A Pox on Both Their Wings

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

National Review’s Kevin Williamson reports from Freedom Fest, where he documents WHINOs run wild:

You know the RINO — Republican In Name Only — but you may be less familiar with the WHINO. The WHINO is a captive of the populist Right’s master narrative, which is the tragic tale of the holy, holy base, the victory of which would be entirely assured if not for the machinations of the perfidious Establishment. Never mind the Democrats, economic realities, Putin, ISIS, the geographical facts of the U.S.-Mexico border — all would be well and all manner of things would be well if not for the behind-the-scenes plotting of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and their enablers, who apparently can be bribed with small numbers of cocktail weenies. The WHINO is a Republican conspiracy theorist, in whose fervid imaginings all the players — victims, villains — are Republicans.

Barack Obama? Pshaw. The real enemy is Jeb Bush.

That this is a deeply stupid view of the world should go without saying, but if you need evidence, consider that the WHINO vote has settled for the moment upon Donald Trump, a Hillary Rodham Clinton donor who supports Canadian-style single-payer health care and amnesty for as many illegal immigrants as he imagines to exist, who has 0.00 percent chance of winning a general election and who is, as if more were needed, a ridiculous buffoon.

Ask the WHINO to explain that and you will get the characteristic WHINO whine: “But what about the baaaaaaaaase!?!”

Williamson is far too harsh on the Tea Party element of the base. The movement was born in frustration against Democratic profligacy in 2009, only to find equal frustration getting the GOP Establishment to find — or perhaps even want to find — effective means of fighting the Democrats.

It is almost no wonder after years of frustration and even betrayal, that they’re grasping at straws.

As you’re well aware, I’m no fan of Jeb Bush — he’s no Reagan, he’s no Thatcher, he would do little or nothing to set back the leftward “ratchet.” But if Donald Trump represents the base’s “best” thinking, then the base may have a fatal case of rectal-cranium inversion.

This goes right back to Salena Zito’s Pennsylvania piece from earlier this morning, where the Democrats are in disarray but which the GOP seems unlikely to be able to do anything to win, anyway. Generally speaking, the GOP’s bad situation is in no small part because of buffoons like Trump, and the well-meaning folks who buy into his pretense of anti-establishmentism. On the other side of the equation lies the Bush Family, and their big government progressivism of the Right.

Meanwhile, Trump sucks the oxygen out of every room, and Jeb is hoovers up all the money. What’s left for principled small-government fighters like Cruz, Walker, Perry, or Paul?

It’s been noted since the fall of Rome that mighty empires can withstand attacks from without; it’s decay from within which destroys.

The same might hold true for political parties.