Beyond Salvation?

As far as I can tell, today’s Republican Party has no actual platform, no ideologies of its own, but instead is simply against anything that Democrats support, and vice versa.  What the former guy did to that which was once recognizable as a legitimate party with actual views, has left a party that is no longer in control of its senses.  Max Boot, writing for The Washington Post, shows us just how low the Republican Party has gone, and one must question whether there is a future for the party outside of conspiracy theories, racism, incoherent rants and obfuscation.


The Republican Party is beyond salvation — even without Trump

Opinion by 

Max Boot

Columnist

April 20, 2021 at 1:05 p.m. EDT

That was a very telling comment that Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) posted on Twitter last week. He noted that tweets from President Biden’s account “are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional” and that his “public comments are largely scripted.” In Cornyn’s mind, this “invites the question: is he really in charge?

On one level, this shows a senior Republican senator — someone who is seen as a staid establishmentarian — trying to spread smarmy insinuations that the president has lost his marbles and is being manipulated by shadowy leftists. That’s an article of faith on the conspiratorial far right that has now migrated to the mainstream despite the total lack of any substantiating evidence. When called out by Chris Wallace on Fox News, Cornyn retreated to the usual, despicable defense of conspiracy theorists: “I simply asked a question.” I didn’t say the moon landing was faked — I was only asking if it was!

But what is even more disturbing about Cornyn’s tweet is the upside-down assumption that it’s normal for a president to spew deranged, ungrammatical, abusive tweets — and that there is something wrong with a president who refuses to do so. Most people thought that President Donald Trump’s tweets were bonkers — but for a large portion of the GOP, they have now become the standard by which his successors will be judged. Republicans have gone down the rabbit hole where sanity and sobriety are inexplicable and indeed suspicious.

This is a sign of how the Republican Party is adjusting to post-Trump life. It has embraced Trumpism without Trump. This is not really a set of policy preferences; the GOP in 2020 passed on a platform beyond allegiance to the Orange Emperor’s whims. It is more of a mindless, obnoxious attitude — it’s all about “owning the libs,” spreading conspiracy theories, and waging culture wars as a way to rile up the rabid base and keep the cash register ringing.

Three of the major tenets of the Trumpified GOP have been on public view the past week — if you can bear to watch.

Hostility to science: Watch the video of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) yapping at Anthony S. Fauci, one of the nation’s leading infectious-disease experts, like an enraged chihuahua. “Dr. Fauci, when is the time?” Jordan kept asking. He wanted to know when it was “time to pull back on masking” and “physical distancing.” “When do Americans get their freedoms back? … What is low enough? Give me a number.” Fauci tried to explain that restrictions could be lifted as infection rates got lower. But for Jordan, this had nothing to do with eliciting information — it was all about showing his contempt for a leading scientist and demonstrating that he is much more exercised about prudent public health restrictions than about a virus that has already killed more than 567,000 Americans. It’s no surprise that vaccination rates are lower in counties that Trump won than in counties that voted for Biden.

Racism: Some of the most pro-Trump members of the House tried last week to start an America First Caucus. “White People First” is more like it: Their manifesto declared that “America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions. History has shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country.” There was so much blowback that the America Firsters backed off. But, as my colleague Aaron Blake notes, the white supremacist “replacement theory” — which claims that shadowy elites are importing people of color to replace native-born Whites — has gained wide adherence in the GOP. It has been pushed recently by everyone from Fox News’s Tucker Carlson to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who recently wondered (there’s that question again!) if Democrats “want to remake the demographics of America to ensure — that they stay in power forever.”

Authoritarianism: The Big Lie has become Republican orthodoxy — just like tax cuts and conservative judges. Polls show that 78 percent of Republicans don’t think Biden legitimately won and 51 percent say Congress “did not go far enough” to support “Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.” Little wonder that so many 2022 aspirants — including leading Republican Senate candidates in Ohio, Alabama, Missouri and North Carolina — are pushing the falsehood of the stolen election. The willingness to deny the election outcome — and thereby to reject democracy itself — has become the new litmus test for Republican primary voters.

This is by no means the whole of the GOP — but the Trumpy wing is by far the most vocal, militant and important. The “mainstream,” by contrast, is weak, vacillating and uncertain. Former House speaker John A. Boehner is a case in point: He denounces the “crazies” who have taken over, but he admits that in 2020 he voted for Trump — the leader of the crazies — because “I thought that his policies, by and large, mirrored the policies that I believed in.”

As I’ve said before, this is a party that is beyond salvation. I just wish Republicans didn’t insist on proving that bleak judgment right with dismaying regularity.

32 thoughts on “Beyond Salvation?

  1. The GOP platform is to be 180° opposite of the Democratic Party. This started back in 2008 after Obama won against McCain.

    No matter the issue, no matter the facts, the GOP will stake out and maintain absurd ideas just to oppose the Dems. It wasn’t a Trump thing, but he did take advantage and manipulate people as a result.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is true … not exactly a winning platform, but so long as they can keep their base snowed and believing that Democrats are “socialists”, they can retain power, it seems. The base doesn’t seem to understand that by electing these fools, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

      Like

  2. There will be a lot of traditional political parties going down in future, i think. Here its the same. On the one hand, people are doing too well, on the other hand, promises have not been kept for decades. In addition, racial hatred and discrimination are no longer acceptable to the majority. Thank God!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Given the example Keith just cited where such blatant ethics violations by members of a governing body who sit in a State which may never be overturned, I suggest some thought will have to be given as to whether these demagogues should ever be allowed to govern the country again as long as they don’t carry the votes of a majority of the citizens. Trump’s 4 years of power showed what can and does happen when a minority party is allowed into power backed by a party without cohesion except tax cuts and conspiiracy theories.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • My thoughts are that the Republican Party is digging its own grave with its racism, lies, and corruption. Let them go down in flames and see what they can re-build from the ashes. Sadly, a large portion of this nation cannot seem to see the lies, but still lap them up … if Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson says it, then it MUST be true. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. But you’re right … they do not deserve to be in a position of power until they can put the best interest of the people of this country first before their own greed.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, the 78% poll stat is scary, but a question is does that include those folks who left the Republican party? That is a tangible percentage. Nonetheless, the number is far higher than it should be and shows how bereft the party is of ideals like truth, decency and law and order. When people in the party get vilified and censured for telling the truth, that shows how low the party has fallen. Just this past week, a senior NC Republican state representative named Julia Howard was removed as a finance committee chair by the Republican Speaker of the House Tim Moore. Why? She had the temerity of calling Moore and two others on the carpet for pushing through a law in which they had financial benefit citing conflict of interest and lack of ethics. I sent her note thanking her for her courage and service, just as I contacted the seventeen US Republican Congress members who voted to impeach or convict the former president for his seditious actions to incite an insurrection on Congress. The real Republican heroes are the ones who stand up against those who are deceiving so many and do so at great peril, which they knew would happen but did it anyway. As an independent who has been in both parties, Dems are not perfect, but they are at least trying to govern, whether people agree with them or not. Keith

    Liked by 5 people

    • That’s a good question, Keith, and I don’t know the answer offhand. I’ve heard figures from 60% to 80%, so I’m sure much depends on who’s doing the poll, but the true number is likely somewhere in that range. Either way, as you say, the number is far too high and shows the lack of dedication to truth, honesty, and decency within the Republican Party.

      You are so right that the real Republican heroes are those who, knowing the great personal risk, stood for the principles and values they believe in, such as Lisa Murkowski, Adam Kinzinger and others. And yet, they are paying a hefty price for their honesty. If this is the Republican Party today, then it deserves to go down in flames. Perhaps from the ashes they can rebuild something of value.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, if we are looking for a way to get beneath that hard exterior of less extreme MAGA folks, the only way in is to ask them about these heroes and what they think. My guess is they are called RINOs as a means to ignore them, but the question that needs answering is “why do the knowingly risk so much to tell the truth?” Keith

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.