At The Federalist, D.C. McAllister demolishes arguments by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes that the GOP has been tainted by “Trumpism.” Those arguments are echoes of leading neocon and Never Trumper, Bill Kristol. McAllister also explains the division between the establishment GOP base, and the Tea Party base. She writes (abridged):
Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes have written a provocative diatribe at The Atlantic calling Republicans to boycott the GOP in all elections because “Trumpism” and its subversion of the Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
They even constructed a nice little syllogism to help us see the “logic” of their thinking:
(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
Rauch and Wittes tell us they hope the “smart people” will agree with their conclusion and follow their plan to give the GOP an old-fashioned “spanking.” Yep, they’re the smart ones and everyone else is stupid. As an original Tea Partier, I am very familiar with elitist dog whistles.
The truth is they’re really not that smart. Their syllogism is a crock. It’s a classic fallacy of incomplete evidence. It’s card-stacking, which is nothing more than propaganda. They’ve constructed premises, not supported by facts, but loaded with emotionalized terminology they don’t even bother to define. For people claiming to be the smart ones, this is downright embarrassing.
Rauch and Wittes—who, by the way, is a good friend of James Comey, a significant relationship to remember as you read his article—assert that the “Party of Trump” is dangerous because of two unforgiveable sins: Trump’s “attempt to erode the independence of the justice system” and his “encouragement of a foreign adversary’s interference with the electoral processes.”
Not long ago, Bill Kristol, the poster boy of the NeverTrumper extremists, hatched a plan echoed by Rauch and Wittes: “I’m very disappointed in the Republican Party in general and its inability to stand up to Donald Trump’s behavior and message. I don’t think we should keep feeding the Republican pipeline with new officeholders if all they are going to do is toe the line and agree with every one of [Trump’s] policies.”
Still, Kristol and the NeverTrumpers have an ax to grind. In a piece titled, “Bill Kristol Wanders the Wilderness of Trump World,” the New Yorker reported that he and his wife, Susan Scheinberg, were quite willing not only to vote for Democrats but to financially support them. When Trump didn’t handle the Charlottesville riot between communists and fascists in NeverTrump-approved fashion, they gave money to the campaign of Democrat Ralph Northam, who was running for the governor of Virginia against Republican Ed Gillespie. The Republican lost.
Kristol’s hatred for Trump reached even greater heights when he tweeted that he’d vote for Oprah Winfrey for president: “I’m with her!” Just like he was with progressive extraordinaire Hillary Clinton. His wife has followed suit, tweeting in Michelle Obama style: “I wasted so many years of my life defending Republicans.” Oh, the drama!
Rauch and Wittes make this clear: not only is Trump a problem, but the base is too. The fact is the establishment (and, yes, there is one) has never liked the populist Tea Party base—a base that is conservative at heart and opposes the corruption of the elites in Washington, a base that will make pragmatic choices in elections because it sees the corruption of the Democratic Party and its leftist ideology as an existential threat to America, a base that is not partisan, but American.
Read more here.