Live from Tea Party Headquarters: Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Has Proven Liberals Right About the Tea Party: "Conservatives insisted that what spurred protesters... were the timeless principles of conservative movement thought...

...advocacy of balanced budgets, adherence to a strict constructionist version of the Constitution, opposition to “crony capitalism,” and skepticism of Keynesian economics. Liberals suggested... the Tea Party was an expression of ethno-nationalist rage centered around a black president and the belief that his coalition stood for redistribution from older, white America to its younger, more diverse supporters.... One could not have devised a sequence of events more perfectly designed to prove the liberal theory of the case than the election of Donald Trump. Here is a politician whose devotion to ethno-nationalism is total, and whose support for “constitutional conservatism” is nonexistent. He openly flouts republican norms, threatening to jail his political opponents and encouraging violence against protesters....

Trump is justifying his plans to jack up the deficit on Keynesian grounds (“sometimes you have to prime the pump,” he tells Time), and many have noted the GOP’s sudden reversal on an economic theory it rejected in 2009. But to call this a mere reversal understates the case substantially.... To support Keynesian stimulus in 2016, with unemployment at 4.6 percent.... And yet Republicans who rejected stimulus when it was unquestionably necessary have followed Trump’s call to employ it in far murkier circumstances.

Perhaps Trump’s most comic violation of so-called conservative principle is his blatant favoritism toward individual business firms.... Limbaugh explained to his listeners why Boeing’s political loyalties are suspect and thus why president-elect Trump is clever to punish it. If somebody involved in the tea-party debate of 2009–2010 had predicted the events of 2016, conservatives would have refused to believe it. Hell, even most liberals would have refused to believe it. It’s one thing to suspect tea-party rhetoric was phony, quite another to believe the entire GOP could disregard every single putative principle of the movement even before it had its hands on power. Why is anybody pretending these notions ever really mattered?

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