Alex Jones’s badgering of Karl Rove is the perfect metaphor for the GOP convention.

Republicans are converging on Cleveland, and this is creating all sorts of moments of awkwardness in the divided party, perhaps none more so then when Jones, the conspiracy theorist, ran into Rove, the George W. Bush mastermind, at a Dallas airport.  The two men were on the same flight to Cleveland, and Jones took the opportunity to press for an on-air interview. Rove resisted. “I’m having a conversation with friends,” the flustered political operative said, “Would you mind wandering off?” But Jones kept hovering around Rove while accusing him of “siphoning off” money from the Republican Party and being in cahoots with the Clintons. Eventually Rove asked security to remove Jones, which they declined to do. 

The tussle between Jones and Rove is a microcosm of the divisions within the GOP. Jones is a big Trump backer, and has frequently had both the Republican nominee and his éminence grise Roger Stone on his show. Rove is the emblem of the old order that Trump, Stone, and Jones have overthrown. For Democrats who are used to Rove unleashing demagogic attacks on their candidates, notably the character assassination of John Kerry in 2004, it was pure schadenfreude to see Bush’s brain get his comeuppance from the very conspiratorial forces the GOP has unleashed. 

The ultimate irony is that in the new GOP, Trump, Stone, and Jones are the new establishment. So Jones’s cocky jabs at Trump came from a place of confidence. Hence Stone’s victory tweet: