The King Over the Water

Mike Coté

Mike Coté is a writer and podcaster focusing on history, Great Power rivalry, and geopolitics. He has a Master’s degree in European history, writing his thesis on the Anglo-German economic and strategic rivalry before World War I. He blogs at his own site, hosts the Rational Policy podcast, and can be found on Twitter @ratlpolicy.

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12 Responses

  1. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    The GOP has made its choice. It’s candidates are either outright election deniers and those who give open aid and comfort to Trump, or those too scared to stand against the other faction. MAGA won. And in many places they will be rewarded for it – here in Mississippi a mere 11% if the states voters participated in the primary and if we crack 20% in the general I’ll be surprised.

    That aside – we’re the GOP to suddenly turn the corner, what “conservative policies” would you expect them to advocate for that cement their power? 40 years of tax cuts have yet to produce any positive trickle down. They got Roe voided but choose to do little to nothing to actually support mothers and babies. They seek to fund school choice with taxpayer money but do little to improve failing schools in red states. The GOP refuses to conserve natural resources and actively seeks to litigate conservation laws into oblivion. So what great conservative policies do you expect them to table for our consideration?Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Colorado is weird. The Republican candidate for the US Senate seat says the election wasn’t stolen and advocates making Roe the law of the land. The Republican candidate for the Secretary of State says the election wasn’t stolen and continues to be an advocate for Colorado’s “gold standard” vote by mail system. (In her previous job as county recorder in one of Denver’s western suburban counties, she consulted for other states looking to implement vote by mail on how to get the nuts and bolts right.) Neither one is likely to come within 10 points of winning.

      On the other hand, there’s Lauren Boebert….Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      What the Trumpists (DeSantis, Abbott, Youngkin, et al) understand, that “reasonable Republicans” do not, is that conservative policies are deeply unpopular.

      White male grievance and LGBTQ hatred however is popular, or at least, popular enough to motivate people to the polls.Report

  2. John Puccio
    Ignored
    says:

    A year ago I read a similar essay in the Atlantic connecting Trump and James (and Trumpers and the Jacobites) asserting the lost cause motif. This OT article is actually superior in laying out the reasoning, but I still think the connection is a stretch.

    As indicated, being a Jacobite meant different things to different people in different places. For those in the American Colonies and later in Ireland (at least most of it), the cause was eventually won. And as a political movement in Scotland and England, over the subsequent decades they won key concessions from the crown.

    As for comparing Trump and James as individuals in “exile”, no one – not even the Orange Man himself – claim Trump is still President. Jan 6th isn’t remotely comparable to the Battle of the Boyne or any of the Scottish uprisings. And I don’t think you’ll find many people toasting The Donald long after he is dead.

    That all said, I do completely agree, the Republicans are faced with enormous choice as to who will be their next nominee for President. If they are sane, they run with DeSantis and never look back.Report

    • Pinky in reply to John Puccio
      Ignored
      says:

      No one claims Trump is still president? I don’t agree. His most ardent followers at a minimum believe something nearly equivalent.

      As for the GOP’s decision, I’m not sure what that means right now. There aren’t a lot of options before Tuesday, and after that it’s anybody’s guess what will happen. I think Trump could make a really responsible or irresponsible decision even in the next few weeks, but the party’s decision comes later.Report

  3. PD Shaw
    Ignored
    says:

    Good piece, but I think it overlooks the broad political reconciliation that took place, at least in England, after the ascension of William and Mary. Parliament voted to require the most minimal oath of allegiance to the new monarchs by MPs, office-holders and the clergy. Specifically, they needed only swear that William & Mary are in fact king and queen of England to whom they will give allegiance. This de facto oath did not require recognition that they had lawfully become King & Queen (de jure oath).

    The importance was that Tories had emerged as a faction supporting the prerogative powers of the monarch and the inheritance of the monarchy by birth. While they opposed the policies of James with respect to the Church of England and of France, they had no principled basis for what had happened. A Tory might point out that James left the country (implicating personal abdication), or that William rules as King now, but they were never going to accept the legal philosophy of radical Whigs that a monarch has contractual obligations to his subjects which authorize removal for breach. The political differences were set aside, arguments about the past ignored, and the Jacobite cause was marginalized. The issues were too serious to politicize at least until the situation stabilized.Report

  4. Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    Love the history! As others have argued, I think there are more deviances than similitudes comparing the rise and seeming fall of Trumpism with this moment in American politics.

    As someone who rejects both the MAGA and “Establishment” strains of Republican politics, I long for a viable, mature GOP. One with ideas of its own, of whatever degree of merit, but ideas that can be discussed with sobriety. One which has enough strength to be a viable opposition party to the Democrats and enough wisdom to know when it’s time to put down the swords for fighting, and take up pen and paper to compromise. One which shares the norms of the whole country in broad strokes, is repulsed by corruption wherever it may manifest, and doesn’t think it loses viability by actually participating in government.

    None of that precludes it from being conservative nor requires it to buy into Democrats’ proposals, only to eventually come to some sort of politically-negotiated compromise to tough issues. We need two viable parties with at least pretenses to integrity to keep one another honest. Doesn’t feel like we’ve had that for a while now.

    What we have now is perhaps closer to the Jabobins than the Jacobites — people who have emerged out of a closed-system positive feedback loop of radicalization to the point that they aren’t compatible with the real world, and somehow have wound up at the helm rather than working the oars of their party.

    Finally, while I agree that the Republicans’ path forward right now looks like Ron DeSantis, two years is a long time and someone else could wind up prevailing in that party’s food fight.Report

  5. CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    My wife and I once rented a house from a Scottish couple in the Catskills. Instead of a key, the door had a combination lock. I forgot the combination but we knew the digits were, in some order, 1-4-6-7. I knew no Scot would use 1746, so I tried 1764, which worked.Report

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