Remember when George W. Bush was a fascist? When he signed the PATRIOT Act and launched the Iraq War, reasonable left-wing Americans voiced reasonable objections. The far left reached for Hitler.
Republicans dismissed this as over-the-top, because it was. (And it made it easier for them to dismiss reasonable objections as well.) So when the real thing came along, and this time not only the far left but commentators on the center-right warned that Donald Trump had a lot in common with the worst leaders in European history, many Republican voters once again shrugged.
If anything, it made them support Trump more. As one voter told The Atlantic in 2016:
Give people the impression that you will hate them the same or nearly so for voting Jeb Bush as compared to voting for Trump and where is the motivation to be socially acceptable with Jeb?
The left continues to make this mistake — and so does the right. Read more
Conservatives Put Party Before Country. They’ve Harmed Both
Center-right leaders in Britain, Spain and the United States have put the interests of their parties ahead of the good of their countries. Both their parties and their countries have suffered as a result. Read more
Republicans Now Have More in Common with the European Far Right
Expect plenty of coverage between now and the 2020 election about how Democrats in the United States have moved to the left.
This isn’t wrong. On everything from health care to transgender rights, Democrats have become more left-wing.
But they’re still more centrist than most center-left parties in Europe while Republicans have moved so far to the right that they now have more in common with Austria’s Freedom Party and the Alternative for Germany than they do with Britain’s Conservative Party and Germany’s Christian Democrats. Read more
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump joked he could shoot somebody on New York’s Fifth Avenue and not lose voters.
His racism, his ignorance of policy, his shambolic business career and two dozen allegations of sexual misconduct (which he denied in public but admitted to in what he thought was a private conversation) didn’t move voters.
Three years later, the transgressions have only become more serious, but most Republicans still don’t care. Read more
Republicans in the Senate Can’t Be Bothered to Legislate
Jonathan Bernstein of Bloomberg View argues that Republicans in the United States Senate have given up on legislating.
In the last two months, the upper chamber, which Republicans still control, has taken fifty votes, but all but one were on nominations, or the nomination process, of judges and executive-branch staff.
It’s not that Republicans don’t believe there are laws that need to be passed, according to Bernstein.
As far as I know, all of them think disaster relief, for example, is needed, but they aren’t reaching a deal on it because Donald Trump doesn’t want Puerto Rico to get any money and Republican senators don’t know how to get around Trump’s rhetoric. Plenty of Republicans have campaigned on other laws they wanted passed. None of it is happening now. Read more
Frank J. DiStefano argues in The American Interest that America’s two-party system is going through a period of transformation.
American politics have been dominated by two parties from the start, but those parties, and their coalitions, have changed over time.
The current Democratic-Republican duopoly emerged from the Great Depression and the New Deal, when Democrats formed a coalition bewteen ethnic and working voters in the North and white voters in the South and Republicans split into moderate and conservative wings. Read more
Republicans Join Call to End American Support for Saudi War
Fourteen members of President Donald Trump’s Republican Party have joined the Democratic opposition in the Senate in a call to end American support for the Saudi war in Yemen.
A similar motion failed in March.
The measure has yet to go a final vote, giving Trump time to change Republican minds. If he can’t, and the final vote goes against him, the president could veto. But critics of his policy are now only three votes short of the two-thirds majority it takes to override a presidential veto. Read more