WaterCooler Open Thread 4/23/2016 Conservatism; Establishment; Manafort

watercooler

 

A Conservative Platform

“Why is it our side that’s afflicted with all the loonies?”William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley Holding Book

If the father of modern conservatism were alive today, there’s a good chance he’d take back his words given the liberal’s propensity to attract their own brand of crazy.

However, there’s been much ado about an irrevocable splintering of the Republican Party, as if portending doom. It could also be argued, that a total shake up would be the best thing that’s happened to conservatism since Buckley and Donald Trump is the one to thank. Trump has provided a great service to conservatives by attracting, like moths to a flame, some of the “loonies” Buckley spoke of over 50 years ago.

But here’s the thing, Trump isn’t plucking the “loonies” from the Republican Party, he’s rebranding the Republican Party to conform to his loony ideology thereby chucking conservatism from the party menu.

As the Republican field winnowed to 3 candidates from 17, a fair number of misguided half cousins twice removed flocked to Trump with wild abandon, shining like a blinking beacon. Except, instead of the Republican party insisting its candidates pledge support to its core ideas and values to qualify as a Republican candidate, Party leaders have gone down on bended knee to a candidate’s rhetoric.

“It is essential to victory in November that we all support our candidate,” (Reince) Priebus said at the RNC’s spring meeting in Hollywood, Fla.

“This goes for everyone, whether you’re a county party chairman, an RNC member, or a presidential candidate. Politics is a team sport, and we can’t win unless we rally around whoever becomes our nominee,”

“They’re trying out for our team. No one is forcing them to wear our jersey. We expect our candidates to support our party and our eventual nominee.”

This week, Trump launched a slow reveal or in Ted Cruz’s words, “This is his pulling the mask off.” In an odd town hall morning show interview with Katie Couric Trump eschewed Republican Party platform for a glimpse at a President Trump.

“Loyalty to party” is the Republican Party platform, if I’m reading the chairman properly; everything else is malleable. Now that the loonies have been identified, Conservatives have been given a great gift. The chance to refine their message, regroup and grow their movement.

Trump’s Admission as The Establishment Candidate

Finally! Trump’s turned the corner, ready to show us all he “can act as presidential as anybody that’s ever been president other than the great Abraham Lincoln.”

Trump Establishment

 

Nah, same old Trump. Nothing new to see here. His tweet’s just another propaganda video talking, but communicating little of value. Although, he is getting the political hand gesturing down.  You’ll have to watch for yourself. Honestly, I’ve gotten good at swatting away his blah, blah, blah, “make America great again” and “believe me.”

I have to admit, for a half second,I wondered if Paul Manafort’s tutelage was paying off. Manafort has purportedly been working his Eliza Doolittle wizardry on The Donald’s presidential persona, announcing yesterday, “You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy.”

“He gets it,” Manafort said of Trump’s need to moderate his brash personality. “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.”

It’s a test of time. Is it too late for Manafort to swing undecided voters and unbound delegates The Donald’s way before the convention?

Roger Stone/Paul Manafort Connection

As most know, Roger Stone is an advocate, friend and adviser to Trump, reports to the contrary. Yesterday, MediaMatters published a smattering of tweets from Stone extolling the virtues of the english language.

Stone’s response,

Roger Stone

Politico reported Paul Manafort and Roger Stone were partners in a lobbying firm in the ’80’s.

Stone on Manafort:

“Stone, another named partner of the long since disbanded firm, described his former collaborator as “charming, entertaining, well-tailored and he certainly understands power and how it works.” And Stone would know: Manafort, helped run Stone’s campaign to lead the Young Republicans.”

Manafort on himself:

“In 1989, Manafort was hauled in front of a congressional panel for allegedly working to steer funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development into a slum-like New Jersey real estate development. Manafort, caused a stir then on the Hill with a tart defense of his profession. ‘You might call it influence-peddling,’ he said, according to reports. ‘I call it lobbying.’ “

Time to turn attention to you, RedStaters! Open Thread. Enjoy!