Quote of the week

How do you know when the electorate is fed up? When actual members of it, as distinguished from court jesters of the Jon Stewart ilk, start cracking wise and making it count:

[W]e saw something similar in Europe where utra-fringy groups, branded as off-limits to decent people, gained support mocking the ruling elite over issues like immigration. They had their share of cranks and wack-jobs dressing up as Hitler, but they also had snarky amused types who made sport of the very serious people warning about the comedic threats on social media. Before long a lot of normal people started joining in on the fun.

The best example of this phenomenon is Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement. Its best weapon has been mockery. It’s very hard to demonize someone who is laughing and having a good time. This was something the American Right said they learned from Reagan. They were running around calling each other happy warriors throughout the 90s, but that was mostly to hide the surrendering. Now, the Right is nothing but dry technocrats.

Donald Trump is where he is right now because he is good at mocking the very serious people in the GOP and in the media. Ted Cruz is probably even more critical of his party and the media establishment, but he is about as funny as cancer. I saw him on television the other day and I was reminded of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, except Cruz is not as self-deprecating.

I note here that Grillo’s M5S, still billing itself as a movement rather than a political party, won 109 seats in the Italian Chamber of Deputies in the 2013 general election. This may not mean squat in a non-parliamentary system like ours — but all that None Of The Above sentiment has to go somewhere.


  1. Dick Stanley »

    1 August 2015 · 11:09 pm

    Trump is also a closet Democrat who will do his best to see that his pal, Ma Barker, wins.

  2. McGehee »

    1 August 2015 · 11:39 pm

    “None of the Above” expresses itself, in most states, as “Don’t vote: it only encourages them.”

    Those people are welcome to write in my name; the risk of my moving the Pyongyang on the Potomac is nigh on science fiction.

  3. McGehee »

    1 August 2015 · 11:39 pm


  4. backwoods conservative »

    2 August 2015 · 7:11 am

    These days it’s hard to find a Republican who isn’t a closet Democrat.

    Bob Novak once said of Mary Matalin, “She’s more of a Republican than I am and I’m more of a conservative than she is.” At the time that didn’t make sense to me, as I thought Republican and conservative meant the same thing. The current generation of Republican politicians has made the meaning of Novak’s words all too clear.

  5. Chuck »

    2 August 2015 · 10:01 am

    This might explain why people keep repeating Trump’s name.

  6. McGehee »

    2 August 2015 · 11:32 am

    I was an op-ed page reader from an early age, and pundits were constantly rehashing Goldwater v. Rockefeller (and, less intently, 1972’s Nixon v. McCloskey) during the early months of the 1980 primary season.

    I had a special interest in that year’s proceedings, it being the first election I could vote in.

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