One moment says a lot, I think, about the state of the Republican party and of the American Right. President Trump was rallying for Rick Saccone. When Saccone got to the microphone, he hollered, “Do we love our president here in western Pennsylvania? Yeah, well, we do, we do. Let ’em hear it, let ’em hear it through those cameras [pointing to the media in the back]! They probably turned the volume down!”
In politics, there is always a certain amount of boobery, a certain amount of demagoguery. It goes with the territory, and it can even be charming — part of the pageant. And populists run against the media the way they used to run against banks (and still do, some of them). But if conservatism gets equated with populism, and populism goes boobish, 24/7, that is bad news for conservatism, and all of us who wish for its success.