The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot the Tea Party?

Posted on | July 11, 2019 | No Comments

by Smitty

Conspicuously absent in Daniel McCarthy’s analysis is any Tea Party mention:

Trump also realized, as Perot should have recognized a quarter-century earlier, that third-party politics was a waste of time, when the same resources could be used to take over the GOP from within. Republican voters, if not Republican elites, still wanted the party to be that of Nixon and Reagan, not just the Bushes — the party of the Rust Belt and Reagan Democrats, not just the party of Social Security privatizers and military contractors. Trump put the politics of Perot and Buchanan together into a winning force on the right and a winning force in the 2016 election.

Granted, the purpose of the article is to contrast Trump and Perot.
However, both Obama’s election and the Tea Party uprising of 2009 are key to understanding 2016.

Perot was certainly a bridge from Reagan, as well as my first Presidential vote.

What’s increasingly clear is that, under the buffoon facade, Trump has been a deep student of politics. Which is why Ryan’s observation: “I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government,” is at least partially incorrect. Trump clearly knew how to win an election, even if he wasn’t burdened with the details of the Byzantine train wreck that is the U.S. government.

Trump undertook a great deal of risk and hit a very small target of being sufficiently together to win, while broadcasting an image of continually falling apart. Were Trump to have been a better student of how things are supposed to work, any of the myriad of traps set for him might have been successful. Trump appears to have a “Forrest Gump” touch for failing upward, but his success is more due to pure savvy than deus ex machina.

In the Tea Party case, Trump was nowhere to be seen in 2009, yet I’m confident that the bulk of Tea Partiers voted Trump, modulo a fraction of benighted types who blew their ballots on Evan MuMullen.

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