Tuesday, August 25, 2020

What Do Mainstream Republican Careerists Think Of The #CocaineConvention So Far?


Before the #CocaineConvention began yesterday, I passed a TV and noticed that Trump was doing a press gaggle of some kind. Briefly interested in the way you might be attracted to a pile-up on the inter-state shown on TV, I was soon wondering why the TV network didn't just label it "And now an uninterrupted hour of lies from your president." And that was just a precursor of what was coming-- Apocalypse Now, 2020.

CNN, which was thanked by Señor T, for covering his shit-show, noted this morning that it "started off with a parade of dishonesty, in stark contrast with last week's Democratic convention. While CNN also watched and fact-checked the Democrats, those four nights combined didn't have the number of misleading and false claims made on the first night of the Republicans' convention." CNN listed over a dozen of the most blatant and pre-approved lies that, in sum, are the substitute for a party platform.

Speaking of which, at The Atlantic this morning, David Frum ran down the unspoken GOP platform, which the party has decided not to publish. "This omission," he noted, "has led some to conclude that the GOP lacks ideas, that it stands for nothing, that it has shriveled to little more than a Trump cult. This conclusion is wrong. The Republican Party of 2020 has lots of ideas. He listed 13 ideas that "command almost universal assent within the Trump administration, within the Republican caucuses of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, among governors and state legislators, on Fox News, and among rank-and-file Republicans. Once you read the list, I think you’ll agree that these are authentic ideas with meaningful policy consequences, and that they are broadly shared. The question is not why Republicans lack a coherent platform; it’s why they’re so reluctant to publish the one on which they’re running." I'll summarize, using Frum's words:
Adjusting the burden of taxation down on society’s richest citizens.
Coronavirus is a much-overhyped problem. It’s not that dangerous and will soon burn itself out. States should reopen their economies as rapidly as possible, and accept the ensuing casualties as a cost worth paying-- and certainly a better trade-off than saving every last life by shutting down state economies. Masking is useless and theatrical, if not outright counterproductive.
Climate change is a much-overhyped problem. It’s probably not happening. If it is happening, it’s not worth worrying about.
China has become an economic and geopolitical adversary of the United States. Military spending should be invested with an eye to defeating China on the seas, in space, and in the cyber-realm.
The trade and alliance structures built after World War II are outdated. America still needs partners of course, especially Israel and maybe Russia.
Health care is a purchase like any other. Individuals should make their own best deals in the insurance market with minimal government supervision. Those who pay more should get more. Those who cannot pay must either rely on Medicaid, accept charity, or go without.
Voting is a privilege. States should have wide latitude to regulate that privilege in such a way as to minimize voting fraud, which is rife among African Americans and new immigrant communities. The federal role in voting oversight should be limited to preventing Democrats from abusing the U.S. Postal Service to enable fraud by their voters.
Anti-black racism has ceased to be an important problem in American life. At this point, the people most likely to be targets of adverse discrimination are whites, Christians, and Asian university applicants.
The courts should move gradually and carefully toward eliminating the mistake made in 1965 when women’s sexual privacy was elevated into a constitutional right.
The post-Watergate ethics reforms overreached. We should welcome the trend toward unrestricted and secret campaign donations. Overly strict conflict-of-interest rules will only bar wealthy and successful businesspeople from public service.
Trump’s border wall is the right policy to slow illegal immigration; the task of enforcing immigration rules should not fall on business operators.
The country is currently gripped by a surge of crime and lawlessness as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement and its criticism of police.
Civility and respect are cherished ideals. But in the face of the overwhelming and unfair onslaught against President Trump by the media and the Deep State, his occasional excesses on Twitter and at his rallies should be understood as pardonable reactions to much more severe misconduct by others.
"So, concluded Frum, "there’s the platform right there. Why not publish it? There are two answers to that question, one simple, one more complicated. The simple answer is that President Trump’s impulsive management style has cast his convention into chaos. The location, the speaking program, the arrangements-- all were decided at the last minute. Managing the rollout of a platform, as well, was just one task too many. The more complicated answer is that the platform I’ve just described, like so much of the Trump-Republican program, commands support only among a minority of the American people. The platform works (to the extent it does work) by exciting enthusiastic support among Trump supporters; but stated too explicitly, it invites a backlash among the American majority. This is a platform for a party that talks to itself, not to the rest of the country. And for those purposes, it will succeed most to the extent it is communicated only implicitly, to those receptive to its message. The challenge for Republicans in the week ahead is to hope that President Trump can remember, night after night, to speak only the things he’s supposed to speak-- not to blurt the things his party wants its supporters to absorb unspoken."

Frum just neglected to mention one big and rapidly growing part of the unwritten Republican Party Platform-- Q-Anon, the new Republican Party Religion, which is disrupting the GOP and the already crackpot religious right churches. "Once the fascination of far-right commentators and their followers, QAnon is no longer fringe," wrote Katelyn Beaty for ReligionNews. "With support from Trump and other elected officials, it has gained credibility both on the web and in the offline world: In Georgia, a candidate for Congress has praised Q as “a mythical hero,” and at least five other congressional hopefuls from Illinois to Oregon have voiced support. One scholar found a 71% increase in QAnon content on Twitter and a 651% increase on Facebook since March." 
Jon Thorngate is the pastor at LifeBridge, a nondenominational church of about 300 in a Milwaukee suburb. In recent months, he said, his members have shared “Plandemic,” a half-hour film that presents COVID-19 as a moneymaking scheme by government officials and others, on Facebook. Members have also passed around a now-banned Breitbart video that promotes hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the virus.

Thorngate, one of the few pastors who would go on the record among those who called QAnon a real problem in their churches, said that only five to 10 members are actually posting the videos online. But in conversations with other members, he’s realized many more are open to conspiracy theories than those who post.

  Thorngate attributes the phenomenon in part to the “death of expertise”-- a distrust of authority figures that leads some Americans to undervalue long-established measures of competency and wisdom. Among some church members, he said, the attitude is, “I’m going to use church for the things I like, ignore it for the things I don’t and find my own truth.

“That part for us is concerning, that nothing feels authoritative right now.”

For years in the 1980s and ’90s, U.S. evangelicals, above nearly any other group, warned what will happen when people abandon absolute truth (which they located in the Bible), saying the idea of relative truth would lead to people believing whatever confirms their own inward hunches. But suspicion of big government, questioning of scientific consensus (on evolution, for example) and a rejection of the morals of Hollywood and liberal elites took hold among millennial Christians, many of whom feel politically alienated and beat up by mainstream media. They are natural targets for QAnon.

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At 12:19 PM, Blogger Cugel said...

Frum's article makes as much sense as saying "Mussolini had a platform." Yes, but the platform was totally irrelevant. What was relevant was that Mussolini was in charge. His unadulterated word was law. Period.

The GOP Platform is the same. Trump is President for Life. "12 more years!" his idiot followers chanted. Of course, it's unlikely he will LIVE for 12 more years considering his nonstop diet of cheeseburgers soft-drinks and processed foods, but whatever.

Take China: "China has become an economic and geopolitical adversary of the United States. Military spending should be invested with an eye to defeating China on the seas, in space, and in the cyber-realm."

Until Trump makes a deal with President Xi to "help me win election." Then of course, China would be our "new bestest friend" and Trumpites would all switch from hostility to adoration of China.

We have always been at war with Eurasia. There is only 1 Trump rule. "What I say goes." Like all good totalitarians the GOP has decided they are perfectly OK with that. After all, they might lose their freedom, but they get to "own the Libs!"

At 4:41 PM, Blogger bt1138 said...

"evangelicals, above nearly any other group, warned what will happen when people abandon absolute truth"


Projection, projection, projection.


And it's funny that they also go on and on about how we'll all go gay if Society doesn't keep that safely locked up in the basement.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We have always been at war with Eurasia."

That was when Russia was the Republican bad guy nation. Did you miss the Two-Minutes Hate when Big Trump Mother informed us that we have always been at war with Eastasia?


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