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.