After the Fire

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Dennis Sanders

Dennis Sanders is the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis, MN.  You can follow Dennis through his blogs, The Clockwork Pastor and Big Tent Revue and on Twitter.  Feel free to contact him at dennis.sanders(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  1. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    I sympathize with the don’t burn it all down crowd. It took 40 years for the Republican party to get here, and they won’t recover overnight. The long arc of doing that work takes dedication of a different sort then they have displayed so far, and I’m not convinced they really want to do anything.

    That said, if you don’t take out the senators and governors who enabled Trump, you can’t achieve a “new” GOP that is focused on traditional conservative ideology (which the current GOP is definitely NOT focused on). So even if there’s no real plan, there has to be a goal.Report

  2. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    My perspective is probably distorted by being in a one-party state where the GOP is exiled to the inland deserts.
    But what I’ve noticed from our side of the aisle is that as the former Republicans migrate over to the Democrats, they carry a lot of their priors and attitudes with them, setting up the potential for a rift.

    Most of the business community tend to be moderate Democrats, that is, obliging on identity issues but fairly conservative on fiscal issues because, well, that’s their bottom line.

    For example, the various proposals for density and housing often become battles within the Democratic caucus pitting labor against environmentalists, social justice advocates against landowners.

    At this political moment the party can resolve the battles but I can see a future in which a new conservative party forms comprised of racially inclusive and socially tolerant business interests and landowners, pitted against labor and renters.

    In other words, if the current Republican party becomes diminished I can see race receding (but not disappearing) and the bread and butter issues dominating.

    Which shouldn’t be a startling prediction since how to handle wealth distribution and land control tend to be eternal issues. When you own property and capital there are all sorts of naturally occurring conflict points with people who don’t.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      I see a big challenge ahead in that the two major parties are now center and far right. There’s nothing really on the left, except a small scattering of third parties with very mixed records in local and state elections.Report

      • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        How far could a party go to the left while getting enough votes to be competitive and influence policy. Do you really think a green party could appeal to enough americans to be relevant considering the Republicans cannot even appeal to enough Americans to be relevant anymore.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to superdestroyer
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          says:

          Republicans don’t want to appeal to enough Americans to be relevant. So its a bad analogy.

          Labor – i.e. anyone who isn’t C Suite – has no political representation any more. Its one of the reasons so many Dems voted Trump, and why so many stayed home. So a Green Party that went back left economically could do very well as it would (finally) give the majority of Americans an economic voice.

          The Green’s big problem (which the Social Democrats and the Justice Democrats also suffer from) is they haven’t done the work of winning local and statewide elections so they have a base to draw from. They always want to start at Senate or President, bypassing all the places that would make them relevant.Report

          • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Philip H
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            says:

            How does labor reconcile itself with a Green Party that wants to put an end to extraction, manufacturing, and transportation? How does a Green Party whose main appeal is to affluent whites appeal to blacks and Latinos who want a house, a car, and a job?Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to superdestroyer
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              says:

              by being really clear that the shift to non-extractive energy production creates and sustains the kind of middle class jobs that used to be associated with manufacturing. Just look at the job growth the last ten years in solar installation jobs.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        I think “left” and “right” aren’t very good descriptors since for most of our lifetimes they were indicative of an entire suite of policy preferences which are now breaking apart.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      The Democratic Party in California and other places has become the “not insane” party. This means you have working class activists and social liberals who think there is nothing wrong with working in I-baking or Venture Capital and making lots of money.

      It also means you have issues where people are still beholden to local wealthy residents on issues like NIMBYism. It is a tough nut to crack.Report

  3. Avatar Pinky
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    says:

    I’ll have to think about this article some more, but my first comment is that we live in a hyper-institutional age. You want a thousand people in the streets by the afternoon, post a message. You want a political movement to get you elected, have a press conference. You want a currency, create one. The biggest slight against traditional institutions these days is that they can be replaced by ad hoc institutions in a matter of moments. The phrase “ad hoc institutions” might have been a contradiction before modern communications, but no longer.

    I’m not saying that every replacement institution will always work as well as the traditional one. I personally don’t see an effective replacement for the police. And I don’t think anyone wants to burn it ALL down. I’m also afraid that with each old institution sent to the wood chipper, we lose cohesion. But we’re creating networks of organization at such a rate that we can’t call our era anti-institutional.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Pinky
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      says:

      This is an interesting insight. Not entirely sure what to make of it… almost as if having destroyed ‘intermediary institutions’ we’ve created a proliferation of ‘intermediary institutions’ … but these have no real governance or accountability.

      I’d say its a strike against a burn-it-all-down mentality… but then, I’m not sure if BiaD isn’t more of a symptom rather than a cause. That is, the death of the Intermediaries was already accomplished… we’re just now living with the results.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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        says:

        Yeah, these are symptoms from the iatrogenic disease.

        The only apparent treatment to those whose profession is medicine is more medicine.
        The *REAL* cure lies in less medicine.

        And taking less medicine is very unfashionable within the circle whose profession is medicine.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          There’s something to that. I’m pretty sure we’re on a trajectory where we abolish the Police to create the Dept. of Public Safety… which will do everything the Police do, but it will be “owned” by the local constituency better…maybe with a few improvements (I hope)?

          And, once reconstituted with a few improvements (I hope) we’ll have the role reversal with Chip citing statistics that focus on interactions/million to demonstrate to DD and Dark that the new community owned Dept. of Public Safety kills people – well, I hate to say Indiscriminately – but you get the idea.

          What we’d be witnessing would be the re-legitimization of the Police, er Dept. of Public Safety… and that would be a good thing (I hope).

          Counter-intuitively, this is a ‘conservative’ notion… institutions need to be reformed so that they might be re-legitimized at a local level. We want local institutions that are reinvigorated by the communities they serve. We need better intermediate institutions… because the alternative is thinking that Trump or Biden have to own *all* the institutions. That, as you say, the medicine is more medicine.

          I’d rather Portland and Minneapolis create bad Depts of Public Saftey that maybe become good Depts of Public Safety (I hope) than us thinking that Portland and Minneapolis are incapable of any governance outside of DC. But, we know letting Portland or Minneapolis reform Policing would be Federalism for Realz… and that just leads to slavery. So checkmate to me, bring on Biden the savior.Report

  4. Avatar superdestroyer
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    says:

    The most likely scenario after the Republican Party implodes is that many Republicans move over to voting in the Democratic Primary so that they can have some say in policy or governancebut basically dropping out of active participation in police while the diehards hang around a Republican party that has zero influence on policy or governance at the national level, ceases to exist in several states and hangs on in a few corners of the political world. Of course, by then, only nut cases or grifters will be running for office as Republicans (See the current Senate candidate in Oregon or Congressional candidates in Colorado and Georgia.

    I always thought the media will eventually stop covering conservative politics because it is irrelevant but then I realized that it benefits the Democratic Party for the media to focus on an irrelevant Republican Party rather than focus on intra-party politics and policy with the Democrats. Look forward to more coverage of school board members in Arkansas that the Democratic members of Congress.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to superdestroyer
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      says:

      The whole Mostly Peaceful Protests happening in the hip and happening cities makes me wonder if there isn’t a tiger being ridden by the Democratic Party.

      We’ll see. The 1994 Crime Bill passed overwhelmingly for a reason, I guess.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Well, I think most of the Democrat cities will soon be run by violent warlords vying for power with suburban militias, with borders strictly enforced by race and gang affiliation. Eventually the centrists, moderate left, and everybody on the right will get fed up and support Filipino execution squads modeled on Philippine Presdident Duterte’s, and whichever politician seems to be behind the summary executions of all the troublemakers will be swept into office as a savior of the people. This kind of thing has happened in many other countries, and I think it represents a clear path out of our current political disagreements. 🙂Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Good point, we aren’t seeing protests in the Republican cities.

        Heck, where ARE the Republican cities?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Well, it’s one of those “semantic” games, isn’t it?

          Is a policy what makes something Republican or is a party affiliation what makes it Republican?

          If it’s a party affiliation, there are a handful here and there.

          If it’s a policy… well, San Francisco still has problems with de facto segregation.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Fort Worth is the largest city with a Republican mayor. However, few protests in the suburbs or exurbs.

          It is one of the reasons to not consider the Republican and Democratic Party as equivalents. The Democratic Party has a large number of mayors. Republican cities have council-manager systems with weak mayors.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Wichita, and I’m sure others. Google any of those along with “protests” and local news stories come up. The protests aren’t as big and certainly not as well covered as those in bluer cities.

          This past week the Jacksonville sheriff’s office paid out $100K to settle unlawful arrest suits after dragging people out of a protest. The sheriff’s office also agreed to restrictions on their future behavior towards protests and protesters.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    It says a lot about Republicans that “Burn it All Down” is the apocalyptic vision of the other party being in charge for a bit under the leadership of Commissar Joe BidenReport

  6. Avatar Marchmaine
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    says:

    I’m with you… I have no idea where my Republican friends will end-up residing in a post-Trump political landscape.

    I can’t help but also think of Douthat’s most recent roasting column: The Revolt of the Republican Strategists which, of course, is a play on the Lasch book of similar themes/title.

    I suppose I could see Trump losing and institutional inertia taking over with the MovementCons reasserting their control – mostly through default – of whatever is left of the Republican Brand. But I confess that I don’t really see a path forward to any sort of electorally viable Republican Party led by MoveCons/Neo-Cons.

    I also think that whether Trump wins/loses some sort of ‘populist’ agenda has to be addressed moving forward… I think there’s a Solidarity play that would trigger realignment… that’s my ‘hope’ for something better.

    But I admit that a more likely scenario will be a trumpian mishmash of nonsense either within or without the GOP, which renders both parties electorally unviable for as long as this isn’t resolved (hopefully in said Solidarity play).

    Or something else altogether… such are the powers of my future predictions.

    But, yes, your observation that the Lincoln Project seems to have no end-game… well that seems simply self evident.Report

  7. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

    -Mark Twain

    Trump’s popularity is sitting around the 90% mark with Republicans. Not too different than Obama’s popularity with his party. And when I across pieces like this, I just roll my eyes. See, I am/was a Never Obama Democrat, and while I would love to see that party get its act together and start acting on the things it says it believes, the active members don’t want to, in fact, are simply so consumed by hate that they seem to be unable to do anything. And thus I left the party. And while I might look back every once in a while, I can’t see them going in a direction I would find acceptable without massive changes.

    But my point is not to talk about the Dems, but to simply say that if the Republicans are not meeting your needs, it might be time to walk away. The R’s like where they are, and if they win the upcoming election, then they are vindicated. But, if they lose? Well, then they are in the same place that the D’s where in a few years ago. I think the Never Trumpers have burned too many bridges at this point to be an effective brake on that party, and even if they were, there are too many signs that the party doesn’t want them anymore. And that is OK.

    Yes, there are people in the party who want to move it in another direction. And there might be some new and younger members who can and will do this. But, it takes time, and numbers. They need to start making their case over the next several decades and build up new coalitions that will in turn start to gain momentum. Simply hating a president that enjoys enormous popularity within his party is not a good way to start. But, perhaps a better place for them to go would be the D’s and be a smoothing factor for that party. Again, time will tell.

    P.S. Saying the Never Trumpers aren’t willing to play politics? That is the height of folly, as it is all they are doing.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Aaron David
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      says:

      Yeah, there comes a time when you have to just walk away.

      Myself, I think the mainstream media has done a bad job of covering what happened in the Dems’ wave in 2018, and the party people might be walking to. For every AOC elected from an urban core there was a suburban moderate elected. Possibly more than one: it’s not like the Dems that swept Orange County are raging liberals.

      I was looking at the Senate polls the other day, and counting up some regional things. Come January, it is possible verging on likely that the interior Mountain West will have more Democratic US Senators than the Pacific West; more than the Midwest; more than the South. Among the four official Census Bureau regions, the West may have the most Dem Senators.

      Some of the perceptions are, I think, due to history putting Congress and the two biggest print media in a small area of the country. So the NYTimes and the WaPo play up Sanders and Warren. But Warren won’t be running the Finance Committee if she stays in the Senate — that would most likely be 24-year incumbent Ron Wyden from Oregon. They don’t point out that 28-year incumbent Patty Murray from Washington will likely chair the committee that writes the health care bills.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Michael Cain
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        says:

        I think one of the dangers the Democrats face is that their 2018 gains were almost entirely with centrists candidates who were able to take advantage of Russian collusion rumors, and were then forced to vote for impeachment, something like very likely doomed them for re-election. Now those Midwestern Democrats are watching liberal cities burn and police getting attacked and likely thinking “This is not what I signed up for.”

        This could result in Republicans retaking the House, but could have even worse implications on the off chance that Covid and riots combine to create a huge loss, which sometimes happens when external events impact an election. If the lost seats are moderates, while the radicals are unaffected, then the moderate influence on the party will disappear and it will further become a Berkley/Portland party that’s extremely at odds with the majority of America. That can create a spiral whereby the party radicalizes into oblivion, much like fringe parties in parliamentary systems.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          If you look at the House numbers in more detail, the Midwest/South seats were frosting. The cake was the West and northeast urban corridor where Dems won enough additional seats to get the majority without any gains in the Midwest/South. Relatively speaking, the West and NE corridor are bluer compared to the Midwest/South now than they were before the 2018 election.

          (Note also: if the Dems hadn’t won the Senate seats in NV and AZ in 2018, no one would be talking about them getting control of the Senate in 2020.)Report

  8. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    …believe the party can be changed from Trumpism to something more inclusive and less divisive. GenZGOP is a group for this new generation coming of age and they have a vision of a party that reflects their values, one that cares about the climate change, welcomes immigrants, and inclusive of LGBTQ Americans.

    This strikes me as somewhat wishful thinking about what a future, more viable Republican party would look like. It’s never going to be what the coastal blue version of a preferred center right party should be. But I think that’s ok.

    Specifically, it will need to not only abandon Zombie Reaganomics but also the pretense of caring about international American leadership as it was during the Cold War. That means that immigration will not be celebrated for its own sake but rather as a means of improving our economy through a merit-based process. It also means a party that looks at international relations as a quid-pro-quo, not a matter of leading the free world. I do think it needs to get to a ‘live and let live’ relationship with LGBT people and trade the white grievance stuff for color-blind nationalism and a rejection of the balkanized identity politics of progressive activists. But anything that puts American self-interest second will not be successful. In short it will look more like a European center-right nationalist party. The good news is I think that’s something we could work with, as opposed to the media driven shallowness we have now.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to InMD
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      says:

      I agree largely, except its not clear to me that Center Right in Europe will mean the Major/Blair/Cameron consensus (not to mention Merkel)… I think the Center Right in Europe is in some aspects trimming sails better than Trump/US… in other places not as well. But I think the locus of balance is more populist than what we’d refer to as the ‘old’ Center Right in Europe. But then you did say center-right nationalist… so maybe you’re accounting for that distinction in ‘nationalist’Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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        says:

        Yea, I don’t think it would look like Merkel-ism or even Macron-ism and definitely not like Tory-ism. But it might look something like the Northern League in Italy or maybe the pre-plane crash Law and Justice in Poland minus the Catholicism.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
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      says:

      I agree with much of this, we need to keep in mind the fact that the R’s (and to a similar degree the D’s) are at least partially a reaction to the opposition party. And not so much as a “you go left, then I will go right” sort of way, but in the “if you push too hard you will get a reaction.” In other words, all that “white grievance stuff” is going to come up every time the “balkanized identity politics of progressive activists” comes up. Why? Because everyone feels that they are getting screwed over, and when they feel another disenfranchised group is getting an unfair advantage, perceived or real, they will get upset. And it doesn’t matter that you or I might feel that this is racist, sexist, or whatever.

      We must never forget that any conservative movement, no matter the size, is going to be reactionary. Because that is what conservatives are, for good or ill. And when that movement grows large enough to completely take over a political party, it isn’t going to be seen in any way as a positive thing by the people who aren’t part of it. And the same thing goes for the left when it gets taken over by the progressive wing. Its a tug-of-war and the hard one side pulls, the greater the resistance is going to be.

      Until we get back to the place of mostly centrists all of this is going to keep happening. And how do we do that, I hear you ask? Well, there needs to be a consensus on where we are going and what we are doing as a nation. And we are not even close to that.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD
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      Bush II realized that the Republican Party needed to attract a much more diverse range of voters. Its why he really emphasized we aren’t at war with Islam after 9/11 and hit back against would be Evangelical Crusaders. Its also why Bush II really attempted to court Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. The white base of the Republican Party was having none of this. They wanted their war with Islam and their White America, anti-LGBT party. They got it. Now here we are.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq
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        I think there is a chicken-or-the-egg issue in that. W. certainly identified wedge issues particularly SSM and used them to drive religious conservative turnout. But that was also almost 20 years ago now and Bush II for all the attempted folksiness couldn’t hide who he was: the son of a patrician, wealthy, WASP family with a long history in elite circles. The party has been led to what it is now more by talk radio and Fox News whose interests in policy is at all times second to ratings. The point though is that it can be led and while it isn’t going to turn overnight into something it isn’t or revert to something it used to be it can and will evolve. All parties and movements do.Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to LeeEsq
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        Yup – it’s not surprising Bush II was the last Republican (and possibly the last Republican for a long time) to win a majority because he (and Rove) actually realized where the sweet spot in American politics is – moderately fiscally liberal (Medicare Part D, Education Reform $300 stimulus check, cutting taxes on everybody, etc.), culturally moderately conservative (Faith Initiatives, SSM opposition (in 2004)), pro-immigration, etc.

        If a right-leaning candidate could put that together, I’d never vote for it, but it could actually win. The problem is, like you said, the fiscally liberal, socially conservative wing is also virulently anti-immigration, and anti-multiculturalism in general, so they can’t make the alliances w/ culturally conservative non-white people they need.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Jesse
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          Such a combination of policy programs was meant to win one time with no consideration of the long term problems that they caused. Any governor, such as GW Bush, should have known to stay away from education because GW stumble into a failed program. All of the spending on medicare and stimulus just made the Democratic Party stronger in the long run the same as EITC always benefit Democrats in the long run.

          What the Republicans refuse to learn in that deficit spending always help the Democrats in the long run because it creates more government employees who vote for Democrats and it gives people government at a huge discount.

          What GW Bush should have done is use the global war on terrorism to cut spending everywhere else and to get out of Afghanistan after 90 days. Just as Covid-19 is showing us in 2020, no administration can ask for any sacrifice to last more than 90 days.

          In the long run, GW Bush was on one route to failure. The Trumpist just decided to pick another route to failure.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to superdestroyer
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            Wars are different than pandemics but Wilson and FDR managed to get the country to sacrifice for much longer than 90 days. I think a big problem with what happened via Covid is a lot of mixed messaging and culture waring about the issue and an inability to provide practical help to Americans during the pandemic. I disagree with the other liberals on how long this could go on for but with better morale boasting and practical help, I think we could do it longer than 90 days.Report

            • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to LeeEsq
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              The sacrafice that FDE ask for was 75 years ago. Five years later Truman lost power by screwing up the Korean Conflict, LBJ left office by screwing up Vietnam, and GW Bush left office with 205 apprval by screwing up in Iraq. One would think that politicians would learn to stay out of wars, stay out of partisan conflicts in other countries, and to stay far away from national building.

              There should be an addition to the Weinberger Doctrine that states that if the conflict cannot be ended in 90 days, do not start.Report

  9. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Via LGM, here is a Vox article on the Republican inability/ unwillingness to govern:
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/8/17/21368234/trump-republicans-covid-19-2020-democrats-senate-relief-stimulus-polls?scrolla=5eb6d68b7fedc32c19ef33b4

    Nut graf:
    The Republican Party has no policy theory for how to contain the coronavirus, nor for how to drive the economy back to full employment. And there is no plan to come up with a plan, nor anyone with both the interest and authority to do so. The Republican Party is broken as a policymaking institution, and it has been for some time.

    If Republicans are behaving like an opposition party that primarily wants to stop Democrats from doing anything, that’s because it’s the role they’re most comfortable playing, and one many of them expect to reprise soon.
    Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      I’m looking at Balloon Juice and hoping that they have a link to The Nation to see what it has to say about Republicans.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        See, this would be a great place for someone to say “Nu-uh Chip! Here is the plan the Republican President and Senate Majority have for containing the virus and getting the economy back on track! And it doesn’t even rhyme with Ax-Butts!”Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          “Pretend the virus doesn’t exist, get to herd immunity within months, everybody back to work after herd immunity is achieved.”

          Which, you may note, is identical to “diddly squat”. And you’d be right.

          Perhaps it’d be a great opportunity to argue that it’s important for all of us, as Americans, to follow a “Safer At Home” policy. As if June and July didn’t happen.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
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            I think the Democrat plan is to keep sending Jill Biden out for extended in-person interviews to explain that Covid means Joe can’t give extended in-person interviews – because Covid.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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            June and July didn’t actually happen.

            Most of the country never chose to lockdown, and mask wearing was and is marked by defiance.

            The fact that medical science is itself a fierce partisan issue is evidence of the empty nihilism of the Republican Party. After every speech by the President, medical experts have to hastily warn Americans not to listen to him or heed his advice.

            They have no plan for governance, and they have no plan to come up with a plan, nor anyone with the interest and authority to do so.

            And no one even seems to dispute this point, they just get angry when we point it out.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Most of the country never chose to lockdown

              Oh, you noticed that too? They had footage of people out in the streets every day for two months there. Except, get this, it wasn’t “Look at these people not locking down”, for some reason.

              Maybe you guys could argue that it’s important for all of us, as Americans, to follow a “Safer At Home” policy. As if June and July didn’t happen.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Yeah, “Us guys” need better arguments or else…um… or else…or else what?

                What will happen to people like Herman Cain if we fail to persuade him to follow proper medical procedures to spread the virus?

                Boy, he really showed us, didn’t he? Man, I feel totally owned now!

                All those videos of defiant guys stomping through stores ranting about their right to not wear a mask, while bodies are piled up in freezer trucks.
                Man, Chip is just so totally chagrined he didn’t think of a clever argument!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                If he’s hoping that people don’t notice fierce partisanship when it comes to the importance of staying inside, safer at home, he probably wants to acknowledge that somebody, somewhere, might notice an elephant in the room.

                Yeah, those people in Target not wearing masks.

                That’s practically violence.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                “But Hillary/Antifa/BLM!”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Imagine, if you would, a huge Trump supporter asking how you can support a Biden candidacy when Biden (allegedly) attacked Tara Reade?

                If you can imagine responding with one of Trump’s quotations about grabbing things, then you understand how making appeals to moral stances while having blind spots big enough to fly a drone through might not be particularly persuasive.

                Note: I’m not suggesting that you *WOULD* bring up “But Trump is bad too!” in response to someone bringing up Tara Reade’s accusations. I’m merely suggesting that you consider imagining whether someone might see that as a response worth making.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I would say that even if every word of Tara Reade’s accusations were true, America would still be immensely better off with a President Biden.

                Our foreign policy would be better, our economic policy would be better, our health policy would be better, our criminal policy would be better.

                It isn’t that a President’s personal life is irrelevant; Its that in this case, Trump’s appalling personal life is his least objectionable attribute.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Yeah, I assume that Tara Reade’s accusations are true too.

                But my point was not that Tara Reade’s accusations are true.

                It was asking you to imagine someone seeing “But Trump is bad on this issue as well!” as a point worth making.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                You want me to imagine if someone were making a statement which neither of us is making, but boy, wouldn’t it be unpersuasive if someone were?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Not exactly. I want you to imagine someone seeing the argument as a point worth making in response to a Trump supporter who is bringing up Tara Reade.

                Can you imagine a Biden-supporter saying such a thing in response to a Trump-supporter bringing up Tara Reade?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Can I imagine someone on the internet making a tu quoque argument?
                Seriously?

                But why are you addressing me rather than this Biden supporter you would prefer to argue with?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Because I believe that you are capable of imagining that other people have minds and perspectives.

                I know that you don’t like to put them on. Seeing things from other points of view can be painful.

                But I believe that it’s possible to imagine someone looking at the same thing that you’re seeing and come to a different conclusion about it.

                What I am working toward is trying to get you to see what June and July might offer to the perspective of a person hearing about the importance of staying Safer at Home.

                I believe that you are capable of looking at the Sally Anne Marble Test and coming to a conclusion other than “The Box”.

                Can you adopt, however temporarily, the perspective of another? (Seriously, this used to be something that old-school liberals prided themselves on.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you articulate a Republican theory of governance?

                It doesn’t seem like it since you’ve spent half a dozen posts just waving a sparkler of distraction.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The Republican Theory of Governance, in practice, seems to be Crony Capitalism.

                Is the putting on the perspective of another something that you see as immoral? Or that, like, by seeing the perspective of another, you’ll weaken your attachment to your own and a weaker attachment to your own is, by definition, more immoral than a stronger one?Report

  10. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    This is a really great article Dennis and one that people on the right desperately need to have. I, honestly, can say that I don’t have a strong opinion on what should come after the fire and, indeed, I strongly feel that it is in many ways none of my damn business. I’m not a right winger and doubt I ever will be so it is not for me to say what principles and policies a rejuvenated and renewed party of the right should settle on to return to relevance. I have no right to do so, honestly. It isn’t my party.

    A question I feel entitled to ponder is what it’ll take to cause this period of transformation and renewal to come about and how long it will take. My understanding is that the last significant transformation of a major American political party was the Democrats under the guidance of the DLC. After Reagan beat them, then subsequently whupped them in ’80 and ’84 the DLC was formed and it still took an additional defeat by Bush Pere in 88 before the ship of that party turned to the center and was lead out of the wilderness by Clinton in ’92. That gave us the operational Democratic Party that has existed and gradually evolved ever since.

    So, will the GOP take longer to reform? I believe that it will due to a number of factors:
    -The amount of change the party needs is significantly more profound. The 80’s era Democratic Party wasn’t exactly anti-capitalist as I understand it (I wasn’t around at the time) and Clinton’s innovations involved a certain degree of policy surrender on size of government and safety net issues along with reemphasizing a friendliness to business that the Democratic Party already had. Our 2020 GOP has a lot of profoundly serious problems that strike me as requiring significantly more change than the Dems of the 80’s experienced but I’d be quite open to alternative opinions from people who lived through that era.
    -The GOP of 2020 has the Right Wing Media apparatus of 2020. The Dems in the 80’s did not, as far as I’m aware, have an entire alternative media apparatus that constantly pushed them to the left by intensifying their left wing priors and feeding them back to them in a viscous feedback loop bubble. Our modern GOP has not only the right wing media enterprise enforcing a perverse media-right aligned ideology and screening out dissenting information- they also have an entire professional grifter class that is invested in this ecosystem from the God bothering mega-pastors to the gold selling campaign minions. Can the modern GOP transform with this entire apparatus hooked into their voting base pumping poison back in? I have my doubts. On the other hand perhaps it can be salutary. This apparatus could glom onto new right wing ideas and magnify them. On the other-other hand the right wing media apparatus has no incentive to do so. They don’t actually care if the GOP wins- if anything opposition status is the position they’re most comfortable doing business in. The Dems in the 80’s lost, and they knew it. Every element of the party and their coalition disliked losing and wanted to win.

    Based on those reasons I feel like it’ll take more time and more defeat to cause the transformation that you’re looking at Dennis. That’s one reason why I’m rooting for 2020 to be a historic shellacking for the GOP. In my mind only a devastating loss could produce a shock strong enough to snap the Republican coalition out of their delirium. It’d probably need to be emphasized by a series of subsequent losses as well. 2020 has the potential to deliver that initial starting swat and 2022 has a favorable Senate map that could deliver a useful follow up emphasizing loss.

    Would that be enough? I don’t know. I’ve never even read about a party so far down the rabbit hole as the GOP is now.Report

  11. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Here is today’s Republican plan for handling the virus:

    To the alarm of some government health officials, President Trump has expressed enthusiasm for the Food and Drug Administration to permit an extract from the oleander plant to be marketed as a dietary supplement or, alternatively, approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite lack of proof that it works.

    The experimental botanical extract, oleandrin, was promoted to Trump during an Oval Office meeting in July. It’s embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, a big Trump backer, who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops the product.

    https://www.axios.com/trump-covid-oleandrin-9896f570-6cd8-4919-af3a-65ebad113d41.html

    Grifters, con men and fringe google eyed snake handlers.

    And the amazing thing is, this is greeted with a shrug by most of the media, because hell, in a circus of freak show antics, this is no more unusual than Jared Kushner going on Fox News and driving nails up his nose or biting the head off a chicken.

    I know Dennis and other conservative-leaning people desperately hope for some return to sanity after this is over but the thing that leaps out to me is that north of 90% of Republicans approve of this, and applaud it lustily. They want this, they demand this, and won’t settle for anything else.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      90% is way way overstating the matter. Probably around half of Republican voters (AND Democratic voters for that matter) do so out of vague party attachment and tribalism while paying very little attention to the particulars of what the party is about. They don’t approve or disapprove of Trump himself and would definitely still vote for the party were Trump gone (or were he renominated).Report

  12. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    My mother is what you might call a Forever Trumper and we had a nice chat before the last election in which she listed all of the things Trump was going to do and why she was excited about them. Then I asked, “Okay, but you’ve told me about all of the people he’s going to stick it to, now what’s his positive vision of governance going to look like?” Maybe Republican survivors could pick up that stick.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Rufus F.
      Ignored
      says:

      The booming economy, push back against China, lack of foreign wars, Middle East peace, Brexit, building the wall, rollback of over burdensome regulations, return of manufacturing jobs to the US, streamlined approval of lifesaving drugs, the right to try, booming energy production, highest-ever levels of funding for historically black universities, etc, etc.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Do you think he’s going to run on that though? Because I think, like last time, it’s just going to be endless vindictive culture war bullshit.

        I mean, that or “Trump 2020: Covid Never Happened”.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Neither Mr. Trump no any Republican currently campaigning is emphasizing any of these issues.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Of some interest, Sen. Cory Gardner backed Trump right down the line on the environmental regulations: open more public lands to oil/gas drilling, allow the drillers on federal land to be much sloppier than most states allow, withdraw from multiple federal/state/private habitat preservation agreements that had taken more than a decade to put together, etc. If you watch Gardner’s campaign ads and his (very, very limited) in-person appearances, you would never know any of those had happened. Because Gardner can’t win without the Front Range suburbs and all of those changes are unpopular in the ’burbs.Report

  13. Avatar Michele Kerr
    Ignored
    says:

    I think it’s hilarious, although not in a good way, that the author doesn’t even begin to consider what the Never Trumpers will do if Trump *wins*, which isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

    Look, as @aarondavid sez, it’s hard not to roll one’s eyes and think wonh-wonh wah. Trump is very popular in the party. If he loses, there’s still going to be 30 times as many GOP voters as there are Never Trumpers.

    Besides, I can’t help but notice that, to paraphrase Ainsley Hayes in the West Wing, it’s not really that you don’t like the Republican party. You just don’t like Republican voters. It seems really that the people here are looking for Republicans to basically shut out the people who voted for Trump by denying them options. If I understand this correctly (and I may not, so forgive me, but this is how it seems), the goal is that the Republicans will lose HYUJ, and then the Never Trumpers in the public debate–who are basically, as Ross Douthat said, mercenaries who want obedient voters– will step in and purge the bad people who listened to the disobedient voters and tried to give them what they wanted.

    And that won’t work. If Trump loses, he’ll still be picking the winning GOP nominee in the next election–him or someone like him.

    Two other things:

    1) Hard as it is to believe, a lot of Americans–and not just Republicans–think the shutdown is a massive waste of time and, I fear, they will eventually win out over the people who think covid19 is somehow beatable if we just enact a correctly authored pandemic theater. I’m one of them (you can see my bloggingheads with Glenn Loury for more detail). I find it inexplicable to blame anyone for anything about this virus except the insane shutdowns, which were by governors, and sticking covid19 patients into nursing homes.

    2) California’s House races were won basically by ballot harvesting, and the Republicans have learned the game. I don’t know what will happen, but since ballot harvesting should be illegal, I’m rooting for the Republicans to get a few of those seats back.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Michele Kerr
      Ignored
      says:

      Welcome!
      I believe the authors point was directed at Never Trumpers who are advocating for a “burn it all down” approach and his point is that -IF- Trump goes down catastrophically that a simple return for the GOP to the state it existed in prior to Trump is unfeasible; so in a way you’re both saying similar things.

      Obviously if Trump wins then both Never Trumpers and we lefties have a much larger problem to deal with though it’s hard to discuss that in depth since the nature of the loss would define the problem.

      Personally, I very much hope that, if Trump loses, he continues to dominate the party sewing chaos into their nomination process and continuing to rain electoral ruin on their candidates and messaging. A long interregnum of right wing electoral ruin presided over by Trumps orange countenance would be salutary for the GOP in the long term and every bit what the right deserves.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michele Kerr
      Ignored
      says:

      Sure a lot of Americans believe the shut down is a waste of time but we are also a nation of 328 million people (2019 estimate according to Google) so even if it was only 10 percent of the country that leads to 32.8 million Americans which I concede is a large number. But that 90 percent of Americans is a larger one.

      That being said, UNC Chapel Hill just had to shut down the campus and go remote after a fourth cluster break out and all the attempts to reopen school have not gone well at all. The polling has consistently had a majority and a big majority at that state is not safe to reopen schools.

      Despite some very vocal minorities, the polling has always shown that a majority of Americans supported shelter in place and are skeptical of school reopen plans.

      So I am not sure what it means to state that a lot of Americans dislike it except as a partisan talking point.Report

      • Avatar Michele Kerr in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        UNC Chapel Hill didn’t “have” to shut down. That’s the point. The governors force shutdowns.

        And please. It’s nowhere near 90%. Go by behavior, and it’s clear that opening establishments up would bring people to eat, drink, and buy stuff.

        “The polling has consistently had a majority and a big majority at that state is not safe to reopen schools.”

        Probably the most important sort of polling is the massive surveys taken by parents at districts, and those were pretty consistently split.

        However, the nanny nanny boo boo my side has more people is kind of boring. I don’t really care which side has more people in polls. What people do is more indicative. The only thing keeping people from normal lives isn’t fear, it’s state governor mandates.

        “So I am not sure what it means to state that a lot of Americans dislike it except as a partisan talking point.”

        Well, the fact that y’all are using the covid19 scenario as evidence that people must, absolutely, think Trump is a huge failure is pretty loopy. Lots of people think covid19 shutdowns are absurd even if they’re voting Biden, and I suspect most GOP voters think it’s a joke, period.

        @north
        “Personally, I very much hope that, if Trump loses, he continues to dominate the party sewing chaos into their nomination process and continuing to rain electoral ruin on their candidates and messaging. A long interregnum of right wing electoral ruin presided over by Trumps orange countenance would be salutary for the GOP in the long term and every bit what the right deserves.”

        I understand what you hope. I’m just hoping against hope you can think.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Michele Kerr
          Ignored
          says:

          Heh, I certainly like to think plenty. But you’ve only made 3 points:

          -Trump is supported by his base, they won’t disappear even if he loses.
          I agree, and so does the author of this article. The whole point is discussing what happens next in that scenario.

          -The shut down was imposed by governors and is unpopular.
          I think this is pretty debatable but it’s not ambiguous that an economic crash was pretty much inevitable after Trump bungled his initial response to Covid. People were already pulling back from the public square even prior to the shut downs. If you want to make the case that overwhelmed and collapsing hospitals across the country would have been preferable to what we ended up getting when the Governors shut down their respective sates feel free but I don’t think you’re going to make much progress with it.

          -Something nefarious allowed Democrats to steal the election for House seats in 2018 but now the GOP is on to them so they’re gonna get clobbered this year.
          If ya feel that way then surely you have naught to worry about. Please enjoy this free roll of tinfoil while you wait for the assured Republican wave in November.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michele Kerr
          Ignored
          says:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/07/31/governors-took-strict-measures-coronavirus-are-seeing-better-political-outcomes/

          “The polling underscores a pretty simple reality: Most voters want the coronavirus under control above all else. They seem to be willing to be told to wear masks in the summer heat, to avoid large crowds and to avoid going to school or work. In fact, voters have rewarded those politicians who have limited their movement. Polls show that most Americans are still scared they or a family member will get sick.

          Democratic governors Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Roy Cooper in North Carolina, Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania and Tony Evers in Wisconsin — all states that will play a role in the 2020 presidential election — have approval ratings in the high 50s to mid 60s this summer, all after taking restrictions that went beyond many of their Republican counterparts to control the coronavirus.”

          Unskew the polls!!!Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Michele Kerr
      Ignored
      says:

      So we should have just let our ICUs be totally overrun? And the answer now that we’ve failed to flatten the curve because of poor leadership and popular defection is..let our ICUs be overrun?

      You’re too focused on the meta politics and not enough on the reality. It’s telling that even governors who took the ostrich approach have had to change direction when the hospital beds started to run out.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        Abbott and DeSantis are liberal stealth agents InMD. They’ll get theirs.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          I guess so!

          But in all seriousness the national conversation is totally divorced from the reality of how this plays out, particularly in areas relying on critical access facilities. Maybe Sweden’s system is well enough provisioned to absorb the hit but there are a lot of places in the US where we would have bodies piling up. Even governors with a strict agnosticism towards medical science and basic logistical analysis eventually figure out how bad the optics would be.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
            Ignored
            says:

            Some of them at least. Negative partisanship is what divorces the national conversation from how this plays out. Now there are things places like South Korea and France did that we cannot do. Such as real lockdowns where people could only leave home for reasons X, Y, and Z. There is also probably a good deal of inconsistency even among people who treat the pandemic seriously. I’ve noticed people write something like this on social media “Met up with my good friend for some socially distancing X” As far as I can tell, the social distance here means that they met up for outside and not anything related to keeping six feet apart.

            But the anti shelter in placers insist on a broad denial of reality and that they are the real majority despite all evidence to the contrary.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        How many ICUs were overrun? How many were even close to overrun?

        Remember the military hospital set up in Central Park? The hospital ships in the harbor? They were barely used. If at all.

        McCormick Place hospital’s cost to taxpayers? $1.7 million per patient. How the deal happened
        Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s aides defend her push for little-used coronavirus hospital built by Walsh Construction as important ‘insurance policy’ at a time of ‘immense emergency.’
        https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/8/14/21367889/mccormick-place-coronavirus-hospital-cost-walsh-construction-mcpier-lori-lightfoot-army-corps

        This Hospital Cost $52 Million. It Treated 79 Virus Patients.
        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/21/nyregion/coronavirus-hospital-usta-queens.html?action=click&auth=login-email&login=email&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

        People are scared because they are being told, day-in and day-out to be scared. People are convinced that roughly 9% of Americans have died from this (30 million! https://www.kekstcnc.com/media/2793/kekstcnc_research_covid-19_opinion_tracker_wave-4.pdf) when there have 175K. Yes there has been death, which is a natural occurrence, but the fatality rate is low, the age stratification is very specific (under 45 is .01%, 55 to 64 is at .48%, while over 85 is over 22%), suicides have gone up (estimates of an additional 75K this year), serious medical issues have been delayed at hospitals due to fear of the virus, hospital workers laid off due to that lack of patients, and roughly 46% of deaths due to recovering COVID patients having been transferred to rest-homes, thus infecting some of our most vulnerable population.

        We went about this the entirely wrong way, we have a media that is reinforcing the fear and governors who feed on that fear. And in the rush to do something, anything, they have done serious and lasting damage to the economy and civil rights. All the while delaying the single most important thing; herd immunity. It’s fucking insane.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          We went about this the entirely wrong way, we have a media that is reinforcing the fear and governors who feed on that fear. And in the rush to do something, anything, they have done serious and lasting damage to the economy and civil rights. All the while delaying the single most important thing; herd immunity. It’s fucking insane.

          ALL of that – yes ALL – could have been mitigated with a consistent, compassionate national leader. We lacked that and so too many people, trying too hard to read too few tea leaves – ran off in all sorts of directions. In national crises a President – including this one – has one fecking job. To lead. Which he abysmally failed to do.

          Oh, and they have done no damage whatsoever to civil rights. Al they have done is exposed how selfish mainly conservative white Americans can be. Asking you to wear a mask so I don’t die doesn’t impinge on anyone rights. Spewing COVID asymptomatically so others get sick and die does impinge on those same rights.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            Remember when Trump shut down the economy?

            Remember when he came out on the Coronavirus task force updates and told everyone to be afraid and wear a mask?

            Remember when he didn’t send hospital ships into our harbors to help out with any additional problems?

            Remember when he attempted to stop people protesting the lockdown, but encouraged people to riot over the tragic death of George Floyd?

            No, I don’t either, because none of that happened. He was constantly upbeat in task force updates, supplied hospital ships, and tried to prevent spread in a manner appropriate to the laws of our county federalism.

            And every politician to the left of center constantly called him a fascist when he was doing the least fascist thing imaginable; following the law, not trying to seize power like he was being asked too by the left. And it was those selfsame left-of-center politicians who were doing the greatest damage (Cuomo, Walz, Wolf, Widmer) by destroying civil rights, destroying the economy. And yes, putting restrictions on worship that don’t apply to casinos (Free Exorcise), attempting to deny the right to peaceably assemble are destructions of civil rights. Further, some states attempted to deny 2nd amendment rights at the same time (Pennsylvania). To attempt to say they did no damage to civil rights is a sick, sad joke. To say nothing of the economy and education. All the while promoting riots that do spread the disease that you are so afraid of. The forcible shutting down businesses that one of those they didn’t feel to be essential.

            But, yeah, #orangemanbad…

            But, you say that about everything, so the rest of us just roll our eyes whenever you spit that out. Could have done more? Sure, he could have had an economist up at the task force meetings to show how much damage that is being done by governors closing the economy, and a psychologist to show the mental damage that is being done in the name of fear. That I do fault him for.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
              Ignored
              says:

              This is, then, the Republican approach to a pandemic: Do Nothing.

              Their core belief now is that when confronted with a health crisis, nothing can be done, or should be done.

              I wish this was hyperbole, but here we have a couple people spelling it out loud.

              Our response to the pandemic sweeping across the country is to simply ignore it and go about our lives, shrugging off the deaths as well, shit happens I guess.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
              Ignored
              says:

              26 states have republican governors. They shut things down too. They made the decisions on houses of worship (which remained open down here in red state mIssissippi) and casinos (which we closed down).

              His “upbeat” assessments flew in the face of hard facts. He contradicted his own experts in real time in front of them on live TV.

              His response to over 150,000 Americans dead who would otherwise be alive is “It is what it is.”

              He told governors to buy what they needed, then had his agencies outbid the governors so his administration could send supplies selectively to states he liked. His administration also tried to seize supplies bought by those governors.

              He failed to use the Defense Production Act to actually produce anything to protect the nation, and when his administration signed off on a deal to get respirators from Phillips (that had been put off by his administration 3 prior times) he did such a good job that tens of millions of dollars will now be spent on ventilators that we will not receive until 2022.

              He sent hospital ships to New York City – but they don’t do Chicago or Des Moines or Dallas any good.

              There is NO statistical evidence (which we would more then have seen by now) that any f the civil rights protests spread COVID faster or more thoroughly then any other gathering form. the Students sent home last week at UNC didn’t get sick from protests – they got sick from parties.

              As to civil rights violations – first those do no one any good if they are dead. Second, worship was not banned – thousands of congregations moved to virtual worship and remain there. Third, no one – including federal agents – shut down any mask protests. Perhaps you missed the armed Michiganders who occupied their own state house and spit in the faces of the state police officers deployed to protect the place.

              And finally on the economy -as I have repeatedly said – if our nation is rich enough to give the 1% and corporations a trillion dollars of tax cuts three years ago, we are rich enough to pay people appropriately to stay home – which would have done way more to keep the economy going then most of the relief approved so far. Trump’s treasury secretary got $500 Billion to spread around as he saw fit – and when he’s not completely dodging congressional oversight it appears the bulk of that money went to corporations, not people. Had that money been spread to the 31 million Americans who were out of work at one point each of them would have received $16,129 each. Thats a hell of a lot of foregone economic stimulus.

              And as President it was his job to lead. It was his job to be responsible. He wasn’t. He isn’t. he won’t.

              And the great irony is if he had he’d be a shoe in for another term.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I do fault Trump for not sending hospital ships to Dallas. That would’ve been awesome.

                He failed to use the Defense Production Act to actually produce anything to protect the nation

                Remember when Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to expedite the production of medical supplies, and then later that day Biden claimed that he’d been calling for the use of the Defense Production Act far sooner than anybody else, even though Fact Check couldn’t find any media mention of such calls, and the Biden campaign couldn’t supply any evidence for Biden’s claim?

                We could not find any public comments from Biden prior to the statement he put out on March 18 — which we referenced earlier.

                The left simply isn’t serious about anything regarding Covid. They will say the exact opposite of what Trump says, and then lie and say the opposite as soon as the opposite position is a better sound bite.

                As Trump says, if he came out in favor of breathing oxygen Democrats would put plastic bags over their heads. Something like that happened today when he issued a full Presidential pardon to Susan B. Anthony for illegally voting the straight Republican ticket. The New York Times immediately came out and called Susan B. Anthony a controversial and divisive figure whose focus on women’s suffrage delayed the movement for black equality and civil rights by decades. Another feminist hero thrown under the bus by Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Phillip H 2016:

                TTTRRRUUUUMMMPPP!!!

                Phillip H 2020

                TTTRRRUUUUMMMPPP!!!

                By the way, I didn’t say anyone attempted to stop the protesting of the lockdowns or masks, I simply used it as something he didn’t do. But it still stands that governors closed beaches, parks and lakes. They closed businesses and churches. All of those are prevent the rights of people to peaceable assemble.

                Did some R governors panic and close businesses and schools, parks, and churches? Yes. That wasn’t at the hands of a president though, no matter how much you try to spin facts.

                No, Trump lead in a very respectful manner, providing help to states (even Newsome and Cuomo affirmed this) in a logical and legal manner. He didn’t panic. He did help Americans via executive order when the Dems tried to make a power play with the lives and finances of US citizens (and boy that must have chapped Pelosi’s hide when she realized she was outmaneuvered by badorangeman.)

                What he also didn’t do was fall into a trap wherein the D’s would have excoriated him for going full fascist like they were asking and hoping for. And given that the left and the D’s have simply become the party of hate, has gotten them even angrier. And you can see this in yours and Chip’s replies to this post.Report

  14. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    The problem with NeverTrumpers on both sides is that they don’t have an endgame.

    I think their endgame is personal. They want to reclaim a sense of respectability in the public sphere (relevance, TV appearance, money) for ideas which the conservative base rejected in humiliating fashion, and to make amends for undermining the foundations of conservatism to such an extent that Trump could sneak in *through the front door* and take over the GOP. If 2016 were a schoolyard fight they’d be the tiny clique that not only got it’s ass kicked but was laughed at by everyone else.

    What’s the goal in the long term? Rinse and repeat what they’ve been doing. That is, try to reclaim their respectability and try to keep the money flowing. Since the situation is fluid, they will be wildly adaptable in their pursuit of those two goals.

    To your broader point, though, I think anyone who claims to see what a post-Trump conservatism will look like is kidding themselves. The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Nothing will look the same if they somehow lose control. OTOH, Nate Silver has Trump at 40% *to win*. !!!Report

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