I basically don’t buy this analysis but it is an interesting and let’s say cute article that is worth reading for the Washington DC insider take.
But John Hart misses a very important and fundamental component of the current tumult in the GOP, namely Ron Paul. It was Paul’s critique of the GOP as a party which is in no way actually for “small government” which got this ball rolling. The first “TEA parties” were in support of the Congressman and his 2008 presidential run. The Revolution started with Dr. Paul.
In 2010 I argued that Ron Paul actually sparked a political REFORMATION. I still believe that.
Hart also neglects to mention that the “establishment” GOP sought systematically to marginalize Rand Paul in whom the Washington GOP saw a threat. The son was more savvy and more acceptable to the party loyalists than the old man. Potentially Rand offered a dangerous (to the DC GOP guys) combination of libertarianism and mainstream acceptability. They sought to take Rand out and eventually they did.
Cruz is not Robespierre. (When did Cruz ever really wield much power in relative terms? He certainly was never chopping political heads.) Trump does have some Napoleonic tendencies, that is fair to say. However, the revolution in the GOP, if indeed it is a revolution and not merely a revolt, is its own thing with its own narrative line. There may or may not be “guillotines.” There may or may not be a new order. But any proper analysis of the current situation must take the role of Ron Paul into account.
And it is still relatively early days.
In the famous cartoon depicting the futility and tragedy of the French Revolution, the ringleader of the “Reign of Terror,” Maximilien Robespierre, is shown putting the executioner in the guillotine because there is no one left to behead. The inscription on a monument behind him reads “Herein lies all of France.” For Republicans in 2016, the inscription may as well read “Herein lies our party,” because there is almost no one left to purge.
The most diverse and accomplished field of Republicans candidates in a generation is down to three. Marco Rubio, the charismatic Tea Party senator from Florida, was cast aside for being insufficiently pure. Now, Donald Trump, a demagogic authoritarian strongman posing as a Republican, is on the verge of taking over our party. And the hard truth is that in spite of the complex causes of Trumpism—globalization, wage stagnation, the collective failure of both parties to solve problems, etc.—we, as conservatives, are partly to blame.