You Can Get a Man with a Gun

On Friday, Tucker did a hefty monologue on the bizarre influence over the GOP leadership of corporate lobbyist Frank Luntz and his bollocks “focus groups” of fourteen eternally undecided voters in the back room of a strip mall in Jersey. He was trying to find a simple answer to the perennial question: Why does the Republican base never get what it votes for?

As Tucker says below, he didn’t know the half of it: last night he revealed that Luntz and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy are …roommates:

As Tucker points out, the official explanation for this curious domestic arrangement is that a year ago, when the Covid got going, Mr McCarthy thought it prudent to move in with Mr Luntz – on pandemic-conscious public health grounds.

Like everyone else in our cowed and whipped western world, I bow before the awesome powers of the WuFlu, but I’m not sure even hardcore chaos theorists ever expected to see Chairman Xi unleash a virus that leads to the GOP’s House Minority Leader moving in with a Google lobbyist.

For some reason, I’m reminded of a UK Tory backbencher from back in the Nineties. John Major’s ministry had just launched its “family values” campaign, “Back to Basics”, when it emerged that David Ashby, a Leicestershire MP, had spent the New Year with another man in a French hotel room. The room had only one bed. Mr Ashby’s explanation was that it was cheaper than getting two rooms, and that he and his friend had slept “back to back”. This prompted a sustained round of mocking headlines – “Back to Back to Basics” – over photographs of the bed in question, Brit tabloid hacks (unlike their tedious Yank counterparts) at least recognizing comedy gold when it drops in their laps.

Now we have Bunk to Bunk to Basics – the basics being pre-Trump nothing-of-consequence Republicanism.

Six years ago I noted that Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor were all co-authors of a 2010 book called Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders. The young guns got old fast:

Paul Ryan for Speaker? I like this bit at the end of Pat Buchanan’s latest column:

‘After the GOP capture of the House in 2010, Ryan, with new Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, wrote a book about what they were going to do, titled, “Young Guns.”

‘”Young Guns” Cantor and McCarthy are now lying toes up in the OK Corral, and if Paul Ryan becomes speaker, he will end up the same way.’

The guns were young but they were shooting the same old blanks.

A lot of those blanks are loaded by Frank Luntz. He is very strict, for example, about “Words That Work” – which shows, via those pseudo-scientific “focus groups”, that every time you attack “teachers’ unions” all the public hears is you attacking teachers. So best not to mention the subject at all. That’s why most Republicans never talk about anything that matters, like immigration: “Words That Work” paradoxically leads to no words that work at all. It is characteristic of the ghastly Luntz that, in a bit of brazen appropriation, he has redefined “Orwellian” to mean “speaking with absolute clarity”. Which redefinition is itself totally Orwellian.

Even when it isn’t literally sleeping with the enemy, American conservative leadership has been largely useless, in part because of Luntz’s voodoo claptrap of polling the bromides leftie culture has rendered unassailable and triangulating your way round them. That’s resulted in a conservatism that can’t conserve anything. Luntz and McCarthy sharing marshmallows and Ovaltine on their DC sleepovers is only a particularly kinky exemplar of the general phenomenon.

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