Ornstein says ‘nihilists’ and he always knows what he’s talking about

Norm Ornstein chimed in this morning on the near future of the GOP. He views Cantor’s loss less as the beginning of a populist trend and more a preview of intracine battles yet to come in the party. It’s here.

He sets it up with pitch perfect – and delightful – disdain for our fickle media narrative:

The new dominant narrative, of course, is that the Tea Party rose up, struck back, showed its muscle and has the party establishment on its heels. That replaces the previous narrative, that the establishment rose up, struck back, and has the Tea Party on its heels.

And wraps with this:

American political parties always face a tension between their establishment and ideological wings. On the Republican side, going back more than a hundred years to the Teddy Roosevelt era, that was a struggle between moderate progressives and conservatives.

Now it is different. There are no moderates or progressives in today’s GOP; the fight is between hard-line conservatives who believe in smaller government and radical nihilists who want to blow up the whole thing, who have as much disdain for Republican traditional conservatives as they do for liberals.

Always worth a look is old Norm.

8 responses to “Ornstein says ‘nihilists’ and he always knows what he’s talking about

  1. Nihilism seems too strong a word to me, but it is attention-getting all right. I guess it amounts to “throw all the bums out and start over”. (Except our bums, of course. 🙂 )


    • Maybe Jim, but dictionary.com lists as the first definition of nihilism: total rejection of established laws and institutions. I’d say that comes pretty close. But the second definition refers to anarchy and revolution. I’m not uncomfortable with that word – because it also means standing for nothing (or nothingness).


  2. I’m not seeing it. At least not in those terms. I see it as a battle between hard-line conservatives (TEA Party) and an establishment faction that caters to Big Business at the expense of everything else.

    Let’s face it, the establishment faction of the GOP isn’t all that in favor of smaller government…though they’re moving in that direction at the prodding of the People. Let’s also face it, the Tea Party is only Pro-Big Business as a collateral effect of reducing the size and scope of government reach.

    You see, you all have said that the GOP was the Big Business party and now there’s a lot of conservatives agreeing with you in principle if not in execution or detail.


    • The GOP’s rhetoric about big government is just that and only that. Always has been. On that score, the two parties act pretty much in concert. At least at a Federal level. One does see movement at the local and state level sometimes.


  3. I think Cantor made the mistake of being too publicly friendly with Obama and being seen at Soros paid for events. If Cantor is that stupid then he got his due. Rand Paul is getting awfully chummy with Harry Reid. Stupid will hurt.


    • Publicly friendly with Obama? What does that mean Alan – he didn’t slug him in front of a camera? Was he, Elvis help us all, courteous in public to the President of the United States?? Oh, the horror.

      Soros events? Wow. Which ones?


  4. Norm is right on referencing Teddy Roosevelt era. Amazing how much is the same as it was more than 100 years ago. Big business controlling, workers underpaid, government ineffective. We have not evolved or learned from history.


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