Bruce Bartlett harsh critique of the Republican Party
Bruce Bartlett, a senior policy analyst for George HW Bush was a guest on All-In with Chris Hayes. It is unlikely that any harsher critique could have been made against the Republican Party than what he articulated in a politically incorrect manner.
Chris Hayes in his attempt to understand the Republican message pointed out that conservative columnist George Will wrote an op-ed in which he pretty much wanted Donald Trump out of the Republican Party primary. George Will said the following in his piece.
A political party has a right to (in language Trump likes) secure its borders. Indeed, a party has a duty to exclude interlopers, including cynical opportunists deranged by egotism. This is why closed primaries, although not obligatory, are defensible: Let party members make the choices that define the party and dispense its most precious possession, a presidential nomination. So, the Republican National Committee should immediately stipulate that subsequent Republican debates will be open to any and all — but only — candidates who pledge to support the party’s nominee.
So, conservatives today should deal with Trump with the firmness Buckley dealt with the John Birch Society in 1962. The society was an extension of a loony businessman who said Dwight Eisenhower was “a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.” In a 5,000-word National Review “excoriation” (Buckley’s word), he excommunicated the society from the conservative movement.
Bruce Bartlett a few weeks ago wrote an op-ed in which he said the following.
The Trump phenomenon perfectly represents the culmination of populism and anti-intellectualism that became dominant in the Republican Party with the rise of the Tea Party. I think many Republican leaders have had deep misgivings about the Tea Party since the beginning, but the short-term benefits were too great to resist. A Trump rout is Republican moderates’ best chance to take back the GOP.
Chris Hayes asked him to expand on his ‘Trump infatuation’.
“Oh, I love Donald Trump,” Bruce Bartlett said. “Because he exposes everything about the Republican Party that I have frankly come to hate. It is just filled with people who are crazy, and stupid, and have absolutely no idea of what they are taking about. And the candidate no matter how intelligent they may be just constantly have to keep pandering to this lowest common denominator in American politics.”
The harshness of the comments shocked Chris Hayes. He said it seemed like an elitist generalization. One can be sure there was a journalistic wink wink in Chris Hayes’ push back.
But Bartlett continued. “I think it is pretty obvious to anyone who follows politics,”Bartlett said. “The problem is to use a term that I don’t like, it’s not politically correct to point out the obvious. And again I think Trump is pointing this out. Among other things, to follow up with your comment, one of the things that we are seeing very clearly this time more than any other year is that issues don’t matter. Policies don’t matter. The only thing that matters is attitude. And Trump has exactly the right ‘chip on your shoulder’ attitude that many many people find extraordinarily attractive that is completely divorced from whatever he is saying about the issues which is precious little.”
Bartlett was politically incorrect but said a truth that many see but won’t say. He has been a staunch and frequent critic of what the Republican Party has become. Maybe he is right and Trump will cause the purge that will bring back sanity to the Republican Party.