Remember when Trumpists were up in arms in 2016 about internal Republican attempts to deny their man the presidential nomination?
I defended such attempts at the time, arguing that Republicans had every right to use every method at their disposal to stop a candidate so patently unfit for high office and one who didn’t even share their views on foreign policy and trade. (Most Republicans have since come around to Trump’s views.)
But Donald Trump’s supporters saw an “establishment” plot and demanded that the “democratic” will of the Republican electorate be respected. (No matter that only 45 percent of primary voters supported Trump.)
I haven’t written much about Donald Trump this year, because what’s the point? As I reported in December, the scandals keep piling on — from corruption to illegal payoffs to making apologies for white supremacists to Russia — but half of America either doesn’t believe it or doesn’t care.
Trump campaign officials have been arrested, indicted and convicted; migrants have been treated so abysmally at the southern border that seven children have died in detention; the president launched a disastrous trade war with China and threatens to unravel the entire world order that has kept America and its allies safe for seven decades, and still members of Trump’s Republican Party would not speak out.
They finally are. The president’s behavior has become so erratic in recent weeks that even some of his supporters are disturbed. Read more
How We Talk About Our Opponents Matters
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
Trump Supporters Don’t Care
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