Saturday, January 23, 2016

Who ARE These National Review People Anyway?

(Yes, I am playing up a joke from Hitchhikers' Guide To the Galaxy) (if you note the two earlier articles I just wrote)

So why should we - and by "we" I mean "sane moderates who dropped out of the Republican party when they went Too Far Wingnut" - even pay attention to the National Review, a political commentary magazine that spent most of its time from the 1950s promoting a hard Conservative line on taxes, on corporate business priorities, against "radical" social experimentation, for an aggressive pro-military foreign policy, and against fluffy bunnies?

Well, for starters, they print on very nice glossy paper.

Seriously, NR prides itself on presenting its Conservative agenda with an intellectual bent, that is with research, analytical reasoning, and using words with more than four syllables once every third paragraph. It is supposed to be a step above, say, Weekly Standard or the online Drudge Report.

So when National Review comes out in force against candidate Donald Trump - with an entire issue titled ironically enough "Against Trump" - Republican Conservatives are supposed to perk up their ears and pay attention.

Even though far too many Far Right base voters are already in Trump's corner and would likely view the NR attack as just another Establishment move against THEIR guy.

So why even bother?

The NR issue isn't really for Trump's supporters. In a lot of ways, they're already a lost cause. As a group, I doubt a majority of Trump backers ever read that magazine (they may have read the occasional link from or Drudge to a NR article, but that's it). The editors should realize they won't reach those voters until well after all the tears and outrage have been shed.

No, this issue is a reminder to the ones the NR tries to influence more directly: the Republican Party leadership / deep-pocket backers who are starting to show signs of approving Trump's chances. There is buzz that the back-room types are warming up to Trump because the other likely candidate - Cruz - is just personally unlikable to the elites, and those elites think Trump will be a more malleable Presidential hopeful they can control (due to Trump's lack of experience, he would likely rely a lot on the party leadership IF he does win the White House).

In the face of that illogic, it makes sense that the National Review is trying to scare straight their plutocratic overlords, reminding them that Trump is too risky a candidate to back... even though the candidate NR seems to prefer is Cruz, which doesn't help their arguments.

On the bright side, at least NR isn't saying all that much about Jeb.

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