Part 6 is here.
When Elites meet ... they have so much in common.
Maybe I first saw this synergy in action at the advent of the Obama administration when I witnessed Obama-niks and Bush-ites come together to concoct the doomed, see-no-Islam plans for America's nation-building defeat in Afghanistan.
The unity of these same elites, from Left to Right, is now tighter than ever, solidified by shared fear and untrammelled loathing of Donald Trump, which cause poisonous snakes and toads of invective to pass from their lips. Also discernible now is even some propensity to by-pass the democratic process, and, more shocking, in certain cases, dehumanizing invocations of harm and violence.
To wit, some exhibits.
Behold the lead "news" story on the front page of today's Washington Post.
Extraordinary: It doesn't even sport the fig leaf of "news analysis." Since when does a "news" headline openly exhort one set of GOP candidates to gang up on another GOP candidate?
The WaPo is not a conservative magazine, of course, but, sans Kasich, it sounds just like National Review.
(NB: National Review, as many readers know, is not my favorite publication, not only for its having questioned whether I was "housetrained," etc., and, recently, for arguing that I offer an "apocalyptic vision" of "paranoid race-obsessed hysterics," etc., but also for lying,without correcting, about American Betrayal.)
Lately, NR's WaPo-like urgency (panic) is palpable.
There are other such pieces generated by the company panic-button, including: "It's Time for an Anti-Trump Manhattan Project" by Charles Cooke.
Stop me before I invoke Groundhog Day, but didn't they already try this?
This new round of flop sweats may be different. The Against-Trump issue National Review of January 21, 2016 was a colossal failure -- except insofar as lay-that-marker-down-"virtue-signalling" goes -- but it was a failure of persuasion, a failure to court public opinion the old fashioned way. It proved the magazine to be totally irrelevant beyond the beltway, behind the think tanks. Now, the alarum is: Someone, do something! American citizens are getting the democratic process all wrong!
"If ever there was a moment for a Republican establishment — a powerful cabal of donors, officeholders, and power brokers — to intervene, this would be it," writes Mona Charen.
But "intervene" to do what -- stop the primary process?
Leftward along the Beltway, columnist Walter Shapiro has more grandiose thoughts of intervention.
Dear President George W. Bush, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Mitt Romney:
I am writing you in your role as the de facto leaders of your party. Gentleman, the Republic is in peril. Donald Trump poses a mortal danger not just to the Republican Party, but also to the American democratic experiment itself. ...
What I am proposing is that the four of you issue a statement saying flatly that you could not support Trump, even if he were the Republican nominee. This is a moment when love of country trumps love of party.
The goal would not be to anoint a nominee, but to prevent Donald Trump from getting any closer to the levers of power. (Emphasis added.)
Note to Beltway, Right and Left: Voters make this particular decision. Or would you prefer to let them eat hanging chads? One wonders whether Shapiro seriously believes that Bush, Ryan, McConnell and Romney could present a united mush to persuade Republicans to vote en masse non-Trump. Or is this just more virtue-signalling ... to other elites?
Charen, of course, knows party bosses have no role to play here -- but apparently only because they can't. She writes: "The `Republican establishment' is not going to ride to the rescue, because it is itself mostly a shell."
Thus, she continues -- and this seems to be the spectrum-wide strategy -- it is up to Rubio and Cruz. Tonight's debate is their opportunity to reveal that Donald Trump is: (1) an "ignoramus" (2) "completely amoral" (3) a "Clinton-class liar" (4) "beyond vulgar," (5) "a cruel business tycoon" and more. (Her debate-prep for Rubio and Cruz is here.)
Charen's NR colleagues re-pound this same idea in different columns, notable for their violent imagery.
"Tomorrow night, as they stand on either side of Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz must find their resolve and all-but-machine-gun the man to the floor," writes Charles CW Cooke.
"The Republican party," writes NR assistant editor Mark Antonio Wright, "is infected with a virus, and that virus can be expunged only by direct action."
Virus? Expunged? Is this Mao's Red Guard talking? It is hard not to recall that Adolf Hitler referred to Jews as a virus.
Donald Trump isn’t going to go away. He’s not going to say anything stupid enough to deter his legions. The magical unicorns of “political gravity” aren’t going to save the Republican party from nominating a man who is antithetical to everything the party has stood for since Barry Goldwater won the nomination in 1964. He has to be defeated. He has to exposed. He has to be humiliated on national TV in front of 25 million people. (Emphasis added.)
This is not a magazine, it's a fever ward.
Or, to open it up, this is not a political debate, it's a fever swamp -- with depths heretofore unplumbed.
And now this, from the New York Times "conservative" columnist:
That would be a "joke" about assassination. For the record, Douthat deleted his tweet and wrote --
-- which was not exactly heart-wrenching.
The Atlantic's James Fallows tweeted a similar kill/coup message, as noted in reply by Steve Sailer.
Sailer asks a very good question, one that also has application to "thought leaders" who have engaged in demonizing presidential candidate Trump in the crudest terms imaginable -- not to mention his supporters, whose offense in the eyes of elites is to exercise their right to vote. Then they call Trump the vulgarian. But this continual campaign of demonization is much worse.
Americans may not know the story of Pim Fortuyn, the outspoken Dutch politician campaigning against Islamic immigration, who was assassinated in 2002. As Thomas Landen notes in "The Politics of Demonization":
Pim Fortuyn predicted his own death. In the weeks preceding the May 2002 general elections in the Netherlands, polls indicated that the LPF, the newly established party of Mr. Fortuyn, was bound to win the elections, perhaps even to become the country’s largest party.
Pim Fortuyn, a homosexual columnist and former university lecturer, had never stood for election before.
His message that the Dutch should not allow their nation to be overrun by immigrants from what he called “a backward Muslim culture” appealed to the voters. The Dutch political and media establishment, however, branded him a dangerous and xenophobic far-right extremist, a racist, even a neo-Nazi. ...
(See "H is for Hitler," "B is for Brown Shirts," "M is for Mouth-Breathing Anti-Semites," etc.)
In the Spring of 2002 a barrage of dirt and insults were heaped on Mr. Fortuyn ...
On May 6, 2002, Mr. Fortuyn was shot by Volkert van der Graaf, an animal rights activist who had believed the continuous stream of “warnings” in the media about how dangerous the politician was and felt he had to do something. During his trial, Mr. van der Graaf claimed that he had killed Mr. Fortuyn to stop him from exploiting Muslims as “scapegoats” and seeking political power by “targeting the weak.”
A few days before his assassination, Pim Fortuyn, inundated with threatening phone calls and letters, had accused his media critics of “demonizing” him and warned that some people might take their talk seriously and take the law into their own hands. “If something happens to me, then they [the people demonizing me] are co-responsible. They have created this climate. This has to stop,” he said. It did not stop…
Machine gun, virus, ... ape, bullet, bastard, contempt, despicable, diarrhea, dictatorship, filth, Hitler, prick, turd, veneral disease, vomit -- these are but a fraction of the dehumanizing terms used by conservative "thought leaders" to express themselves concerning Donald Trump, as catalogued to date.
Will they ever stop? Tone it down? I doubt it. It is so hard for elites to see what they are doing, their haloes gleaming, at least in the eyes of each other.