Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Conservative Swamp Creatures

 

Listening to a podcast by Jonah Goldberg it suddenly dawned on me why the guy is skeptical of Trump. As he said on the podcast, he has lived in Washington D.C. most of his life. He worked in think tanks there for years and all of his friends are government or political wonk types. He goes to all the big insider parties and functions. Most of the guests he has on the podcast are DC insiders, often second or third generation Swamp Creatures. He’s a Swamp Creature.

I have no doubt that he’s conservative and smart, but apparently he’s a Swamp Creature first and foremost. In fact, after a little research, I found that many of the other prominent conservative Trump skeptics are similar. They’ve been in and out of government in DC and/or work in this or that conservative think tank or publication. I expect that their first loyalty is to the place from which they draw their sustenance. Any threat to that is going to evoke a visceral reaction. And we all know what Trump promised to do and is doing with the Swamp.

First comes the emotional reaction, then there follows the rationale for it. With time this rationale becomes more elaborate, and what you’re left with at the end are conclusions that make no sense. So you have Bill Kristol saying that Trump has turned him into a Democrat. Editors of the Bulwark are advocating for a third-party candidate and David French is saying that Christians should not vote for Trump. This against the most firmly conservative, effective, and anti-abortion president ever.

Some of them say that Trump is an “existential” threat to the country, and he is in fact a threat to what they hold dear, but under Trump, the rest of the country is doing fine.

I’m not sure how fond of democracy any of these guys ever were, but increasingly they are open about being skeptical of it, and that’s apparently because democracy and the people have turned against the Swamp. And let us remind ourselves about why this has happened — the Swamp failed a large number of the American people. Washington insiders have contempt for ordinary Americans, and their policy preferences show it. Free trade and relatively open borders, among other things, boosted the economy and made Swamp Creatures and their friends rich and powerful. Ordinary Americans suffered from a loss of jobs and income, depression, dislocation, drug abuse, and suicide. The people have pushed back against Creature policies. This the conservative Swamp Creatures deride as populism and warn of mob rule, but instead of picking up pitchforks the people elected Donald Trump and most likely will do so again.

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  1. I Walton Member

    I think he’s outstanding, smart as hell, fundamentally conservative. and writes well. He has the disadvantage of always having been a journalist and writer in Washington DC or New York City. So you’re right, George Will and others have similar limited and limiting backgrounds. They’ve been engaged doing what they do always in the same place in the same way with great insights about the place but they lack a deeper grasp of fundamental American realities. He’s still young. Trump will be good for him.

    • #1
    • February 21, 2020, at 4:29 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Roderic:

    …he has lived in Washington, DC, most of his life. Most the guests he has on the podcast are DC insiders, often second or third generation Swamp Creatures.

    Yeah, I think most people have pointed this out. I just get annoyed that he won’t have anyone on that slightly disagrees with him from the conservative side. All enemies to the Right?

    Jonah in also from Manhattan — another one of the most anti-conservative locations in the United States.

    It is difficult to trust conservatives who come out of these two places. However, there are older writers born in the District of Columbia like Pat Buchanan, Florence King, L. Brent Bozell III, Brit Hume, and Ben Stein who I think remember when Washington, DC, and Maryland were very Southern and different locations with smaller populations before so much air-conditioning and bureaucracy.

    I was listening to Victor Davis Hanson’s most recent podcast here. (He lives in both the university world and the farming world.) He mentioned how someone at a college would almost cry about spilling hot coffee while a farmer would lose a finger in an accident and almost think nothing about it.

    • #2
    • February 21, 2020, at 5:05 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  3. Stina Member

    Roderic: Free trade and relatively open borders, among other things, boosted the economy and made Swamp Creatures and their friends rich and powerful. Ordinary Americans suffered from a loss of jobs and income, depression, dislocation, drug abuse and suicide.

    One thing I admire about Tucker Carlson is that while he largely has the same background as Jonah (except West Side money), he left DC and went to find out about the people who voted for Trump.

    He is not in full agreement with Trump voters. But he is sympathetic and empathetic and sees that what benefitted his family and friends did not necessarily benefit everyone in the country.

    That’s what makes Carlson a better journalist. Jonah should have done the same, but seems to be choosing to hole himself up away from the people who scare him.

    • #3
    • February 21, 2020, at 5:32 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Yes! And this is why the Republican Party will not do what it takes to get the government back onto the right path (drain the swamp, give the people back their rights, and their money). It only takes a few weeks for any new arrival to DC (newly-elected Congress-critters) to be corrupted by the atmosphere there, and turn into a swamp creature. The very air of DC is corrupting, and perhaps term limits are the only thing that might prevent total corruption.

    • #4
    • February 21, 2020, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    Roderic: I have no doubt that he’s conservative . . .

    But what does conservative mean in the Swamp?

    • #5
    • February 21, 2020, at 6:27 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  6. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We are all captives of our surroundings and so we live in private bubbles. Jonah has to see the world through his background, his friends, the people who sign his paychecks and his rivals. Jonah knows more about politics and history than 99.5% of the US population. Naturally he will begin to feel ‘elite’ even if it’s unconscious. Of course when you know so much more, and others are comparative dunces you begin to resent these people who are able to cancel-out your vote, or if they won’t follow your directions for what’s ultimately best for the country. 

    It follows that you will resent those who you see steering the ship in the wrong direction even more than the existential enemy at-large. 

    However, a democracy, or a representative republic, is designed expressly as a mechanism to bypass these elites, because too much power in the hands of too few, no matter how smart or well-intentioned is a recipe for disaster.

    Some pundits are aware of this and compensate for this fact. Others are blissfully ( or angrily) unaware. 

    Aggravating this situation is that this mutiny has stripped these pundits of most of their power. They are no longer able to influence significant numbers of people on “their side” and they lash out.

    This behavior all but locks these people out of the influence circle once Trump leaves the scene.

    They didn’t have to further expose themselves and permanently damage their credibility, which shows us how out of touch they were and still remain.

    • #6
    • February 21, 2020, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  7. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Jonah was 8 and living in New York when Donald Trump became a public figure, so he’s pretty much not known any part of his life when Trump wasn’t in the spotlight, and certainly none of it since he began paying attention to politics, where early years Trump (1977-86) would be featured on the front page of The New York Post barking against some latest city inanity, and then turn around and make deals with some of those same city pols on a new Manhattan real estate project.

    It was hard not to get cynical about Trump’s motives being self-serving, and feel that his political ethos was rock solid only so much as it benefited Donald J. Trump at that specific moment. Add to that his desire to play to the NYC and then to the national public by giving the swing voters (who controlled what the majority thought) the hot take on whatever the latest political issue was based on which ideological side they already had shifted to, and even before Jonah relocated to Washington, you had someone in Trump who didn’t seem like the guy who was going to stand athwart the tide of history saying ‘stop’.

    Then you throw in the people he knows in D.C. and the fact he was personally attacked by Trump during the 2015-16 campaign cycle, and you get to where he is now, which is still extremely/overly skeptical of the things Trump’s done which are conservative over his three years as president — in part because he doesn’t think Trump has any intellectual grounding for why he did them — but at the same time not as manically anal/retentive about decorum as the George Will types. They could care less if the Democrats behave like Visigoths sacking Rome, as long as the candidates on the GOP side abide by the rule “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” The worst of those are the Bulwarkers, who’d rather see Rome sacked than Trump succeed.

    • #7
    • February 21, 2020, at 7:01 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I don’t think that this is fair to Goldberg. I don’t think that he is influenced by a desire to be loved or accepted by Leftists, and I don’t think that he is a sellout.

    I think that he is quite wrong. He’s been annoying me quite a bit lately, and I’ve largely stopped listening to his podcast (though I did listen to his latest yesterday, which was pretty good).

    Like Goldberg, I was very strongly opposed to Trump in the primaries. I found his candidacy to be appalling. Unlike Goldberg, I didn’t have to take a strong public position on the issue, though I did write about it a bit here at Ricochet.

    As Trump’s primary victory became more and more likely, I consciously decided not to decide. By this, I mean that around March or April 2016, I committed myself to not deciding whether I would vote for Trump, until approximately October. I decided to give him a chance to make his case.

    I had never called myself a NeverTrumper, so if I decided to pull the lever for Trump, I wouldn’t actually have to eat that plate of crow. I really hate crow.

    I think that there are two fundamental issues driving Goldberg to his anti-Trump position: (1) he leans libertarian, which makes it more difficult to make political accommodations, especially on economic issues like tariffs and government spending, that are necessary to maintain the Republican coalition, and (2) he’s a polite and bright debater, committed to civil dialogue.

    I think that the second point is more important. His method is not working. He generally acknowledges that the Left doesn’t engage in civil dialogue — rather, they spew ridicule and epithets — but he thinks that “we’re better than that.”

    He’s like a guy who really wants to play a nice game of tennis, but finds that his opponent — and the crowd — want to see mud-wrestling.

    • #8
    • February 21, 2020, at 7:55 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  9. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    Jonah started up the on-line version of NR. WFB supported this fledgling enterprise, even though it drained scarce resources from the more serious mother ship, NRODT. Jonah was then a snarky, humorous, often sophmoric, wiseass, but he was tolerated. His ambition was obvious, but could he be serious enough to be allowed to sit at the adult table at NR? Or would he be relegated to the other fledgling venture, an upstart, a P.J. O’Roarke-lite editor of a political blog. But Jonah was no PJ. He longed to be taken seriously and unlike PJ, he had no interest in mocking and shocking his supporters into firing him. He never crossed that line. He was able to jump on the broadband wave and surf his way to stardom. Then he did it. He published Liberal Facism. It was his second book, but unlike his first, it was original, thoughtful and skewered the foundations of left-liberal dogma. LF was a serious book but approachable in the breezy Jonah style. Jonah proved that he could be serious. He had emerged from the chrysalis that was NRO and become an intellectual. Accolades and opportunities followed as he slowly shed his upstart snarky self.

    Trump is the anthesis of upper-west-side snobbery. He is crass, in-your-face, ambitious and rich. There is no doubt that he is reviled among the X-rays and intellectuals that attended the soires and recitals that punctuated Jonah’s early years. Jonah was from the elite world and as a natural conservative, his snark was likely tolerated as something he would outgrow, like shoes. He did outgrow it and he did find his place among the elites, but as a conservative. But he did not outgrow his shared disdain for Trump among the NY literati and Washington elites; Trump is a guilded age profiteer, a crass and spiteful man, a fool, and no intellectual.

    Jonah is finally taken seriously, but he can’t get past the fact that a man so flawed and vulgar as Trump can be so successful, in commerce and politics. His very existence and success depreciates the value of the elitism and intellectualism that Jonah values.

    Jonah, you see, is a snob.

    • #9
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:03 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  10. rgbact Member

    Swamp creature? How many conservative media “non swamp creatures” have been invited to golf or just hang out at MaraLago with Trump? I doubt Jonah’s been directly wooed by a rich politician, like that. Jonah’s “insider parties” are like NR events and cruises, not golf invites with rich politicians.

    Anyway, I see it completely differently. I would imagine most college educated conservatives largely agree with Jonah on Trump. Doesn’t really matter if you’re in DC or the Texas suburbs. Many of them keep their mouth shut now, because they like their 401k balances and low taxes. But, Jonah doesn’t base his view on what the economy is doing today. And he doesn’t base it on getting golf invites from Trump. And that makes his voice valuable and independent and very unswampy. And many other conservatives hate him for that.

    • #10
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:07 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    Doug, I don’t see that he ever grew out of the snarky, sophomoric, wise-ass persona.

    • #11
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:08 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    rgbact (View Comment):
    Jonah’s “insider parties” are like NR events and cruises, not golf invites with rich politicians.

    So . . . his “insider parties” are elitist? Is that what you’re saying?

    I mean, even we poors play golf.

    • #12
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:10 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Doug Kimball Thatcher

    DrewInWisconsin, Influencer (View Comment):

    Doug, I don’t see that he ever grew out of the snarky, sophomoric, wise-ass persona.

    Back in the day, that’s about all he had. Remember his weekly epistles? He’s much more serious these days and restrains himself.

     

    • #13
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:14 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    DrewInWisconsin, Influencer (View Comment):

    Roderic: I have no doubt that he’s conservative . . .

    But what does conservative mean in the Swamp?

    I really don’t mean for this to be a rhetorical question. I’m curious. Because I’m told that the average “conservative” in the Acela corridor isn’t really all that concerned about the 2nd Amendment, abortion, religious liberty, immigration, jobs going overseas, or other issues that are of much more importance in hated flyover country. So when a swamp-dweller is labeled “conservative” I really need more information.

     

    • #14
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:14 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  15. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

     

    I think that there are two fundamental issues driving Goldberg to his anti-Trump position: (1) he leans libertarian, which makes it more difficult to make political accommodations, especially on economic issues like tariffs and government spending, that are necessary to maintain the Republican coalition, and (2) he’s a polite and bright debater, committed to civil dialogue.

    I think that the second point is more important. His method is not working. He generally acknowledges that the Left doesn’t engage in civil dialogue — rather, they spew ridicule and epithets — but he thinks that “we’re better than that.”

    He’s like a guy who really wants to play a nice game of tennis, but finds that his opponent — and the crowd — want to see mud-wrestling.

    As someone who also grew up in New York and who saw Trump as a guy who saw which way the parade was going and then tried to pretend he had been leading it from the start, I ended up not voting for anyone for president in 2016. But even during the ’16 election I could see the #NeverTrump hyperbolics were joining the Democrats to make Trump into something he had never been, which was an authoritarian. Trump likes to bully people in public, but his driving force since the late 70s has been to prove to the elites the masses like him more than they do them.

    That’s not an authoritarian, but the #NeverTrump types have extrapolated that out of his actions, to where worst intentions are assumed due to behavior. Jonah’s not in that camp, even if he hates Trump’s style (and the decorum fanatics go back to George Will’s disdain of George H.W. Bush in the mid-1980s for not meeting his high standards when he talked about Geraldine Ferraro and Mario Cuomo. When you start from the position that GHWB — before he was Bush 41 — is a vulgar lapdog, you’re basically saying you’d rather lose than concede any ground to the crudities of modern culture).

    • #15
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:15 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Influencer (View Comment):

    Doug, I don’t see that he ever grew out of the snarky, sophomoric, wise-ass persona.

    Back in the day, that’s about all he had. Remember his weekly epistles? He’s much more serious these days and restrains himself.

    I don’t think so. But then, I only peek into his Twatter feed from time to time to see if he’s posted anything positive about the President. (Hasn’t happened yet.) But he does frequently get nasty.

    • #16
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Bishop Wash Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Jonah was 8 and living in New York when Donald Trump became a public figure, so he’s pretty much not known any part of his life when Trump wasn’t in the spotlight, and certainly none of it since he began paying attention to politics, where early years Trump (1977-86) would be featured on the front page of The New York Post barking against some latest city inanity, and then turn around and make deals with some of those same city pols on a new Manhattan real estate project.

    It was hard not to get cynical about Trump’s motives being self-serving, and feel that his political ethos was rock solid only so much as it benefited Donald J. Trump at that specific moment. Add to that his desire to play to the NYC and then to the national public by giving the swing voters (who controlled what the majority thought) the hot take on whatever the latest political issue was based on which ideological side they already had shifted to, and even before Jonah relocated to Washington, you had someone in Trump who didn’t seem like the guy who was going to stand athwart the tide of history saying ‘stop’.

    This is an interesting insight. Sometime in 2015 or 2016 Ace of Spades restarted its podcast. I forget the contributor, but one guy was from New Jersey and was the most anti-Trump person on the podcast. Because he had seen what you’re talking about his whole life, Trump completely turned him off and there was no way he was going to vote for him. I knew the brash public persona of Trump but not the local, day-to-day Trump and didn’t have as much history built up. Thanks for pointing out a lens that Jonah probably views Trump through.

    • #17
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. rgbact Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Influencer (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):
    Jonah’s “insider parties” are like NR events and cruises, not golf invites with rich politicians.

    So . . . his “insider parties” are elitist? Is that what you’re saying?

    I mean, even we poors play golf.

    Its not the golf. Its the personal invite from rich politicians for golf or anything. Instead, you seem to have a bigger problem with an “elite” NR retirement/anniversery party.

    • #18
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:26 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    rgbact (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Influencer (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):
    Jonah’s “insider parties” are like NR events and cruises, not golf invites with rich politicians.

    So . . . his “insider parties” are elitist? Is that what you’re saying?

    I mean, even we poors play golf.

    Its not the golf. It the personal invite from rich politicians for golf or anything. Instead, you seem to have a bigger problem with an “elite” NR retirement/anniversery party.

    What marks you as conservative? What issues animate you, personally?

    • #19
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:36 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  20. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Jonah was 8 and living in New York when Donald Trump became a public figure, so he’s pretty much not known any part of his life when Trump wasn’t in the spotlight, and certainly none of it since he began paying attention to politics, where early years Trump (1977-86) would be featured on the front page of The New York Post barking against some latest city inanity, and then turn around and make deals with some of those same city pols on a new Manhattan real estate project.

    It was hard not to get cynical about Trump’s motives being self-serving, and feel that his political ethos was rock solid only so much as it benefited Donald J. Trump at that specific moment.

    This is an interesting insight. Sometime in 2015 or 2016 Ace of Spades restarted its podcast. I forget the contributor, but one guy was from New Jersey and was the most anti-Trump person on the podcast. Because he had seen what you’re talking about his whole life, Trump completely turned him off and there was no way he was going to vote for him. I knew the brash public persona of Trump but not the local, day-to-day Trump and didn’t have as much history built up. Thanks for pointing out a lens that Jonah probably views Trump through.

    My general feeling about Trump was I liked his debut 1977-78 period, because he was hitting NYC pols for their incompetence and corruption. But he irked me about the time he defied the court order and tore down the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue to build Trump Tower in ’79, and then started making deals with the same NYC pols he was reviling on Page 1 of the Post.

    It came across as a very situational outrage with no ideological foundation other than what was best for Trump. That’s why I was happily surprised when he didn’t move left after the ’18 midterms, which had been his past habit.

    • #20
    • February 21, 2020, at 8:40 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I think the college educated set is a lot less like Jonah than you might think. I still am IRL friends with the college Republicans from when I was studying. Most of us were pretty hard-nosed to stay conservative in a liberal college in a liberal city, and Trump was not a first choice. All of them are supportive of Trump based on his results.

    The current generation of college republicans I think might be more applicable, from my experience reaching out to them.

    • #21
    • February 21, 2020, at 10:04 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    I just get annoyed that he won’t have anyone on that slightly disagrees with him from the conservative side. All enemies to the Right?

    Oh, here’s the phrase — Pas D’Ennemi à Gauche.

    Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham both kind of hate other, and they both kind of hated Donald Trump 4 years ago. However, now both seem to be big supporters of President Trump. If Jonah is only going to interview the conservatives who dislike Donald Trump, that’s not much of an interview pool. He’s going to be forced to interview more and more Leftist folk. Maybe some of those interviews will be good, but wouldn’t it be easier to listen to those interviews somewhere else?

    • #22
    • February 21, 2020, at 10:27 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Jon1979 Lincoln

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    I just get annoyed that he won’t have anyone on that slightly disagrees with him from the conservative side. All enemies to the Right?

    Oh, here’s the phrase — Pas D’Ennemi à Gauche.

    Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham both kind of hate other, and they both kind of hated Donald Trump 4 years ago. However, now both seem to be big supporters of President Trump. If Jonah is only going to interview the conservatives who dislike Donald Trump, that’s not much of an interview pool. He’s going to be forced to interview more and more Leftist folk. Maybe some of those interviews will be good, but wouldn’t it be easier to listen to those interviews somewhere else?

    Listening to The Remnant, Jonah has interviewed at least some 2020 non Trump-adverse conservatives, like Henry Olsen, as opposed to wholehearted unequivocal Trump backers, and usually when he asks a question that elicits a more pro-Trump response than expected, he doesn’t so much argue the point as accept the reply, while at the same time moving on to another question where they might share more common ground.

    He’s more playful on his show when he has someone on who is simpatico with his distaste with Trump’s style and skepticism about Trump’s commitment to conservatism. But at the same time, Jonah also in the past year really hasn’t had on any of the Bulwark types, who’ve flipped their ideological positions from right to at least ‘soft’ left on a majority of their claimed past conservative positions, because they can’t stomach the idea of being on the same side of a subject ideologically as Donald Trump. That’s also avoiding a big debate and has kind of kept the show’s list of guests on a fairly tight path, and I think he prefers it that way.

    • #23
    • February 21, 2020, at 10:40 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Bethany Mandel Editor

    I guess you could call us Swamp Creatures; we moved to the DC area a year ago and lived in New Jersey working for conservative NYC-based media before this. 

    I’m 90% in agreement with you on the phenomenon. One word in defense of their perspective is this: we are friendly with a lot of folks who work inside the administration who share a lot of horror stories about how mismanaged it is. A lot of my concern about Trump is based on those reports. I’m still voting for him because I’ll take mismanagement over a socialist-takeover of our federal government, though. 

    • #24
    • February 21, 2020, at 10:59 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  25. rgbact Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I think the college educated set is a lot less like Jonah than you might think. I still am IRL friends with the college Republicans from when I was studying. Most of us were pretty hard-nosed to stay conservative in a liberal college in a liberal city, and Trump was not a first choice. All of them are supportive of Trump based on his results.

    Based on the dismal 2018 election returns among college educated voters, I’m likely not as far off as you think. The exodus of college educated people from the GOP is massive. They don’t all go to swamp parties.

    So, if Trump wasn’t “your first choice” (and alot closer to your last)….and you still haven’t fled the GOP, then you’ve likely just stopped fighting cuz you like the current economy….and you’re not all that far away from Jonah. But, an intellectual is supposed to have views that are independent of what the Dow looks like at any point. Voters don’t have to worry about that. But I’m happy to debate any actual “Trump was my last choice, but now I love him, economy be damned” person anytime.

    • #25
    • February 21, 2020, at 10:59 AM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Bethany Mandel (View Comment):

    I guess you could call us Swamp Creatures; we moved to the DC area a year ago and lived in New Jersey working for conservative NYC-based media before this.

    I’m 90% in agreement with you on the phenomenon. One word in defense of their perspective is this: we are friendly with a lot of folks who work inside the administration who share a lot of horror stories about how mismanaged it is. A lot of my concern about Trump is based on those reports. I’m still voting for him because I’ll take mismanagement over a socialist-takeover of our federal government, though.

    Trump’s business operations over his entire 43-year history have been anything but well-oiled — crisis-management has been more like it. But at the same time, his overall success over the past three years by basically letting everyone else simply do what they want to do with minimal interference for Washington has been a rebuke to the big-government micro-managers on the left, who believe the federal government, and the super-smart people running it, know more about what’s best for how people should live their lives than they do.

    That’s not a lesson anyone on the left is going to accept, because it would be just a massive blow to their egos to think they’re not as important as they think to the running of the world, and that simply letting people make their own decisions works better (the only argument I think you can make for them here is the hyper-scrutiny by the Dems and their backers in the media about all things Trump has kept him or anyone thinking about trying to get special favors from Trump on the business side in check, because no one wants to end up like Michael Flynn or Paul Manifort — pounced on in an effort to get to Trump through them. So it’s kept any possible excesses in check, while the media and Dems overhype what turn out to be non-issues).

    • #26
    • February 21, 2020, at 11:58 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  27. Kevin Creighton Contributor

    Close. I’d say it has to do more with the underpinnings of their conservatism. Jonah is whip-smart. I love listening to his podcast when he talks about the intellectual foundation of conservatism. George Will is also an intellectual, and most of the anti-Trump conservatives tend to be a) on the nerdy side and b) live and work in the BosWash corridor. 

    Trump may be many things, but “intellectual” isn’t one of them. He deals in slogans, not white papers, and it’s that brash populism which freaks out a certain kind of conservative who is used to living in think tanks, not ordering McDonalds for dinner. 

    One of the guests on Jonah’s podcast (I’d have to chase it down, as I forget) said it wonderfully. The Democrats used to be a coalition party, but thanks to wokeness and identity politics, they are self-selecting themselves into a party of ideas. The GOP used to be a party of ideals, but with Trump, it is becoming a coalition party, expanding the electoral map into areas formerly protected by the Blue Wall. 

    Pundits and intellectuals do well in a party of ideals, not in a coalition party, and that’s a problem for some people in the GOP. 

    Plus, if I’m honest, I can TOTALLY understand someone not liking Trump because of his rather, um, brash style, which spills over into vulgarity quite often. The message counts, but if the messenger is so distasteful, they’ll never be able to get their message out. 

    • #27
    • February 21, 2020, at 12:29 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rgbact (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I think the college educated set is a lot less like Jonah than you might think. I still am IRL friends with the college Republicans from when I was studying. Most of us were pretty hard-nosed to stay conservative in a liberal college in a liberal city, and Trump was not a first choice. All of them are supportive of Trump based on his results.

    Based on the dismal 2018 election returns among college educated voters, I’m likely not as far off as you think. The exodus of college educated people from the GOP is massive. They don’t all go to swamp parties.

    So, if Trump wasn’t “your first choice” (and alot closer to your last)….and you still haven’t fled the GOP, then you’ve likely just stopped fighting cuz you like the current economy….and you’re not all that far away from Jonah. But, an intellectual is supposed to have views that are independent of what the Dow looks like at any point. Voters don’t have to worry about that. But I’m happy to debate any actual “Trump was my last choice, but now I love him, economy be damned” person anytime.

    The 2018 midterm election was marred by the existence of the continuing Mueller investigation which mysteriously dragged on well after the investigators determined the evidence of collusion contained in the FISA was always nonsense. Then why not go after an obstruction case while we pretend to investigate the collusion we know never happened, and while we’re at it, let’s screw some Trump associates to the wall for process crimes which a occurred while we pretended to be looking for collusion.

    Keeping the Mueller investigation on life support past November 2018, while they pretended to be onto something big was always part of the continued scam to cover up their corrupt ahrses, and designed to turn the Congress (D) and bring about an impeachment trial come hell or high water.

    College educated voters care too much about what other college educated voters think of them, the Trump is Bad taint is wearing away as Trump continues to not be Bad three years in and counting.

    • #28
    • February 21, 2020, at 12:36 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I don’t think that this is fair to Goldberg. I don’t think that he is influenced by a desire to be loved or accepted by Leftists, and I don’t think that he is a sellout.

    I think that he is quite wrong. He’s been annoying me quite a bit lately, and I’ve largely stopped listening to his podcast (though I did listen to his latest yesterday, which was pretty good).

    Like Goldberg, I was very strongly opposed to Trump in the primaries. I found his candidacy to be appalling. Unlike Goldberg, I didn’t have to take a strong public position on the issue, though I did write about it a bit here at Ricochet.

    As Trump’s primary victory became more and more likely, I consciously decided not to decide. By this, I mean that around March or April 2016, I committed myself to not deciding whether I would vote for Trump, until approximately October. I decided to give him a chance to make his case.

    I had never called myself a NeverTrumper, so if I decided to pull the lever for Trump, I wouldn’t actually have to eat that plate of crow. I really hate crow.

    I think that there are two fundamental issues driving Goldberg to his anti-Trump position: (1) he leans libertarian, which makes it more difficult to make political accommodations, especially on economic issues like tariffs and government spending, that are necessary to maintain the Republican coalition, and (2) he’s a polite and bright debater, committed to civil dialogue.

    I think that the second point is more important. His method is not working. He generally acknowledges that the Left doesn’t engage in civil dialogue — rather, they spew ridicule and epithets — but he thinks that “we’re better than that.”

    He’s like a guy who really wants to play a nice game of tennis, but finds that his opponent — and the crowd — want to see mud-wrestling.

    The Last line is genius!!!!

    • #29
    • February 21, 2020, at 1:01 PM PST
    • Like
  30. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Roderic:

    He’s a Swamp Creature.

    I remember the days when one was not permitted to criticize contributors, even though they were public figures because… reasons. Heck, I even recall the brief period during which use of the term Never Trump was forbidden until someone let it slip on the Flagship Podcast. Certainly, Swamp Creature would have been beyond the pale.

    How times have changed! Those nasty, populist Deplorables have overrun the place. We used to throw them out back in the day. The fainting couches have been removed. There are no more pearls to clutch. This place has gone to H-E-double-hockey-sticks.

    • #30
    • February 21, 2020, at 1:12 PM PST
    • 6 likes