Jonah Goldberg, who as those with long memories recall, was once a thoughtful conservative pundit until Donald Trump made Goldberg give himself a lobotomy, has come up with an idea of such devastating inanity Kanye West would be embarrassed.
Instead of moving primaries, maybe get rid of them altogether? They’ve made the country worse and there’s nothing essential about them.
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) December 2, 2022
Really, he said that.
Now, once upon a time, parties selected their Presidential candidates at conventions. This was unlike the present day, when conventions are four-day infomercials. First, there would be, at state level, a caucus, something of a minor league national convention where people more or less behaved themselves due to the fact their neighbors might be in attendance. From this, delegates, amazingly enough, usually local and especially state-level party leaders, would be selected and all such fortunate souls would hop aboard a carriage, or later on a train. Destination: the big city where, after copious amounts of alcohol were consumed and not a few fists thrown, a candidate would be selected. It was then up to the local level politicos, once they sobered up and the occasional split lip healed, to drum up support for the party’s selection. This was also a time when states’ legislatures selected their state’s Senators. The House of Representatives has always been an unscripted Royal Rumble IYKWIMAITYD.
Gradually, this has been replaced by direct primaries, or, in the case of Democrats, superdelegates doing their best to avoid being on Hillary Clinton’s naughty list. This has aroused the ire of politicos, doubtless yearning to be the sole arbiters of who can most efficiently run the country into the ground but who cares as long as we get invites to the best Beltway parties?
Trump’s 2016 primary victory sent many a political wonk wobbling from Washington waterhole to waterhole, weeping into their heavily watered-down wine as whiskey was far beyond their capability to handle, “But … but … but we told them to vote for JEB!” These are the same people who threw temper tantrums when one and all didn’t get excited over John McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012. This leads to the question as to how these SuperGeniuses™ think voters would react to a backroom-deal selected candidate, thus completely ignoring the people’s will. Maybe they should ask Bernie Sanders supporters.
One envisions Goldberg penning this tweet and immediately thereafter seeking affirmation by lovingly touching his Rick Wilson and Tom Nichols bobbleheads so they would nod in approval. The very idea of the great unwashed peasantry selecting their preferred candidate in a primary! Why, next you’ll tell me they get to vote in the general election and … oh, wait …
Mirthmaking aside, this is Example #7,849,236 (this week) of How You Got Trump. Love him or hate him, Trump undeniably ripped away the conservative facade of Washington insiders, be they pundits or players. Like the boy at the emperor’s new clothes parade’s end, he spoke the plain truth: There is nothing there. The self-proclaimed conservatives conserving conservatism do not, and never did, care about genuine implementation of conservative values. They talked a great game, but it was all talk solely designed to line wallets. They are, as the song says, foolish puppets who, desiring to be kings, now lay pitifully crippled after cutting their own strings. No, primaries are not going away because they offend the self-appointed hoi oligoi. Better luck next grift, Jonah.