Lefty Blogger Martin Longman: Trump Has Divided the GOP Between ‘Stormtroopers’ and ‘Ruffians’

In March 2013, the Republican National Committee released what soon became known as the “autopsy report,” which looked at how the GOP might reverse trends that recently had caused the party to lose the popular vote for the fifth time in six presidential elections. Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman believes that conservatives’ hostile response to the report’s big-tent ideas paved the way for the disruptive candidacy of Donald Trump.

“This was all supposed to turn on a dime when the presidential election started,” wrote Longman in a Tuesday post. “All this hate and resentment and bigotry was supposed to just get turned off and Jeb Bush would waltz in with his sunny Reaganesque nobility and his love of amnesty and Common Core and his Mexican wife and family…and the hive would settle down and get back driving around that ideological cul-de-sac like good little stormtroopers. But these aren’t good little stormtroopers. These are genuine ruffians. And they’re having a block party and they’ve got their own music provided by Donald Trump.”

From Longman’s post (bolding added):

[T]he right has been moving with a basic hive-mentality for a long while, with individual members moving as directed by orchestrators who control their media platforms. The guys operating the Wurlitzer move them from William Ayers to Saul Alinsky to Solyndra to Fast & Furious to Benghazi! to Hillary’s email account at the State Department. The effect is so powerful that the whole right was converted to global climate science denialism within a matter of weeks once the organ grinders began that tune…

There’s great power in being able to move public opinion like this, and the left has nothing like it. But Trump has interfered with the smooth operation of this mechanism of control. As long as he’s holding this block party, the people are too distracted to get their marching orders…

The problem is, they still aren’t reaching anyone who doesn’t live on this block…

…[T]he party didn’t just reject [the autopsy report’s] advice, they rejected it with extreme prejudice…

On gay marriage, it got so bad that corporate America had to step in and tell them that they wouldn’t do business in states that discriminated against gays. On deportation, they didn’t pass reform and then made Mexicans one of their top problems to discuss in the campaign. On seeming tolerant, they’ve failed more miserably than ever.

Somehow, though, this was all supposed to turn on a dime when the presidential election started. All this hate and resentment and bigotry was supposed to just get turned off and Jeb Bush would waltz in with his sunny Reaganesque nobility and his love of amnesty and Common Core and his Mexican wife and family and his brother’s record of conservative betrayals, and the hive would settle down and get back driving around that ideological cul-de-sac like good little stormtroopers.

But these aren’t good little stormtroopers. These are genuine ruffians. And they’re having a block party and they’ve got their own music provided by Donald Trump.

And, because they’ve got their own music now, they’re going off the conservative script. They don’t give a damn that Donald Trump disagrees with them about Planned Parenthood and once called for single-payer health care. They don’t care about any of his heresies because they’re not getting that Queen Bee’s instructions anymore.

They’ve got a new Queen Bee.

Now, maybe the organ grinders can pull this all together and get Bush over the finish line, but it sure isn’t looking too promising right now.


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Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Immigration Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Homosexuality Same-sex marriage Washington Monthly Martin Longman Donald Trump Jeb Bush