Dear Men: It’s You, Too

he denounced the “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”

..McCain and Bannon are the antipodes of the Republican Party.

  • The institutionalist versus the insurgent.
  • The internationalist versus the America Firster.
  • The maverick versus the ideologue.
  • Above all, the hedgehog versus the honey badger.

The hedgehog, said the Greek poet Archilochus, knows one big thing.

.. On Monday McCain called America “the land of the immigrant’s dream,” and said: “We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.”

To a large and growing segment of the G.O.P., which thinks magnanimity is for losers, these statements amount to a form of treason.

.. The honey badger, by contrast, will do anything to get what it wants. It is wily, nasty and has as much use for honor as a pornographer has for dress.

.. For the honey badger, it’s whatever works: anti-Semite one day; Israel’s make-believe champion the next. Bannon is the most revolting operator in American political life since Roy Cohn.

.. The goal isn’t to win elections but to purge the party and remake it in Bannon’s image. He wasn’t kidding when he told historian Ronald Radosh in 2013 that he’s a “Leninist.”

.. serve as a rallying point for a Republican Party that can save itself from dishonor, win its share of elections, and stand up to the honey badgers who mean to pillage it.

Donald Trump and the Dawn of the Evangelical-Nationalist Alliance

In their eyes, religious conservatives aren’t making a cynical bargain by embracing a president with dubious religious bona fides. They finally have the street brawler they’ve always wanted.

they all centered on returning the country to a better and more comfortable time.

To economic nationalists, it meant going back to an era of high tariffs and buying American. To defense hawks, it meant returning to a time of unquestioned military supremacy. To immigration hard-liners, it meant fewer jobs for foreign-born workers—and, for some of those voters, fewer dark faces in the country, period.

But for many evangelicals and conservative Catholics, “Make America Great Again” meant above all else returning to a time when the culture reflected and revolved around their Judeo-Christian values. When there was prayer in public schools. When marriage was limited to one man and one woman. When abortion was not prevalent and socially acceptable. When the government didn’t ask them to violate their consciences. And, yes, when people said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”

.. the president recalled the Founders’ repeated reference to a “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence. “How times have changed,” Trump said. “But you know what? Now they’re changing back again. Just remember that.”
The audience roared with a 20-second standing ovation.

.. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council .. Trump’s greatest impact is legitimizing those people and views that have been marginalized. “Barack Obama used the bully pulpit and the courts to demonize those who held to the very values that made America great. And Trump is doing the opposite,” Perkins says. “What the president and his administration can do is once again make people feel like it’s OK to stand up and talk about these traditional values, and engage in these conversations. Then we can win hearts and minds, and that’s where the transformation begins.”

.. When Moore spoke to a Friday luncheon sponsored by the American Family Association, he was introduced unapologetically as someone who would put Christianity ahead of the Constitution.

.. He raised eyebrows by inviting former White House aides Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, the polarizing promoters of Trump’s “America First” message, to speak at the event, despite neither having any roots in the Christian conservative universe.

.. This shotgun wedding resulted in some predictably awkward moments. Bannon, emphasizing the importance of grass-roots politics in winning elections, raised the 44th president’s former job title. “What’s a community organizer? I’ll tell you what it is. Somebody that could kick your ass—twice.” There were crickets from the audience; it was almost certainly the first time someone had ever used a curse word during a speech to the Values Voter Summit.

.. Erick Erickson, a frequent Trump critic, tweeted, “Sad to see this said at a Christian conference. Where is the grace? Where is the mercy? Where is the Christ?”

.. Many Christian voters embraced Trump not despite his provocative style but because of it, betting on a brash street brawler to win the culture battles they had been losing for generations.

.. And their faith has been rewarded: From abortion policy to religious liberty to judicial appointments, Trump has delivered for social conservatives more than any other constituency, making them the unlikely cornerstone of his coalition.

.. With political victory, however, has come the loss of moral high ground

.. If he wins the Senate seat, a spiritual renaissance in America is unlikely to result. But something else will: a deepening alliance between economic nationalists and social conservatives, two distinct tribes that are growing codependent in the era of Trump. As Perkins now sees it, Republicans will win elections only by merging these factions—hence his inviting Bannon and Gorka to speak.

The Antidote to Steve Bannon

One irony of Washington these days is that a press corps that claims to loathe right-wing political operative Steve Bannon can’t get enough of him. The media broadcast his every utterance, cheering on his declaration of “civil war” against Republicans in Congress.

.. “It’s a symptom of a greater problem. If we don’t cut taxes and we don’t eventually repeal and replace ObamaCare, then we’re going to lose across the board in the House in 2018. And all of my colleagues running in primaries in 2018 will probably get beat. It will be the end of [Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell as we know it.”

..  “Mitch McConnell is not our problem. Our problem is that we promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and we failed. We promised to cut taxes, and we’ve yet to do it. If we’re successful, Mitch McConnell is fine. If we’re not, we’re all in trouble, we lose our majority, and I think President Trump will not get re-elected.”

.. Mr. Bannon is recruiting carpetbaggers or multiple-race losers, but they’ll have a chance if Republicans can’t deliver on their campaign promises. Mr. Bannon’s best enablers are the GOP Senators who killed health reform: Susan Collins, John McCain, Rand Paul and Lisa Murkowski. If they want to make Mr. Bannon a kingmaker, they’ll do the same on tax reform.