Reversal of Fortune?

Fenster writes:

The alt-right and the Trumpist “Right”–not the same thing–have in common a skeptical view of the effectiveness of the Rest of the Right.  To the alt-right the Rest of the Right consists of “cuckservatives”.  To the Trumpist “Right” (in quotes because it is not really right-wing in any conventional sense) they are sinecurists.

This is Michael Anton, writing as Decius:

Conservatives spend at least several hundred million dollars a year on think-tanks, magazines, conferences, fellowships, and such, complaining about this, that, the other, and everything. And yet these same conservatives are, at root, keepers of the status quo. Oh, sure, they want some things to change. They want their pet ideas adopted—tax deductions for having more babies and the like. Many of them are even good ideas. But are any of them truly fundamental? Do they get to the heart of our problems? . . . The whole enterprise of Conservatism, Inc., reeks of failure. Its sole recent and ongoing success is its own self-preservation. . . .If you’re among the subspecies conservative intellectual or politician, you’ve accepted—perhaps not consciously, but unmistakably—your status on the roster of the Washington Generals of American politics.

Anton would change that power equation, and supported the election of Trump to that end.  Trump was elected.  And?

To paraphrase Ed Koch, how’s he doin’?

Let’s not take sides on the wisdom of his actions here.  Let’s just ask if he is doing things and moving in the promised direction.  To judge from the press he is failing.  Other accounts suggest he is succeeding.  Here’s Roger Kimball in American Greatness:

The Keystone pipeline. The enforcement of the country’s immigration laws. The Executive Order reorganizing, and trimming, the Executive Branch. The attack on the regulatory overreach that has stifled business and hampered freedom. The proposed budget, which zeroes out such dinosaurs as the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. The shake up of the Department of Education with Betsy DeVos—and look for lots more there soon. The advent of a United States Ambassador with backbone as our representative to the UN. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. And on and on. The media keeps telling us how chaotic and disorganized the Trump administration is. Don’t look now, but the most impressive Cabinet in decades has been acting with astonishing speed to keep the promises Trump made on the campaign trail.

So what is it?  Success or failure?  To paraphrase Robert Towne:

GITTES I said the truth!

EVELYN — he’s a failure —

Gittes slaps her again.

EVELYN (continuing) — he’s a success.

Gittes slaps her again.

EVELYN (continuing) — a failure.

He hits her again.

EVELYN (continuing) A failure, a success —

He belts her finally, knocking her into a cheap Chinese vase which shatters and she collapses on the sofa, sobbing.

GITTES I said I want the truth.

EVELYN (almost screaming it) He’s a failure and a success! . . .understand, or is it too tough for you?

As my parents said to me often: we’ll see.

But it could be that we will see a kind of reversal of fortune.  Perhaps the new script will call for the left (or what passes for the left–don’t get me started) to be the new Washington Generals, easing gracelessly into a spot where they must accept changes as long as they are able to describe them as failures.

About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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3 Responses to Reversal of Fortune?

  1. Epaminondas says:

    Hey, Fenster…Z-man has something to say about this, as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jjbees says:

    Western people will drown in a sea of non-western people.

    Without the roots and water and sunlight, you don’t get to see the flowers, either!
    The future is a chinese-all-cash-buyer inflating you out of your city…forever.


  3. JV says:

    His administration is undeniably chaotic in exactly the way anyone paying attention could have expected a Trump administration to be. He’s been quite successful in forwarding many of his campaign promises thanks to the Republicans owning the house and senate, but he will fail bigly in accomplishing his tentpole platform, the things that got the crowds at his rallies all riled up, the things that got him voted in. Health care, border wall, bringing back blue collar jobs, “America First” isolationism, and a fairer tax plan. Those are the things people actually care about, those are what they voted for. In that sense, he’s failing. So yeah, your Chinatown excerpt is exactly right. He’s succeeding in getting the things through that conservative elites want, and failing miserably in coming through on the things his base voted for.

    Liked by 1 person

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