In the latest effort to recast the entire Republican party as a disgraced entity Politico Magazine came up with a new label for the GOP. Not content to run with hyperbolic explanations for the Capitol riot and painting every conservative with the image of the face-painted dolt in buffalo horns, now they are pushing a new image. The GOP is now the party of loud and brash bros who are excessively partisan towards sports, babes, drinking, and most any other form of perceived sociopathic behavior.
They are here to declare now the Republicans have become “The Barstool Party.”
If you are asking How, or Why, or more likely What the Hell, fear not — I read their insipid rundown in order to explain it for you now, and even Politico has no idea what they mean. This is a strained, forced, desperate attempt to paint the entire party in a negative tint, exhibited in writer Derek Robertson attempting to state “The Barstool-ification of the GOP could reconfigure its cultural politics for a generation.”
If you have not divined it yet, this charge centers upon Dave Portnoy and his media enterprise Barstool Sports. Over the years Barstool has become a haven for many to take part in decidedly non-PC discourse and content. It has a frathouse feel at times and Portnoy revels in antagonizing those with overly heightened sensitivities. This has led to many demonizing him as a social scourge, and Robertson follows this template.
As founder of the self-consciously lowbrow Barstool Sports digital media empire, Dave Portnoy has, over the past decade, parlayed an outsized, aggressively macho social-media presence into a status as a right-leaning populist champion.
So what does Portnoy have to do with the GOP?
A half-decade ago, the originally Boston-based site and its rabid fan community wouldn’t have scanned as “political” at all. But now, its proudly Neanderthal, reactionary ethos aligns perfectly with the side of our political binary that Trump reconfigured: the one whose common denominator is a tooth-and-nail, middle-finger unwillingness to accept liberal social norms.
Okay…we suppose. So they have established that Portnoy is a bad guy, and, as we already know, Trump was a bad guy, but one thing is lacking. What is the connective tissue that can bring these two scornful entities together and then rechristen the Republicans as The Barstool Party? Well, how about a poll that was conducted a few months ago, in which the despised sports media figure can become elevated as the figurehead?
The group Echelon Insights conducted a poll of who Republican voters favored as their choice for the presidential nomination in 2024. The very fact that this poll was conducted before Joe Biden was even in office for a month is reason enough to toss the results into a shredder, but Politico found significance. Among the list of names tossed out by the pollsters was Portnoy’s.
This was all that was needed for Robertson to craft his conspiracy-level insistence. This evidence leads the writer to say, “his presence in the poll is evidence enough of how the Republican Party has become the party of Barstool Sports.” This is the entirety of the proof he has that the GOP has made the wholesale shift into a boisterous anti-social entity of tens of millions of people.
Of note, there is one other detail we are delivered that basically undermines the entire contention delivered by Politico. If we are led to consider the poll as a barometer of sorts to this new claim, then the results should also be regarded as significant. In the poll, Portnoy came in with a telling result — ZERO percent. This is the man being pointed at as the new driving force of the party; the one who didn’t even register on the board and was only included based on a random tweet.
With that in mind, we can say this new designation of Republicans as The Barstool Party is nearly complete — just as soon as the Republicans are notified of this reality. So far the evidence shows most in the GOP are not aware they have taken on a new belief system, but the savvy minds at Politico are ahead of the curve in noting Dave Portnoy is the new GOP hero.