Thursday, August 04, 2016

"That Is Quite a Puzzle, Isn't It?"

"The rise of the tea party occurred in tandem with this new spirit of ideological purity within the movement. From the standpoint of the conservative movement’s elites, the two phenomena were one and the same. But the truth is that the freaked-out Republicans in America, watching Fox News in their Barcaloungers, were not animated by newfound appreciation for Rand and Hayek. As careful studies of the tea-party movement revealed, what animated Republican voters was a fear of cultural change. Their anti-statism was confined to programs that seemed to benefit people other than themselves. Racial resentment and ethnocetrism, not passion for limited government, drove the conservative base.
"Almost alone within the party, Trump understood this. That is why his comically long list of ideological deviations never hurt him. Trump's racism demonstrated to most Republican voters that he stood with them on the essential divide that ordered their political world—one defined by identity more than ideology."
Jonathan Chait at New York looks into why Donald Trump's "spending plan has provoked not a whimper of complaint" among Republicans.

And Paul Krugman in The New York Times describes why Republican congressional leaders are willing to lead such a party.

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