The editorial board of Milwaukee's Journal-Sentinel count the ways Donald Trump is not fit to be president.
Both of those columns rely on the premise that the usual conventions apply.
Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh spent a lot of time on the irrelevance of the usual conventions.
They don't think we need somebody better at politics than we've ever had. They want somebody that had nothing to do with politics. They're intrigued by the possibility that somebody doesn't know hell from Shinola about politics can company in and actually fix what the professional politicians have screwed up, and everybody acknowledges that that has happened. And that's his attraction. That's why you can't talk a Trumpist out of it by calling him a flip-flopper. That's why you can't convince a Trumpist to give up Trump by saying, "Hey, the guy's a liberal, he supports Democrats."Meanwhile the usual suspects are sitting around the usual table with their usual at-the-end-of-the-day-bipartisan-compromise-consensus-process-comprehensive-reform-blah-blah-blah.
They don't care. They see Trump as a success. Here comes the Trump jet. Here comes the Trump motorcade. Here comes Trump Tower. They see success. They see a guy who hasn't been held back by any of these political people. They are being held back. They see a guy who's found a way around it. They see a guy who's been able to bully his way through it, whatever they think of it. They don't see a guy playing a political game. They see a guy getting out around it and escaping it somehow. They're intrigued by possibility that precisely because he's not politics. That's the definition of outsider, in their view.
So if you want to talk 'em out of it you're gonna have to go about it a different way. You're gonna have to try to, "Hey, he doesn't know what he's doing. Hey, he's really not competent." You're gonna have a tough sell because they see the big Trump jet with the big Trump name on it in gold. You're gonna have a tough sell no matter what. They're emotionally connected to more than just Trump. I've been trying to tell people this for six months. They are emotionally connected to much more than Trump personally. Trump represents what they think may never again happen in their lifetimes.
This is the equivalent -- I wish I could give you an analogy, and I can't in the spur of the moment, but that's how big it is to them. These people, many of Trump's supporters, and many people who don't support Trump, by the way, look at the political world and really resent the attitudes we get, the lack of connection, the lack of any real concern. The concern they have is for people that aren't Americans yet. Can't even get some of these people to correctly identify what terrorism is and who's doing it. It's serious stuff in their minds. They're losing their businesses. Their kids' futures are bleak, they think.
The Wise Experts have failed (via Ed Driscoll.) Time for them to go.
But that's not Consensus or Process. Mr Limbaugh continues with David Brooks, defending business as usual.
This is like the worst thing to say in 2016, but I've come to be a believer in we need to fix the establishment. I believe in establishments. We have big problems. You need big institutions to tackle 'em. They have to be run centrally. And so we need a really good State Department. We really need a good --Here's Mr Limbaugh, suggesting that Four of Five Experts Agree isn't working. Turn the sarcasm mode on.
"Well, it's like the worst thing to say in 2016, but I've come to be a believer of we need to fix the establishment. I believe in establishments." Of course he does. He's a member. "We have big problems. We have big institutions to tackle 'em. They have to run more centrally." This a conservative, he's talking about centralized command and control to fix what's wrong, and this guy is a conservative? And today people are blaming me for selling conservatism out? People are blaming me?The Trump campaign, for all its logical shortcomings, and all its crudity, is at least giving people who are fed up with the Usual Talking Heads and their Usual Nostrums an opportunity to say NO.
It's all over the place now that I am the one who's betraying conservatism. I'm the one who is single-handedly causing conservatism to be watered down, misdefined, redefined, and yet here's the conservative participant on PBS, the conservative New York Times columnist claiming to be a big believer in establishments because we got big problems, and therefore you need big institutions to fix the big establishment. And they have to be run centrally, meaning you've gotta have a powerful, engaged executive, i.e., president, and a coterie of supporters, and they are the smart people, the best and brightest, and only they are qualified to deal with all of these big issues and big institutions and it's gotta be done centrally.
So we need a really good State Department. We need a really good State Department. We need a really good State Department, okay. And Charlie Rose says, "So on the agenda ought to be 'reforming establishments'?" Really? Is this what these guys think is going to win an election this year? Is this what these guys think is on the minds of people? Do they have not the slightest idea what people go through in their daily lives today trying to deal with the absolute excrement sandwich this administration has been serving for the last seven years?
They really think people out there are worried about fixing the establishment? It's quite the opposite. The establishment's already considered to be corrupt and people are seeking ways around it. If people could, they'd blow it up, politically. So Brooks says, "Yeah, reforming institutions, yeah, our institutions are fraying. Congress is a prime example of an institution that's frayed because the norms of behavior, the invisible codes have been ripped away." What does that mean? Well, the next sound bite might tell us.
BROOKS: I talk about Trump as a revolution in manners. And the reason we have manners, the reason we don't talk about each other's wives and how they look, or the reason we don't insult people's looks or call people losers and liars is that it enables us to be a community and be citizens together. If you rip away those manners, it's just dog-eat-dog. And, to me, when he rips away the shroud of those manners, he's really reduced us to just scrambling scorpions in a bottle. And so restoring manners, restoring codes of civility and just decency is the prerequisite for restoring institutions and --Mr Brooks is correct about replacing the trashy, splintery vulgar culture with something more decent.
RUSH: Mr. Brooks, let me tell you something. Your civility and your codes of conduct and decency are what many people have resulted in the Republican Party being smoked for the last seven years. Not fighting back, not defending the people that voted for them, not defending the issues and the institutions that define this country's greatness. The Republican Party in its quest to be civil and to prove they can make Washington work, is getting rolled, issue after issue after issue. And it is hurting the American people.
The American people are being harmed in their daily lives, economically, culturally, by the dominance of liberalism in this country, which as a conservative you are supposed to be enlightening people about and opposing it. And I haven't heard a word from David Brooks about opposing liberalism or stopping it.
The cult of authenticity, in which Moslems or Hip-Hop Nation behaving badly is to be affirmed, but going to the stock car races or a Trump rally is to be sneered at, simply provokes people to ask, "Why are they allowed to do things that we're not allowed to do?"
But that's not Mr Brooks's point. Rather, he comes off as someone who wants to play nicely with people who will continue to invite him to parties, while going ahead with business as usual.
And business as usual is not turning out so well for the Substantive Comprehensive Reform and Four of Five Experts Agree crowd.
Thus when somebody comes along and says, "We're being governed by stupid people," that's the message that sticks.