David Cole writes:
What changed between 2011 and now?
There’s never just one single factor behind something like this. But a particular factor, hugely important to the base, is that in 2011 Andrew Breitbart was still alive. (…)
Trump’s shtick is catching on this time because he’s filling the void Breitbart left. There is a need on the right that didn’t exist in 2011. But there’s also a huge problem: Breitbart never ran for office, and for good reason. He was a man capable of greatness, and he was a man who accomplished great things.
But he could also be petty, intemperate, cliquish, vindictive, foulmouthed, a drinker, and a brawler (not just figuratively, but physically, as I saw with my own eyes). Breitbart could get away with it because he was an activist, not a candidate.