Martin Longman’s Provocative Thoughts on “The Establishment”

Over at Washington Monthly, Martin Longman offers a provocative meditation on “the Establishment.”

There’s a growing consensus that our establishment has failed us and isn’t worthy. Self-correction has broken down. Accountability is in short supply.

We can’t abolish the establishment. They are always with us in every society. But they need to –we need them to– get their act together.

Longman provides some interesting historical examples – the 1972 election when the Democratic establishment couldn’t bring itself to support McGovern but tried to salvage the down ticket races, 1944 when Wilkie and FDR explored the idea of creating a new liberal, political party (abandoned because “the need was perceived at the time by the establishment of both parties because events were too fraught to leave the conservatives in charge of something as powerful as one of our two viable political parties”).

The Republican establishment is in shambles. The Democratic establishment is facing a profound challenge from Bernie Sanders (one they can’t dismiss but can’t fully engage). The establishment has too much invested in keeping things working to let them go to hell, but they need to stop being so damned complacent and act now.

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on December 21, 2015 - 12:52 pm

    Bernie is telling everyone who will listen. We have to fix this graph:

    Inequality

    Source: Mother Jones

    Productivity has surged, but income and wages have stagnated for most Americans. If the median household income had kept pace with the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on December 22, 2015 - 7:40 pm

    David Frum has an interesting piece in “The Atlantic,” that he discussed on MSNBC today: The Great Republican Revolt. His thesis is that the Tea-GOP is engaged in “an internal class war.” In other words, their own voters have caught on that the party elite is actively engaged in the systematic destruction of the American middle class. The result is Trump.

    • #3 by Larry Bergan on December 22, 2015 - 7:58 pm

      Well, OK. Maybe we can give the “axis of evil” guy another chance. He’s been doing lots better. Give me some time.

      • #4 by Richard Warnick on December 23, 2015 - 8:29 am

        Frum is still despicable, and always will be. It’s amazing to me that loathsome people like him and Michael Gerson still have good jobs and get invited to appear on TV.

        • #5 by Larry Bergan on December 23, 2015 - 12:35 pm

          Frum is one of the regulars on Bill Maher’s “Real Time”. It drives me crazy, but being a despicable human being is a prerequisite to being on TV. Bernie Sanders has to get caught peeking at rival campaigns to be on the tube. Maybe he should hire Anonymous before it’s too late.

  3. #6 by Glenden Brown on December 22, 2015 - 8:18 pm

    martin longman talked about Frum’s piece at Washington Monthly today – http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2015_12/cant_break_out_of_the_nihilist059056.php – it’s well worth a read.

    • #7 by Richard Warnick on December 23, 2015 - 8:39 am

      The quote that caught my eye: “there simply isn’t any consensus on an alternative to the old trickle-down economics.”

      • #8 by Glenden Brown on December 23, 2015 - 12:36 pm

        When it comes to idea, the Republicans literally have nothing.

  4. #9 by Larry Bergan on December 23, 2015 - 12:30 pm

    Man! That “Washington Monthly” site runs worse then OneUtah. That’s saying something. :)

  5. #10 by Larry Bergan on December 23, 2015 - 12:42 pm

    It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities, that both the red and blue parties would run a third party candidate next year. At least we know who the Democrat runner would be. I can’t even begin to imagine who the Republican candidate might be. I don’t think anybody outside of the congress is willing to even associate their name with the bagger party.

    I think Bernie Sanders should make a big deal out of the obvious conflict of interest with Debbie Wasserman Schultz being the DNC head. She is a former Hillary Clinton campaign co-chair. It’s the ONLY way he’s going to make the “news” anyway.

  6. #11 by Richard Warnick on December 23, 2015 - 1:16 pm

    Lauren Fox has a piece worth reading on TPM:

    For at least two generations, conservatives have been playing the long game on taxes, the judiciary, and abortion, to name a few pillars of the movement. They have carefully crafted plans to make incremental gains when the political winds were against them, and be well positioned to make dramatic gains when the winds shifted in their favor. They talk about their issues in highly refined, well-tested ways, and avoid the rhetorical pitfalls they’ve discovered the hard way.

    Does any of that sound like Trump or his modus operandi?

    In other words, the Tea-GOP is always trying to enact unpopular policies which they know are unpopular. This calls for subterfuge. Which isn’t Donald Trump’s style. I still wonder if his campaign is simply trolling on an epic scale.

    • #12 by Larry Bergan on December 23, 2015 - 1:35 pm

      I don’t think anybody on earth has not imagined Donald Trump as being the hero we could hug, but then we come back down to earth. I, honestly don’t think Trump even knows where he’s going with this.

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