The Republican Party’s Shame

The Party of Lincoln went over the cliff like lemmings in support. It's tough to see how they recover.

This work is in the Public Domain, CC0

The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus lays down a smackdown of her own against those who abetted President Trump’s attempt to overturn the election and the damage they have thereby done to the country.

I never imagined that the aftermath of the election would pose a greater danger to American democracy than the four previous years. But here we are. Not just because of President Trump — his authoritarian impulses are a given — but because of the craven response of his fellow Republicans.

With the always doomed-to-fail litigation at the Supreme Court, Republicans have gone beyond the indulge-the-toddler-while-he-cries-it-out phase of this debacle to a dangerous new stage: Incentivize the toddler. Reward his bad behavior. Encourage his belief, as poisonous to democracy as it is delusional, that the election was stolen.

And they are laying the predicate for a contentious new phase of American democracy, if it can continue to be called that, in which election results — after appropriate recounts and audits and certifications — are no longer accepted. Instead, they merely open the door for a second phase of legal and political guerrilla warfare in which no tactic, no lie, no baseless claim is off-limits. Democracy cannot function this way.

As harsh as that opener is, she arguably buried her lede:

But this is not a matter of all’s well that ends well. What was alarming about the Texas effort — what Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro aptly described as “this seditious abuse of the judicial process” — was that it gained the support of so many others. Seventeen of 26 Republican state attorneys general. Nearly two-thirds of House Republicans, some 106 on Thursday, with 20 more jumping on the bandwagon Friday, including the minority leader, Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).

Every one of these individuals has forfeited any claim to believe in anything but fealty to Trump and their own political self-interest. Because nothing could be less conservative, less consistent with supposed Republican principles, than urging a court to overturn a democratic election. Spare me the pieties about activist judges.

Nothing could be less consistent with conservative principles than contending that one state should be able to instruct another about how to conduct its elections — or that federal judges should referee such claims. So much for federalism.

She then names names:

So history will record, but let me make it easier for the historians and, perhaps, impose a smidgen of accountability in the present.

First, the attorneys general, the chief law enforcement officers of their states, who joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in this legal monstrosity: Eric Schmitt, Missouri (he goes first because Missouri filed the brief); Steve Marshall, Alabama; Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas; Ashley Moody, Florida; Curtis Hill, Indiana; Derek Schmidt, Kansas; Jeff Landry, Louisiana; Lynn Fitch, Mississippi; Tim Fox, Montana; Doug Peterson, Nebraska; Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota; Mike Hunter, Oklahoma; Alan Wilson, South Carolina; Jason Ravnsborg, South Dakota; Herbert H. Slatery III, Tennessee; Sean Reyes, Utah; Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia.

Second, the House members, including McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise (La.); Jim Jordan (Ohio), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee; Kevin Brady (Tex.), ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee; Rep. Gary Palmer (Ala.), head of the Republican Policy Committee; and Mike Johnson (La.), who organized this constitutional abomination.

The rest, listed in order of their home state: Alabama (Robert B. Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne), Arizona (Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko), Arkansas (Eric A. “Rick” Crawford, Bruce Westerman), California (Ken Calvert, Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock), Colorado (Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn), Florida (Gus M. Bilirakis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Ross Spano, Michael Waltz, Daniel Webster, Ted Yoho), Georgia (Rick Allen, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Douglas A. Collins, Drew Ferguson, Jody Hice, Barry Loudermilk, Austin Scott), Idaho (Russ Fulcher, Mike Simpson), Illinois (Mike Bost, Darin LaHood), Indiana (Jim Baird, Jim Banks, Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, Jackie Walorski), Iowa (Steve King), Kansas (Ron Estes, Roger Marshall), Louisiana (Ralph Abraham, Clay Higgins).

Maryland (Andy Harris), Michigan (Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John Moolenaar, Tim Walberg), Minnesota (Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn, Pete Stauber), Mississippi (Michael Guest, Trent Kelly, Steven M. Palazzo), Missouri (Sam Graves, Billy Long, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason T. Smith, Ann Wagner), Montana (Greg Gianforte), Nebraska (Jeff Fortenberry, Adrian Smith), New Jersey (Gregory Steube, Jeff Van Drew), New York (Elise Stefanik, Lee Zeldin), North Carolina (Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Greg Murphy, David Rouzer, Mark Walker), Ohio (Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Robert E. Latta, Brad Wenstrup), Oklahoma (Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin).

Pennsylvania (John Joyce, Frederick B. Keller, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn Thompson), South Carolina (Jeff Duncan, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice, William Timmons, Joe Wilson), Tennessee (Tim Burchett, Scott DesJarlais, Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann, Mark Green, David Kustoff, John Rose), Texas (Jodey Arrington, Brian Babin, Michael C. Burgess, Michael Cloud, K. Michael Conaway, Dan Crenshaw, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Lance Gooden, Kenny Marchant, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, Ron Wright), Virginia (Ben Cline, H. Morgan Griffith, Rob Wittman, Ron Wright), Washington (Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse), West Virginia (Carol Miller, Alex Mooney), Wisconsin (Tom Tiffany).

Look, I get that these people were under enormous pressure from the President and their own voters. Standing up to do the right thing—declaring that Biden won the election fair and square and that attempts to overturn that result were un-American—would have required substantial courage and a willingness to sacrifice their own political careers. But I believe that is what their oath of office required of them.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Not all of “their own voters”. Only the increasingly dangerous loons at this point. And lemmings at least are cute.

    This is the price the GOP is going to have to pay for coddling all the gun nuts and militants over the years. Turns out all that culture war crap created a monster.

    As Rick Wilson, Lincoln Project co-founder, says: “You bought the ticket. You take the ride.”

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  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump will be reduced in a few weeks, his support will dissipate, yet these fools and traitors, seeking to inoculate themselves from a primary challenge, have handed future political opponents a cudgel to beat the political life out of them. Representative/AG X, doesn’t believe in democracy…

    Yes, lemmings.

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  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The tragedy of America, today, is that these traitors to our Constitutional Republic will pay no price for their sedition.
    Make no mistake, the cancer they represent is not cured. It is not in remission. And if it is not dealt with soon, and aggressively, it will continue to ravage this nation.

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  4. Liberal Capitalist says:

    There is one that proposed those who supported this attempt to overthrows the election by nullifying the concept of states rights should not be seated in congress due to this seditious act.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/12/democrat-wants-to-use-civil-war-law-about-traitors-to-ban-126-republicans-from-being-seated-in-congress/

    And when you think about it, he’s not wrong.

    But much like the Republicans following the assassination of Lincoln, the Democrats will likely be focused on trying to keep a divided country together.

    And it will likely not work out well either.

    So, what becomes of Democracy when half the country no longer understands its importance or value?

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  5. Mister Bluster says:

    The Party of Lincoln went over the cliff like lemmings in support.

    @Not the IT Dept.:..And lemmings at least are cute.
    @Sleeping Dog:..Yes, lemmings.
    A nit to pick.
    I remember watching the Disney production on TV in 1958 that showed the lemmings tumbling off a cliff into the water below.
    It was years later that I learned that the entire event was staged.

    Lemmings don’t commit mass suicide, Disney pushed them off a cliff
    Cruel? Definitely. But this was 1950s Hollywood, where animal cruelty was tragically common. Studios had, for example, killed over 100 horses for a single scene in Ben Hur and stabbed a lion to death for Tarzan, so killing off a few dozen rodents for the amusement of theater-going audiences was seemingly no big deal.

    Lemming Suicide Myth
    Disney Film Faked Bogus Behavior

    According to a 1983 investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer Brian Vallee, the lemming scenes were faked. The lemmings supposedly committing mass suicide by leaping into the ocean were actually thrown off a cliff by the Disney filmmakers.
    —————-
    I don’t have a lot of hope that Republicans will voluntarily jump off cliffs.
    They will have to be voted out of office.

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  6. Mister Bluster says:

    Lemmings
    I remember watching the Disney production on TV in 1958 that showed lemmings falling off a cliff into the water below.
    It was years later that I learned the event was staged.
    Lemmings don’t commit mass suicide, Disney pushed them off a cliff

    (this is an abbreviated version of a post I composed that has somehow vanished)

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  7. Scott F. says:

    Look, I get that these people were under enormous pressure from the President and their own voters. Standing up to do the right thing—declaring that Biden won the election fair and square and that attempts to overturn that result were un-American—would have required substantial courage and a willingness to sacrifice their own political careers.

    Courage requires integrity and shame requires humility. That’s everything you need to know about all the people Ruth Marcus calls out by name.

    But as Daryl and his brother Darryl notes, until they pay some kind of price, any kind of price, we shouldn’t expect these GOP politicos to find a smidge of humility or summon the least bit of integrity. There needs to be some shunning. Very clearly brand these Republicans as enemies of democracy and don’t let them shirk the title. The calculus for them needs to change. Until the security of Republican political careers depends less on placating the base and more on the GOP’s ability to moderate their positions to broaden their appeal, the divisions in the country will only get worse.

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  8. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Yeah. The lemming myth is utterly false.

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  9. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Your original comment got ate because it contained four links. Thus shuffled to the to be moderated pile. James or Steven or unknown helper had to manually release it.

    I believe the max links allowed is three in one comment.

    And an @reply also counts as a link too.

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  10. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Also, when your moderated comment gets approved it shows up upstream of your new comment(s) because it gets timestamped on submission. Upon approval it gets inserted above your subsequent comment. Autosorts on submission timestamp after refresh.

    Feature, not a bug. HTH.

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    And if it is not dealt with soon, and aggressively, it will continue to ravage this nation.

    I thoroughly agree. But I don’t see who’s going to do it. Biden can’t do it without it seeming to be political revenge. And he’s going to have his hands full elsewhere. The FL Bar Association should disbar both my AG and my Representative (sic). Think they will? The Supremes should, as noted in James’ immediately previous post, have gone beyond denying cert over what will be seen as a technical issue, standing, and slapped this down, hard. They didn’t. Pelosi should refuse to seat the members who signed on to this, but I see no clear legal basis for doing so, so she won’t. Paxton, assuming he avoids prison one way or another, will run for Gov of TX and likely be elected.

    I fear the Constitution police aren’t coming.

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  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    would have required substantial courage and a willingness to sacrifice their own political careers.

    No. I can give you a long list of situations where courage was required, this isn’t one of them. This isn’t about a mere absence of courage, these Republicans are actively participating in an attempt to overthrow the US government. This isn’t just weakness, it’s treason. It’s evil. And it’s an evil that has been at the heart of the Republican Party at least since Reagan.

    The party you grew up in, James, was a white supremacist and patriarchal party for the entire time you belonged to it. What changed is that white supremacy and patriarchy started to fail. So panic set in. Panicky racists and panicky men turned away from the politics that was failing them and joined a cult of personality. Weimar was failing so bring on orange Hitler. Republicans fell to their knees and groveled before their führer.

    Might makes right, greed and contempt are – and always have been – the only conservative ‘principles’ in the Republican Party. You and other Republican intellectuals arrogantly imagined yourselves leading. But you were never leading, you were the veneer used to cover the rot. You and Stephen were just two of the useful idiots of ‘conservatism.’

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  13. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I think I’ve found a second career kvetching that it ain’t just Trump and that the faux populism is just the tip of the Republican iceberg. The funders, and owners, of the Republican Party, Koch et al, know their plutocratic libertarianism can’t win an honest, democratic election, so they’ve been looking for decades for ways to win otherwise. Lying to the rubes, supported by gerrymandering, vote suppression, and the undemocratic nature of the Senate and EC is working pretty well for them. For the plutocrats the racism and the rest of the cultural stuff is a tool, not the goal.

    Trump accidentally getting nominated and elected wasn’t part of the plan, but the plan allowed the worst president in the last hundred and fifty years to get almost within litigation range of reelection.

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  14. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Your original comment got ate because it contained four links.

    No it didn’t. If you will click on my original post that now appears at 10:46 in this thread you will see that:

    Lemming Suicide Myth
    Disney Film Faked Bogus Behavior

    Is one link and:

    Lemming Suicide Myth
    Disney Film Faked Bogus Behavior

    Is the second link.

    Also when I first posted the 10:46 comment. I never saw the dreaded “your comment is in moderation” warning. I did see the entire comment as if it was a normal post.
    I reloaded the page to see if EDIT would appear and EDIT did appear so I edited the comment.
    When I completed the edit I hit SAVE and again I saw a normal post.
    I reloaded the page again to see if there were more comments on the thread and that is when my 10:46 post disappeared.
    I reloaded the page several times and even restarted my MacBook Air but I was convinced the 10:46 post was beyond retrieval. That’s when I composed the shorter item.

    And an @reply also counts as a link too.
    News to me.

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  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    None so blind as those who will not see.

    What did ‘decent’ Republicans think it meant that their party was openly committed to voter suppression? What did they think ‘welfare queens’ and Willie Horton were about? Did they not know what it meant when their entire party moved geographically after the Democrats championed Civil Rights? Did they really not know what all those Confederate flags were about? The Republican Party wanted to use the law to force women to give birth to their rapist’s babies, but somehow ‘decent’ Republicans told themselves they were defenders of freedom.

    ‘Decent’ Republicans are the spiritual descendants of the German industrialists who thought they could use Hitler, not the other way around.

    I give never-Trump Republicans some credit, but at best they earn a very generous C-. They’ve managed to clear the lowest possible bar while the rest of their party crawled beneath it. But the notion that it would require courage to resist Trump just reveals the moral and intellectual rot at the core of the GOP. Courage! Jesus Christ.

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  16. Moosebreath says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    “So, what becomes of Democracy when half the country no longer understands its importance or value?”

    As David Frum put it: “If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism, they will abandon democracy.” That is precisely what the Trump Era has shown.

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  17. Loviatar says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @gVOR08:

    Are you saying there really is no difference between post-Reagan era Republicanism and Trumpism other that the fact that their rancid beliefs are no longer hidden behind code-words and dog whistles? Who would’ve thought? I was told they were just our neighbors who could be talked down from their selfishly dangerous ideas.

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  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    have handed future political opponents a cudgel to beat the political life out of them. Representative/AG X, doesn’t believe in democracy…

    While that might matter to you and me, I’m not confident that at the level where voting happens that enough people will care to make a difference. I’d be happy if it did, but I’ll have to see Representative/AG X voted out of office to believe that it will. It may well be that such politicians will become zombies, but they’ll still be elected–“he may be a zombie, but he’s my zombie.”

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  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Make no mistake, the cancer they represent is not cured. It is not in remission. And if it is not dealt with soon, and aggressively, it will continue to ravage this nation. [emphasis added]

    And what, pray tell, is your final solution? Reeducation camps? Disenfranchisement? “Second Amendment Solutions?” War?

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  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:
    Dude, fucking pay enough attention to know who you’re talking to. You’re the only person here so clueless you think I’ve been defending Republicans.

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  21. de stijl says:

    If you remained a Republican after Iran – Contra you have yourself to blame. Or became one after.

    The writing was on the wall. On the tin. You chose to continue buying it or bought it fresh.

    A tragedy in four decades. Billy Shakes would be proud.

    The fine print said you may be required to be a traitor to remain in good standing with the Party. Many signed up.

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  22. Teve says:

    @Kasperov63

    Don’t dare say “But the system worked” when a majority of Republicans in Congress support the overturning of a free and fair election. You don’t celebrate a cancer not having killed you yet. You celebrate when you’re cancer free.

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  23. Teve says:

    @Kasperov63

    The system isn’t working when so many of its participants and supposed defenders are trying to destroy it. That’s the crisis, and it’s not going away because this time some judges threw out cases prepared by idiots.

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  24. de stijl says:

    @Loviatar:

    Seriously. Do not mischaracterize me. I fucking hate that.

    I am super fucking sorry I punched you in the dick when you got all murdery about Rs getting Covid last week.

    If you have a problem say it or stop being a passive aggressive child.

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  25. Loviatar says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Sorry for the confusion. My fault.

    I understood your comment and who you were and were not defending, I was using your comment to troll @de stijl. He of the they’re just our misunderstood neighbors viewpoint.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:
    Dude, @de stijl despises those people. He’s just a kinder, gentler human being than I am. He turns the amps up to seven, I turn them up to eleven, but the music’s the same.

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  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Pelosi should refuse to seat the members who signed on to this, but I see no clear legal basis for doing so, so she won’t.

    Section 5.
    Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members,

    IAMNACL, but the plain language would appear to give them the power to do just that, not that she/they will. I certainly would like to see them make an example of McCarthy tho. Dreams I’ll never see.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mister Bluster: And an @reply also counts as a link too.
    News to me.

    Yeah, I ran into that particular speed bump 2 or 3 times before I figured it out.

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  29. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I go to eleven fast. I am an animist and a peaceful dude, but if people fuck with me I stomp hard.

    I hold my reaction until fuckers line step.

    I am 0 or 11. 11 me is brutal.

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  30. Loviatar says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Serious Question. When does kindness and gentleness become a detriment?

    I understand kindness and gentleness should be the default at all times, but we’re in the midst of a cold civil war, one in which Republicans do not care if their actions kill or harm others. Isn’t it common sense to protect yourself by not treating these people as misunderstood?

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  31. de stijl says:

    @Loviatar:

    If your problem is with me, please address me.

    What is your problem with me? Please explain.

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  32. Gustopher says:

    @Loviatar:

    I understood your comment and who you were and were not defending, I was using your comment to troll @de stijl. He of the they’re just our misunderstood neighbors viewpoint.

    Who says they are misunderstood? Some are evil people, and some are people doing evil things. You seem to think they are all evil people, so I guess some are misunderstood. By you. But let’s put that aside for a moment.

    They are our neighbors though. We live among them and they live among us and that isn’t going to change unless someone commits war crimes. That’s just facts. Even in the bluest areas, there are lots of Reds, and vice-versa.

    We have no choice but to drag them to the light where we can. That means identifying the reachable and reaching out to them, and treating them with respect even if we don’t respect them.

    It’s a harder path than just writing off half the country and accepting defeat, but an easier path than war crimes — but that might just I just lack the organizational and leadership skills to run death camps, your mileage might vary.

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  33. Gustopher says:

    @Loviatar:

    Isn’t it common sense to protect yourself by not treating these people as misunderstood?

    How does this protect you, or the people you care about? Literally, what is the process you think will happen?

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  34. Gustopher says:
  35. Loviatar says:

    @de stijl:

    What is your problem with me?

    Your belief that Republicans can be talked down from their positions.

    —–
    We’ve seen this playout before; in the lead up to the first civil war (pre-1860) many Americans believed that their southern neighbors could be talked to, negotiated with, compromised with, it didn’t work. The Southern states saw every attempt as an attack on their values and a sign of weakness.

    The current Republican party is in the same place; they no longer believe in the American dream, they no longer believe in a pluralistic liberal democratic society. Their members are not misunderstood, we understand them, we’re just trying to figure out a way to contain them without having to fight another civil war. Your viewpoint provides them cover to continue their assault on American society.

    There comes a time where a point-of-view no matter how seemly innocent is actually pretty harmful.

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  36. Gustopher says:

    @Loviatar: Do you want a dictatorship of the leftist bourgeoisie? Can we get a Supreme Court made up of poets so Poetic Justice is the law of the land?

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  37. de stijl says:

    @Loviatar:

    How does wishing pain and suffering on enemies advance the cause?

    You seem to be advancing an argument that the death of internal political combatants is cool or expedient.

    I’m never gonna be okay with that. Never, ever.

    If you have a problem with that, please address me directly.

    Your passive aggressive “neighbor” schtick is becoming quite tiresome and weird.

    I pissed on your murder party as trash thinking. You got butt-hurt. Boo friggin hoo.

    Deal or not. Your choice.

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  38. de stijl says:

    @Loviatar:

    That’s it? Decency is surrender? Not wishing murder on fellow citizens?

    That was what caused your dickish behavior for a week or so?

    What the hell is wrong with you?

    What you propose is Stalinesque gulag. Dbaa.

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  39. Loviatar says:

    @de stijl:

    How does wishing pain and suffering on enemies advance the cause?

    You seem to be advancing an argument that the death of internal political combatants is cool or expedient.

    That is a lie.

    —–
    What I said and continue to say is:
    – I don’t care if these people get sick, suffer or die through their own actions/inactions.
    – That as long as the pandemic lasts, healthcare should be rationed, with the anti-maskers at the bottom of the list.
    – That current health regulations and laws should be enforced and these people should be civilly and criminally liable if they break these regulations or laws.
    – These people should be civilly and criminally liable if its proven through their action/inaction they have caused harm to others.

    Nowhere have I ever wished death or harm on these people, I just don’t want them hurting me and my loved ones.

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  40. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    Serious Question. When does kindness and gentleness become a detriment?

    I understand kindness and gentleness should be the default at all times, but we’re in the midst of a cold civil war, one in which Republicans do not care if their actions kill or harm others. Isn’t it common sense to protect yourself by not treating these people as misunderstood?

    It can be detrimental, but it’s important to aim your fire at the enemy not at allies. My on-going beef with progressives has never been about policy – there’s a good 90% overlap between AOC and me on policy. But progs never seem to be able to differentiate between friend and enemy. We barely won this election, we barely saved this country, and part of the reason it was so desperately close is that progressives do such an excellent job of trashing allies and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Biden’s oooooold. He’s just a dirty liberal in bed with evil big business. What’s the difference, man? Nothing will chaaaange. The real issue is people using the wrong words! Cancel Dave Chapelle he said a thing I don’t like! Defund the police! Occupy Portland. Revolution, now! How come boomers didn’t fix everything, huh huh?

    Progressives are to this civil war what the NKVD was to the Red Army. The focus is always on shooting any ally who shows insufficient (meaning 100%) enthusiasm for the cause. They never lay a finger on the actual enemy, in fact they alienate and dispirit their allies. Any disagreement is treated as heresy. I can’t fucking stand their smug intolerance, their ignorance combined with insufferable arrogance, their totalitarian impulses, and I’m on their side.

    I’ll ask my own serious question: If I can’t fucking stand progressives who do they think they’re appealing to? Hmm? Who are they recruiting? How are they helping? Thank God Republicans are such irredeemable assholes or I’d have voted for them out of sheer distaste for obnoxious progressives.

    Learn when to fire and who to fire at. Here’s a hint: not your allies. We won this election thanks to Covid-19 and white liberals in WI, PA, AZ and even GA. The people progressives spend their time denigrating.

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  41. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Your original post had four links. Ergo, autodirected into moderation stack.

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  42. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: AOC waited until after the voting was done to trash on her allies. I respect her for that. It was also largely in response to the conservative Democrats trying to claim an unearned victory and steer the party further to the right. And again, I respect her for knocking the wind out of that.

    It’s the opposite of the Bernie Bros, who seem to think that the one thing worse that a Republican Fascist is a Democratic Corporate Whore. That path leads to Glenn Greenwald and angry irrelevance. And incompetently outing Reality Winner and then ignoring her while holding up Edward Snowden as a hero. What a fucking shithead Glenn Greenwald is.

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  43. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: Really, with all the disagreements in this thread, can we all come together and agree that Glenn Greenwald is a colosal fucking shithead?

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  44. Loviatar says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Its funny, you’re a much better writer that I, and most of the time your insight into politics and human nature are fascinating and on point. It allows you to communicate in a way that I wish I could. But you seem to have this blind spot with those advocating for progressive policies, I believe its colloquially called hippie punching.

    —–

    Any disagreement is treated as heresy. I can’t fucking stand their smug intolerance, their ignorance combined with insufferable arrogance, their totalitarian impulses, and I’m on their side.

    You want them to be seen (votes), not heard.
    This is all while you’re willing to listen to, negotiate with and compromise with those that advocate for conservative policies. You claim to share progressive policy beliefs, but how is that possible if you won’t include them in your discussions.

    —–
    I have friends and I have allies. I trust my friends and I hold my allies accountable.

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  45. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Man, I was thinking the same song. Nick Lowe rocks.

    I have new walking music. Aurora. Either folk or pop or EDM. It all works.

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  46. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Not only if Greenwald a colossal shithead he has always been so.

    Even back in the aughts when we were purportedly on the same side, Greenwald was always an uberdouche. Thin-skinned, demagogic, way too fucking proud of his prose. Refuses to be edited, thus the 4000 word mess.

    The man cannot abide criticism of his work or words. He goes fucking mental.

    I realized very early that “allies” you cannot abide are a detriment. That guy is a bad dude.

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  47. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Your original post had four links. Ergo, autodirected into moderation stack.

    YES! SIR!

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  48. Loviatar says:

    @Gustopher:

    Do you want a dictatorship of the leftist bourgeoisie? Can we get a Supreme Court made up of poets so Poetic Justice is the law of the land?

    Strawman

    —–

    How does this protect you, or the people you care about? Literally, what is the process you think will happen?

    See my response to @de stijl. Its pretty much the answer I gave you the first time we had this discussion.

    —–

    Who says they are misunderstood? Some are evil people, and some are people doing evil things. You seem to think they are all evil people, so I guess some are misunderstood. By you. But let’s put that aside for a moment.

    Hey gang, here are some questions I asked 5 years ago on this subject.

    When does supporting evil make you evil?
    – Is it for a year, 2 years, 5 years, 10, 20, how long?
    – Is it until you’re told you’re supporting evil?
    – Is It until you realize on your on you’re supporting evil?
    – Is it until the evil happens to you?

    When does supporting evil make you evil?

    —–

    They are our neighbors though. We live among them and they live among us and that isn’t going to change unless someone commits war crimes. That’s just facts. Even in the bluest areas, there are lots of Reds, and vice-versa.

    We have no choice but to drag them to the light where we can. That means identifying the reachable and reaching out to them, and treating them with respect even if we don’t respect them.

    I’m an engineer; one of the tenets of engineering is, you can’t fix the problem if you can’t identify the problem.

    Republicans are not misunderstood, confused or in most cases victims of the Deep State. They are people who have chosen to be in a white supremacist and patriarchal party that advocates for apartheid and treason.

    Now that I’ve identified the problem as I see it, are you in agreement? If so, lets begin the discussion on how to fix it. If not, please tell me what you see is the problem with Republicans?

    —–

    It’s a harder path than just writing off half the country and accepting defeat, but an easier path than war crimes — but that might just I just lack the organizational and leadership skills to run death camps, your mileage might vary.

    Strawman

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  49. de stijl says:

    @Loviatar:

    I am not your friend.

    I am not your ally.

    Don’t be passive-aggressive next time. If you are pissed at me tell me. Don’t do that “neighbor” shimmy-shake bullshit.

    I noticed. Did not care for it. Thought it was weak. Let you pass until you line stepped.

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  50. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I apologize if I came off as abrupt. I was trying to be factual quickly. That often scans badly.

    It was not my intent. Sorry.

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  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    None so blind as those who will not see.
    What did ‘decent’ Republicans think it meant that their party was openly committed to voter suppression?

    I don’t think we really disagree, Michael. And I think there’s an implied /s at the end of @Loviatar:’s comment.

    I have a couple of go-to quotes. One is Eisenhower telling his brother that J. Paul Getty and politically active billionaires like him are stupid and rare. Stupid and rare is now only half true. The other is Jane Mayer in Dark Money describing the Koch Bros’ epiphany that their program is doomed in a democracy and deciding to pursue it by anti-democratic means. I’ll add a new book, but it doesn’t have a money quote.

    I looked for a good book on the Federalist Society, which the Koch Bros created and apparently still fund. What I found was Ideas with Consequences, The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution. The author, one Amanda Hollis-Brusky, describes it as a scholarly analysis of the FS, it’s more a paean to the FS. It’s not a very good book, but it is unintentionally quite revealing. It mentions “abortion” once in passing. The only cultural issue it goes into, in excruciating detail, is guns. And it makes clear the real goal is to use the issue to drive a truck through the 14th Amendment. They want to reverse something called The Slaughterhouse Cases. The Amendment is clearly meant to say black citizens have the same rights in all states that they have in any state, stuff like habeas corpus. The FS “originalists” want it to mean no state can regulate a business any more severely than the laxest state. The book doesn’t mention race or immigration or religion. Until I find better information, I’ll take this as an indication of the FS and Chuckles Koch’s priorities.

    I didn’t say anything about “decent” Republicans. The dichotomy I’m talking about is between the faux populist GOPs who want to turn us into Gilead and the plutocrat GOPs who want to turn us into a “libertarian” paradise that would look a lot like Putin’s Russian oligarchy. I’m not saying ignore the racism, I’m saying pull back the green curtain and see the people who really control the Party. They aren’t motivated by racism or religion, but are happy to exploit both as the best way to con the rubes into voting for them.

    The public face of the Party may have been Trump, but Moscow Mitch has largely ignored him and focused on implementing the real GOP agenda: regressive tax cuts and Federalist Society judges.

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  52. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would agree the House has the power to refuse to seat for arbitrary reasons the spit weasels who signed onto Paxton’s suit. But absent a clear legal rationale for doing do, she won’t. Yes, they’re amazing hypocrites for challenging the elections that many of them won. But, fortuitously for Republicans, there’s no law against hypocrisy. Or being a complete spit weasel.

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  53. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Likewise, the tale of Lemmiwinks.

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  54. Teve says:
  55. Gustopher says:

    @Loviatar:

    See my response to @de stijl. Its pretty much the answer I gave you the first time we had this discussion.

    No, that’s what you want to happen, but how do you make that happen? How do you convince a government that is at best ambivalent in the face of a vocal, armed, radical minority opposition to do the right thing?

    Because you need the government to do it, and the government doesn’t want to use its power. Our government is weak.

    When does supporting evil make you evil?

    That’s one of those impossible to answer philosophical questions, but I would say that once you are no longer to willing to consider not supporting evil it becomes a distinction without a difference.

    There are a few cases of someone coming out of crazy fanaticism, but they are few and far between, and I think that if we play the numbers, we can just ignore the Q contingents and the Klansmen and the Proud Boys as being unreachable, and for all practical effects, evil.

    Republicans are not misunderstood, confused or in most cases victims of the Deep State. They are people who have chosen to be in a white supremacist and patriarchal party that advocates for apartheid and treason.

    I think you’re just wrong about that — they’ve chosen to vote for a party that they believes is X, Y and Z, but is being run by people who support white supremacy, the patriarchy, dominionism, apartheid, antidemocracy, and low taxes for the wealthy. Some of them are literally Evil Nazis, but I think that’s not the majority, and in a society with a weak government that moves in fits and starts based on consensus, we all should hope that’s right. Most are there for X, Y and Z.

    Understand X, Y and Z, though, and you can reach people.

    Often, it boils down to “Democrats don’t care about people like me.” And there’s honestly some truth to that. In another post’s comments I touched on what I see as a problem in the modern Democratic Party — we’ve been appealing to our base for too long, to the exclusion of others.

    The middle class in America has been being eroded for decades. To get a middle class life — decent safe housing, healthcare, transportation, the ability to set your kids up for success, a vacation every year or two, retire at a reasonable age, and a pet — it is beyond a lot of two family incomes. Especially in the rural, and semi-rural areas. This is an actual loss. People are hurting.

    And as we improve equality for minorities, their opportunities are actually rising and their outcomes are improving, as they are getting closer to reaching that middle class life. Things are improving for them faster than things are deteriorating for everyone.

    Guess what? White folks resent the shit out of that. Loss of absolute economic power, plus a relative loss of power and status — that shit burns.

    And when the Democrats focus on diversity and inclusion, we are ignoring that, and leaving it to others to exploit with shitty solutions that sound like common sense.

    The Trump administration actively set out to help only its base, and that was wrong. The Democrats mostly ignore the folks who are not in their base, and that is also wrong — less actively wrong, but wrong, and really dumb when you look at geography.

    The solution isn’t to double down on ignoring the concerns of the Republican-voting folks, but to listen, understand, and accommodate where we can, while not abandoning out base and our values. And that’s whether or not we have a pandemic.

    As one example, look at coal country — coal is going away and it’s not coming back and cities and towns built around the wealth of extracting coal are failing. Republicans say that if we get rid of the environmental regulations, coal is coming back. Democrats just say the coal is going away and that there are more yoga instructors than coal miners. Which message do the people in coal country want to believe?

    Until Democrats are able to say “coal is going away, but we have a plan to do X, which will create jobs right here, where you grew up and where you have your family and your house and your stupid little Sky God Totems” those people are lost.

    Also, they prefer words like “churches” to Sky God Totems.

    When white, conservative-ish voters in Georgia or North Carolina hear “Trans Rights are Human Rights” many of them are thinking “What about my rights?” rather than just “eww, icky trans people, Democrats are perverts.”

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  56. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I know I’ve already pre-apologized, but why the attitude?

    4 = 4. 2 @’s, 2 links. 2+2=4

    I did not make the rule. I was trying to help you understand why your original comment got into the moderation stack.

    Why get pissy at me? Super confused by that. Was being factual. What did I do wrong?

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  57. Gustopher says:

    In other words, James Pearce was right. (And really fucking annoying by the time he departed.)

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  58. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    I recall an analysis of the Koch project being essentially a continuation of the business elite outrage at Roosevelt and the New Deal.

    The philosophical and constitutional argument being that the New Deal, and subsequent Democrat agendas, was an illegitimate infringement of personal liberty that a majoritarian mandate could not justify, and that it was also in breach of the “original” constitution.

    The political and economic argument being that “free markets”, absent New Deal type constraints, could produce enough growth and wealth to satisfy the aspirations of the bulk of the middle class.
    And that a politics of constitutional “legitimacy” (plus, less loudly spoken, it’s populist/evangelist/racist implications) could mobilise a broad enough coalition to prevail.

    Where IMHO the Kochs (or Koch, these days) and other “business liberty” types are fundamentally misguided pragmatically is that it’s a late 19th century policy that can’t deal with 21st century issues: mass healthcare, information economics, carbon dioxide balance, super-urban infrastructures etc.

    Plus their political philosphical argumentation is an incoherent social-darwinist inflected pile of pants IMHO.

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  59. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Lemmiwinks is totes true. That dude strode the bowel and slayed the beast.

    One thing I find amusing is about a quarter of animation run time on major networks is just blatant musical theater. The bardish tale of Lemmiwinks is an example.

    People want a gig to write the new Hamilton.

    There was a series in the US called House. Hugh Laurie as Dr. House. Near the end of the run House was stuck in rehab with Lin-Manuel Miranda as a manic room-mate.

    Looking back it bridges Black Adder to Hamilton.

    Theater geeks always be geekin’.

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  60. de stijl says:

    One metric I’ve come to trust is whether a person sees life as a zero-sum game or as a community project to embiggen the pie.

    Zero-sum people are generally assholes and unreachable.

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  61. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    You have more patience than me.

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: If it helps any, I’ll agree with you on Greenwald. But I’m just one person and an ignint cracker at that, so…

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  63. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: @OzarkHillbilly: @gVOR08:

    No. SCOTUS was crystal clear about this issue in Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486 (1969) – House leadership (and presumably Senate leadership) do NOT have the power to refuse to seat duly elected members of Congress. They can certainly move to expel them after they have been seated, but they must be seated.

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  64. Steve Wayner says:

    @Mister Bluster: Every one of them broke their pledge to uphold the Constitution they took upon entering office. They should be removed summarily from office for this, even in this age of no consequences for your actions.

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  65. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    You want them to be seen (votes), not heard.
    This is all while you’re willing to listen to, negotiate with and compromise with those that advocate for conservative policies. You claim to share progressive policy beliefs, but how is that possible if you won’t include them in your discussions.

    I have friends and I have allies. I trust my friends and I hold my allies accountable.

    No, I don’t want to silence progressives, I’m a liberal: we don’t believe in silencing people. That’s your thing. I just want progressives to stop being stupid. And I defy you to show me a place where I have suggested negotiating and compromising on any major issue with the Right. Which rather goes to my point about the brittle intolerance of progressives. It’s always either 100% or 0%.

    You want to hold your allies accountable? What do you think I’m doing? I’m holding my allies – progressives – accountable. Goes both ways. And if all we get from you people is scorn, ridicule and attacks, OK, then let’s talk about how progressives are utterly unable to take a seat from a Republican and are only able to take down fellow Democrats. Let’s talk about how fucking stupid ‘defund’ was and how much harm it did. Let’s talk about the way Antifa progressives appropriated Black Lives Matter and by their actions discredited it. Let’s talk about Miami-Dade.

    The fact is, Loviatar, thus far progressives have managed to capture Brooklyn. Well done. I guess Portland, Oregon FFS was too heavy a lift, but hey, you rule Park Slope. You think you’re getting less respect from Democrats than you deserve? No, you’re getting more. Because in practical, real-world political terms, you got nothin’.

    Put the entire progressive movement on end of the scale, and a single James Clyburn on the other end and guess which has more weight.

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  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:
    And by the way, you all need to stop using ‘Hippies punching.’ You’re not hippies. Hippies had music. Hippies had Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. What have you got? Taylor Swift and Ed Shearan?

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  67. Unsympathetic says:

    “Because nothing could be less conservative, less consistent with supposed Republican principles, than urging a court to overturn a democratic election”

    Not sure why James misses the point. Republican principles have always been pure white authoritarianism. Everything else is noise.

    Oh, what? You actually believed the claptrap about “pull yourself up?” That’s the nonsense they spewed while making calls behind the scenes to get their kids those same school admission spots / internships / jobs.

    You actually believed the nonsense about following the laws? That’s always been the laws-are-for-everyone-else [not the white ruling class] rather than the actual egalitarian implementation of that concept.

    You actually believed the lies about the rule of the people? They never believed it, they’ve always been in favor of it only if it gives the results they wanted. Otherwise, cue the voter suppression machine which continues at warp speed in 2020.

    This is not unique or unexpected, James. This is PRECISELY the intellectual road Republicans have willingly walked down since Reagan and his execrable Neshoba County Fair “states’ rights” speech. You did this, and it is your fault. Since Republicans are supposedly all about personal responsibility, time for you to own it – and fight it.

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