The GOP Hydra after the Trump Debacle

The Three-Headed GOP After Trump - Today’s Republicans are—like Caesar’s Gaul—divided into three distinct parts

  1. Establishment conservatives reflect the interests of corporate America. They favor free trade, immigration reform, and well-targeted public investment. They are broadly internationalist and mostly support the treaties and institutions through which the United States exercises global influence. They believe in climate change and can live with reasonable measures to abate it. They want corporate tax reform, but not at the expense of provisions in the current code that benefit their economic sectors. They would like individual tax reform but already can use the current code to minimize their effective tax rate. They believe in “entitlement reform” but would accept revenue increases along with it—the ever-elusive “grand bargain” at the heart of blue-ribbon commissions.
  2. Second come the small-town, small-government conservatives who channel the anxieties and antipathies of the National Federation of Independent Business and whose sentiments pervade the Paul Ryan-House Republican manifesto, “A Better Way.” They believe—passionately—that government is the principal obstacle to growth. They insist on major tax cuts, especially in the individual code through which their unincorporated businesses are taxed, and fervently reject any new taxes. They favor reductions in domestic spending (especially welfare), structural changes in Medicare and Medicaid, and an all-out assault on the regulatory state. Compared to their corporate brethren, their outlook is more nationalist. They mostly depend on the domestic market rather than exports and frown on institutions such as the Export-Import Bank, which they regard as corporate welfare. They are not invited to meetings at Davos.
  3. And lastly, we reach the populist conservatives, many of them working class, about whom so much has been written in this election cycle. They mistrust all large institutions, especially the federal government, but they do not have an ideological preference for smaller government. They depend on costly programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Disability Insurance and stand to benefit from the expanded infrastructure investments that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have proposed. They see large corporations as indifferent, even hostile, to their interests and concerns. They view the world outside the United States more as a threat than an opportunity. So they oppose trade agreements as well as large immigration flows and are suspicious of the obligations that alliances such as NATO impose on the U.S. Like Mr. Trump, they regard such arrangements, on balance, as burdens rather than benefits. For them, “America First” is more than a slogan; it is a demand. ...
  4. The religious right – who sincerely oppose abortion and homosexuality.
  5. Plus, what about another set of culture warriors – the so-called "alt-right", the Breitbart gang, who reek of racial politics, white nationalism, and conspiratorial craziness? This group used to be ignored, but emerged when Trump hired Steve Bannon and Mike Roman. Having broken into the light of the mainstream media, they are unlikely to disappear soon.
Comment: 4 and 5 are from the comment section. I'm a blend of 1,2 & 4. As to the Trump Debacle: wait 15 days (see my prediction). My take is that the Alt-Right is toxic to the GOP


Update on 10/26:

Republicans Rode Waves of Populism Until They Crashed the Party
Long stereotyped as home to the country-club crowd, bankers and big business, the party is increasingly driven by anxious working-class voters, small-town business people and middle-aged Americans. At the same time, the cultural conservatism that attracted new voters to the Republican Party has repelled some upscale suburban voters who had long been reliable Republicans.

The upshot is a changed electoral-college landscape that in many ways favors Democrats.

Thus was the table set for Mr. Trump. He brought incomparable celebrity swagger to this year’s presidential race, and benefited from Republican distrust of longtime party leaders and positions. Speaking directly to that exasperation enabled Mr. Trump to upend a generation of conservative orthodoxy. “I’m an outsider and I won the primaries,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in June. “I competed along with a lot of establishment people. I beat them all.”

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