A haunting realization looms over the remnant of the principled right. Perhaps the GOP was never a conservative party, and the movement behind Reagan was never animated by conservative values. As the entire project is boiled down to its essence, we are left not with smaller government, or judicial restraint, or constitutional principles, but with a nasty broth of racist rhetoric wielded by an aspiring petty tyrant. Watching the Reagan wave quietly release its last energy on the beach, conservatives have to consider this ugly possibility: Maybe this song was never about us.
A look at the news from across the web.
A look at what’s happening around the world.
Whatever policy emerges from the federal government in this climate, it will be guided by delusions, written by morons, and crafted to solve problems that don’t exist using mechanisms that don’t work. We are going to live for an extended time under a grand national experiment in Idiocracy. The tough, interesting, intellectually challenging work of crafting useful policy has lost any immediate relevance. Policy only matters to some potential future that looms out beyond the horizon.
Happy New Year. Celebrate safely. Thank you for all you’ve done to make this such a thoughtful, smart, challenging community over many long years and into the next one.
Notable stories from around the web.
In short, 2016 was a pretty amazing year. A Trump Administration is dedicated to undoing much of the progress we achieved in the years to come. With a hearty resistance and a little luck, they may fail. Enjoy the holidays.
Fukuyama’s End of History did a pretty good job of anticipating Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. It did a pretty good job of anticipating the anomie and aimlessness that might drive people toward self-destructive political choices. Almost thirty years after his original thesis, he still seems to have a better read on our political situation than either the Marxist theorists he was skewering or the emerging culture-warriors like Huntington who most fiercely opposed him. It may be a mistake to dismiss Fukuyama out of hand.
We are well-beyond any Trump vs. Clinton rivalry. We are beyond partisan rivalry. We are now in banana republic territory, in which our fates will turn on the outcome of a potentially lethal standoff between rival deep state bodies. President Trump has signaled his intention to strengthen his supporters in the FBI and police. He earned Russian support for his intention to weaken, if not destroy, our military and international intelligence apparatus. It seems unlikely that the CIA will stand by while an inept goofball in the White House tries to gut their power.
Jeff Pearlman reached out shortly after the election and invited me to participate in one of his Quaz segments, a quirky Q&A session. Pearlman is a former ESPN and Sport Illustrated writer who has authored several books. His latest, Gunslinger, is a biography of Brett Favre. His questions were thought-provoking and I liked the format. You can find the final results here. Hope you enjoy it.