that power has eroded away and whatever he’s working with comes from his relations in the senate, ergo he is establishment?

    • #18
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:03 AM PST
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  19. Titus Techera Contributor

    Hank Rhody:So, I’m trying to establish this back in American terms, because as fascinating as Japan is, it’s a little less relevant to me.

    But If I’m reading you right, we’re talking about a persistent upper class, and the main thing that defines you in that upper class is your relations to others in that stratum. Donald Trump, who has his billions, couldn’t be considered part of the establishment because no one offers him this kind of obeisance? At least no one in the smart set of New York Society. Whereas Mona Charen, for example, who’s charming and urbane and sophisticated and clever, Mona would be in the establishment. I don’t know how the rest of New York Society treats her, but I have difficulty imagining her bored on a Saturday night.

    I believe Mrs. Charen says now & then on the Need to know podcast that she lives around DC. Isn’t she working at the Ethics & Public Policy Center?

    The establishment is a polite word for ruling classes, which is a way of saying ruling class. Americans seem to be almost uniquely afraid of this. Also uniquely fond leaders as opposed to rulers. Leader is ambiguous: Are you leading me where I want to go or where you want me to go? Ruler is not ambiguous.

    I believe the American argument is, it’s a perfect accident or absolutely irrelevant how many Justices & high-level politicians come from Harvard.

    • #19
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:03 AM PST
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  20. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You might be a member of the establishment if

    You cite Ronald Reagan’s amnesty in the 1980’s as proof that those anti-immigration people today are hypocrites.

    You think Thad Cochran is a fine Senator, and that his recent election is an indication of the GOP’s ‘big tent’ inclusive get-out-the-vote strategy.

    You think the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page is conservative, but you really just subscribe to monitor your stocks in AIG and Pfizer.

    You took consolation that Barack Obama’s election would at least prove most Americans aren’t racist and it would heal some old wounds.

    You have at sometime said, “talk radio is unhelpful to the debate”.

    You pronounce talk radio hosts’ names Rush Lim-bough and Mark Le-vine.

    You know the media is biased, but you don’t want to ‘whine’ about it.

    Anyone to the right of you is an extremist, and anyone to your left is a well-meaning, misguided soul.

    I’m sure others can come up with more…

    • #20
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:04 AM PST
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  21. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    I Walton:

    Hank Rhody:

    I Walton:

    (…) This is what makes getting things done, reformed, stopped so difficult. Too many favors are owed, too many obligations, rice bowls to be broken, relationships that are important that have to be maintained. It’s the way the world works, but through time these normal relationships harden and narrow. This is why it’s important to shake things up periodically, reform with a broad sword not a scalpel, It’s why no matter what the management theory put forward by a new batch of management theorists, it works, because what they do is break things up and rearrange them.

    Does that make you a “Burn it all down” sort of guy, or are we not yet to the point where the benefits outweigh the costs?

    • #21
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:05 AM PST
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  22. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Hank Rhody: So if he wins the primary, that’s evidence that he’s still getting his power from the voters, and he’s not establishment, but if he loses, it indicates that power has eroded away and whatever he’s working with comes from his relations in the senate, ergo he is establishment?

    Hmmm.

    If he loses the election and moves into party leadership without being much of a populist, then yes, he’d become Establishment.

    BTW, here’s the thing: I don’t think having an Establishment — or even being in it — is necessarily bad! If someone uses those unelected levers of power (within the law) toward good ends, that’s fine with me.

    • #22
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:13 AM PST
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  23. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Hank Rhody:

    Robert McReynolds:

    Hank Rhody:

    Robert McReynolds:Here is my explanation of what it is and who is in it.

    https://ricochet.com/my-attempt-to-explain-the-establishment/

    There are 177 comments on that post. I’m not gonna finish it any time soon.

    I would recommend you just read my piece. Once I have said it, there really isn’t anything else to be added. ;-)

    James of England jumps in at comment #8. While I usually find him worth listening to, that makes for a very long comment thread.

    Yeah James raises some good points about what I missed. I think the main thing to keep in mind is that the Establishment does not equal Leftist. The Establishment is more interested in getting good praise from the traditional media, which happens to be Leftist. This seems to temper the Conservatism of the Establishment.

    • #23
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:14 AM PST
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  24. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Saint Augustine: (Beware! Our most successful Ricochet members become part of the Commentariat!)

    No danger of that.

    Saint Augustine: I don’t use the term much because I’m not sure what it means. It might be helpful to drop the old term and invent some new ones–like the Elected GOP, the Party Apparatus, the Old Guard, the Moderate Wing, the Commentariat, and the Donor Class.

    A fair solution, but the problem with defining new terms is you got to get people to understand and accede to them. Actually, given the left’s success with “Climate change denier” and the like I wish we were worse on that score.

    But considering the terms, are they useful? If you look at the Ball Diamond Ball definition offered in the main post, the “Establishment” indicates an alliance of parts or all of all those factions. Is it worth defining Old Guard and Elected Republicans different so you can exclude names like Mike Lee from the former?

    Given that this post is largely born of frustration with people arguing from different definitions of establishment, I can’t say defining new categories is a bad idea.

    • #24
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:16 AM PST
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  25. RyanFalcone Member

    The Republican Party near as I can tell was formed on the progressive principle that slavery was inconsistent with the values that define the culture that serves as the life blood of the founding of this country and sustains it still. Conservatives are the watch dogs for this culture and these value. Conservatives believe in these values.

    The establishment believes in gaining and maintaining power.

    Any time you hear someone say “xyz is certainly conservative but it isn’t politically feasible so we need to be against it.” -that person is establishment.

    • #25
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:25 AM PST
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  26. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    The other thing to remember is that DC is an extremely Leftist city. Everything that there is to do once you are finished legislating for the day is controlled by the Left. Want to see a play? Get ready to see Middle America painted with the brush of “intolerant” towards any protected group deemed so by the Left. Want to go to some gala celebrating the anniversary of the opening of this or that museum? Be prepared to answer questions with a Leftist premise if you are known Conservative. Oh, and if you want to go to some cocktail party in one of the exclusive neighborhoods of Bethesda, McLean, or Great Falls (where Mona Charen lives by the way), be prepared to explain how Rush Limbaugh is a blow hard and that Ted Cruz is the love child of Cathulu and Donald Trump.

    After a while of being in this town, having to deal with that social environment will wear you down and you begin to think, “maybe my staunch Conservatism as an ideology is really not the only answer to our problems.” Very few Conservatives can come to this town and stay for a long time and not feel the pressure, nor resist buckling under that pressure.

    • #26
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:27 AM PST
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  27. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Titus Techera:

    Hank Rhody: (…)

    I believe Mrs. Charen says now & then on the Need to know podcast that she lives around DC. Isn’t she working at the Ethics & Public Policy Center?

    OK, that’s somewhat embarrassing on my part, but doesn’t substantially change the question.

    The establishment is a polite word for ruling classes, which is a way of saying ruling class. Americans seem to be almost uniquely afraid of this. Also uniquely fond leaders as opposed to rulers. Leader is ambiguous: Are you leading me where I want to go or where you want me to go? Ruler is not ambiguous.

    I gotta say I’m proud of this. “Democracy” and “Egalitarianism” are quintessentially American virtues.

    I believe the American argument is, it’s a perfect accident or absolutely irrelevant how many Justices & high-level politicians come from Harvard.

    In an ideal world it would be. Today though, it seems attendance at Harvard or Yale or the other Ivies is your best way to get into the, if not in name, ruling class. To take another example, ages ago on Need to Know (I do listen regularly despite getting the city wrong) Jay said that it shouldn’t matter if a third person named Bush was elected President. The idea that any boy can become president is a vital part of democracy.

    Well, any boy but the third scion of a family; it smacks of monarchy, and I don’t mean the quaint sort of British tourist attraction kind. A true ruling class is inimical to democracy in a way that’s much more serious than the slightly undemocratic means used to oppose it.

    • #27
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:27 AM PST
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  28. BrentB67 Inactive

    Two quibbles with Tom Meyer’s examples.

    Mitch McConnell: Anyone elected to 3 decades of legislating by a coal producing state an rising to majority leader is the quintessential establishment figure. The Majority Leaders has his hands on the Senate’s campaign funds and arguably the largest sphere of influence in DC.

    Marco Rubio is a conundrum. His initial power base was his Florida election and former speakership there, but that was 6 years ago, an eternity in politics. The two recent hallmarks of his tenure: immigration reform (cheap labor) and Ag subsidies (Cruz’s hands have soil on them as well) are two of the biggest commercial interventions of the federal government and cornerstones of establishment influence. In his favor however, is that he is not running for his Senate seat so that doesn’t fit the mold.

    • #28
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:28 AM PST
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  29. Titus Techera Contributor

    RyanFalcone:The Republican Party near as I can tell was formed on the progressive principle that slavery was inconsistent with the values that define the culture that serves as the life blood of the founding of this country and sustains it still. Conservatives are the watch dogs for this culture and these value. Conservatives believe in these values.

    The establishment believes in gaining and maintaining power.

    Any time you hear someone say “xyz is certainly conservative but it isn’t politically feasible so we need to be against it.” -that person is establishment.

    I think this is too much: Surely, there are lots of conservatives who would want your federal gov’t to be about the size & have the constitutional limits it had before the New Deal or before the Progressives. But they do not believe it can be done in the next election or in their lifetimes! Or do they?

    What do you think can be done in the next couple of years or the next decade–assuming, let’s say, the GOP controls both elected branches of government in 2017?

    • #29
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:28 AM PST
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  30. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: BTW, here’s the thing: I don’t think having an Establishment — or even being in it — is necessarily bad! If someone uses those unelected levers of power (within the law) toward good ends, that’s fine with me.

    In that sense I’ve come to the conclusion that Milton Friedman was right. I don’t mind a sociopathic vote-panderer in office so long as he’s dependent on actual conservatives to remain in office. As long as the incentives are right for him to do the right thing, we still get the correct outcome.

    I’d prefer an Abe Lincoln, but then again who wouldn’t?

    • #30
    • January 15, 2016, at 5:31 AM PST
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