The Death Throes of the Republican Party

January 6 was a very, very bad day for Donald Trump (but not necessarily for the rest of the country)

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One can never really predict the future, but yesterday sure felt like one of those turning-point days in American history, one in which a switch is thrown and we all move onto a very different track than the one we had been traveling on.

Over the past month, I had puzzled over the President's motives in deciding to continue—and to intensify—his attacks on the legitimacy of Biden's victory.  Was he actually hoping that he'd get a January 6 Miracle?  That Mike Pence would say "I will not count the certified electoral count from Arizona [and Georgia, and Pennsylvania]" and throw the election into the House? Could be. Or perhaps he was merely positioning himself for a post-presidency role as movement leader, Republican kingpin, or television star? Or perhaps it was just the simple inability of a very, very insecure man to accept the public humiliation of an electoral defeat, with no greater strategic goal in mind?

But whatever his motives were (or are), it seemed pretty clear that one virtually certain outcome of his provocations would be that the Republican Party would be rent in two. Thanks to his pressing the issue, Congressional Republicans would have no place to hide. He would force a totally unnecessary and entirely futile "are-you-with-me-or-are-you-against-me moment" on every one of them. And he would be taking names.

And so it happened—in a manner almost unimaginable a few days ago*—and the Republican Party has indeed been rent in two.  It looks to me, though, like the President may have miscalculated a bit, and that, here again, he has come up short, and is left holding the smaller of the two portions.

* If you imagined that the President of the United States would send a message saying "We love you, you're very special" to armed rioters who had forcibly occupied the US Capitol, your powers of imagination are superior to mine.

I watched most of the Senate debate yesterday and last night, and the sight of the Republican Senators, one after another—McConnell, Toomey, Lee, Loeffler, Daines, Romney, Paul, Portman, Sasse, Graham, …—publicly repudiating the President, refusing to do the one thing everyone knew he wanted them to do, was absolutely breath-taking. It was as though they had all, suddenly, awoken from a bad dream, after four years in which they had collectively cowered in the corner, afraid to say a single word that might draw the ire of the Capo, lest he direct his terrible fury at them.

How many of them would have done so had not a majority of their colleagues also done so is an interesting question we'll never be able to answer. But the fact is that the majority of their Republican colleagues, for once, did not cave in, and one can't help but think that the collective nature of the response help strengthen some of the backbones involved.

It was the answer to the question that many of us had been asking for years:  When, if ever, would they push back?  What, if anything, is over the line?  Is there anything—short of shooting someone on Fifth Avenue—that would make them say "Enough is enough"?

The President, intentionally or not, finally found the line—with two weeks to go in his presidency—that only the True Believers would cross.

He may declare war on the Infidels who refused to join him in the coming months and years, or others may do so on his behalf.  We shall see. But he would be doing so from a much, much weaker position than he was in just a few days ago, because his "base," all of a sudden, is a lot smaller than it was before. The Party turned its back on him; only seven of 52 Republican Senators, once the line was drawn, crossed it at his behest. Fifteen percent—of Republicans. And I'm pretty confident that no more than the same small fraction of the Republican electorate—more than, say, that 15%—will stand behind a president (let alone an ex-president) who sent his love and good wishes to armed rioters** who had forcibly occupied the US Capitol.

**Although many commentators are using the term "insurrection" to describe yesterday's events, I prefer calling it a "mob riot."  To my ears, "insurrection" connotes that someone has a plan. It may not be shared by others, and it might not even make a lot of sense; but once the gates are stormed, someone has a step 2: Take over the TV station, or run the new flag up the flagpole, or take opponents into custody (or shoot them on sight), or issue a declaration, … Something.  From what I could see, it didn't look like anyone (let alone the collective) had a plan yesterday for their assault on the Capitol other than generally whooping it up and getting their picture taken sitting in Nancy Pelosi's office. This event looked quite a bit like the takeover of the University Administration Building at Columbia in 1968; it was much more serious than that, of course, because it was directed at the US Capitol, and because many of the rioters were, apparently, armed, but the perpetrators seemed to possess the same general cluelessness of what the point of the exercise was.

Donald Trump cannot control the Republican Party from that 15% perch. Two days ago the Republican Party was securely within his grip.  Today, it is not.

As it turns out, the forces he unleashed gave him no place to hide.

What the Republican Party will look like in the aftermath of this debacle is anybody's guess. But I do think the rioters may actually have—inadvertently, to be sure—performed a great service for the country. I am among those who believe that the country needs something it has not had for some time: A functioning, principled, conservative Republican Party. The events of January 6 have exposed for all to see the anti-democratic and dictatorial heart of Trumpism, and helped to push push it off to the fringe of the political landscape where it belongs. For that, we should all be grateful.

 

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  1. He still has an iron grip of Republicans in the House.

    1. It’s not even that — he put more people on the National Mall than Martin Luther King Jr. did — along with concurrent marches in the capitols of at least six states.

      THAT’s his base — not a bunch of self-serving career politicians. A party consists of voters, not those whom they vote for.

      And the RINOs will be primaried and replaced.

      1. Christ.

        Innumerate, illiterate, and racist is no way to go through life, son.

      2. In light of yesterday’s votes, how many RINOs are there in the Senate?

      3. How many people were there?

      4. he put more people on the National Mall than Martin Luther King Jr. did

        I guess when you only count blacks as 3/5ths of a person, this is the conclusion you come to.

    2. There is certainly a large split in the Republican party, but is it dying?

      59% of Republican representatives who voted still supported the objection to Arizona’s electoral votes. 68% still supported the Pennsylvania objection (though that one may have had some actual legal/constitutional issues).

      And where would disaffected Republicans go? Most are too red to become blue-dog Democrats. There is always the Libertarian party, but joining it is a way to find yourself out of active politics.

      Yes, there will be nasty primaries in two years, but the solid blue and red states won’t change their colors, and there are two years for the GOP to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the few centrist voters (memories are short), or to simply wait for the Democrats to overstep (perhaps multiple times, as they have shown themselves capable of doing) and then pounce.

    3. Trump hasn’t just split the Republican Party. He’s probably given the Democrats the ammunition they need to effectively end the Republican Party. Cori Bush is pushing a bill to expel Republican congress members who enabled Trump. It will probably pass. However, they won’t be satisfied. They may just make a bill targeting the rest of the party. Or labeling the party as a terrorist organization. And when the past the domestic terrorism bill or the patriot act 2.0 how is that going to be used?

      The goal of the bill is too surveillance Far Right Terrorist and white supremacist. However, what’s the criteria or definitions for that? If they follow CNN’s route thst could literally be anyone who has opposing views to democrats.

      And really with D.C. being completely run by democrats… they have the presidency , the house, the senate, and they’ll be packing the courts… so, what’s to stop them from labeling any voter registered as a Republican a terrorist?

      Look at the post of democrat politicians on Twitter. Threatening to blacklist their opponents. Spitting in the faces of anyone asking for unity. Even if they didn’t support trump. People that had no part in Wednesday’s attacks.

      And even if you don’t consider any of that. Cause maybe that’s just crazy talk.

      Come 2022 – 2024 Republicans have no shot at winning. Even if they fully reject Trump. Democrats have everything they need to rip apart any Republican who runs. They will just be treated as another Trump, and called a domestic terrorist and they won’t be able to gain enough public approval or support to win.

      Even a reformed Republican Party cannot combat big tech and the mainstream media machine. Hell libertarians are being targeted by big tech’s purge. Facebook just banned Ron Paul. Twitter banned the Walk Away guy. I don’t remember Brandon Straka calling for violence… all he did was speak against the democrat party and wokeness. Maybe that’s all you need to be a right wing terrorist or a seditionist… maybe we just aren’t allowed to oppose democrats any more. Maybe your just democrat or a far right terrorist and there’s no middle ground.,

      Until libertarians and republicans start creating and funding their own tech companies. With their own servers and programs and start creating their platforms. No one’s got a prayer of defeating democrats. And even then big tech and Silicon Valley with the full support of democrats are going to crush any competition. And getting a Republican news channel on tv is probably out of the question. I mean Fox will probably be pulled from the air as more and more leftist demand it. No one really has a backbone to stand against the outrage mob any more in this country. And Trump just gave Democrats and Big Tech and SJWs a Golden ticket to destroy their opponents or any dissenting opinions.

      I don’t know if we can stop America from descending into a One-Party Nation. And with big tech and the Democratic Party merging essentially how do you fight that? Can you fight that? Can you oppose it without being labeled a terrorist or Neo-Nazi or white supremacist.

      Trump is a terrible dude. He caused the insurrection but… what does that mean for any non democrat that wasn’t apart of that… or objected to it. Is everyone that isn’t a democrat just an enemy of the state now? I feel like there’s a lot of democrat congress members that might think that now.

      Republicans are going to have to rebuild much stronger and more intelligently. They have to defeat democrats at their own game. They have to have ways to get through to people even with big tech censorship. Maybe on the ground door to door community outreach. Old school pre internet campaigning. Physically talking to people. But, then we have those lockdowns to work around or overcome.

  2. “If you imagined that the President of the United States would send a message saying “We love you, you’re very special” to armed rioters who had forcibly occupied the US Capitol, your powers of imagination are superior to mine.”

    And if you imagine he actually DID do that, your powers of imagination call for sedation.

    1. Trump’s statement was substantially different from Kamala saying the protesters should not let up. Or when Pelosi wondered why there weren’t uprising all over the country (and foretold that ‘Maybe there will be”)? Or when Ayanna Presley said that, “There needs to be unrest in the streets”?

      1. The imagination needed is the idea that he was saying it to the rioters, specifically, and not everybody else.

        I’ve remarked on it: We spent last year being lectured endlessly that just standing next to a guy throwing Molotov cocktails doesn’t make you a rioter. But apparently just being IN D.C. while somebody blocks away riots does?

        1. No one needed to tell the peaceful protesters to go home. Biden’s call for Trump to go on TV and ask Trump to take action wasn’t because of the peaceful protesters, who were clearly there and clearly the majority.

          The rioters broke through police lines and advanced on the Capitol building. The peaceful protesters did not. This means they were physically separated by some distance and there’s no misidentifying one from the other because they were merely standing next to each other. There is no ambiguity here. The pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails weren’t found among the peaceful protesters DC. The peaceful protesters didn’t take selfies inside the Senate chamber or face capitol police across makeshift barricades.

          There was no need to tell peaceful people to be peaceful and go home and he didn’t bother to clarify which of his supporters he was speaking to. At the very least, he was speaking to all of them, including the rioters.

          1. The two pipe bombs were found behind the RNC headquarters, which is NOT the Capitol. And WHAT Molotov cocktails?

            1. Why do you keep lying? Besides sociopathy? There were not two pipe bombs at RNC headquarters. There was one pipe bomb at the RNC and one at the DNC.

          2. There was need to tell them to go home: The rally was being canceled! They’d soon be arrested if they stayed. Didn’t somebody need to, I don’t know, let them know that?

            It’s not like the rioters, who had just ended whatever slight chance Trump had, were going to take his advice. They were operating on their own to begin with.

        2. The imagination needed is the idea that he was saying it to the rioters, specifically, and not everybody else.

          Look, I’d much rather live in a world where the president didn’t deliver that message, or, where there was at least a little ambiguity about what he was saying. But there’s a video, it’s less than a minute long, and the meaning couldn’t be more plain. If you want to try to delude yourself about what happened, I guess you can, but don’t expect any reasonable people to come along for the ride.

          1. Brett is firmly in his own version of reality- distorted and clueless.

          2. This happens over and over: People attribute some evil to something Trump has said, and then when other people are, “What?”, insist that there’s no other possible meaning than the one they’ve chosen.

            We’re not all looking out your eyes, listening with your ears, and everything colored by your biases.

            1. They seem to think that we not only read tea leaves like they do, but also interpret the readings the exact same way.

              I’m told that Trump’s “Lock her up” comment means that he wanted to jail, without charges or trail, his political opponent in spite of that phrasing typically being used to mean investigate and arrest if applicable. People say “Lock him/her up” all the time and it’s not interpreted that way.

              “Nah”, say they, “I know the kind of person Trump is. He’s an authoritarian dictator who wants to immediately arrest and jail anyone who opposes him”
              Can this be proven? “Just look at him”

              So his comments must be interpreted in the most dire/sinister way possible. Not just seriously, but literally in the most deadly sense.

              OK. How should I take Maxine Waters comments about harassing Trump cabinet members in public, AOCs talk about making lists of Trump and supporters, Keith Olbermann’s calls for Truth and Reconciliation commissions, etc.?

              Those are just extremists who shouldn’t be taken seriously (Yes, I’ve heard that).
              Maxine Waters was only talking about cabinet members not all Republicans and it just means hold them accountable.
              AOC just means that we need to remember the people who worked for Trump and not trust them.
              Keith Olbermann is just a journalist who doesn’t have power. (OR) He means that we need to look at Trump’s corruption when he leaves office.’

              So, despite much more direct calls for action, I shouldn’t take them seriously, much less literally, and instead must interpret their comments in the most generous (to them) way possible.

              At this point, I realize most conversation is going to be useless and a waste of my time.

    2. And what evidence is there that they were armed?

      The DC Metro Police found *one* gun. How many do they find on the average Friday night?

      And they are admitting that the woman whom they shot was unarmed…

      1. The evidence is that they keep saying it, and will deplatform any attempt to deny it, so they’re going to construct a media bubble where it was true.

        And over half the population lives in that media bubble, so get used to people believing they were armed.

        1. Is the media saying that the rioters (or the protesters) were armed? I don’t follow this stuff. What I had seen was that it appeared they were all unarmed.

      2. There was a thread of tweets from the arraignment of several of the people arrested. A number of them were arraigned on firearms charges like carrying an unlicensed or unregistered gun. Whether you believe the registration and licensing is useful there people at least were caring guns. Her is a list of those arrested and the charges.

        https://mpdc.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/mpdc/publication/attachments/Unrest-Related%20Arrest%20Data%20as%20of%20January%207%202021.pdf

        1. I could easily believe that somebody stupid enough to think breaking into the Capitol buildings would be a good idea, would be stupid enough to believe that concealed carry while doing it was a good idea, too. I would venture a guess that several percent of the rally were packing heat in defiance of DC’s gun laws; It’s widely understood on the right that DC’s gun laws are grossly unconstitutional, and a lot of people on the right routinely violate gun control laws.

          That doesn’t mean they went in brandishing guns. More likely didn’t even think about it.

          1. So they were armed, contrary to what Dr. Ed said.

            Fuck your bullshit about, “Hey, they weren’t brandishing, so what’s the problem?” That’s ludicrous.

            I keep hearing about “responsible” gun owners. Responsible peopel don’t break into the Capitol, and they sure as hell don’t do it while illegally carrying guns.

            Oh, and your opinion of the constitutionality of DC’s gun laws carries zero weight.

    3. Reality keeps knocking on your door as though, someday, you’ll finally wake up and get clued in.

      And you keep complaining about the noise instead of answering it.

      You are a delusional. You are a significant part of the problem.

      Trump spent the last 4 years lying at unprecedented rates. He spent the last two months lying and stoking anger about his failure as a leader to be re-elected. He then decided to pour gasoline on the fire by telling his supporters to mass in the Capitol for a protest, and directed them to go to the Capitol.

      He then reminded them that they can’t take anything back without strength, and sent them on their way. He incited a riot, and put the function of Government itself at risk because of his fucking ego.

      He told them that he loves them, and to go home with a smug countenance. He refused to call in the National Guard to protect our sitting Congresspeople. He continued to spread his baseless lies which incited the riot even in his lame effort to pretend like he didn’t want them doing precisely what he’d orchestrated.

      Trump has to go, and you need to wake the fuck up.

    4. They are having trouble separating their fears from reality.

  3. Today I Found Out:

    Trump came so close. He had four years in office. And only (ONLY!) 313 days on the golf course. There’s only 13 days left, which means that Trump will fall just short of the treasured goal of spending 1/4 of his time in office at the golf course!

    #itsgoodtohavegoals

    1. That’s a pretty good gig if you can get it! Maybe I will run for president because my golf game needs a lot of work…I wonder if the president gets discounted rates at golf courses?

      1. Knowing Trump, he charged himself inflated rates at his own courses and paid his inflated rates with taxpayer money.

  4. Strange to me that at this stage you would speak of the President’s motives and intent. His actions are prompted by whatever pathology has motivated all of his behavior. There is a simple way to answer any question as to why he has done some particular thing: because he is crazy.

  5. I would, by the way, love to see the GOP die. I only wound up in the GOP because they and the Democrats had conspired on rendering 3rd party politics futile, and the Democrats looked worse.

    The GOP, at the federal level, and in many states, isn’t so much a viable political party, as it is a parasite occupying the space a real political party should fill, preventing that real party from emerging. It’s like a political equivalent of “Cymothoa exigua”, the parasite that eats and takes the place of a fish’s tongue.

    The problem here is that it’s not in the interests of the Democratic party that a viable replacement for the current Republican party arise, and our political system is far from being as free as it was when the Whigs died.

    What would, (Will?) likely happen, is that as the party split up, the Democratic party would for at least an election cycle find itself in unchallenged control of the government, and then protect the rump GOP as a harmless pseudo-opposition party.

    In fact, I wonder if politicians like McConnell wouldn’t find that a happy fate?

    1. Because the Democratic party is on a massive winning streak and totally ruling the capital by keeping the GOP around! It’s like a 50/50 split in the Senate and a loss of seats in the House went exactly to plan!

      Love the way you’ve managed to place responsibility on the failure of the GOP to govern responsibly on the opposition party. Not unlike the way FOX news is now trying to claim yesterday’s mob riot was an Antifa false flag effort and how real patriots were just helpless victims!

      1. Huh? I thought I was comparing the GOP to a parasitic louse. That’s hardly putting the blame on their behavior elsewhere.

        What I said is that, IF the GOP breaks up, the Democratic party would end up with a massive winning streak, and probably keep one of the fragments around as a faux opposition. Not that things are like that right now.

        No, right now the louse is firmly in control of the fish, and likely to remain that way for a while, sadly.

        1. In the 1850s many of the major Jacksonians left the party their leader founded and most returned after Lincoln defeated the traitors…although by the early 1860s many of Jackson’s top lieutenants were dead. So Trump apparently sees Andrew Jackson as a model for a populist takeover of the government but Jackson had very competent and very loyal lieutenants AND Jackson laid out a coherent ideology that could be implemented by getting the right people elected. And we also know the loyalty to Jackson was very real and sincere because we know a man of the stature of Sam Houston raced to Jackson’s death bed so he could be by his side when he passed. Trump’s vision for America is incoherent and I doubt the sincerity of the loyalty of his top lieutenants…although Trump apparently has very loyal foot soldiers.

          1. Jackson had four years after his “defeat” to organize a team and plan for his Presidency. Trump just came down an escalator.

            1. I have said before that Reagan and Jackson got lucky by losing close enough to put the establishment on notice for 4 years and get behind them. So if Reagan wins in 1976 no way James Baker is with him and most believe Baker is the most important non elected government official of the last 40 years.

              1. You think Trump’s not running in 2024?

                1. The good thing about losing closely is that you don’t control anything and so you can’t prove yourself incompetent. Trump is incompetent and incapable of behaving “presidential” AND he lost! The establishment wants nothing to do with him now and they spent 2017 in shock and attempting to undermine his presidency…generally early on in the first term is when the signature legislation gets passed and quite frankly in modern times second terms have not been successful for any president. So MccConnell understands the ebb and flow of national politics and he knows if Trump would have somehow won we would have had a blue tsunami in 2022 and 2024. I think McConnell and Graham know they made out like bandits these last 4 years and are fine with the results of the last several months.

                  1. “The establishment wants nothing to do with him now and they spent 2017 in shock and attempting to undermine his presidency…”

                    I’m waiting for the polls, but Trump has been wildly popular with self-described Republicans. That’s the force that cowed the establishment, who loathed (and probably still loathe) him. I don’t know how much that will change. He could well be a force for primarying GOP enemies in 2022, and a force of his own in the 2024 primaries.

                2. “You think Trump’s not running in 2024?”

                  He’s not winning. Perhaps the R’s will nominate an adult, instead, rather than risk re-electing Biden.

                  1. Whether or not he can win the Republican nomination in 2024 depends on how good a job he can do of convincing Republicans that the 2020 election was stolen. So far he’s done a fair job of it, but can he keep them thinking that for 3 years?

                    I personally think he’d be better off organizing and picking somebody to back. If he leaves it to the GOP establishment, no matter who they pick in 2024 is going to be slaughtered, because it’s not like the media are going back to their pre-Trump behavior.

              2. “most believe Baker is the most important non elected government official of the last 40 years.”

                Over Gerald Ford?

                1. What government post did Gerald Ford hold in the last 40 years?

          2. “Trump apparently sees Andrew Jackson as a model for a populist takeover of the government”

            He wants a totalitarian takeover. I don’t think he’s limiting his role models to Americans. He was openly jealous of the North Korean government, and the House of Saud.

    2. Hopefully the Supreme Court overturns Roe and the Court continues carving out gun rights that apply nationally…and then the Democratic Party becomes much more palatable at the federal level. At the state and local level in the short term I would support Democrats simply for Medicaid expansion and cannabis legalization, but on everything else generally Republicans have superior policies at the state level, and states work better with Republican policies when deficit spending isn’t an option.

      1. YMMV. I watched a death spiral in my former state… the R’s supported some nutty choices on ideological grounds, and started losing state-wide races. then, because they couldn’t win state-wide races, they started having problems attracting strong candidates, which caused them to continue losing state-wide races. the candidates they COULD get went big on the nutty ideology, which helped them win primaries among the nutty ideologues they had in the party, but which did not help them get elected to office. Back when I was in high-school, the governor was a Republican businessman. By the time my kid was graduating, their candidate for governor was a former professional basketball player with no political experience of any kind, who didn’t change their track record in state-wide races. After he lost, he left the state.

        1. I agree one party rule is asinine and blue states also tend to be much more likely to vote pragmatically for Republicans like Baker and Hogan in Mass and Maryland.

          1. If the hardcore ideologues could tolerate having compromise candidates in their party, they could win some elections and have some say in how the government is run.

            In Oregon, back in the late 80’s early 90’s, the Republicans stopped trying to win state-wide elections and focused on getting nutty laws passed by initiative, instead, before poisoning that well, too, and pretty much reducing themselves to that oddity of American politics… a minority party that controls 31 of the 36 counties. Alas for them, the 5 counties they don’t control are the ones with all the voters in them. The D’s gerrymandered the Congressional districts to pretty much own 4 of the 5 Representatives because 3 of the districts reach into Portland suburbs, and the 4th one they own is basically Multnomah county, AKA Portland. The district the Republicans have covers about 2/3 of the state.

            It’s not completely a one -party state, but the reason the Oregon R’s don’t win state-wide offices is because they drove out all but the nuttiest ideologues, and have nobody to offer up who might appeal to a non-ideologue. So the centrists pick the least-objectionable candidate, who (surprise!) turns out to be the Democrat.
            How ineffective is the Oregon Republican Party?
            Back when I started law school a popular prof decided to run for state AG in the Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the law-and-order R’s didn’t even have any candidates in their primary. So, the law professor from the progressive law school in Portland won the Democratic primary he was entered in and, at the same time, won the Republican primary he wasn’t entered in as a write-in. At the time, state law prevented a single candidate from being a candidate for more than one party so he went onto the ballot as a Democrat. He won but served only one term, retiring to take an academic position with a different school.

    3. What all of you are missing is that there is no solution that involves national politics.

      Nothing will ever get fixed or meaningfully better, no matter how hard you vote, no matter how many elections you have or who you send to Washington D.C. Washington D.C. is never going to fix Washington D.C. As terrible and corrupt as our politicians are, they aren’t the problem. The bigger problem is the system of government that we have developed over the last 250 years.

      George Mason had it right:

      ““The very idea of converting what was formerly confederation, to a consolidated Government, is totally subversive of every principle which has hitherto governed us. This power is calculated to annihilate totally the State Governments. Will the people of this great community submit to be individually taxed by two different and distinct powers? Will they suffer themselves to be doubly harrassed? These two concurrent powers cannot exist long together; the one will destroy the other: The General Government being paramount to, and in every respect more powerful than, the State governments, the latter must give way to the former. Is it to be supposed that one National Government will suit so extensive a country, embracing so many climates, and containing inhabitants so very different in manners, habits, and customs? It is ascertained by history, that there never was a Government, over a very extensive country, without destroying the liberties of the people.”

      1. “Nothing will ever get fixed or meaningfully better, no matter how hard you vote, no matter how many elections you have or who you send to Washington D.C. Washington D.C. is never going to fix Washington D.C.”

        Well, not as long as there is an entrenched political party that does everything it can do to sabotage the federal government.

  6. As I said in the other thread, this is like the GOP in 1974. They will survive and make a comeback, if they get a halfway normal person to run.

    1. The problem isn’t the GOP. The problem is the people. It’s us.

      I, too, would love a “functioning, principled, conservative Republican Party.” I would love a party that was for individual rights, and small (but smart) government. That concentrated on intelligent programs to help the weakest in our society, while also streamlining regulations to make it easy for people to start their own businesses. That gave more than lip service to the deficit as a cudgel to use when Democrats are in power, and to forget about it when they have control of the fisc.

      But that’s not what the other voters want. We see what they want. There is a decent group of people in this country that are disaffected, and angry, and being fed lies. And I think it will get worse before it gets better.

      1. It’s the people AND the system. Milton Friedman:

        “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or it they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

        Milton’s mistake is not realizing that the same reasoning applies to the people.

        1. It’s not just that; it’s the total erosion of norms.

          Laws aren’t what make the country work. It’s norms. To use an analogy- let’s say you have neighbors. Now, there are a lot of norms that govern how people (such as neighbors) interact with each other. If you’ve ever had to deal with a neighbor from hell, then you know that the law is blunt instrument that is rarely effective; there is a great deal that requires both sides to adhere to certain norms.

          What we’ve been seeing recently, over the last two decades or so, but accelerated immensely recently, goes under a lot of different terms- some have called it ‘Constitutional Hardball’ when applied to the federal government. But in the end, it’s about how people no longer feel any constraint in terms of norms; if you can “get away” with it legally, that’s all that matters, norms be damned.

          My two cents.

          1. Our Founders chafed under a monarchy, because they felt that the monarchy wasn’t responsive to their concerns. So the set about building a government that would work, but didn’t feature anybody with monarchial power. The polite lie is that the Constitution keeps anybody in government from turning into a tyrant, but this is not true. at no point in history did the document rise up, pry off the top of the glass case it was in, drop to the floor and head off to prevent tyranny.
            What actually does the trick is having people running the government who believe that there are limits on their power, and underlings who believe that there are limits on their bosses’ power. When the tyranny comes, if will be because you have somebody running the government who doesn’t believe there are limits on his power, and underlings who also do not believe there are limits on his power. You get these two conditions PLUS a person running the government who knows how to do things, that’s when the tyranny will show up. We have two of the three things now, and he’s throwing a tantrum over being told his power will come to an end, and that’s how you know that the third part is missing.

          2. We had a first past the pole system that had a strong tendency to produce two major parties, but which parties they were could change.

            In the late 70’s, early 80’s, third party politics started to heat up, and the existing major parties got worried. So they changed the rules to entrench themselves. A lot of things: Taking the debates away from the League and giving them to a Bipartisan commission. Leaning on polsters to stop reporting third parties. Campaign finance reform.

            The system is stuck on the same two parties now, and the parties know it. They no longer need to be affirmatively liked, they think it’s enough to convince their bases that the other side is worse.

            The result is a downward spiral that can only end when refusing to support “your” side no longer guarantees the “other” side winning.

            We need our political system freed again.

            1. “We need our political system freed again.”

              Can we start by disenfranchising anybody who espouses conspiracy theories?

        2. “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people.”

          I’m glad we’ve decided to start by NOT re-electing the wrong people. That’s gotta be at least part of the solution.

          1. It doesn’t do you any good to not re-elect the wrong people, if the only alternative is to elect other wrong people. That’s where we are now: Deciding which wrong people we want in charge, because right people isn’t one of the choices.

            And it’s not one of the choices because the system IS rigged, in both parties.

            1. “It doesn’t do you any good to not re-elect the wrong people”

              This explains your support for Trump. Well, that and your blind party loyalty, in combination.

      2. loki13
        January.7.2021 at 1:04 pm
        The problem isn’t the GOP. The problem is the people. It’s us.
        *********************************
        George Carlin had a unique take on just this point. He said it was wrong to tell him he had no right to complain since he didn’t vote. He pointed out that by not voting, he had no part in electing the idiots who got into office. In fact, those who voted had no right to complain because they were the reason the idiots got elected.

        1. ” He pointed out that by not voting, he had no part in electing the idiots who got into office.”

          He was wrong. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for stage comedians to do nothing. He did his part, and evil triumphed.

    2. The news media and Facebook and Twitter will proclaim whoever it is Hitler XL and censor and lie, just like they would do for any other Republican (even the fakes, like McCain).

      It’s not like other times.

      1. If you’d stop supporting people like Hitler, that would stop happening.

        1. At one time or another, all the Bush family was called Hitler. Yet, there was no condemnation from you when the 3 Hitlers all came out in support of Biden. Why do you support the Hitlers who support your chosen candidate?

          1. Gosh, I’m sorry I confused you. When I referred to “Hitler” above, I meant the one from Germany.

            You seem to be making an assumption about who my chosen candidate was. Hint: It wasn’t the old white guy.

    3. What will the revived GOP stand for? Can it be the same things they have been arguing for since Reagan?

    4. Reagan came in on a populist wave — the Bushies didn’t want him.

      1. It took several decades for America to recover from Reaganism.

        1. To the extent it has, I mean. There are still people who advocate getting trickled on economically, as an excuse to cut taxes on people who make more money that you do.

          1. Well, I DO want to cut taxes on people who make more money than I do. For both moral and pragmatic reasons.

            The moral reason is that I think people should pay for what they get, and get what they pay for, (Petty bourgeois morality, but I AM a member of the bourgeois.) I think the communist slogan, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” is deeply immoral. In addition to horrifically destructive.

            The pragmatic reason is that if people don’t have to pay for what they get, they have no motive to be economical about what they ask for. They’ll ask for the government to do things that aren’t remotely cost effective, because somebody else is shouldering the cost.

            Progressive taxation makes economically insane things politically viable, maybe even politically unavoidable. It has horrible consequences in terms of public policy in a democracy.

            1. “The moral reason is that I think people should pay for what they get”

              What they got is a system that allows them to live comfortably; taxes keep the system in place which is currently keeping the peasants from rising up and lining up the wealthy folks against the nearest brick wall. THAT’S what they get for their tax money.

              “The pragmatic reason is that if people don’t have to pay for what they get”

              You JUST finished advocating for not making the wealthy people pay for what they get.

    5. ” They will survive and make a comeback, if they get a halfway normal person to run.”

      that’s a big “if”

  7. It was the answer to the question that many of us had been asking for years: When, if ever, would they push back? What, if anything, is over the line? Is there anything—short of shooting someone on Fifth Avenue—that would make them say “Enough is enough”?

    Can you imagine if they shot a representative in the street? Or beat up a senator in his home? That would really be something and surely people would be demanding the political party responsible for something like that would push back against violent rhetoric.

    But for some reason these expectations only go one way, and people act surprised when people decide to push back in another way.

    1. Watch the video of Graham’s statement last night. He manages to repeat the lies and agree with the conspiracy theories that drove the mob while simultaneously wriggling himself out from under any responsibility and publicly disavowing Donald Trump. He was only trying to be helpful, you see.

      While a line was crossed, I don’t think all of the Senators that balked last night did so because of principle. People like Graham appeared more motived by self-preservation. He saw which way the wind was blowing and shifted direction just as he did after Trump won the nomination. His lack of backbone just makes him better at twisting away from earned consequences.

      For the rest of them, they were willing to go quite far and amplify Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories all the way up to the point where those lies put them in personal, physical danger. That appears to be their principled line–their own skin.

      To the Republicans that stood up when they had nothing personal to gain and weren’t at any personal risk, thank you.

    2. “Can you imagine if they shot a representative in the street?”

      I can, and when I do, I imagine her name is Gabby and that she was shot while playing baseball. Turns out that despite being turned for partisan gain, neither one was truly partisan, though.

      Neither was being up a senator at his home, which turned out to be a pre-existing neighborly squabble.

  8. How many times has the GOP been pronounced dead? Seems like every election cycle the chattering class makes such a prognostication.

    January 6th is going to go down in history but not for what the institutional left thinks it will. Media hypocrisy was laid bare for all to see. The blatant double standard couldn’t be any more obvious. And the Right is finally waking up to the fact that if it doesn’t make direct activism part of its regularly advocacy it will never succeed.

    While the peanut gallery continues virtue signaling masturbation, the Right is waking up.

    1. If you don’t have to worry about maintaining a majority, you can primary RINOs with impunity. Houseclean in 2022 and then sweep in like Reagan did in 2024.

      We have way too many Republican politicians who have forgotten why they came down to DC in the first place.

      1. If you don’t care about being able to actually DO anything, you can drive all of the insufficiently-pure conservatives out.

        1. You can’t be so concerned about being able to DO something, that you stop caring about WHAT it is you’ll be doing. If you win elections with people who do the wrong thing, what was the point of winning?

          If you’re going to lose running people who’d do the right thing, you’re just screwed anyway, and might as well go out with a clean conscience.

          1. None of which explains why the hardcases choose to lose with bad candidates.

      2. That is pretty much the exact opposite of what Reagan did, but why don’t you imagine a race rioting trucker’s strike and leave the real history to non-fabulists, okay?

    2. “While the peanut gallery continues virtue signaling masturbation, the Right is waking up.”

      What they’re waking up is the vast middle, who awoke in time to defeat Hitler and Imperial Japan, before being put back to sleep again.

    3. “How many times has the GOP been pronounced dead?”

      The marriage between businessmen looking for favorable conditions for business and social conservatives looking to use the government to enforce their religious and social preferences was never a happy one, so seeing strife between them is not at all surprising. The fear both have of losing to Democrats borders on paranoia, however, so they keep trying to make it work.

      If they were to split up, the Democrats would, of course, immediately jack up the taxes and business regulations to punish the formerly-Republican businessmen for past sins, and then turn around and force everybody to get a same-sex marriage and then confiscate all the guns to fashion them into plowshares and gay-sex toys. Then they’d probably shut down the Army and use the Pentagon budget to give everybody socialized healthcare.

  9. Concern trolling. No one thinks for one second you care about the Republican Party.

    It’s not 1989 any more.

    1. They are allegedly still Americans. I care about Americans.

  10. I would dearly love to see a party which does not vote to send $1.2 Trillion in USAID to countries such as Pakistan for gender studies programs and various other nonsensical items. Particularly in the middle of a pandemic in which Government is using full power and authority to destroy private sector business and wipe away individual wealth. Instead, over the last 30 years we have had a 2 -party system operating as 1-party which exists merely to eternally seize individual wealth and identity. Not to mention, maintain private-public partnerships with oligarchs.

    America is not the Global Police and neither should America be the Global Purse.

    If all we do is focus on directing our ire towards one person or one political party, then the nothing will change. McConnell is same as Pelosi and we the people are just bamboozled fools on a circular path to nowhere.

    1. I would dearly love to see a party which does not vote to send $1.2 Trillion in USAID to countries such as Pakistan for gender studies programs and various other nonsensical items.

      I have good news for you Svn!

    2. The fact that you are a bamboozled fool does not imply that everyone is.

      1. So, you prefer a one- party system run by scoundrels who take your wealth and identity to use a toilet paper for their gold-plated shits-a-ramas.

        1. No, I’m AGAINST the Republicans. Was that not clear?

  11. Mr. Trump is simply not interested in a “Party” as that concept has been understood in American thought. He is interested in a group of people who are personally and fanatically loyal to him.

    The Republican party has been a good source of recruits for such a group. But to the extent it contains people not willing to completely submit, the disloyal faction is simply not in his interest, and from his point of view he is better off working to destroy it. Working to ensure it loses elections is one way to accomplish this.

    Also, like every totalitarian, he may need traitors to help focus his base. Periodic purges may work to his advantage regardless of the factual “innocence” or “guilt” of those purge.

    This is simply not a person working within the conceptual framework of an American political party. This is a totalitarian, seeking to create an instrument of his totalitarian will.

    1. This is just another demonstration that it is possible to either be a Republican, or an American, but not both at the same time.

    2. Perhaps one way of thinking of Mr. Trump is as a sort of virus on the Republican Party. Like any virus, Mr. Trump entered the host by convincing the defenses it was something beneficial, and then did everything in his power to exploit the host to create his own self-replication machine, destroying the host in the process.

      It is not clear to me that the host is free of the virus at this point. The virus is still deeply embedded.

      The sober people in the Senate might still be attacked in primaries and otherwise. Trump would rather have Democrats running things than Republicans not fully subject to his will. He may succeed in destroying lortions of the Republican party he can’t take over. It isn’t over yet by a long shot.

  12. To my ears, “insurrection” connotes that someone has a plan.

    That seems fair. (I’ve been thinking about that word, because it appears in the 14th amendment.)

    1. Does it count as having a plan if the fellow with the closest thing to a plan has no tethers to reality?

  13. With every step Trump takes the GOP becomes more and more radicalized. 15% of Rs in the Senate backing this is still a lot. And there are a lot of prominent Trump supporters on TV that are still defending the attack (or at least making excuses and downplaying it). If 15% of the US population will support any violence that Trump wants then we are doomed. If we are lucky this will cause a split in the GOP into two competing parties and that would allow the Ds to win for a decade or so. If we are unlucky the GOP will embrace these thugs.

    1. I hope so. Violence, terror and disorder is ultimately the only thing thugs understand, and thugs are leftists.

      1. An odd comment on a story about rightist thugs.

    2. The Ds have embraced their thugs. What do you expect Rs to do?

      1. Obtain a sense of humor, and retrieve honor and decency from wherever they were put in storage.

  14. He may declare war on the Infidels who refused to join him in the coming months and years, or others may do so on his behalf. We shall see. But he would be doing so from a much, much weaker position than he was in just a few days ago, because his “base,” all of a sudden, is a lot smaller than it was before.

    Bullshite.

    Yesterday was a show of strength that so terrified the left that they are now having protest marches because of it. Twatter and Farcebook have banned him which is actually good because we all need to go over to Parler anyway.

    What Trump did yesterday is what he should have done in 2017 — show the nation the extent of his powerbase.

    1. “Bullshite.

      Yesterday was a show of strength that so terrified the left […]”

      these paragraphs are out of order.

    2. “What Trump did yesterday is what he should have done in 2017 — show the nation the extent of his powerbase.”

      And invite the suggestions of Erectile Dysfunction? Didn’t he get enough “tiny hands” jokes already by that point?

    3. Good- I’m sure you can become even more indoctrinated and delusional over on Parler.

    4. Right, only the left was bothered yesterday, hence the resignation of noted leftist Mick Mulvaney and the denunciation of antifa member Bill Barr.

    5. The brave keyboard warrior meekly speaks from his grandma’s basement again!

      Remember, he would’ve been there yesterday himself if he could walk!

      …because evidently he’s never heard of a wheelchair. Good excuse, Ed!

    6. It would give me great pleasure if you departed for parler. Take your lies and fantasies with you.

  15. ” perhaps it was just the simple inability of a very, very insecure man to accept the public humiliation of an electoral defeat, with no greater strategic goal in mind?”

    This isn’t going play well with the “Trump is the master of 12-dimensional chess” crowd.

  16. No diff between Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters and the Capitol invaders. Same target Chinese Communist Party.

    1. “No diff between Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters and the Capitol invaders.”

      Well, one group is taller, on average.

    2. You really should speak to a psychiatrist. Psychotropic drugs are much better now than they used to be.

      1. You should put your wet KGB handbook back in the trash.

        1. You should ask for a refund from whoever told you that was “normal”.

  17. Over the next two years the Republican party will define itself as the opposite of whatever those socialists are doing or trying to do, and will do just fine in 2022. (Unless the Democrats manage statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.)

    1. “Over the next two years the Republican party will define itself as the opposite of whatever those socialists are doing or trying to do”

      And anyone they don’t like is “those socialists”. As if that’s a new strategy.

      1. The people they don’t to the like to their right are often called national socialists. The people to their left are the international kind. COMINTERN did not go away, it simply rebranded.

        1. Sure, sure. Commies hiding under every bed and behind every tree.

  18. How about we just perish the Republican party and put the Libertarian party in its place? They’re *actually* conservative and unstained by seditious acts and coddling a fascist president.

    They would be a far better force for US politics than the Republican party ever could be now (and since 1970 or so at that.)

    1. Support instant runoff voting or a similar system so there is no disincentive to vote for the lesser of two evils. Then see how Libertarians do when they are not spoilers.

  19. Dear Mr Post:
    My powers of imagination are not, I’m sure, superior to yours; but this outcome, or something like it, was clear to me ever since September 29 – more than three months ago – during his debate with Biden. Both Biden and moderator Chris Wallace called on Trump to condemn them, but instead Trump told Proud Boys, nationwide on TV to “stand back and stand by” from their threats of civil insurrection.
    That made one thing clear; at some point they would be required to do the opposite; yesterday that moment came to pass. “White supremacists and right-wing militias” as Wallace called them, were listening. Something like yesterday’s riot was, in short, entirely predictable and indeed predicted.

  20. “If you imagined that the President of the United States would send a message saying “We love you, you’re very special” to armed rioters who had forcibly occupied the US Capitol, your powers of imagination are superior to mine.”

    He was talking about the peaceful protesters. You know, 99.999% of them.

    1. “He was talking about the peaceful protesters. You know, 99.999% of them.”

      The peaceful sort who came to the capitol to complain that their guy wasn’t declared the winner of the election on the trivial technicality that he got fewer votes than the other guy did.

      1. By the pictures it seems their primary message was Make America Great Again.

        1. That’s going to be taken care of on the 20th.

  21. Post is a lawyer. Dismissed. He lives in the Beltway area. Dismissed. He is part of the Deep State. Dismissed.

  22. At one time or another, all the Bush family was called Hitler. Yet, there was no condemnation from you when the 3 Hitlers all came out in support of Biden. Why do you support the Hitlers who support your chosen candidate?

    1. Why stop there? Obama was called Hitler, too.

  23. Yes, the Grumpy Old Party is over. Rebranding of the Trump publicans proceeds.

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