Premature anti Republicanism
This is an open thread inviting discussion of the very serious people who discuss how opinions differ on shape of planet, but no longer claim both sides have a point. I am old enough to remember when only shrill dirty fucking hippies argued that the GOP had gone crazy. After the Trump nomination, that fringe argument is made by centrist and many conservatives. However, the villagers who were wrong (again) remain prominent and expect to be taken seriously. I am not the first (or one of the first thousand) to note the similarity with semi repentant Stalinists who argued that they were wrong for the right reasons while anti Stalinists were right for the wrong reasons.
William Salaten is a very leading example. The always excellent Josh Marshall sent me to this William Salaten post whose central conceit is that the GOP is like a failed state and Trump is like a warlord. It is an interesting analogy. The post is generally excellent and well worth reading.
However, I felt the need to pound my head against the wall (and post here) when I read
“When did the collapse begin? Maybe it was in late 2008 and early 2009, when congressional Republicans decided to block anything Obama proposed. Maybe it was in 2010 …”
Here Salaten insists that way back in 2007, he was right and the DFHs were wrong, because the GOP was a serious party. He doesn’t even consider the possibility that the collapse began before 2008 when he was dismissing the argument that the GOP was collapsing.
So it is obvious that the GOP didn’t begin to collapse in 2003 when a Republican President ordered the invasion of Iraq, or in August 2002 when the CIA began to torture prisoners or in 2001 when George Bush signed the Patriot Act while also ordering the NSA to violate it, or in 2000 when Republicans denounced Gore’s efforts to steal the election in which he won the popular vote, or in 1998 when the House impeached Bill Clinton over a blow job, or in 1996 when Fox News was launched, or in 1995 when the GOP caused a government shut down to support their demand for Medicare cuts, or 1985 when, as Reagan said “mistakes were made” or in 1980 when the GOP embraced voodoo economics, or 1972 (watergate), or 1968 (Southern Strategy), or 1964 (Goldwater nomination) or 1946 (McCarthy elected).
The GOP has been collapsing for a long long time. Sober moderate Ballanced centrists are proud of the fact that they didn’t notice until Trump was nominated.
Fits right in with my thoughts about Trump bringing “new voters” into the election process.
Where have you been?
What are you smoking?
All he has done is make it politically correct to take away the GOP smokescreen that has been formed since 1968 as described by Lee Atwater:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
That’s who they are. The only “new” GOP voters he has attracted come from the far, far right who have previously written in people like David Duke.
Otherwise it is simply the Birchers that have been voting GOP forever and renamed itself the Tea Party after a black man became POTUS.
” I am not the first (or one of the first thousand) to note the similarity with semi repentant Stalinists who argued that they were wrong for the right reasons while anti Stalinists were right for the wrong reasons.”
There was a succinct term for those folk who were right for the wrong reasons: ‘Premature Anti-Fascists’. Who oddly were at the same time late to the Anti-Fascist game. For Stalinists it was right to be anti-fascist before Hitler and Stalin agreed to split Poland with the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty. The rise of Hitler to power was a partial product of violent street fighting between Communists and his Brown Shirts. And it was certainly right to be anti-fascist after Hitler stabbed Stalin in the back and invaded Russia in 1941. But in between the CPUSA (Communist Party USA) was under strict orders to try to keep the US out of the war against Hitler. Only to have to pivot in ’41 in a way that would make even Trump’s head spin.
The landscape is not exclusively Republican territory. There are two poles, but they are not at extreme ends of a continuum. The Democrats have been drifting along the same axis in tandem with the reactionary right side. That’s what we might like to think of as the dark side, but its not in contradiction to some lighter side. The Republican Party has simply been usurped by what had been the leadership of the Democratic Party which is now the moderate wing of the old Republican Party. There is no left left regardless of what we think was the Bernie”s Burn, which ignited quickly and seems to have extinguished instantaneously.
*** The always excellent Josh Marshall sent me to this William Salaten post whose central conceit is that the GOP is like a failed state and Trump is like a warlord. ***
Once upon a time Marshall’s site had worked it’s way to the top of my list of favorite political bookmarks. It’s been quite a while since I deleted him entirely, so I can’t recall whether it was his stout defense of Israel’s murder sprees in Gaza or his support of torture which was the final breaking point.
No, I don’t believe Marshall is “always excellent”. “Neocon ***” would be a better description, IMO.
*** The GOP has been collapsing for a long long time.***
This is surely true. But it’s also a fact that the Democrats have been doing exactly the same thing. The national party is nothing more these days than GOP-Lite.
I wouldn’t write off the GOP so quickly. They continue to control the majority of state legislatures and governorships as well as the U.S. House of Representatives (those facts are, of course, related). The national party may well have to “moderate” following this year’s election (may it be so!) but is hardly likely to go away. Think of its resurgence following WWII and the New Deal’s efforts to combat the Depression.
Jack D, sorry, but the GOP is not in the same shape as the Democrats up to 1930. That was a party is really really sorry shape. Ditto the Republicans in the 1960’s.
I think modern politics is totally shattered. There is no great movement, no great cause. Just a bunch of rambling voices with no cohesion. David Duke far right? Duke a plutocratic shill for the Rothschilds bank. Hardly non-mainstream. He claims to support white people, but only certain kinds. One, the mega rich. The other, the poorest of the white. He doesn’t represent garbage. Maybe he should fly to France for another secret abortion with his “colored” mistresses.
The GOP is the party of Capital and always has been. The mistake “conspiracy theorist” make is thinking all capital has one monolithic ruler. In some respects that is correct(aka “Capital”), but how that rule is built and managed is very very “diverse”.
When Nigel Farage was saying the UK rejected “multi-nationals” during the Brexit craze, he wasn’t talking about multi-nationals, he was talking about the US/Morgan control of the financial and economic systems. Most businesses go with the US/Morgan “system” pure and simple. Much like the old British Empire, it is the big game in town. Farage being “anti-american” rather than anti-globalist is the key to understanding this little game. He has his own global cohorts that want the same “systematic” control the US/Morgans have now. Even many Trump voters I talked to understood this and weren’t necessarily happy Donald trotting him out. If further explains, Donald is not on “our” side and wants to see us destroyed. That is why he slipped in the polls guys. The race shit is pure show.
yes, Lee Atwater started the “new” Republican Party. Trump is just the “Frankenstein” who dares say those “words” Lee Atwater said were unspeakable. And Trump has proved Atwater right. The Democrats are nothing but mere Quislings out to share in the looting of the American Worker/Dream. and the D’s are Vichy Republicans in all but name.
of course the DFH’s were right. that’s why there is no left of center in American politics anymore. The money party/R and D/ rules all.
too late for saving the D or R Money party. just two (appearing different) sides of the same immoral unethical greedy robber barons’ party.
a Frankenstein on the Republican side with a Ms. Goldman Sachs Stepford Wife robot selling out for more money/power/control. Choices!! oh yes don’t we have some wonderful choices in the R and D Money party.
GOP profiling, is all the dems got?
I am opposed to the crimes and war mongering Clinton (with the DNC) represents.
You can call me a fascist, a racist, suggest I have PTSD (too close to the nukes) but you have no argument to make me vote for the criminal neocon.
Yesterday I sat in a room full of democrats at a fund raiser for a local election which they will never win. The reason is all they were selling is how insane the opposition GOP is!
Does not work on the local and state level where the propaganda is less effective.
When I pick up my absentee ballot my decision is binary, the coin flip is Trump or Stein, I rely on the .25 cent decision support machine.
Sort of like Nixon. Good thing I had no liquids in my mouth when I read your ‘Bircher’ comment.
On foreign adventuring, indiscriminate drone assassinations , regime change and loving NATO as a tool for more regime changing drone striking Clinton remains the Bircher Goldwater gal!
If anyone has a problem with problem with Colin Kaepernick sitting out the National Anthem blame Obama-Clinton, Kaep has every right to say the flag represents a warmongering free fire zone world shame.
islm: “When I pick up my absentee ballot my decision is binary, the coin flip is Trump or Stein, I rely on the .25 cent decision support machine.”
I applaud your decision to flip a coin because if you can’t make a reasoned choice between Trump and Stein I don’t think you are capable of dressing yourself in the morning, let alone intelligently filling out a ballot on your own.
What BillB said.
For ~40 years, the Republican party has been a marriage between the big business wing and the deep south wing. The early years were happy one, marching together under the “less government” banner to control of many statehouses, much of congress and often the presidency. But of late, that Southern Belle has come to the realization that for all the happy words of encouragement and sympathy from her business suited husband he hasn’t really given her what she desires. Again and again she has seen promises and no action. Until now, she is burning down the house.
The essence of political power is the manipulation of people’s emotional energies.
(This is why sports and team rivalries, for instance, are always of concern to politicians of all levels. You wondered why? Now you know.)
The emotive buttons available for pushing in your standard human include fear, anger, faith and hope, charity and vengeance, greed, pride, exhaustion, curiosity and intelligence, comprehension, and more. Depending on which buttons are chosen by political operatives (some will ALWAYS be chosen, no way around it,) your society ends up with a different emotional menu — from sober nutrition, to fast food, to a wild buffet of moonshine and cocaine.
Faith, hope, charity, curiosity, patience, intellectual integrity, respect and humility are like the vegetables and meat of a society. They build and sustain, they are the reason societies endure and grow. But they are long term nutrition, requiring foresight and planning.
Fear, hate, pride, panic, wrath and greed are a political quick hit. They get reliable, fast results, but they weaken and destroy societies. They covet the wealth of functioning societies, but their strategies degrade those societies.
Depicting the post-1940 GOP as political drug dealers may seem a bit extreme, until you look at the effects of their policies. If they are crazy, it’s mostly because they keep pushing beyond the limits their target society can sustain.
Thank you for that.
Noni you have hit the nail so squarely but it does not explain why so many have only the intellectual depth of emotionality. I really believe that the election will be won on peoples emotions and not on the facts because for so many emotions is what controls them and is what they live by, not facts. The mews media plays into this all the time and is a big part of the no growth society that we have become. More of the same will not fix this nor will hate and vengeance. Our true leader that supports the values you mention has not arrived yet but we must continue to push for his return or arrival for our survival….
Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Sound familiar?
I am aware that the majority of the House claim to have believed that Clinton committed perjury (although a majority of Senators disagreed). However, those representatives who were lawyers must have known that this pretence was a lie.
“Furthermore, not all lying under oath is perjury. The lie must be material – that is, important or relevant to the case. ”
A lie about a consensual affair (sought by Lewinsky) has nothing to do with a law suit about alleged sexual harassment (which law suit was dismissed without going to a jury because Jones’s claims of fact even if all true, do not amount to a case that she was harassed).
Also Clinton didn’t lie (he’s very slick & Jones’s lawyers were very sloppy).
The Republicans impeached him, because they wanted to. They have the constitutional authority to do that, but it was nuts.
I saw an excellent comment on a Crooked Timber thread (not sure who from) that suggested that the shallowness of thinking these days is a consequence of constant bombardment with infantilizing advertising. I can’t help but thinking, that he might be right.