Sunday, October 25, 2020

Trump Is The Worst President In History-- And The GOP Deserves To Die With Him... But That Doesn't Automatically Make The Democratic Party Worth Anything



This morning, the NY Times editorial board asserted that Trump destroyed the Republican Party. They're wrong. The craven, spineless politicians who represent the party destroyed it. Then they claim "'Destroyed' is perhaps too simplistic, [and] Trump accelerated his party’s demise, exposing the rot that has been eating at its core for decades and leaving it a hollowed-out shell devoid of ideas, values or integrity, committed solely to preserving its own power even at the expense of democratic norms, institutions and ideals." OK, now they're talking. Pity they didn't throw the Democratic Party under the same bus; it would be just as accurate.

The Times bemoans the passing-- it really hasn't passed and it won't-- of the GOP because we won't have a "strong center right [party that] can co-opt more palatable aspects of the far right, isolating and draining energy from the more radical elements that threaten to destabilize the system." And yet that is precisely what the Democratic Party has turned into-- a center right party co-opting aspects of the far right (i.e., the GOP). These editors define the Republican Party that we see today as having an "ideology [that] has been reduced to a slurry of paranoia, white grievance and authoritarian populism. Its governing vision is reactionary, a cross between obstructionism and owning the libs. Its policy agenda, as defined by the party platform, is whatever President Trump wants."

With his dark gospel, the president has enthralled the Republican base, rendering other party leaders too afraid to stand up to him. But to stand with Mr. Trump requires a constant betrayal of one’s own integrity and values. This goes beyond the usual policy flip-flops-- what happened to fiscal hawks anyway?-- and political hypocrisy, though there have been plenty of both. Witness the scramble to fill a Supreme Court seat just weeks before Election Day by many of the same Senate Republicans who denied President Barack Obama his high court pick in 2016, claiming it would be wrong to fill a vacancy eight months out from that election.

Mr. Trump demands that his interests be placed above those of the nation. His presidency has been an extended exercise in defining deviancy down-- and dragging the rest of his party down with him.

Having long preached “character” and “family values,” Republicans have given a pass to Mr. Trump’s personal degeneracy. The affairs, the hush money, the multiple accusations of assault and harassment, the gross boasts of grabbing unsuspecting women-- none of it matters. White evangelicals remain especially faithful adherents, in large part because Mr. Trump has appointed around 200 judges to the federal bench.

For all their talk about revering the Constitution, Republicans have stood by, slack-jawed, in the face of the president’s assault on checks and balances. Mr. Trump has spurned the concept of congressional oversight of his office. After losing a budget fight and shutting down the government in 2018-19, he declared a phony national emergency at the southern border so he could siphon money from the Pentagon for his border wall. He put a hold on nearly $400 million in Senate-approved aid to Ukraine-- a move that played a central role in his impeachment.

So much for Republicans’ Obama-era nattering about “executive overreach.”

Despite fetishizing “law and order,” Republicans have shrugged as Mr. Trump has maligned and politicized federal law enforcement, occasionally lending a hand. Impeachment offered the most searing example. Parroting the White House line that the entire process was illegitimate, the president’s enablers made clear they had his back no matter what. As Pete Wehner, who served as a speechwriter to the three previous Republican presidents, observed in The Atlantic: “Republicans, from beginning to end, sought not to ensure that justice be done or truth be revealed. Instead, they sought to ensure that Trump not be removed from office under any circumstances, defending him at all costs.”

The debasement goes beyond passive indulgence. Congressional bootlickers, channeling Mr. Trump’s rantings about the Deep State, have used their power to target those who dared to investigate him. Committee chairmen like Representative Devin Nunes and Senator Ron Johnson have conducted hearings aimed at smearing Mr. Trump’s political opponents and delegitimizing the special counsel’s Russia inquiry.

As head of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Mr. Johnson pushed a corruption investigation of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter that he bragged would expose the former vice president’s “unfitness for office.” Instead, he wasted taxpayer money producing an 87-page rehash of unsubstantiated claims reeking of a Russian disinformation campaign. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, another Republican on the committee, criticized the inquiry as “a political exercise,” noting, “It’s not the legitimate role of government or Congress, or for taxpayer expense to be used in an effort to damage political opponents.”

Undeterred, last Sunday Mr. Johnson popped up on Fox News, engaging with the host over baseless rumors that the F.B.I. was investigating child pornography on a computer that allegedly had belonged to Hunter Biden. These vile claims are being peddled online by right-wing conspiracymongers, including QAnon.

Not that congressional toadies are the only offenders. A parade of administration officials-- some of whom were well respected before their Trumpian tour-- have stood by, or pitched in, as the president has denigrated the F.B.I., federal prosecutors, intelligence agencies and the courts. They have failed to prioritize election security because the topic makes Mr. Trump insecure about his win in 2016. They have pushed the limits of the law and human decency to advance Mr. Trump’s draconian immigration agenda.

Most horrifically, Republican leaders have stood by as the president has lied to the public about a pandemic that has already killed more than 220,000 Americans. They have watched him politicize masks, testing, the distribution of emergency equipment and pretty much everything else. Some echo his incendiary talk, fueling violence in their own communities. In the campaign’s closing weeks, as case numbers and hospitalizations climb and health officials warn of a rough winter, Mr. Trump is stepping up the attacks on his scientific advisers, deriding them as “idiots” and declaring Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert in infectious diseases, a “disaster.” Only a smattering of Republican officials has managed even a tepid defense of Dr. Fauci. Whether out of fear, fealty or willful ignorance, these so-called leaders are complicit in this national tragedy.

As Republican lawmakers grow increasingly panicked that Mr. Trump will lose re-election-- possibly damaging their fortunes as well-- some are scrambling to salvage their reputations by pretending they haven’t spent the past four years letting him run amok. In an Oct. 14 call with constituents, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska gave a blistering assessment of the president’s failures and “deficient” values, from his misogyny to his calamitous handling of the pandemic to “the way he kisses dictators’ butts.” Mr. Sasse was less clear about why, the occasional targeted criticismnotwithstanding, he has enabled these deficiencies for so long.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, locked in his own tight re-election race, recently told the local media that he, too, has disagreed with Mr. Trump on numerous issues, including deficit spending, trade policy and his raiding of the defense budget. Mr. Cornyn said he opted to keep his opposition private rather than get into a public tiff with Mr. Trump “because, as I’ve observed, those usually don’t end too well.”

Profiles in courage these are not.

Mr. Trump’s corrosive influence on his party would fill a book. It has, in fact, filled several, as well as a slew of articles, social media posts and op-eds, written by conservatives both heartbroken and incensed over what has become of their party.

But many of these disillusioned Republicans also acknowledge that their team has been descending into white grievance, revanchism and know-nothing populism for decades. Mr. Trump just greased the slide. “He is the logical conclusion of what the Republican Party has become in the last 50 or so years,” the longtime party strategist Stuart Stevens asserts in his new book, It Was All a Lie.

The scars of Mr. Trump’s presidency will linger long after he leaves office. Some Republicans believe that, if those scars run only four years deep, rather than eight, their party can be nursed back to health. Others question whether there is anything left worth saving. Mr. Stevens’s prescription: “Burn it to the ground, and start over.”
Goal ThermometerSick of this? But don't buy into the concept of backing the lesser of two evils in politics? The Democratic Party sucks-- not as bad as the GOP-- but too much to support? Well, until the morning, Blue America hadn't opened our anti-DCCC page, which helps support progressive candidates that the DCCC is starving for resources while they support their Blue Dogs and New Dems from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Democraps. Access it by clicking on the Cheri Bustos thermometer on the right. Every two years the crooks among the Democratic Party establishment elites persuade you toehold your nose and vote for their shit candidates because they're better than the Republicans even shittier candidates. How you going to ever break out of that cycle? If you're in a New York district offering you Anthony Brindisi, Max Rose or Sean Patrick Maloney, support candidates from other districts in your state-- say Jamaal Bowman, Dana Balter, AOC for example. The DCCC wants you to back Jackie Gordon on Long Island but she's been endorsed by both the Blue Dogs and the New Dems and that tells you exactly what kind of a member of Congress she's going to make. He may live an hour away but, put your energy behind Mondaire Jones instead. But you live in Oklahoma and there are no good Democrats-- just reactionary quasi-Republican Blue Dog Kendra Horn? Texas isn't that far away-- and you can do the country-- the Democratic Party-- a lot of good by backing progressive stalwarts like Julie Oliver and Mike Siegel. Trade in Kendra Horn for Julie and Mike-- deal of the cycle!

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At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weren't we just talking about cheney/w being the worst and also of the imminent death of the proto nazi party in 2008? Do any of you root-bound organisms remember what happened?

The same will happen now.

IF, still a question, the democraps do sweep into both chambers and the oval, they will resuscitate the nazis just as they did in 2009.

See, a plant cannot ponder this, but I can. The democrap PARTY is religiously corrupt neoliberal and fascist. They SERVE the money. They only, barely, pander to you in the greenhouse.

For you fools to keep voting out of fear and loathing of the nazis... there KINDA NEEDS TO BE NAZIS! Were the nazis to die, why the fuck would you fools bother to show up?

I know this. your party oligarchy knows this. even the nazi oligarchy knows this.

but you will never know this.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Knockout Zed said...

Well said.

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can present the history of the Democraptic Party in one sentence:

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Republican evil is that Democrats do nothing - as they have done ever since Nixon buried McGovern in 1972."

You're Welcome,

At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

also well said, 11:43.


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