What to Do About GOP Bad Faith After Trump

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  14 comments

What to Do About GOP Bad Faith After Trump
one concrete demand their consumers can make of them is to stop giving bad-faith actors platforms to spread disinformation to their audiences. The people responsible for the sorry state of American discourse—the conspiracy theories, and lies, and whataboutism—should be scorned, not rewarded with publicity.

This is a long article, with much of it devoted to how the Democrats should deal with the Republicans in Congress should the Democrats take power in January.  I left all that out to concentrate on the section in the article about the media, and Republicans in general.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T







 Decades of right-wing smears have driven the vast majority of conservative Americans away from mainstream news outlets into a cocoon of right-wing propaganda. Mainstream outlets have responded largely by capitulating to the refs: larding up panels and contributor mastheads with Republican operatives or committed movement conservatives; chasing baseless stories to avoid accusations of bias; adhering stubbornly to indefensible assumptions of false balance; subverting the truth to lazy he-said/she-said dichotomies. None of it can or will appease their right-wing critics, who don’t mean to influence the media, but to delegitimize it. None of it has drawn Fox News viewers and  Breitbart  readers back into the market for real news. 

Still, legacy media outlets won’t stop doing these things on their own, or without another viable model of journalism to replace it. So one concrete demand their consumers can make of them is to stop giving bad-faith actors platforms to spread disinformation to their audiences. The people responsible for the sorry state of American discourse—the conspiracy theories, and lies, and whataboutism—should be scorned, not rewarded with publicity. The Republican elite has been so in thrall to Trump that ostracizing bad-faith actors would make it difficult for news channels and op-ed pages to represent Republican points of view, or so their hosts and producers and editors would say. But that isn’t really the case: Inviting a Republican on to a reputable news show to claim Republicans support pre-existing conditions protections doesn’t offer viewers the Republican position, it offers them a lie. 

News outlets should feel obligated to offer their consumers truth, rather than balance and equal partisan representation. The idea isn’t that journalists should take sides in grand fights between liberals and conservatives, but should  accurately portray the conflicting worldviews that drive those battles . Studiously neutral political journalists can still alert viewers to the fact that the Democratic Party is a descendent of a liberal tradition, while the Republican Party has evolved into something that more closely resembles the authoritarian parties of European democracies. That isn’t the same thing as making a choice for viewers, it just accurately describes their options.

Paragovernmental organizations like think tanks and law firms and advocacy shops would face similar conundrums. They tend to vacuum up retired and defeated politicians robotically to help fundraise and steer their public policy shops. This rotten ritual that has larded the conventional wisdom in Washington with nonsense and corruption for a long time. But after Trump, returning to business-as-usual would be catastrophic. Offering sinecures to people who participated in Trump’s abuses is worse than revolving-door corruption—it provides an ongoing channel of support to malicious actors who conspired against the rule of law and the integrity of the American institutions. It may be inconvenient for these groups that so few Republican officeholders have kept their hands relatively clean through these past four years. But post-Trump Republicans should have to face consequences for their decisions, and shouldn’t benefit from an amnesty because it allows the capital’s machinery to keep chugging along like normal. 

Reckoning fully with Republicans as they truly are narrows the party’s options to compete with dirty tricks and bad faith. If Democrats and media institutions refuse to give unearned credence to bad-faith Republican positions, it forces Republicans to win arguments the old-fashioned way: by making the most compelling case. Leveraging elected majorities to overturn veto points like the filibuster or McConnell’s packed courts forces Republicans to fight back by winning elections themselves. If journalists refuse to take Republican lies seriously, it rewards the party for telling the truth. Over time, faced with collapsed credibility and no majoritarian path to power, conservative Americans may recognize that the only way to rebuild political power is to seek out new leaders, and build new, better, uncorrupted institutions.


Of course, it’s also possible that nothing of the sort happens. In California, Democrats managed over the course of many years to fully marginalize the state Republican Party after it descended into a similar state of nihilism. Instead of competing, the California GOP has contented itself with the margins. If anything, it has grown crazier. 

National Republicans may go the same way. They view the prospect of offering the rights of statehood to the citizens of Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico not as an opportunity to compete for more power, but as a plot to dilute the power they have. The prospect of gaining legitimate power in a modern, humane world strikes them as impossible, because they can’t imagine coming to terms with such a world and the desires of its free people. Confronted with fair House maps, automatic voter registration, a representative judiciary, and an adversarial press, they may recede further into the fringes.

But the choice should be theirs. Their recalcitrance brought the country to the brink of destruction and it should not now compel the rest of us to let bygones be bygones. If in the name of unearned and unreciprocated comity we grant Republicans a seat at the table and a voice in governing, they’ll learn only one thing: that cheaters prosper. If we do nothing but elect Joe Biden and close the book on the past, things will only get better until the pendulum inevitably swings back again, and Republicans come roaring back to power unchastened. 























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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
Reckoning fully with Republicans as they truly are narrows the party’s options to compete with dirty tricks and bad faith. If Democrats and media institutions refuse to give unearned credence to bad-faith Republican positions, it forces Republicans to win arguments the old-fashioned way: by making the most compelling case. Leveraging elected majorities to overturn veto points like the filibuster or McConnell’s packed courts forces Republicans to fight back by winning elections themselves. If journalists refuse to take Republican lies seriously, it rewards the party for telling the truth. 
 
 
 
JohnRussell
2  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

I didnt watch Biden last night but I heard he said that whether or not the Democrats consider adding more Supreme Court justices depends on whether the existing Supreme Court makes radical decisions like ending Obamacare and restricting abortion.  Hardball. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @2    2 weeks ago

Like a Sovcit, Biden doesn't answer questions....especially hardball ones...which are rarely if ever asked.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @2    2 weeks ago
Democrats consider adding more Supreme Court justices depends on whether the existing Supreme Court makes radical decisions like ending Obamacare and restricting abortion.

So if one doesn't like the decision, which neither are likely to happen, you load the court to get your desired outcome. I don't buy the liberal/conservative justice bullshit. If ANY one of them doesn't interpret the law and bases their decision on ideology or personal beliefs, they need to go. Period.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2    2 weeks ago

I think every Supreme Court justice should be a moderate. An objective court would not "lean" right or left. But that is not where we are at. Conservative based "originalism" is not helping. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
I think every Supreme Court justice should be a moderate.

When did you come to this conclusion?  It's been tilting left for over 50 years. Perhaps it's arrived with the nomination of Barrett giving the originalists the 6-3 majority?


 Conservative based "originalism" is not helping. 

Just be glad that it's not the kind of activism that had justices legislating from the bench.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.2.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

from the seeded article 

Inviting a Republican on to a reputable news show to claim Republicans support pre-existing conditions protections doesn’t offer viewers the Republican position, it offers them a lie. 
 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.2.4  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
Conservative based "originalism" is not helping

The Court now has four die hard liberal Justices.

Trump is doing his best to add balance and sanity to the High Court.

If reelected he might appoint another one or two

As Obama once said, elections have consequences.

afb101520dAPR20201015044505.jpg

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.2.5  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

So are we now putting words in the mouths of all Republicans and they should take the GOP position on pre-existing conditions as a lie..........no matter what they say? If I remember correctly, Mr. Trump said he would NOT sign any plan that excluded pre-existing conditions.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/24/trump-to-sign-executive-orders-on-preexisting-conditions-surprise-medical-billing.html

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.6  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

I wouldn't know John. That is not an issue I care about.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3  Sean Treacy    2 weeks ago

ider adding more Supreme Court justices depends on whether the existing Supreme Court makes radical decisions like ending Obamacare and restricting abortion.  Hardball. 

terorism. Vote the way the party wants or we’ll destroy the court.

no matter how crazy Trump is, nothing he’s done  will come close to the long term damaging this country Long term that court packing will do.

 
 
 
Snuffy
3.1  Snuffy  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    2 weeks ago

Yes,  all those who are in favor of the Democrats packing the Supreme Court should they win both the Senate and the White House should study how that action has worked in other countries.  The latest country I believe that packed their Supreme Court was Venezuela and I believe we all know how that turned out.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2004/12/13/venezuela-chavez-allies-pack-supreme-court

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    2 weeks ago

Did you hear Trump talk about health care last night? He has no clue, but yet appointed someone to the Court for the purpose of destroying the existing health care program.  If the Democrats take power and Barrett and company end Obamacare the Democrats will rewrite it and pass it and sign it almost immediately, and most likely in language that it will be much more difficult for the Supreme Court to object to.  And if doing so requires the Democrats to end the filibuster so health care can pass then they will likely do that too. 

There has to be consequences for these past four years of Trumpist insanity.  That is the point of the seeded article. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.2.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @3.2    2 weeks ago
yet appointed someone to the Court for the purpose of destroying the existing health care progra

You've been bamboozled by Democratic fear mongering.   If Trump wanted to destroy the ACA by the Court, Barrett is one of the last justices he would have selected. Over the summer, she participated in a moot court hearing addressing the case and voted to sustain the statue on severability grounds.  So will Roberts. So will Kavanaugh. I wouldn't be surprised if the other three reject the challenge on standing grounds.  There's hardly a conservative commentator out there who thinks this challenge has much validity at all. 

When the statute is upheld with at least six votes, will Democrats apoligize for spreading these bad faith arguments? Will they address there bad faith during the Trump Presidency, for starters? 

onservative Americans may recognize that the only way to rebuild political power is to seek out new leaders, and build new, better, uncorrupted institutions.

Democrats have demonstrated the opposite is true, no? The more corrupt and dishonest you are, the easier it is to cling to power. Seriously, how can anyone the least bit familiar with how Democratic machine politics argue differently?  Look no further than your own Mike Madigan, the King of Illinois, for the last 50 years. Bet he's  counting the day for a new Biden DA to come in and save his ass from jail, again

 
 
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