The Republican Party’s End Goal

This afternoon, the Senate actually managed to pass the pandemic relief bill, with no help from the Republicans.  Not a single Republican voted in support of the bill, which passed, 50-49, after an hours-long impasse over competing partisan proposals for the massive bill’s boost to weekly unemployment benefits for those affected by the pandemic.  This, it seems, is to be the state of affairs for the foreseeable future … Democrats vs Republicans, bills taking ten times longer to pass through Congress than they should, especially those that help real people, not tailor-made to make the wealthy wealthier.  What is the end goal of the Republican Party, I’ve often asked?

Dana Milbank, writing for The Washington Post, summarized the Republican’s end goal quite well.  Take a look …


Republicans aren’t fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy.

Dana MilbankBy Dana Milbank

MARCH 5, 2021

On the conservative Bulwark podcast this week, two admirable never-Trumpers marveled at what has become of the Republican Party since President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the election.

“I am a little amazed by the willingness to go just authoritarian, to really go anti-democratic,” Bulwark editor-at-large Bill Kristol said.

Columnist Mona Charen was likewise puzzled. “The attraction of authoritarianism, I don’t know, Bill,” she said. “I’m really at a loss.”

And I’m at a loss to understand their confusion. The Republican Party’s dalliance with authoritarianism can be explained in one word: race.

Trump’s overt racism turned the GOP into, essentially, a white-nationalist party, in which racial animus is the main motivator of Republican votes. But in an increasingly multicultural America, such people don’t form a majority. The only route to power for a white-nationalist party, then, is to become anti-democratic: to keep non-White people from voting and to discredit elections themselves. In short, democracy is working against Republicans — and so Republicans are working against democracy.

You don’t have to study demography to see that race is at the core of the GOP’s tilt toward the authoritarian. You need only look at what happened this week.

On Monday, the Georgia state House passed a bill brazenly attempting to deter Black voters. The bill proposed to scale back Sunday voting — taking direct aim at the longtime “Souls to the Polls” tradition in which Black voters cast their ballots after church on Sundays. The bill also would increase voter I.D. requirements — known to disenfranchise Black voters disproportionately — and even would make it illegal to serve food or drinks to voters waiting in long lines outside polling places; lines are typically longer at minority precincts.

Georgia Republicans clearly are hoping they can suppress enough Black votes to erase the Democrats’ narrow advantage that gave them both of the state’s Senate seats and Joe Biden its electoral votes. But Georgia is just one of the 43 states collectively contemplating 253 bills this year with provisions restricting voting access, according to a tally by the Brennan Center for Justice.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court’s majority signaled it would be open to more such voting restrictions. In oral arguments, the conservative justices indicated they would uphold two Arizona laws that would have the effect of disproportionately disqualifying the votes of non-White citizens. One law throws out ballots cast in the wrong precinct, a problem that affects minority voters twice as much as White voters because polling places move more frequently in minority neighborhoods. The other law bans the practice of ballot collection — derided by Republicans as ballot “harvesting” — which is disproportionately used by minority voters, in particular Arizona’s Native Americans on reservations.

Representing the Arizona Republican Party in Tuesday’s argument, lawyer Michael A. Carvin explained why the party supports laws tossing out ballots: “Politics is a zero-sum game.”

It was a stark if inadvertent admission that Republicans have abandoned the idea of appealing to new voters.

Then, on Wednesday, House Republicans mounted lockstep opposition to H.R.1, a bill by Democrats attempting to expand voting rights. The bill would, among other things, create automatic voter registration, set minimum standards for early voting and end the practice of partisan gerrymandering.

In the House debate, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), sounding like Trump, made unfounded claims of “voter fraud” and asserted that the law would mean “future voters could be dead or illegal immigrants or maybe even registered two to three times.”

“This,” McCarthy said, “is an unparalleled political power grab.”

So, in the twisted reasoning of this white-nationalist incarnation of the Republican Party, laws that make it easier for all citizens to vote are a power grab by Democrats.

The foundation of a white-nationalist GOP has been building for half a century, since Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy, through Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen and George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton. But Trump took fear of non-Whites and immigrants to a whole new level.

Researchers have repeatedly documented that racial resentment is the single most important factor motivating Republicans and Republican-leaning voters. They have also shown that White evangelical Christians, a huge part of the GOP base and Trump’s most reliable supporters, are highly motivated by appeals to white supremacy. By contrast, Democratic voters — White and non-White — are primarily driven by their favorable views toward a multiracial America.

President Biden’s victory reveals the obvious political problem with the Republican move toward white nationalism: When voters turn out in large numbers, Democrats win. And the odds will only get worse for Republicans as racial minorities become the majority and the young, overwhelmingly progressive on race, replace the old.

This is why Republicans aren’t really fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy.

52 thoughts on “The Republican Party’s End Goal

  1. Contrary to mainstream commentators’ post-election assertions that the Capitol Hill rioters actually believe Donald Trump was cheated out of an election win, it is possible most of the rioters maintain(ed) that line as an excuse for their attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s (apparently quite) legitimate electoral win—or at least make it as unpleasant as possible, as we saw on Jan. 6.

    Just the loss itself was/is touted as sufficient proof of the unverifiable claim Trump was cheated from a victory due to atypically massive electoral-ballot fraud. Long before election day, Trump was saying he may not respect a Biden win, as though preparing his voter base for his inevitable refusal to leave office, whatever the vote-count results may be. The rioters (and Trump) may simply have been enraged enough at his defeat by the supposedly ‘socialist’ Biden that they were now going to raise hell.

    Or perhaps those supporters consciously or subconsciously believe that he has to remain in office for some perceived greater good—perhaps to save the nation or even to do ‘God’s will’—regardless of his democratically decided election loss. It may be a case of that perhaps most dangerous of ideologies: the end justifies the means.

    Liked by 1 person

      • A believer in Christ’s unmistakable miracles, I was angered by Trump’s people chanting “Jesus Is My Savior, Trump Is My President” immediately post-election.

        While many genuine Christians have rejected Trump (albeit mostly silently), regardless of his tempting conservative politics (e.g. his Pro-life professions), the very vocal and politically active ‘Christian’ element that celebrates Trump get the news-media spotlight.

        Obviously the Biblical Jesus was the opposite of the then-president’s character; Christ was all about compassion, non-violence and absolute charity. Even Trump would know so much as to realize that Jesus clearly would not tolerate such superfluous wealth as the hoarding of tens of billions of dollars while so many others went hungry and homeless!

        But that blatant Christ/Trump contradiction apparently takes a back seat to Trump’s successful nominations of three conservative justices for the U.S. Supreme Court; and, from my understanding, he was strategically doing likewise with a number of lower courts. There also was his politically destabilizing (fire-stoking?) move of the U.S embassy into Jerusalem (indeed an Evangelical favorite).

        Trump’s ‘Christian’ support base seem to get riled up enough by any hint of Democratic Party liberalism that they’ll vocally praise the candidate who preaches the opposite, even someone whose nature is contrary to that of Jesus. It’s almost as though they’ve sacrificed Jesus’s fundamentals on the altar of unyielding hard-conservative politics.

        Perhaps worst of all, they make very bad examples of the faith, especially to young impressionable observers.

        Liked by 1 person

        • If Jesus were to come down from the sky this very day and witness how he has been misrepresented by certain groups of people who claim with their large mouths to love him, he would run them out of the kingdom worse than he ran the money changers out of the temple.

          Liked by 3 people

          • I sometimes wonder how many potential Christians have felt repelled from the faith altogether due to the vocal angry-God-condemnation brand of the religion, perhaps which more resembles the Creator described in the Old Testament, Quran and Torah?
            And could collective human need for retributive justice — regardless of Christ (and great spiritual leaders) having emphasized love/compassion and non-violence — be intrinsically linked to the same terribly flawed aspect of humankind that enables the most horrible acts of violent cruelty to readily occur on this planet (perhaps not all of which we learn about)?
            On a theistic level, I believe that too many monotheists have created their God’s nature in their own angry, vengeful image.
            I personally picture Jesus as being one who’d enjoy a belly-shaking laugh over a good, albeit clean, joke with his disciples, rather than always being the stoically serious type of savior. Imagine a creator who has a great sense of humor rather than a readily infuriated streak!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’ve heard a few Christians say that God has a sense of humor, just look at the platypus.

              Now, being that I’m totally blind and have never seen or pet one, the joke went straight over my head and right into the ionosphere. lol.

              Liked by 2 people

          • Meanwhile, Christ’s teachings epitomize the primary component of socialism — do not hoard morbidly superfluous wealth when so very many people have little or nothing.

            Sometimes I wonder whether there are Christians — I mean the fans of the Old Testament angry-vengeful creator and followers of (what I term) institutional Christianity — who subconsciously wish that Jesus had not been so publicly contrary to contemporary conservative values thus politics.

            I can imagine institutional Christians generally finding inconvenient, if not annoying, having to reconcile the conspicuously contradictory fundamental nature, teachings and practices of the New Testament’s Jesus with those of the wrathful, vengeful and even jealous nature of the Old Testament’s God the Creator, Condemner and Executioner.

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    • You may well be right. And, if you remember, Trump began laying the groundwork during the 2016 election as well, saying that if he lost, it would be because of election fraud. Then, much to everyone’s surprise including his own, he actually won (he lost, but won in the right places, thus winning the Electoral College vote), and not another word was said about election fraud.

      There are definitely some, led by whacko evangelical leaders, who believe it was “God’s will” that Trump remain in office and thus that anything they do to put him back in the Oval Office will be right and just. But, I believe that most know better and it is a convenient excuse for their horrid behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Were there not scrutineers from both political camps monitoring the election, including ballot counts, last November? And why couldn’t electoral fraud just as readily have been committed in Trump’s favor, or even have put him into the White House four years ago? I, personally, find it hard to believe so many Americans voted for him last November after experiencing his first term.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, there were. And last November’s election was said … by the experts and even by then-Attorney General William Barr … to have been the most secure in the nation’s history! There was no evidence whatsoever that the results were skewed. Like you, I found it jaw-dropping that so many voted for him after all the harm he had done, the destruction he had caused, but … there are a number of people who simply do not understand and instead of trying to, they listen to Fox News and believe whatever they are told to believe.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not equating Trump or his base support to any of history’s genocidal maniacs, but the most frightful example of that philosophical justification is/was the pogrom, the primary implementers of which know they’re committing mass murder yet still genuinely perceive it all as part of an ultimately greater good.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Perhaps not a genocidal maniac, but quite frankly I believe that Trump fully intended to turn the presidency into an autocracy and that if he had won last November, we would not be having another presidential election in my lifetime.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing!!… again, the politicians are simply expressing the desires of those (the foundation) that elected them into office… the politicians are not going to change, unless the foundation does or they will be out of a job… the foundation is closed minded, in denial of change and do whatever they can to prevent it… the real task is working with the foundation and hopefully get compromise… as the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and for some, it will never be built… 🙂

    The strength of a democracy is to find common ground in a peaceful manner, even for those closed minded… 🙂

    “A home that is built with patience, understanding and love will withstand the strongest winds of difficulties and conflict , a home built with a closed mind, insincerity or haste will collapse in a mere breeze of discontent.” (Larry “Dutch” Woller )

    Until we meet again..
    May your troubles be less
    Your blessings be more
    And nothing but happiness
    Come through your door
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right in all you say, but it seems that today, there is no common ground, no middle ground, and even the simplest, most irrelevant things lead to partisan battles. How we open the minds of the closed-minded becomes the critical question, if we wish to preserve any of the democratic foundation, but it is a question that seemingly nobody has found the answer to yet. Sigh. Your poem is perfect … let’s hope this ‘home’ isn’t about to crumble.

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      • I know with all the negativity and conflict taking center stage it is difficult to be positive, but if one looks around there are a lot of good going on also, some you, yourself, have mentioned… with todays technology, one never knows how far ones touch has been felt “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.” (Frederick Buechner )… 🙂

        So follow Jean de La Bruyere’s advice; “No road is too long for him who advances slowly and does not hurry, and no attainment is beyond his reach who equips himself with patience to achieve it.” (Jean de La Bruyere ) and keep those fingers walking with your heart doing the talking knowing somewhere you are making a difference… 🙂

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        • My friend … you cannot possibly know just how much I needed both your words that remind me of the good people I write about, and that video … I’ve always loved that! Tonight, I needed this so much … I watched the video twice and found myself smiling and with tears in my eyes. Thank you, my friend, for the very timely reminder and for your supportive words.

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      • Thank you, Jill!

        I only wish that my veteran teachers had agreed when I tried to add such material to my lesson plans back when I taught in the classroom!

        But, I guess that’s why we have blogs, no?

        Ok, back to reformulating some of my Action Item questions…

        (which, btw, I’d love to have your input on, especially in my upcoming GED posts, which I am working to make relevant for all age and education levels, so that all of us can see something interesting in the posts, if not the lesson plans themselves…)

        Safe Air Hugs,
        -Shira

        Liked by 1 person

        • I will make a point later today to pop over and see some of your latest work, my friend! I’m so sorry I’ve been negligent in visiting, but … sigh … there never seems to be enough time to do the things I want/need to do … hmmmm … why does this remind me of a song? Anyway, I will make every effort to come and view some of your latest work. Virtual hugs to you, my friend!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, this will scare some, but about five years ago, former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, note the Koch Brothers sanctioned a study in the late 1990s that revealed the demographics for the future made the GOP prospects look dim. So, a strategy to recruit, influence, limit voting, reeducate, etc. was set in motion. This has always been about demographics.

    Schmidt also noted one of the strategies was to win enough states that a constitutional convention could be held to change the constitution to allow the states to appoint its Senators like they used to. It was all about control and power.

    Since the expansion of the party has been challenged, the move to more autocratic rule has followed the former president’s rise to power. What we should worry about is a Trump-like person who does not look or sound like Trump. This is a key reason we see Russian flags at some Trump rallies. This probably brings he biggest smile to Putin’s face. Why? Russian is a very white society and dissent is crushed.

    I wish I was making this stuff up, because it scares me that people think this way. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhhh … I vaguely remember Schmidt’s report, but had forgotten about it until reading your comment. You make some really good points here. For some time I have said that even when Trump is gone, the movement that put him in office remains, and my fear is that next time they will find somebody who is smoother, more well-spoken and intelligent to put in office. You’ve just echoed my concerns. No, I know you aren’t making it up, for I’ve seen and thought the same. We better be doing our part to try to wake people up, to show them facts to counter the b.s. they are fed by Fox, NewsMax, and OANN, not to mention the former guy and his family. And let’s hope the Biden administration can show the average Joe how much better off he is four years from now. My biggest immediate concern is the push to disenfranchise minority and poor voters … we CANNOT let this happen! Sigh. Thanks Keith, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking words!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, to see what is happening today in the Trump party, we need only to look back at history after post-Civil War reconstruction ceased because of a power deal in the 1870s. This is the start of the ugly Jim Crow period. Southern former slave owning whites stepped up efforts to suppress and demonize Blacks since the whites were outnumbered. It scares whites in leadership positions that they will only be a plurality in the next twenty five years, not a majority.

        As I wrote last week, all Trump party voters are not racist, as that is an unfair claim. But, the deceitful and seditious former president has welcomed those who are and incited them with his consistent bent toward lies, especially about his fraudulent claims on the election, which his attorney general called “bulls**t.” Americans need to shine a spotlight on bigotry and racism, as we are a diverse country with many sources of assets, ideas and talents.

        As we know, the Dems are not perfect either, but at least are calling out racism and standing up for freedom’s for all. Some do get over-zealous in pointing out everyone’s past mistakes (I still have not met a perfect person), but at least they are saying it is a problem.

        Thanks, Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I quite agree with you that what we are seeing today is reminiscent of the post-Civil War sough. My question, though, is … did we learn nothing over the past 150 years? Why is it important to whites that they be the ‘majority’? Are they afraid Blacks will retaliate for all the injustices that have been heaped upon them in the past? Not likely … Blacks are only asking to be treated equally, to have equal rights, and nothing more. So why … ???? I think those who believe themselves superior to other ethnicities are in serious need of an education … and perhaps that’s one of the biggest problems, that our education system is failing.

          No, nobody is perfect, but overall the policies of Democrats tend to be humanitarian, caring more about people than profit, while the Republicans are the opposite and would sell the people downriver (as they have done a few times) to help keep the wealthy corporations from losing a single penny of profit. I really do think the GOP needs to do some serious housecleaning and reassess the party’s values. But, I also fear that their rhetoric, aided by right-wing news such as Fox, is having the effect they desire … they instill fear into those who aren’t particularly well-educated, and it works. Sigh.

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    • You are exactly right, but in this country it’s the wealthy capitalists that drive the politicians with their mega-donations in exchange for votes on things that will increase their profits. Sigh. It’s all about money, y’know, not our lives or well-being.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re absolutely right. Follow the money. The democrats have been playing this game for so long that their ignorant supporters fail to follow the money. They claim to be the party of the working class when in reality they just bleed them dry at every opportunity. The only people who gain under their regime are the ones who want the goods without doing the work. Now they have to go south of the border to get more lazy voters.

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          • You’re right again. Only my view is reality. And your’s is over sensitive touchy-feely. Not that there is anything wrong with that in the proper context. And running a nation is not the place for family politics—one more thing. If you see the world through the color of your skin or someone else’s, for that matter, then you will see racism everywhere, even in good old joes house.

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    • True, but it escalated first during the Obama administration, largely because of the colour of his skin, and then under the former guy’s administration because he was as racist as they come. Now to fix the problem …

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  4. Unfortunately, although much of the delay was due to Republican stunts (eg, Ron Johnson insisting the poor clerks read all 600-plus pages of the bill aloud), the wrangling also involved centrist Democrats who demanded changes that weren’t too terrible but took a long time. We must revisit the minimum wage—that’s for sure.

    Biden is absolutely right to seek support from Republican mayors and governors and define bipartisanship with these endorsements. He wont’t get it from his former colleagues.

    I’ve just posted my second piece on “Saving Our Democracy .” Race is a given; Milbanks is absolutely right. The two voting rights bills, HR-1 and HR-4, are essential. But how we get past Manchin’s support of the filibuster remains the huge question. No way will 10 Republicans vote for them—even as they profess devotion to John Lewis, after whom HR-4 is named.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It sickens me that republican legislators put party ahead of people time after time, and yet the voters keep voting them in, apparently unable to see that they are not helping themselves by doing so. Yes, the minimum wage must and WILL be re-introduced and We the People must be loud and clear that we will not tolerate inaction on this issue. The same is the case with the two voting rights bills you mention … we simply cannot let them get by with taking away our rights, our voices. I will pop over and visit your “Saving Our Democracy” post later today! Thanks, Annie, for all that you do!

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      • This is an education issue: look at the stats for the red states, and it is clear that populations entire are being denied even a basic level of education that would allow for critical thinking skills.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are so very right about that! I’ve seen a number of Pew Research polls that say the bulk of Trump supporters had only a high school education, if that. Now, I agree that intelligence and education are not synonymous, that a person can be intelligent, an independent thinker without a college degree. But, the reality is that we are not teaching our young in high school how to think! We’re not teaching much in the way of social sciences such as history, literature, civics, these days, but rather are focusing more on computers and job skills. We need to change this, but even that won’t help our current situation.

          Liked by 1 person

          • “…we are not teaching our young in high school how to think…”
            Yes:
            This is exactly the problem, and it needs to start earlier, much earlier, than HS. Kids at the earliest ages need to be taught to reason for themselves, and not punished for asking questions!

            You are quite right that we need to teach history, especially, and how to source information that is normally taught in civics and social science, because it is in the sourcing of information that we find the root of the past 5 years. But first, asking deep questions has to be allowed, instead of quashed, and deep research and source investigation has to be encouraged.

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            • Oh Shira … you and I are of exactly the same mind! Yes, yes, and yes to all you say. I would only add that a part of what is keeping our youth strapped down is the teachings of the church … I think that these days, religions are brainwashing people, convincing them that anyone who doesn’t look and act just like them must be evil.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Good point, I forgot about many religions that (or streams of religions, many of which have multiple streams, less or more progressive…).
                The ruling today by the Supreme Court in that regard has me somewhat worried…

                Liked by 1 person

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