America's Establishment Fractures

Right-wing activists on social media torpedoed the election of John Boehner's deputy, opening up the House speakership to a candidate further to the right.

The mainstream take is that this is chaotic (NYTimes: Kevin McCarthy Withdraws From Speaker’s Race, Putting House in Chaos), but the deeper issues is the chaos is destroying the establishment starting with the loyal opposition. For example, McCarthy would have likely brought the Senate's amnesty for illegal aliens to a vote, allowing Democrats to join with moderate Republicans and pass the bill. He would have worked to avoid a debt ceiling conflict in another month or so. Now there may be a repeat of 2011 or worse.

The fact that social media and Twitter are destroying the GOP establishment is lost on the media. The GOP provides the appearance of opposition to the establishment's goals, but for the most part, establishment Republicans and Democrats are on the same page about where to take the country. The only disagreement is over the speed. Now the GOP has lost its ability to control its part of The Narrative, with candidates such as Trump and Carson running into opposition from even Fox News.

The Wild West of the Internet is replacing old media as the main tool for grassroots conservative activism and this is highly disruptive to the political order. The establishment is fragile, being taken down by a handful of keyboard jockies on Twitter. This is all happening with the stock market near a peak, not a bottom. Social mood is relatively positive. The real battles begin when social mood turns negative once more.

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