Monday, July 23, 2018

Republicans Who Voice Concerns About Trumpanzee, Still Vote For All His Crap


Ummmm by Nancy Ohanian

If you're from Wisconsin you probably know Charlie Sykes as the voice of conservative Republicans between 1993 and the rise of Trumpism. He left Milwaukee's WTMJ is 2016. More recently he wrote the book How The Right Lost Its Mind. On Sunday The Guardian published his latest anti-Trump screed, explaining how Trump has kidnapped the GOP and that conservatives have to stand up to him. Fat chance!

Last week, anguished die-hard conservative Jeff Flake tweeted "I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful." Fake is always anguished and always running his mouth-- but unlike Sykes-- he's in a position to do something about it. He votes. Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for exactly one reason and one reason only: Kavanaugh doesn't believe a president can be indicted or even questioned for his criminal behavior. That should be reason enough for Flake to vote NO on Kavanaugh's nomination. If Schumer can hold all that Democrats together, that one vote by Flake will derail Kavanaugh. No one thinks he has the cajónes to do it.

Sykes wrote that Trump now controls the GOP and that "American conservatism has entered a pseudo-Orwellian stage where weakness is strength, appeasement is toughness, lies are truth, and 'America first' means 'blame America first'... Republicans have adjusted their principles to conform with Trumpism, which often means with Trump’s latest glandular impulse."
Many Republicans have rationalized their support for Trump by pointing to tax cuts, rollbacks in regulation and Trump’s appointments of conservative judges. But last week reminded us how many of their values they have been willing to surrender. Moral relativism and its cousin, moral equivalency, are not bugs of the Trump presidency; they are central to its diplomatic philosophy. Unfortunately, polls suggest that many conservatives are OK with that, despite the betrayal of what were once deeply held beliefs.

For years, Republicans derided what they saw as Obama’s fecklessness on the world stage, including what they called his “apology tour.” Trump, we were told, would change all of that by projecting strength and standing up for American values. Instead, we got last week’s parade of sycophancy and abasement.

This ought to have been a clarifying moment. Trump was supposed to be the Man on the White Horse who promised that he alone could solve all of our problems. Instead, he looked like Putin’s caddy.

The problem is that many conservatives have confused the swagger of the schoolyard bully with actual strength; we saw how Trump behaves when he’s confronted by an even bigger bully. He groveled, and then hedged, then tried to walk it all back with the absurdly laughable claim that he confused the word “would” for “wouldn’t.” Depressingly, that was good enough for some Republicans, including the Ohio senator Rob Portman, who said he was willing to take Trump at his word.

But we’ve seen this movie before, as Republicans react to Trump’s outrages by wringing their hands, only to fall back into line.

Understandably, this feeds the impression that we should regard Trumpism as a logical and organic outgrowth of conservatism rather than an existential threat to that tradition. That is, of course, the view from the (Sean) Hannitized right, which insists that opposition to Trump among so-called Never Trumpers is a form of apostasy.

...Obviously, Trump has deftly exploited many of the grievances and attitudes that have festered for decades on the right. But that’s not the whole story. Trump has more in common with populist demagogues like the “Know Nothings,” Father Charles Coughlin, George Wallace and Pat Buchanan than with conservatives like George Will or Ronald Reagan. Until the last election, conservatives had the good taste, sound judgment and wisdom to reject and even marginalize those uglier voices on the right. In that sense, Trump is the exception, rather than the rule.

Perhaps the best way to think about Trump’s nativism and isolationism is to see them as recessive genes in conservatism that had been kept in check for generations. That also suggests another tradition exists, even if it is now in eclipse.

While it’s easy (and tempting) to define a political movement by its worst aspects, it bears noting that modern conservatism also gave rise to Charles Krauthammer, Ross Douthat, Peter Wehner, Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake. In other words, it didn’t have to be this way, and it doesn’t have to continue in the future.

The real danger, however, in seeing Trump as the logical, organic product of conservatism is that it normalizes him. Discounting the peculiarity of his rise ignores the uniqueness of the danger he poses and the urgent need to confront the damage he is doing to the body politic and our political culture. If he is merely another Republican, there no cause for more than the usual alarm.

But last week reminded us that there is nothing normal about Donald Trump or the existential threat he represents. It is long past time for conservatives and Republicans to recognize that.
They do recognize it. One very recent example: last week Republican Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) wrote a pretty good OpEd for the New York Times calling out Trump for publicly felching Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. "By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands," wrote Hurd, a former CIA agent, "the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad... Congress must act to give the men and women of our intelligence agencies the tools they need to confront Moscow and prevent this from happening in the future." And yet-- like Flake-- Hurd specifically votes with Trump to do the exact opposite. Last week, for example, he voted against spending more money to counter Russian hacking of the 2018 midterm elections. That's what a Republican is today, not some airy-fairy vision Charlie Sykes images they are. (By the way, every House Republican voted against protecting the integrity of American elections and preventing Russia from hacking them again-- yes, EVERY.SINGLE.DAMN.ONE.OF.THEM.

There are 235 Republicans in the House. There are approximately 2,300 immigrant children separated from their parents. That’s 10 per Republican Congressman. Will Hurd continues to divide 10 families. Will Hurd continues to commit atrocities in our name. Voters in South Texas can let Will Hurd off the hook-- by firing his ass.

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At 6:36 PM, Blogger HeyZeus said...

Ok, a whole big whopping slab of pedantry coming right up:
cajones = drawers
cojones = balls
Just saying.

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've been watching Republicans play this stupid game for decades now. Yet some remain surprised that it goes on.

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason they talk different than they do is because voters are stupid, gullible and believe what they hear more than what is done (to them).

Without this peculiar human flaw, the democraps would not be a viable political party.

The nazis' voters would remain loyal, moreso even, if their pols openly advocated their hate and corruption.
However, if the democraps words matched their actions (and inactions), NOBODY would vote for them.


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