A Party Held Together By Duct Tape

Daniel McCarthy expects the GOP coalition to come unglued:

Earlier this week the New Yorker’s John Cassidy asked, "Where are the real conservative intellectuals?" The short answer is that "conservative" once signified an intellectual tendency with partisan overtones, now it signifies a partisan tendency that would prefer not to have intellectual overtones — there are no votes in that….

The wings of the GOP coalition over the last half-century have not primarily been separated by "issues" social or economic; they were separated by class markers and style. The ideological differences were secondary to those. But now there’s a politically and economically successful, if brain dead, fusion of the classes. The rich sound like the poor, and the poor angrily demand policies that favor the rich. The only problem for the GOP is that external conditions — the real-world economy and the distaste younger people have for the Baby Boomers’ version of the Republican Party (and their version of Christianity) — are eventually going to overpower this mercenary fusionism.

The anti-intellectualism allows for Paul Ryan's little learning and huge gambles to seem temporarily smart. Dreher's take:

[I]t seems to me that conservative intellectuals have become so fossilized as a class because they responded to the two devastating shocks to the Standard Conservative Model by essentially doubling down on ideology. Just say the same old things, but louder and more insistently, and rely on tribalist instincts and hive-mindedness to marginalize dissenters, and that will carry the day. That, and the fact that liberalism hasn’t come up with a dynamic and compelling vision either for the post-Iraq, post-crash world — that is, a post-1980 world in which assumptions generally shared by both parties about American foreign policy and globalized capitalism have proven inadequate to the world as it is.