Nationally-syndicated talk radio host Laura Ingraham slammed the National Review for what she described as the publication’s attempt to further shrink the Republican Party.
Ingraham warned not only about National Review’s interference in the primary, but also the effects it may have in the general election. “How is it smart to close the door to Trump’s voters and to populism in general?” Ingraham asked in a Friday column.
Ingraham explained that if Rich Lowry and National Review’s “Manhattan-based editors” continue to alienate blue-collar Americans who are concerned about immigration, trade and foreign policy, “National Review Editor Rich Lowry and his people will be left preaching their narrow doctrine to a smaller and smaller audience.”
Ingraham explained that Trump’s “supporters are pushing for three big things”:
A return to traditional GOP law and order practices when it comes to illegal immigration.
A return to a more traditional GOP foreign policy that would put the national interest ahead of globalism.
A return to a more traditional GOP trade policy that would analyze trade deals from the perspective of the country as a whole and not blindly support any deal — even one negotiated by President Obama.
Ingraham explained National Review’s history of trying to “excommunicate conservatives,” who are skeptical of more foreign military engagements, contradicts the big tent philosophy of Ronald Reagan. “There is room for all voices in the GOP ‘big tent’ — including relative newcomers like Trump, who has garnered such a following,” Ingraham said. “One of the many reasons I loved Reagan is that he understood how important it was to grow the conservative movement.”
Ingraham explained that this is not the first time National Review has expressed its disdain for conservatives with whom the publication disagrees on certain issues. Ingraham writes: “The folks at NR launched a similar effort to excommunicate conservatives in 2003, with a much-hyped cover story titled ‘Unpatriotic Conservatives.’ Back then it was Pat Buchanan and the now-deceased Bob Novak who were the targets.” Ingraham explained that the Nation Review believed that “these ‘disgruntled paleos,’ weren’t truly conservative because they opposed the war in Iraq.”
Ingraham writes, “As it turned out, of course, that small band of thinkers knew more about what was in the national interest than anyone at National Review or myself, who was also a strong advocate for Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
While National Review is determined to take out Trump, the publication has invested considerable effort in boosting up mass migration enthusiasts like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. While Pat Buchanan has described Trump as the “future” of the Republican Party, Rubio and Ryan’s affection for the longstanding donor-class agenda– i.e. more foreign military engagements, more globalist trade deals and mass migration– seems to make them more compatible with the Republicanism of the past. Jonathan Chait has even observed that when pressed, Rubio is unable to identify a single substantive policy issue that separates him from Mitt Romney or George Bush: when “asked if he disagrees with Bush or Romney on anything at all, Rubio does not directly offer any examples,” Chait writes.
Chait also pointed out that Rubio’s effort to set himself apart from Bush and Romney by saying his agenda is focused on the 21st century seems confused, since Bush and Romney all campaigned for President in the 21st century. Nearly 1/6th of the 21st century will already have been concluded by the time the next President assumes the Oval Office. Chait explains:
Rubio is a George W. Bush Republican who needs to come up with nonsense concepts to deny the fact that he’s a George W. Bush Republican, like pretending his ideas don’t relate to Bush’s because they’re from different centuries. He can’t name a single actual disagreement with Bush or Romney because there aren’t any.
Ingraham warned that if the GOP continues to “devot[e] itself” to defending and expanding the legacy of George W. Bush, it will come at the expense of the country and the Party’s peril:
They [i.e. the National Review contributors] are… inviting those who disagree with Bush on those points to leave conservatism and start seeking their allies elsewhere. This is an absolute disaster for conservatism. It is obvious by now that Bushism — however well-intentioned it may appear on paper — does not work for the average American. It is also clear that Bushism has almost no support within the rank and file of the GOP, much less within the country as a whole. Making the tenets of Bushism into an orthodoxy that conservatives cannot question will cripple conservatism for years to come… If the conservative movement devotes itself to defending the legacy of George W. Bush at all costs, it will become irrelevant to the debate over how to make things better for most Americans.