Trumpism, not conventional conservatism, grips Republicans within the aftermath of defeat.

For many years, the identical ritual happened after Republican electoral defeats.

Average, establishment-aligned occasion officers would argue that candidates had veered too far proper on points like immigration and would counsel a return to the political middle. And conservatives would contend that Republicans had deserted the true religion and should return to first rules to tell apart themselves from Democrats and declare victory.

Within the aftermath of 2020, that debate is scarcely happening. Republicans have entered a kind of post-policy second through which essentially the most animating forces within the occasion are feelings, not points.

Final weekend, on the Conservative Political Motion Convention, there was vanishingly little dialogue of why Republicans misplaced the presidency, the Home and the Senate over the past 4 years, nor a lot debate about what agenda they need to pursue to rebuild the occasion.

The absence of soul-searching owes partly to the denialism of many activists that they misplaced the White Home in any respect, a false declare perpetuated with trollish gusto by former President Donald J. Trump himself on Sunday.

Past the previous president, no two Republicans in attendance drew a extra fervent response than Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

Neither sketched out a brand new coverage agenda or offered a recent imaginative and prescient for a celebration that has received the nationwide fashionable vote simply as soon as in over 30 years. Reasonably, they drew repeated ovations for what they share in frequent: a shared sense of victimhood over media criticism for his or her dealing with of the coronavirus disaster and a pugnacious contempt for public well being consultants who’ve urged extra aggressive restrictions of their states.

“I don’t know if you happen to agree with me, however Dr. Fauci is fallacious quite a bit,” Ms. Noem mentioned in her remarks, referring to the nation’s prime infectious illness skilled. The assertion introduced attendees to their ft, at the same time as she glossed over her state’s excessive mortality fee in the course of the pandemic.

Interviews with convention attendees prompt that lots of them have been drawn to the 2 governors primarily for his or her model.

Sany Sprint, who was promoting merchandise at a CPAC sales space, defined that she preferred Ms. Noem “as a result of she fights again,” including: “I really feel like she’s a feminine Trump, besides not crass or impolite.”

“He’s bought simply the correct amount of Trumpiness to him,” Brad Franklin, a latest school graduate, mentioned of Mr. DeSantis.

Elaina Plott contributed reporting.

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