Are the Last Rational Republicans in Denial?

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  one month ago  •  22 comments

By:   Tom Nichols - The Atlantic

Are the Last Rational Republicans in Denial?

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



I wonder if the remaining sensible Republicans have accepted the irretrievable loss of the GOP they once knew.

Harsher Truths

In 1991, the last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, was briefly deposed in a coup by hard-line members of the Soviet Communist Party. Gorbachev, upon his return to Moscow, tried to differentiate between the plotters and the Party itself. One of his closest advisers, Aleksandr Yakovlev,   told him   that this effort was pointless, akin to “serving tea to a corpse.”

Republicans such as Senator Mitt Romney—an honorable man for whom I voted in 2012—and a handful of others in the GOP, including Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, should take note of Yakovlev’s phrase. Over the weekend,   The Atlantic   published a   plea from Senator Romney   for Americans “across the political spectrum” to stop ignoring “potentially cataclysmic threats.” The senator from Utah is right to be worried about the detachment of so many Americans. But Romney, Cheney, and Kinzinger cannot rescue their party, either—at least not in its current form.

In fact, I wonder if the Republicans can ever return to being the kind of party that once nominated someone like Mitt Romney for the American presidency. I say this not because of Donald Trump, nor as the apostate Republican I am. (The   last straw for me   was not Trump’s election, which I regarded as a fluke, but when   Susan Collins lectured America   on the jurisprudence of Brett Kavanaugh.) Likewise, I say this not because I disagree with the Republicans on many policy issues; I do, but as a New England Republican who identified with (and worked for)   moderates of a bygone era , I have always had differences with the hard-right social conservatives.

Rather, I say this because millions of Republicans seem to have irreversibly lost touch with reality itself.

Senator Romney, for his part, seems to share this concern, but he softens this criticism of his own side with some examples from around the political landscape:

I have witnessed time and again—in myself and in others—a powerful impulse to believe what we hope to be the case.  We don’t need to cut back on watering, because the drought is just part of a cycle that will reverse. With economic growth, the debt will take care of itself. January 6 was a false-flag operation.

But as the old song from  Sesame Street  goes: One of these things is not like the other. Unfounded optimism about droughts or recessions is one thing; it’s another thing entirely to embrace the idea that an insurrection and an attack on the Capitol was conducted by agents of the United States government itself.

At least the false-flag assertions fall within what we might call an ordinary—normal, even?—range of conspiracy theories. Other Republicans have blown past such pedestrian crackpottery and now have escaped the last tendrils of Earth’s gravity.

The Republican candidate for secretary of state in Michigan, for example, believes that people can transmit demonic possession through “intimate relations,”   according to CNN . Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Republicans have nominated a candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, who has implied that he might   invalidate   any election result he doesn’t like in 2024—and that’s probably the   least   disturbing thing about him. As Jonathan Last   put it recently , the Democratic nominee, Josh Shapiro, is an ordinary politician, while Mastriano “is an insane person. A seditionist. A Christian nationalist. A conspiracy nut.”

Almost every other national Republican is either silent or on board with the dark fantasies and deepening paranoia that now rule the GOP. For example, Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the relentlessly ambitious third-ranking House Republican,   endorsed the developer Carl Paladino   for a newly redistricted House seat in the state; in 2021 Paladino   said that Adolf Hitler   was “the kind of leader we need.” Some House Republicans are frustrated that   Stefanik went rogue   by endorsing Paladino, meaning only that they are embarrassed but not ashamed.

But this internal GOP griping raises a question. When Senator Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin,   is paddling about   in the anti-vaccine fever swamps, and Senate candidate   J.D. Vance   is   cozying up   to people like the congressional   conspiracy theorist   Marjorie Taylor Greene and the   execrable Matt Gaetz , what exactly counts as “going rogue” and how can anyone distinguish it from just another day in the Republican Party?

In the end, despite the efforts of Senator Romney and other reasonable Republicans, the   fringe is now the base . The last rational members of the GOP—both elected and among the rank and file—need to speak even harsher truths to their own people, as   Liz Cheney did last week   at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Otherwise, the madness will spread, and our institutions will continue an accelerating slide into a nightmare that will engulf all Americans, regardless of party.


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Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    one month ago

It is hard to see DeSantis as some sort of 2024 savior if he is surrounded by Donald's disciples. He might be wise to wait until 2028 when many of the chaff will have been swept under the rug along with their hero and neither need to be further placated with culture conspiracy theories.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Hallux @1    one month ago

What makes you think DeSantis base is any different from Trump's base? 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1    one month ago

A degree of blind hope.

 
 
 
squiggy
Sophomore Quiet
2  squiggy    one month ago

"Republicans such as Senator Mitt Romney—an honorable..."

...oops - lost the connection.

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
2.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  squiggy @2    one month ago

By all means, do digress.

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4  magicschoolbusdropout    one month ago

I say this because millions of Republicans seem to have irreversibly lost touch with reality itself.

And the Other Multi Million more Republicans that don't "cataclysmically Kneejerk" for Political Effect Like Cheney, Kinzinger, and Romney ......................are ...................... Doing  what ?  

And the Democrats ....... Well......they are just cataclysmical about EVERYTHING - Short, Tall, Fat, Big Boned, Skinny, Straight, Gay, Brown, Black, White, Gas, Electric, Animals, Humans, Rich, Poor, etc... You name it, they'll find something cataclysmic about it   !

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4    one month ago
And the Democrats ....... Well......they are just cataclysmical about EVERYTHING - Short, Tall, Fat, Big Boned, Skinny, Straight, Gay, Brown, Black, White, Gas, Electric, Animals, Humans, Rich, Poor, etc... You name it, they'll find something cataclysmic about it   !

Does that pass for intelligent analysis where you come from? 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
4.1.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago

It certainly passes for "Kneejerk" analysis. I expected no less from those entrenched in Maga-thrall. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Hallux @4.1.1    one month ago

Irrelevant and/or unhinged came to my mind. 

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.1.3  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago
Does that pass for intelligent analysis where you come from? 

oooo, a try at an OUCHY !

Are you a "Realist" or still just a "Fake-ist" ! ?

Oh...wait....your a "Grippest" about Everything !

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
4.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4    one month ago

Exactly what are Cheney, Kinzinger, and Romney gaining from this "cataclysmically Kneejerk", and just who are you quoting?

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.2.1  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Hallux @4.2    one month ago
and just who are you quoting?

Why .... Romney of course. It's in your own seeded article:
Atlantic   published a    plea from Senator Romney    for Americans “across the political spectrum” to stop ignoring “potentially cataclysmic threats.” 

What is a "Cataclysmic" event in Politics ?

Exactly what are Cheney, Kinzinger, and Romney gaining from this "cataclysmically Kneejerk"

Don't know, but they think they are gaining ............ "something"......Apparently.

Being on a NBC run "Reality Show" isn't something I'd brag about !

Any "Reality Show" I've watched, all I can do is shake my head and say to myself, "WTF are these people doing, baring all for the world to see !

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
4.2.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4.2.1    one month ago

You intentionally misquoted Romney. Strike 2.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.2.3  JohnRussell  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4.2.1    one month ago
Being on a NBC run "Reality Show" isn't something I'd brag about !

Trump brags about it all the time. "You're fired !"

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.2.4  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Hallux @4.2.2    one month ago
You intentionally misquoted Romney. Strike 2.

Nope !

Cataclysmic .... is a kneejerk response unless there is something like a nuclear attack !

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.2.5  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  JohnRussell @4.2.3    one month ago
Trump brags about it all the time. "You're fired !"

Grippest says ..... Trump, Trump, Trump ..... Again ! LOL !

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
4.2.6  seeder  Hallux  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4.2.4    one month ago

All 4 or 5 of your comments have been naught but knee-jerkers.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
4.2.7  afrayedknot  replied to  Hallux @4.2.6    one month ago

And we all know…

”The only thing worse than a knee-jerk liberal is a knee-pad conservative.” ~Edward Abbey

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.2.8  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  Hallux @4.2.6    one month ago
All 4 or 5 of your comments have been naught but knee-jerkers.

Is it 4 or is it 5 ..... or ........ are you just "Kneejerking" for effect.

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.2.9  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  afrayedknot @4.2.7    one month ago
”The only thing worse than a knee-jerk liberal is a knee-pad conservative.” ~Edward Abbey

What does that mean ?

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” - Edward Abbey

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
4.2.10  afrayedknot  replied to  magicschoolbusdropout @4.2.9    one month ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
magicschoolbusdropout
Freshman Expert
4.2.11  magicschoolbusdropout  replied to  afrayedknot @4.2.10    one month ago

That's okay... afrayedknot didn't know the answer either.

 
 

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