Trump Triumphs In South Carolina — SALON’S “Digby” Concedes Democrats Can’t Handle His National Conservatism
John Derbyshire gave Salon’s Heather Digby Parton [Email her] a well-deserved boot over her point-n-splutter about his teasing of Beyonce. But I felt a bit bad about it, because she did at least link to the VDARE.com pieces she was complaining about, a piece of internet etiquette Daily Beastboss John Avlon couldn’t bring himself to observe. (It produced a trickle of traffic—Leftists just aren’t interested in contradictory opinions).
More importantly, I think Digby (as she apparently likes to be called) has some interesting things to say, if translated out of Leftspeak. For example, the column in which she attacked Derb actually picked up on Trump’s nationalist response about the disgraceful DREAMer manipulation:
When asked about it in the press conference, he oddly said DREAMers were “great” and then launched into a speech which clearly gave the opposite impression:
You know what I want? I want dreamers to come from this country, ok? You mention dreamers, excuse me, you mention dreamers. I want dreamers to come from the United States. The people in the United States that have children I want them to have dreams also. We’re always talking about dreams for other people, I want the children who are growing up in the United States to dream also and they’re not dreaming right now.
Digby of course says thus is race-baiting, xenophobic etc. etc. Americans clearly disagree. As the Washington Post‘s Philip Bump writes tonight in How Donald Trump won South Carolina,
Donald Trump’s win in South Carolina is much, much bigger than his win in New Hampshire. We don’t yet know the margin by which Trump won — votes are still being counted — but we know it won’t match his 20-point victory in the Granite State. That doesn’t matter. What matters is how Trump won — and what it suggests about states further down the line.
But the point is that she noticed Trump’s nationalist response, whereas other MSM accounts made it sound that Trump was caving on DREAMers (as of course any conventional Republican would).
Similarly, Digby wrote more recently:
As I’ve been writing for quite a while, the Trump phenomenon has exposed something completely unexpected about the Republican coalition, even to people who have spent years observing it. It comes more and more into focus every day: It turns out that a good many members in in good standing of the conservative movement don’t care at all about conservative ideology and never have….
The chattering classes like to say “the GOP base is frustrated because conservative leaders let them down so they are turning to Trump as a protest.” This misses the point. They did let them down but not because they didn’t fulfill the evangelical/small government/strong military agenda. They let them down because they didn’t fulfill the dogwhistle agenda, which was always about white ressentiment and authoritarian dominance. Trump is the first person to come along and explicitly say what they really want and promise to give it to them.
No more beating around the Bush (no pun intended), Trump comes right out and says it. It turns out that the three legged stool of the GOP (small government, traditional values, strong military) is just a pile of wood. Donald Trump has poured gasoline on it and lit it on fire. And a good number of GOP voters are whirling and dancing around it in ecstasy. They didn’t care about ideology. They just wanted to feel some heat.
Of course, I would translate “conservative ideology” to “Conservatism Inc. shibboleths” and “white ressentiment and authoritarian dominance” to “American patriotism.” (Until the 1965 Immigration Act, whites were America—and they still are). But otherwise, this is pretty good.
Which brings me to her interesting February 16 column The rise of the Trump Party: Why the Donald’s shocking debate performance could signal the death of the old order. She wrote of Trump’s assault on George W. Bush “he kept us safe” myth:
It is possible that Trump’s instincts about the Republican base are much more finely honed than all the data and the models the professional strategists have put together. If he’s right and this latest heresy doesn’t destroy him, we will know that the Trump Party is rising from the ashes of the old GOP. And it’s a very different beast. It has no dogma, it’s not ideological and it’s based on white resentment, celebrity worship and nationalism.
We now know it didn’t destroy him. The GOP is now the “Trump Party.” (See above re Leftspeak. “White resentment, celebrity worship and nationalism” = of course, National Conservatism).
Digby concluded, in my view very perceptively—emphases added:
And whether they want to admit it or not it’s far from clear that the Democrats will be any better at dealing with it than the Republicans have been.