Bloomberg News reporter Joshua Green joined Breitbart News daily host Stephen K. Bannon today to discuss the 2016 elections and also an item he recently penned for Bloomberg News on so called “realignment elections.”
The article is an insightful look into the dynamics that very much appear to be impacting the 2016 Republican presidential primary.
It’s easy to view this year’s Republican primary as a cult of personality and no more—the rise and fall of a colorful billionaire who stars in the greatest reality show on television. But what’s happening is much broader than Trump and Cruz. It’s an extension of a shift in Republican politics that’s been under way for several years. Although the media is portraying the outcome in Iowa as a repudiation of Trump, it’s better understood as a repudiation of the party establishment—just the latest in a series of uprisings dating to the 2010 election. At the congressional level, the GOP has already realigned itself to reflect this anger. Almost 60 percent of House Republicans were elected in 2010 or after. They’ve radicalized their party in Congress and driven out its establishment-minded speaker, John Boehner.
Driving this potential realignment, from the Republican Party of Wall Street to a more populist and perhaps even nativist politics seems to be grassroots Republican voter disgust with Washington, most especially Republicans in certain instances.
In the eyes of Republicans like Martsching, that isn’t enough. “Over the last six years, the nation has replaced almost all the liberals who voted for Obama’s programs with Republicans,” he said. “So why do they keep giving him things anyway? They’re simply not responsive. They have a different set of priorities. It’s crony capitalism.”
For all that the media fixated on Trump and Cruz, the Iowans I spoke to were more preoccupied with a litany of economic and cultural frustrations. The same complaints came up again and again—so did their antipathy toward their own party’s leaders in Washington, who, just about everyone agreed, had stopped listening to them entirely. “Out here in the cheap seats, those people are the ones that are our biggest enemy,” said Myron Brenner, 61, a heavy-equipment operator in Wallingford who caucused for Cruz.
At the heart of the anger could be what were once referred to as Reagan Democrats and the anger is far from reserved to the Republican side – witness the rise of Bernie Sanders. However, with the bulk of these voters having been aligned with the GOP’s recent brand of conservatism, as much globalist in economics as it has been foreign policy, it’s within the Republican Party that Green feels they may have the more immediate and significant impact, with Democrats going through their own gyrations in coming years.
The Bloomberg piece by Green, “The Great GOP Realignment,” is available here.
A few days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, Brad Martsching was barreling down a Pennsylvania highway, hoping to unload his eighteen-wheeler in time to get back home to Indianola, south of Des Moines, and participate for the very first time in the opening ritual of the presidential primary process. Martsching, 46, had settled on Ted Cruz over Donald Trump, but was mostly nursing his disgust at Republican leaders. “I’m a conservative. I want the Constitution to be our law, not political correctness,” he said. “I want a smaller government with less control of our personal lives and more control of our border, our finances, and our safety as a nation.” Republican lawmakers kept frustrating him by ignoring their campaign promises. “We get people that run as conservative and even get Tea Party support—they wear that lapel pin proudly,” he said. “But when they leave for Washington, they leave it on their dresser at home.”
The entire Breitbart News daily interview with Green can be heard below: