Minor Note: Enemies Lists

Yesterday I was going through a notebook from last year. I was amused to see, on the last few pages, a list of Republicans/conservatives whose treachery I wanted to have a record of. What’s funny about the list isn’t who’s on it, but why I thought I needed it: I thought that the GOP rats (the ones who turned against Trump even after he became the clear frontrunner) just thought it was impossible that he could win without the backing of the GOPe, and were opportunistically abandoning any semblance of principle in order to get on the Hillary bandwagon. So I expected the snakes to try to slither right back into the fold when Trump won and they realized they had backed the wrong horse. When that happened, we would want a permanent list of people who had thrown in their lot with the Left and needed to be shunned.

That was wholly unnecessary. No one is trying to slither back in and particularly not anyone in the media. If anything, they’re doubling down, like cultists awaiting Armageddon. It’s possible that it is pure pride (or “the parliament of clocks”), but most likely I underestimated their venality. I assumed Beltway swamp-creatures rallied around their party’s incumbent, in normal years, because they wanted to curry favor with a candidate who might soon be very influential (and with his similarly-influential lieutenants). Probably what’s more likely is that the swamp-creatures want to curry favor with the super-donors who fund the Beltway gravy train, and the super-donors want to curry favor with the politicians whom they’d like to bribe.

My original assessment was that Trump was unusually likely to follow through on his campaign promises (and on his promise to strengthen America, period) because he couldn’t be bought, at least not by conventional means. He didn’t need to put his presidency in hock to the donor class to win the primaries, and he doesn’t need his lifestyle subsidized after he leaves the White House (not that he will have long to live at that point, anyway). And my original assessment of the GOPe was, likewise, that they could be bought and were bought which was why they first lined up behind Jeb!, then behind Rubio, in a contemptible game of Shimon-Says. But if the donors who fund the GOPe lifestyle can’t buy off Trump, why did I expect the GOPe to support the Republican president in 2017?

It seems fairly straightforward now. The donor class has no one to buy off, so none of them have any incentive to line up behind behind Trump even after his election. They have nothing left to lose; they might as well fund Democrats and GOP obstructionists; so the GOPe gravy train continues to reward sneering at Trump; so there has been no slithering back; so there is no need for an enemies list. Not yet.

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