April 13, 2018

Our Margaret

Haven't linked Peggy Noonan in, like, forever. I'm afraid we'll lose our license.

But today's is very good. And, while I'm not sure her criticisms of the party and the President will go over well, I find the thesis correct: Republicans need artists, not economists (sorry, Bryan).

Senators and representatives still have not reckoned with the shock of 2016. They're repeating what's been said and following an old playbook. They remind me of what Talleyrand is supposed to have said of the Bourbons, that they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Some know an old order has been swept away, but what will replace it is not fully formed, so they're not placing bets.

It isn't all about Donald Trump. Mr. Trump came from the chaos, he didn't cause it. He just makes it worse each day by adding his own special incoherence. The party's intellectual disarray both preceded and produced him. He happened after 20 years of carelessness and the rise of the enraged intersectional left. He was the magic pony who was not like the other Republicans. But he can't capitalize on this moment--he can't help what is formless to find form--because he's not a serious man.

Republicans will have to figure it out on their own. After they lose the House, they will have time!

I'll spare whataboutism by my being first: the Democrats are running on "A Better Deal." A third grader could write a Democrat Campaign Motto Generator that would spit out some slightly warmed-over FDR-ism and they could hit that button every two years.

"But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends..." we were the party of ideas. We had a cannon. We had a philosophy. I don't know what it is anymore. When the artist finds something more that "we suck a little worse than the other guys" I'll be back.

I hope you can read the whole thing -- holler if I can provide paywall help. She uses ex-boss Reagan as her example of an artist, finding the soul, shape and essence of thing. Unsurprisingly lovely prose.

Trump Agonistes Posted by John Kranz at April 13, 2018 1:04 PM
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