At New York Magazine, Ed Kilgore looks at the battle between the grassroots and the establishment within the GOP.
It’s hard for a political party to self-diagnose its problems when its thinkers are at odds about the nature and extent of the current symptoms. That’s the condition of the Republican Party, which began this presidential cycle highly confident about consolidating power gained at the congressional and state levels during the last two midterms with the capture of that last Democratic redoubt, the White House.
Some Republicans think that is still the party’s trajectory, and dismiss the craziness of the early GOP presidential contest as an illusion or a temporary moment of turbulence. A greater number cover their ears and tell themselves and others that nothing that happens before late primary voters run to the rescue of Establishment candidates is real. All this Trump lunacy, all this “outsider revolt” business, is just noise created by mischievous or hostile media elements, they believe. The enduring Reagan ideology of well-armed internationalism, free-market economics, and the gradual, stealthy erosion of the New Deal and Great Society abominations, advanced by skillful if conventional politicians, will reassert its control over the GOP when the deal really goes down.
Read the whole thing.