Ross Douthat Hopes GOP Convention Will Save GOP From Terrifying Trump Monster
the horror! the horror!
Oh god, what must it be like to be a self-styled moderate Republican writing for the New York Times right now? In another era, you'd have been to the manor born, but instead you are required to bang out at least ONE WHOLE COLUMN a week, which is entirely too grueling and really beneath your station. And now you have this gruesome interloper, this vulgar steak-hawker, Donald Trump, taking over your party. Why, he doesn't even have the good sense or grace to hide his racism behind dog-whistles! What has the GOP come to?
Now, if you are David Brooks, you have been writing Marco Rubio fanfic, a pastime which we are sure is a comfort to Mr. Brooks during those long lonely nights. If you are Ross Douthat, however, you have shifted to backing anyone but Trump and hoping that somehow the arcane and Byzantine rules of your nominating convention will save you from seeing your party steamrolled. And, in doing so, you suddenly flip from being the kind of populist jagoff who wants people to vote on things like whether or not the gays can get married and flop on over to being the kind of landed gentry jagoff who wants to take the decision of who should be your nominee away from the stupid rabble. But first, you must haughtily sniff at those ahistorical people currently controlling your dysfunctional party.
Trump, though, is cut from a very different cloth. He’s an authoritarian, not an ideologue, and his antecedents aren’t Goldwater or McGovern; they’re figures like George Wallace and Huey Long, with a side of the fictional Buzz Windrip from Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” No modern political party has nominated a candidate like this; no serious political party ever should.
Did you know that Ross Douthat has read some books? And has a glancing familiarity with relatively recent political history? Good boy, Ross! Cookie for Ross! So, how does Ross propose to solve a problem like
Maria Trump? By pretending that somehow all the delegates to the GOP convention will arrive in Cleveland in July and come to their senses, a viewpoint that incorrectly assumes these people ever had sense to start with.
[T]here is no point in even having a party apparatus, no point in all those chairmen and state conventions and delegate rosters, if they cannot be mobilized to prevent 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate from imposing a Trump nomination on the party [...]
So in Cleveland this summer, the men and women of the Republican Party may face a straightforward choice: Betray the large minority of Republicans who cast their votes for Trump, or betray their obligations to their country.
For a party proud of its patriotism, the choice should not be hard.
You will note, for all that high-minded rhetoric, Douthat does not actually say who he thinks would be an adequately patriotic GOP candidate. Is it squishy-squashy Marco Rubio, a manchild who is slowly being crushed by the weight of establishment expectations he clearly cannot meet? Is it seemingly normal yet really fucking insane John Kasich? How about Ted Cruz, a person who literally everyone on earth hates, even when they agree with him? Are those folks patriotic enough? Or, since you're just engaging in complete fantasy here, are you thinking Mitt Romney or Michael Bloomberg or the ghost of Ronald Reagan might slide in at the last minute?
Not gonna happen. You and yours will all fall in line to back Trump because the entire raison d'etre of your party is incoherent hate, and he is the very apex of that. No one can save you people from yourselves.