July 1, 2014

“The Ruling Class Went Down to Mississippi”

pro tip:  When you’re extremely busy, or feeling blue, or some such portion of your life interferes with your ability to put together thoughts in a way to which you’re accustomed, simply find someone else who says it for you:

[The] ruling class consists of most elected office holders from both parties, of the great mass of government workers, of the public-sector labor unions, of the educational establishment and the media, of the major financial institutions, and of the army of lobbyists, consultants, and fixers who broker the spread of the trillions of dollars that flow through government. Its clients are the low-end clients who enable the machine in exchange for meager benefits. A significant part of this exchange is that such clients are also willing to answer affirmatively to appeals to identify themselves in opposition to their fellow Americans. The Democratic Party is the ruling class’s ruling element, and its voters are the bulk of the beneficiaries. The Republican Party’s leadership, its associated business associates and consultants, are the junior partners.

The mass of GOP and independent voters, having come to see themselves as disadvantaged and insulted by the ruling class, have increasingly supported anti-establishment candidates to challenge it in Republican primaries. Accurately, the Republican establishment sees this as a greater threat to themselves than any Democrats could be.

In the Mississippi primary, Republican establishmentarians from around the country solicited votes from Democrats to defeat the insurgent challenge to Senator Thad Cochran. Their arguments were the same ones used by the bipartisan ruling class that has ruled America for a generation: The role of government is to generate benefits for its clients, and those who object are bad people. They paid many Democrat voters (nearly all black) so called “walking around money” for their votes, and have refused in many counties to let McDaniel aides examine the voter roles to see whether these voters were eligible to cast ballots.

The retail corruption is much less remarkable than the acquiescence therein of the establishment’s leadership – such as Karl Rove and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. This is very remarkable. Rove’s super-PAC, “Conservative Victory Project,” which played a leading role in recruiting Democrats for Cochran, exists explicitly to defeat insurgent Republicans everywhere. The Journal’s editorial page, whose editorials and featured columnists mobilized opinion against the Mississippi insurgency, had done the same throughout this and previous years’ primaries. Rove’s post election commentary glossed over the vote-buying as if it had not happened, while the Journal’s Jason Riley endorsed it cynically as “minority outreach.”

To Republican and independent voters who are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, the conflict between the pretenses and the actions of such as Rove and of the Journal added insult to injury. The Journal, for example, never loses an opportunity to declare itself the mortal enemy of “crony capitalism” as it decries the direction in which America has been headed, while the word “conservative” as part of the title of Rove’s super-PAC intentionally evokes the complex of sentiments of voters angry at the ruling class’s characterization of them as, well, the litany: “racist, greedy, stupid,” etc.

Indeed, the Republican Party’s very identity, the one, sole, argument it makes to persuade voters to vote Republican rather than Democrat, is that it will take the country in a direction different from the one in which it has been going.

But, in the Mississippi primary, the Republican Establishment’s campaign was by and for crony capitalism, and employed the classic themes by which the ruling class has beaten down the rest of America.

To Mississippians white and black, the establishment’s message was: All this Tea Party talk about dangerous deficits and the need to cut spending is a threat to responsible officials’ capacity to bring you the jobs and federal assistance on which your prosperity depends. Orchestrating that message was Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi, former national chairman of the Republican Party, and arguably Washington’s biggest lobbyist. Day to day operations were run by Stuart Stevens, formerly chief strategist in Mitt Romney’s 2012 national campaign, along with Henry and Austin Barbour, Haley’s nephews. There could be few better personifications of crony capitalism.

To the blacks, who, according to The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight.com provided some forty thousand votes, the message was:

Don’t be intimidated by the Tea Party. . . . Mississippi cannot and will not return to the bygone era of intimidating black Mississippians from voting. We must rise up on Tuesday and have our voices heard on who will represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. VOTE THAD COCHRAN.

The Times reported the effect: Roger Smith, a black Democrat who said he was being paid to organize for Mr. Cochran, said, ‘I don’t know too much about [Cochran’s opponent] McDaniel other than what McDaniel is saying: that he’s Tea Party, he’s against Obama, he don’t like black people.” In short, those who oppose the way things are done in America are racists. You ought to hate them as they hate you.

Why do such things? Cui bono? Clearly such behavior by the Republican establishment has nothing to do with the role it claims for itself of opposition to the direction on which America has been taken in recent decades, never mind with anything “conservative.” It has everything to do with maintaining its status, and that of its clients, within the ruling class.

The Mississippi primary confirmed yet again that, if America is to go in a direction other than the one of which some three fourths of American disapprove, it is compelled to do so with a vehicle other than the Republican Party.

All aboard the outlaw express!  Which was long ago cast as a way for me to make money — and yet remains a sentiment that hasn’t wavered on this site, no matter the hits its taken for it.

We’re all outlaws now.  Except that some of the neophytes used to mock the very idea.  Which I find rather adorable.



Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:21pm

Comments (34)

  1. Seriously (of course, not seriously) why can’t these discontented serfs keep their wretched honesty to themselves? Can they not see that the only possible outcome to giving voice to such drivel is a ghastly change in the political world impossible to reconcile with the interests of our leaders?

  2. Commence OPERATION: WHIG…fire at will.

  3. But here’s the amazing part you need to know. It wasn’t Democrats who were behind the public release of those damaging documents Time magazine says have now put Walker’s political career “in the political equivalent of critical condition.”

    It was right-wing Republicans.

    The John Doe investigation into the coordination between the Walker campaign and 12 supposedly independent right-wing groups is usually secret since it uncovers evidence before any charges are filed.

    But it was Eric O’Keefe, director of Wisconsin Club for Growth, the right-wing organization prosecutors say was the “hub” for distribution of millions of dollars, who first brought the secret John Doe into the public eye.

    O’Keefe publicly identified himself as a target of the secret investigation in The Wall Street Journal and filed a lawsuit to try to shut down the investigation as a violation of his organization’s free speech rights.

    To understand why, you have to understand the role of The Wall Street Journal in right-wing politics today.

  4. heh, that’s a laugher hf, with the leftoids helpfully identifying the targets inside the country-party tent. Now if only the country-party will take the hint.

  5. sdferr:

    I believe the correct phrase would be “… with the interests of Our Wise and Beneficent Leaders.”

    Just, you know, for absolute clarity.

    It’s not mandatory — not quite yet — but the NorKs have shown the way with “Dear Leader”, and Islam also has its requisite “PBUH”. Best to start practicing now.

  6. Well, if Time magazine says Walker is through, then I guess that’s settled…

  7. Commence OPERATION: WHIG

    Vote Whig! They couldn’t possibly be worse!

  8. [I]n the Mississippi primary, the Republican Establishment’s campaign was by and for crony capitalism, and employed the classic themes by which the ruling class has beaten down the rest of America.

    “[T]he Republican Establishment’s campaign was by and for crony capitalism, and employed the classic themes by which the ruling class has beaten down the rest of America.”

    Not to be forgotten or forgiven.

    And screw voting Whig. Vote Democrat so they own it when it all breaks. Which it will.

    Related: Further variations on a theme.

  9. It’s funny, I was watching this Justice League movie with my boy the other day, and the bad guy invaders/occupiers of earth have this propoganda thing that’s on point:

    The occupation is here to serve you. We serve you best by making you do what’s right for you. If you don’t obey us, how can we serve you?

    Something like that anyway. As a campaign platform, it’s adoptable by both Hillary and Jeb.

  10. “The Monitors” is like that.

  11. Anyone seen Dana around lately?

    Maybe he can reiterate that “fair & square” bit from last week and reprise the “crybabies” chorus.

  12. – They will continue to destroy any evidence they can identify because at this point they’re all in the pen if the truth gets out. They are already liable for the crimes that have been documented, and Lerner in particular is walking around only because no one has actually taken her to court. The rest of them know its all or nothing now.

  13. – What we can hope is once a trial actually gets under way some weenie will see he or she is going under the bus and roll over.

  14. If you’re interested, I offered my thoughts on Mr. Codevilla’s article here:

    Summary: ‘OUTLAW’.

  15. They will continue to destroy any evidence they can identify because at this point they’re all in the pen if the truth gets out – See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=54259#comment-1091485

    No, Bumbles has already got the Presidential Pardon forms piled up in his auto-signer. (Hey, if it’s good enough for Laws passed by Congress — even those he has no intention of bothering to enforce — it’s good enough for a mass of pardons on his way out the door.)

  16. Ungibberished English?

    Proper punctuation?

    That can mean only one thing, cribbyfoot.

  17. As I like to say, elections work both ways. You can’t call half of your base ‘Racist Bigots’ in a primary and then expect their vote in the general election.

  18. Meghan’s coward daddy begs to differ

  19. You can’t call half your base . . .

    Part of the problem is that ‘look’ which makes it appear that “your base” is something that belongs to “you”, a kind of possession, whoever you happens to be [the party, say].

    Yet the thing ought to be the other way around: that “you” belong to it [the membership].

    So the party begins as the creation [a creature] of some commonality, then takes on a kind of life of its own as the function of that commonality, after which the party starts believing (within its structures and bureaucracies and such) that it gave rise to the commonality and that apart from its dictates and orders, the commonality wouldn’t exist. Dr. Frankenstein’s monster is the boss of the Dr., so to speak.

    That shit’s all backwards — but it can be made to appear to work ok for a time, as long as the membership (i.e., the wretched “base”) who once had something in common now agree to drop that old commonality — collectively in ignorance agree to forget why they put together to start out with, and now change to assume they are together because the existing structures and bureaucracy give them meaning.

    The plain fact is the Republican party has long ago ceased to do the work for which it was built. Time to build anew, I’d say.

  20. Same exact thing happened to the Whig Party.

  21. Bring Back The Federalist Party!

  22. Better the Constitutional-Union Party.

    Easier to explain the Constitution than it is to explain the concept of Federalism to people who’ve never experienced it.

  23. American Restoration and Renewal works too, exccept for the fact that it sounds like a home remodelling outfit.

    But that’s really what the country needs, isn’t it?

  24. Extreme Makeover: America Edition!

  25. …o’course, that’s basically what President Fundamental Transformation was saying…

  26. That would be why we’re better off talking in terms of renovation rather than reform.

  27. America: Extreme Restoration

    “Move that bus!”

  28. ‘Move that bus!…or find yourself under de bus!’

  29. Sadly, I understand that the name ‘Federalist’ would not work, especially among those on our side who still refuse to understand that T. Jefferson was a pinko.

    I would not favor ‘Union’ as the whole or part of a new party’s name, because, it seems to me, it would stress the national over the states.

    Why not really shake things up and call it the Whig Party – after all, aren’t we the descendants of the English Whigs who waged The Glorious Revolution? [Besides, it would allow me to quote Burke more often.]