This Is "What Being a Republican Has Come To."

  
Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  25 comments

This Is "What Being a Republican Has Come To."
"Our voters want two things from their congressmen: [dumping] on the media and blindly defending the president. That’s what being a Republican has come to."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


"At this point, [Trump] could be caught walking out of a Federal Reserve bank with two giant sacks of money in his hands and no Republican would vote to impeach him for grand larceny,"   a Senate GOP staffer told the L.A. Times .

The aide then pointedly characterized the rank-and-file tree sloths and prosimians whose blinkered assessment of all things political has been reduced to this:

"Our voters want two things from their congressmen: [dumping] on the media and blindly defending the president. That’s what being a Republican has come to."

A marvel, it is, that the prehensile adherents to this party — once the party of Lincoln, T.R., Eisenhower — still call themselves Republicans; and utterly mystifying is that their tree sloth brothers still call themselves conservative.

In their defense, however, even   Merriam-Webster   is behind these radically metamorphosed times, defining a "conservative" as one "tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL; marked by moderation or caution; marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners."

Just visit a pro-Trump website, say, at Reddit or 4chan, and witness the moderation, elegance, style and manners of the keyboarding primates who gather there to share "ideas." Most of their scrawled entries — and this is rather typical of chimpanzees — are jackhammeringly incoherent; the others are simply venomous toward anyone who lacks their philosophical elegance.

This is what has brought so low the conservative-holdout Ross Douthat, who   reflected yesterday   that "my days of writing high-dudgeon columns demanding that Republicans act in concert against Trump are behind me; cynicism and bemusement define my attitude toward G.O.P. decadence these days."

Yet it seems the Trump campaign isn't quite as defiantly chipper as the rib-scratching rabble. "I think he’s badly wounded right now," confided a campaign advisor. "I’m suddenly very worried about 2020."

He or she, I'd wager, is especially worried because the candidate can't seem to distinguish between the Mueller investigation and the Ukraine scandal: "I thought we had won," said Trump last week. "I thought it was dead."

Trump's spirits will return, no doubt, when he returns to his otherworldly Bund rallies and their undulating oceans of adulation. Meanwhile, campaign advisers such as the ever-scrupulous Kellyanne Conway have put together a $10 million television buy in this, their time of trouble, announcing “They lost the election. Now they want to steal this one. Don’t let them."

You too can be a Trump media consultant. All you need to know is how to turn tables.

The L.A. Times adds a humorous note: "Although Republican support in Congress appears solid, that firewall could falter if damaging new revelations emerge or if lawmakers find public support crumbling back in their districts."

The latter is most unlikely, while the former is amusing but also bewildering. Damaging new revelations have already "emerged" — that is, exploded — mostly in Trump's own words and actions. But congressional Republicans don't give a damn. See opening quote.

Thus, as did Groucho Marx, we say hello and goodbye — we really must be going — to the necrotic party of Trump. This blight on the nation is so distant from respectable Republicanism, it's unrecognizable as such. The good news is that the party of Trump   is   necrotic.

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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

LAST EXIT FROM TRUMPLAND

Ross Douthat

New York Times

-

Ask an intelligent Republican staffer what they imagine awaits their party after Donald Trump, and you'll get an interesting disquisition on the factions and figures that might shape conservatism, the political and policy arguments to come.

Ask that same staffer what happens if Trump is re-elected, and you'll get a heavy sigh, a thousand-yard stare and then a hopeful "Well, maybe we can just pretend he isn't there ...?"

This is the state of Republican politics with impeachment suddenly looming. People are ready for the after, the reckoning to come, the attempted restorations and Trumpisms-without-Trump, the great Nikki Haley-Tucker Carlson brawl.

But if Trump survives impeachment and somehow gets re-elected, there will be no after Trump, not yet and not for four long years. Instead Trump will bestride his party like a decaying colossus, and his administration's accelerative deterioration will be the G.O.P.'s as well. There will be no second-term policymaking, no John Kelly to stabilize the ship -- just a floating hulk drifting between the icebergs of recession and foreign crisis, with all American conservatism onboard.

Outside the ranks of the truest Trump believers, most Republicans anticipate very bad things in 2022 and 2024 if the Trump Show continues uninterrupted. And most would happily fast-forward through that show if the magical remote control   from   that terrible Adam Sandler movie were suddenly available.

My days of writing high-dudgeon columns demanding that Republicans act in concert against Trump are behind me; cynicism and bemusement define my attitude toward G.O.P. decadence these days.

But in a bored-Roman-aristocrat drawl, I just want to suggest -- mildly, dabbling my hands in a convenient finger bowl -- that the current impeachment inquiry might, in fact, be that magical remote control: a chance to hit fast-forward and summon the post-Trump future into existence here and now, for the 2020 campaign.

Hitting the button requires only two things: the swift, before-primary-season impeachment schedule House Democrats are entertaining and then 20 Republican votes in the Senate for conviction, if the Trump-Giuliani operation in Ukraine looks as bad in a few months as it does today.

Of course the second thing is a political near-impossibility. But we're fantasizing here, my dear Petronius, so we can imagine how it might happen. Start with Mitt Romney, add the four retiring Republican senators, plus the most embattled purple-state 2020 incumbents, plus a clutch of Republicans most at risk in 2022, plus the handful of the senators who don't face the voters till 2024 ... and then you're just a few Republicans of principle away   from   20.

In voting to remove Trump (and to bar him, as an impeachment can,   from   simply running for president again immediately), these 20 would allow the other 33 Republican senators to stand by him, thank him for his service and promise to Make America Great Again themselves. And the more ambitious among the   latter   group of senators would then compete to succeed Trump, while his wrath was concentrated against the treacherous 20.

That competition would be the next phase of our fast-forward: With Trump gone, everyone   from   Haley and Carlson to Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley could jump into an accelerated primary campaign against the unloved Republican "incumbent," Mike Pence. The result would be, in effect, the 2024 G.O.P. primary four years early -- with the possibility of either pre-empting a President Elizabeth Warren or preventing a Trump second term's likely demolition of the G.O.P.

[ Listen to "The Argument" podcast every Thursday morning, with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt. ]

Of course this is just a pleasant conceit, whose mere description by a Trump critic like myself will irritate the many conservatives for whom it's absurd to imagine any upside to allowing Democrats and the media to eject a fighting conservative president   from   office.

I think these conservatives underestimate, as liberals did with Bill Clinton long ago, the advantages in jettisoning a corrupt leader. (An Al Gore presidency was a better timeline for Democrats, even though it would have required the horror of letting Ken Starr win.) But I certainly can see ways in which, after so much elite failure and populist anger, having elites (indeed, the C ... I ... A!) work to remove a populist president just before his re-election campaign could make our toxic politics that much worse.

But I would still ask -- swirling my wine and adjusting my NeverTrumper toga -- worse than what? Worse than a world where Trump survives impeachment, the Ukraine miasma chokes Biden's campaign, Warren proves less electable than her supporters hope, we replay 2016 with the Electoral College and enter a second Trump term with the ship of state rudderless, Democrats yet more radicalized, and all those icebergs looming for the country and the G.O.P. alike?

In the event we do arrive in that world, consider this column a casually tossed marker for the Republican Senators who will probably vote to keep Trump in office, in case they find themselves very unhappy with the ultimate result.

You can't say that you didn't have an early   exit   from   the Trump era. You can't say you didn't have a choice.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

If things weren't going so well in the country, then the writer might have a point.

 
 
 
bbl-1
2.1  bbl-1  replied to  Greg Jones @2    3 weeks ago

Going well for whom?

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @2.1    3 weeks ago
Going well for whom?

The vast majority with jobs.

 
 
 
bugsy
2.1.2  bugsy  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
The vast majority with jobs.

I think what you meant was "those that want to work". Most liberals do not fit in this category, therefore do not know what tax cuts consist of.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
The vast majority with jobs.

The vast majority with minimum wage jobs?

 
 
 
BeastOfTheEast
2.1.4  BeastOfTheEast  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
The vast majority with minimum wage jobs?

The median wage for workers in the United States in the first quarter of 2019 was $905 per week or $47,060 per year for a 40-hour workweek. Wages were 2.7% higher than on the same date for the previous year.

$ 905 per week for a 40-hour workweek is $ 22.63 an hour, is that minimum wage?

/average-salary-information-for-us-workers-2060

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.5  It Is ME  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
The vast majority with minimum wage jobs?

High school kids don't count. They still live with Mom and Dad !

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.6  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
The vast majority with jobs.

Obama got the unemployment down to just 4.7% but I didn't hear Republicans singing his praises, but when Trump comes in and the trend started under Obama continues down another 0.8% everyone with a job is supposed to praise him? With such twisted logic you'd think their heads would explode.

 
 
 
BeastOfTheEast
2.1.7  BeastOfTheEast  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.6    3 weeks ago

Dow Jones 1 January 2016: 17,935.94

Dow Jones 26 September 2019: 26,935.07

 
 
 
Ender
2.1.8  Ender  replied to  BeastOfTheEast @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

512

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

Relatively few people actually earn minimum wage. 

It's all in the stats.

I bet less than 4 million people earn just the minimum wage, and some of them earn more than the federal minimum wage.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.10  Ozzwald  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.5    3 weeks ago
High school kids don't count.

How do you know?  Do you and Texan1211 share a cubicle at work?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.11  Ozzwald  replied to  BeastOfTheEast @2.1.7    3 weeks ago
Dow Jones 1 January 2016: 17,935.94 Dow Jones 26 September 2019: 26,935.07

Trying to understand why, when you are discussing unemployment, you pull out a graph of the totally unrelated Dow Jones.  Care to explain?

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.12  It Is ME  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.10    3 weeks ago
How do you know?  Do you and Texan1211 share a cubicle at work?

That was sooooo CUTE ! jrSmiley_24_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.13  Texan1211  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.12    3 weeks ago

It is all he has, after all.

Sad, isn't it?

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.14  It Is ME  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.13    3 weeks ago

Just more jrSmiley_90_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ozzwald
2.1.15  Ozzwald  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.14    3 weeks ago
Just more

jrSmiley_36_smiley_image.gif Sounds like I hit a little close to the truth.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.16  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.15    3 weeks ago

Sounds more like he hit the nail on the proverbial head.

 
 
 
bbl-1
3  bbl-1    3 weeks ago

GOP is dead.  When the last one left there was no ass for the door to hit.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @3    3 weeks ago
GOP is dead.

Like it was when Obama got reelected?

Or do you really, really, REALLY mean it this time?

LMAO!

 
 
 
Ronin2
4  Ronin2    3 weeks ago
"At this point, [Trump] could be caught walking out of a Federal Reserve bank with two giant sacks of money in his hands and no Republican would vote to impeach him for grand larceny," a Senate GOP staffer told the L.A. Times .

The aide then pointedly characterized the rank-and-file tree sloths and prosimians whose blinkered assessment of all things political has been reduced to this:

"Our voters want two things from their congressmen: [dumping] on the media and blindly defending the president. That’s what being a Republican has come to."

Ah, the new path for journalistic integrity.

Site an unnamed unverified source of the opposition saying something damaging and stupid. Have your fellow journalistic cronies source your article using the same unnamed unverified source as many times as possible. Now the unnamed unverified source is considered sacrosanct; and everyone must accept it as true. 

These hacks should all be writing for the National Enquirer with the rate they make bullshit up.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Ronin2 @4    3 weeks ago
These hacks should all be writing for the National Enquirer with the rate they make bullshit up.

You mean one of Trumps most trusted news sources whose owner has been a close friend for over 20 years?

"NPR's Scott Simon talks with former National Enquirer editor Jerry George about the relationship between David Pecker, the head of the company that publishes the tabloid, and President Trump.

SIMON: How close have Mr. Pecker and Donald Trump been?

GEORGE: They go back many, many years, preceding David's taking over as CEO in the late '90s. I think their friendship is probably 20 years old.

SIMON: What's this practice called catch and kill? And what do you know about any of those stories?

GEORGE: OK. To be clear, I left the company five years ago. But even then, Donald Trump was considered presidential timber. And as such, the Enquirer, under the guidance of David Pecker, was committed to protecting him, to sparing him any bad publicity. Any stories that they ran were sanitized and were approved verbatim by The Trump Organization.

SIMON: It sounds like David Pecker had an investment in Mr. Trump.

GEORGE: Yeah, it certainly appears that. David Pecker isn't a journalist. He is a businessman, a very savvy businessman. And his concern is always the next acquisition and who's going to fund it. And I think that's where his affection for Donald Trump comes in.

SIMON: Why would David Pecker want or need immunity? I mean, as far as I know, he wasn't under any criminal investigation or suspicion.

GEORGE: Obviously, there is concern, probably from the board of directors, that laws were broken. And he's protecting his interest.

SIMON: What kind of laws?

GEORGE: Political campaign contribution laws have been mentioned. But, you know, this whole scandal runs the gamut of phony information being propelled. I remember a story about - Hillary Clinton had six months to live. And on the cover, there was a - you know, a horrendous picture of Hillary literally looking as if she was ready to die.

SIMON: The Associated Press and some other places have reported that the Enquirer had a safe full of catch-and-kill stories, including, but perhaps not limited to, Donald Trump. Do you know anything about that safe? Is it real?

GEORGE: Yes. You know, but I think they have kind of exaggerated its value because any contract regarding source agreements, of course, would be on computer. And the legal department would have their own hard copies.

SIMON: Mr. George, I have to ask you - I mean, as you know, with respect, you were not working for The Christian Science Monitor. Were you proud of the work you did there?

GEORGE: I was proud of a lot of the work I did. But by my own admission, I was complicit in at least one catch-and-kill story - certainly not my proudest professional moment.

SIMON: May we ask about that story?

GEORGE: Certainly. It was a story regarding Arnold Schwarzenegger during his gubernatorial race. And it was a romance story - an affair with a younger actress. Yeah, I was complicit in that, and I'm not proud of it.

SIMON: Jerry George, a former editor at the National Enquirer. Mr. George, thanks so much.

GEORGE: My pleasure."

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/25/641835321/the-national-enquirer-and-trump

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
5  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

 two giant sacks of money 

It would just be one sack.  He would need a free hand to go shoot someone on 52nd Ave in broad daylight.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
6  1stwarrior    3 weeks ago

John - YOU FORGOT THE "S/" TAG FROM THIS SLIVER OF THE "ONION".

 
 
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