The Republican Civil War Is Upon Us

David Thornton

David Thornton is a freelance writer and professional pilot who has also lived in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Emmanuel College. He is Christian conservative/libertarian who was fortunate enough to have seen Ronald Reagan in person during his formative years. A former contributor to The Resurgent, David now writes for the Racket News with fellow Resurgent alum, Steve Berman, and his personal blog, CaptainKudzu. He currently lives with his wife and daughter near Columbus, Georgia. His son is serving in the US Air Force. You can find him on Twitter @CaptainKudzu and Facebook.

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140 Responses

  1. Chip Daniels says:

    I’ll repeat, that when you lose an election by a razor thin margin, the most logical conclusion is that you just didn’t try hard enough.

    I expect that whether the Republicans go with Trump or DeSantis, the message and priorities and policies will be exactly as they are now.

    Ten years ago they held a similar soul-searching after the 2012 Obama victory, and they made a choice to reject the majority of their fellow Americans, seeing them as illegitimate and unwanted.

    Today, ten years after, here is a Republican blogger-
    The GOP’s dejection is understandable. If the party can’t score a “red wave” under these conditions, then when will they ever? Those dispirited by the outcome should take another dose of reality and consider what elections will look like after another 10 or 15 years of mass immigration have taken their toll. It’s not a pretty picture.

    Those inclined to say the GOP was not persuasive enough, or that Trump’s “toxicity” is the issue, are missing the forest for the trees. America is balkanizing, its elections are going the way of the Third World, as are its people. There is no easy solution to this predicament, but the answer isn’t for the GOP to ditch the one man who excites the party base. Nor is it to pander to the lowest common denominator, in the hope of buying more time before the demographic time bomb goes off.
    Read the whole thing, but it could easily have been written ten years ago, or twenty, or fifty. Americans are decadent, Americans are immoral, America is being invaded by foreigners who are corrupting our national character, etc.

    The Republican dilemma is that they want to win elections to run America, while not liking Americans very much.

    Which explains why they have taken to disliking democracy as well. And logically, this leads inescapably to the conclusion that they didn’t try hard enough to destroy democracy.Report

    • Koz in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Read the whole thing, but it could easily have been written ten years ago, or twenty, or fifty. Americans are decadent, Americans are immoral, America is being invaded by foreigners who are corrupting our national character, etc.

      Definitely he’s barking up the wrong tree about immigrant voters. Hispanics (and Asians) are our biggest growth areas from this election (and the last one too IIRC). Otherwise yeah, that’s me.

      The conventional wisdom about Trump and the flaky candidates is right, but still I’m in blame-the-voters mode now and probably will be for a while. We nominated in some races some people who were flaky and unpleasant and inscrutable, but even so if we had a functioning country they were better than they had to be.

      Yeah, Trump’s gone now, and DeSantis is going to take over and win, we’ll get ’em next time, and the cavalry is coming. And that’s right, the cavalry _is_ coming. I’m just afraid the settlers are all going to be dead by the time they get there.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Koz says:

        I’ll give you this – your unrepentant optimism about your position is always amusing to watch.

        Trump isn’t going anywhere until he’s convicted of something. DeSantis has to make a decision – potentially by tomorrow – if he wants to run Florida or run for President. Because once Trump announces the campaign is on.

        And yes, the GOP had bad candidates. Very bad in some cases. Who ran on issues that repelled voters.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Koz says:

        That you see Republicans as “settlers” and the rest of Americans as attacking natives is something that, were I to write it would provoke howls of indignation from Respectable Republicans.

        I’m agreeing with your characterization, by the way.Report

      • North in reply to Koz says:

        2016 stung like a motherfisher for me so you have my sympathies for your disappointment even as I’m transported by our own results.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    The latest Republican talking point is that the young people generally and all the single ladies specifically are the reason for the election results. This has led to a lot of melt downs on twitter, Fox News, the conservative press, and other places about how the voting age needs to be raised and something needs to be done about the single ladies and their evil ways.

    Joel W Berry, Managing Editor of the Babylon Bee, tweeted thus “Unmarried women in America are lost, miserable, addicted to SSRIs, wracked with guilt from abortion, and wandering from partner to partner. They are the Democrats’ core base now, and Democrats will do everything possible to manufacture more of them.”

    Ken White (aka Popehat) correctly observed and tweeted in response: “Hard to believe that the GOP’s core message of ‘you suck, you Godless scabrous whore’ isn’t resonating with young women.”

    As a preliminary matter, Berry’s tweet is wrong. Single women are less likely to use antidepressants (SSRIs) than married women. Being married does not seem to have a positive effect on the lifespan of women compared to men (unmarried men generally die sooner than married men according to studies).

    What we see here is the GOP still not learning. Instead of thinking “maybe we need to moderate or change our policies because they are clearly unpopular”, it is a double or triple down on taking the franchise from groups that disagree with them.Report

  3. Burt Likko says:

    Various sources seem to identify these as the big national themes, which I’ll list alphabetically to avoid insinuating my own estimating:

    Bad candidates
    Cheating by Democrats
    Dobbs backlash
    Economic deltas (GDP, employment, & gas prices)
    GOP machinery not up to snuff
    January 6 backlash
    MAGA nuttiness backlash
    New voters from other cultures
    Trump (personally) backlash

    Some of these can be teased together into a narrative thread. I don’t think all. in part because IMO “new voters” and “cheating by Democrats” are negligible factors, which really are not coming from sober quarters within the GOP. I mention them, though, because sobriety has not always held sway with Republicans as a whole, within recent memory.

    So if we were making pie charts, how do we divide up the pie, and what other slices do we add?Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Four of those come down to “Trump”. That’s really bad.

      I’m including “bad candidates” because of his influence in picking them and forcing them to talk so much about Trump really winning the election.Report

  4. Pinky says:

    What’s your evidence for a civil war? I’m still waiting for Saul to produce the “Kari Lake attacks DeSantis” video.Report

  5. InMD says:

    I think candidate quality matters a lot. But I also think there’s a very real, and, frankly, valid, perception that post Trump Republicans still only know how to play populists on TV, but not actually deliver on populist results. I linked to an NYT column on the other page that I think got to this point, even though, being the NYT it couldn’t help but make it in a pretty dopey anecdotal framing that could easily cause it to be missed.

    So I think the results is that there are a lot of negative sentiments about the Democrats out there ripe for exploitation but the GOP still fails the ‘what’s in it for me’ test of the voters they hope to reach. I demur as to whether that tension is a civil war but I think it’s something they’re going to need to answer if they want to get their house in order.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

      Yeah, one Trump-sympathetic person that I saw on twitter gave a scathing review of Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania.

      Trump won Pennsylvania by talking about immigration, jobs, and how the system was screwing people over. He then quoted Dr. Oz talking about “crudités”.

      If you wanted to play populist and complain about the grocery store, talk about spaghetti sauce, talk about eggs, and talk about shrinkflation.


    • LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

      Actual populist measures go against the economic ideological principles of the Republican Party, that doing anything to harm the money and property of wealthy people is inherently immoral.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq says:

        A good populist can try to prioritize job creation without diving head first into economic insanity. Trump might have threaded that needle with free trade by “reviewing/rewriting” the agreement and then putting a Trump sticker on the top.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

      I’m imagining RDS as Hamlet wandering around the stage getting ready for his big ‘Makers or Takers’ soliloquy where he never really commits to either; Rosencrantz/Guildenstern are obviously the Lincoln Project. And in the end, everyone’s dead by poison, betrayal and the sword.

      But who is Fortinbras?

      In my nightmares version? Fortinbras = Romney. And Dave Chapelle as the Ghost of Hamlet’s father appears to warn us of Honest Liars and Lying Liars.


  6. Michael Cain says:

    Prediction: in 18 months, DeSantis won’t even be in the conversation. One more major hurricane, the collapse of the property insurance industry in Florida, and the whole residential real estate industry following insurance down the drain, and that’s the end of DeSantis as any sort of national player.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain says:

      B-but, he will be signing a new abortion ban into effect! Surely, Americans will give him thunderous approval!Report

      • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Need to know the enemy better. I’ve heard some noises that he may have dodged the Dobbs backlash at least in part by going 15 week ban plus exceptions for health/life of the mother. Maybe he’ll take a turn for the crazy and self-marginalizing on that front but he seems to be a lot better at reading the room. Or at least just how the issue polls.

        Though I absolutely love the aggressive prediction from Michael.Report

        • North in reply to InMD says:

          Yeah I’m with InMD, don’t underestimate DeSantis. I’m fascinated by Michaels’ prediction, though, and wish to subscribe to his newsletter.Report

          • Pinky in reply to North says:

            Michael’s “prediction” is a literal invocation of an act of God under contract law.Report

            • North in reply to Pinky says:

              Yes, but he seems to be predicting that Florida’s insurance and real estate industries are way out over their skiis in a way that other markets aren’t vis a vis said acts of God. Which is what I find very interesting.Report

              • Philip H in reply to North says:

                Even before Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida last week, the state’s property insurance market was already in its own state of disaster.

                Homeowners in Florida pay the highest premiums in the country: nearly three times the national average, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group. And Floridians’ premiums are rising much faster — about 33% each year — than the typical American’s annual increase of 9%.

                But in Florida, hurricanes aren’t the only factor driving up costs. Rampant litigation and soaring reinsurance costs are other components, experts say.

                Six insurance carriers have declared insolvency this year alone. Others have dropped customers or stopped writing new policies. As a result, the number of policyholders on the state-backed insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance, has ballooned.


              • North in reply to Philip H says:

                Fascinating! Thank you.Report

              • Philip H in reply to North says:

                Its a thing that goes back to Andrew in 1992. 2004 did a real number with 4 storms in a month (Charley, Francis, Ivan, Jean). Its only been getting worse since.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

          “Here he is ladies!
          Your candidate for President who is willing to let you control your own fertility, if your doctor gets a panel of mullahs to agree that you will die unless given a procedure.
          Please, don’t all rush at once.”

          If DeSantis is smart and I am willing to accept that he is, he will duck the issue of abortion entirely and just dial up the trans and immigrant hate up to 11.

          If he were truly smart, he would ignore any culture war stuff altogether and try to look like a responsible Republican Daddy.
          But, I really don’t think he has that sort of self-restraint and anyway, he is going to have to dance with the ones what brung ya.

          And they want Outgroup hate, and lots of it.Report

          • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            I see no reason to underestimate him. Allowing abortion on demand, which so far is where he is, for up to 15 weeks with the health exception puts him closer to the median voter than either the ban it all right or the restore Roe and then some left. You don’t have to agree with the stance to recognize that he’s playing smart politics for a general election. Whether he can get that far in the current state of the GOP (or the state of the Florida insurance industry I suppose) is the open question.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

              “Hey America! Here’s this politician that agrees with you!” is usually a good play.

              Though I understand that “RDS is worse than Trump!” isn’t really available quite yet.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to InMD says:

              As I’ve said elsewhere the 15 week position is the exact median where it can be simultaneously demagogued as:

              Pro-Abortion: We’re going to defend reproductive rights through 15 weeks as they do in Europe; thereafter sensible protections for the life and health of the mother as medically determined. This is effectively protects most all abortions.

              Anti-Abortion: They are coming to destroy reproductive freedom by limiting abortion to 15 weeks and forcing doctors to approve abortions in later stages. This is effectively living in the Handmaid’s tale.

              Simply depends on how it’s framed.Report

              • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Certainly a possibility. Another possibility though is that keeping the clinics running while closing off the avenues for the lurid stories that fuel the hardcore activism in both directions may suck the energy out of the issue. Time will tell.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD says:

                Which of our resident Reasonable Republicans supports unrestricted abortion on demand up to 15 weeks?

                And as far as demagoguery, who is going to believe that the people who want to force your 10 year old daughter to carry her rapists pregnancy to term really want a European style abortion framework?Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                No one who comments here is normal.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to InMD says:

                Come now. I was assured by the cute young woman when I was in college that I couldn’t possibly be a math major because I was much too normal.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:

      Depending on tomorrow’s announcement from Trump, he may not even be in the conversation by Wednesday. Same with Youngkin.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Youngkin doesn’t have a law degree or a military background; he’s won one election and governed for a year; he’s not off-the-charts charismatic. And he has nothing to gain from running. He was never a possibility, except maybe a long shot VP pick.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Pinky says:

          Kinda makes him the Republican Tim Kaine?Report

          • Pinky in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Kaine had connections, experience, and a terrifying It clown face (not sure if that last one helped though). But there’s a strange overestimation of Virginians for the national ticket. And they’re barely even, let’s be honest, literate or likeable. No one wants to be in a room with a Virginian. You know what I mean.
            I think the fascination comes from both history and the impression of purpleness, when their gubernatorial politics are more governed by backlash against the president’s party and by road construction promises.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Michael Cain says:

      This years hurricane season is over. 18 months covers only 6 of hurricane, and odds are pretty good that we won’t have one covering Florida over any given 6 months.

      The media really loves to go full drama on hurricanes. That’s why I keep getting local predictions of doom and gloom and then see half an inch of rain.

      The “big” hurricanes that have been in the news recently haven’t been damaging enough to make onto wiki’s list. Either Florida has gotten better with it’s building codes since Katrina or the serious cat 5 hurricane is seriously rare, most likely both of those things are true. I see a lot of hurricane windows around here and my work place has this weird tint to the glass which indicates it’s insanely strong.

      • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

        Either Florida has gotten better with it’s building codes since Katrina or the serious cat 5 hurricane is seriously rare, most likely both of those things are true.

        Both things are in fact true. Though if you look at your Wikipedia list, 5 of your top ten storms were Cat 5’s. But it doesn’t take a Cat 5 to do serious lasting damage. A slow moving Cat 3 that causes wide spread erosion and massive flooding can be just as bad – just look at the damage totals for Sandy.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

          Sandy’s numbers are weird. Wiki claims tens of billions of dollars in damage, however one of the worst hit areas in Florida claims $14 million. Sandy also ripped through Cuba and landed in New Jersey if I’m reading the map right. Presumably Florida expects these things while New Jersey doesn’t and Cuba has other problems. Florida might have been a bit player in the damage numbers.

          I agree that a solid hit from a nasty Hurricane in the next 18 months would derail DeSantis, I think that unlikely; both because they’re rare and because Florida’s definition of “nasty Hurricane” is different from New Jersey’s.Report

          • Sandy was a real outlier for many reasons. It was huge and slow and when it made landfall in NJ it was downgraded to a Cat 1. The unprecedented damage done was almost entirely due to flooding caused by storm surge. High tide + wrong side of eye (for the NYC area). It didn’t drop a significant amount of rainfall and wind knocked out power of course, but the surge was responsible for the lionshare of devastation. It’s basically what was feared would happen to Tampa Bay with Ian if it passed to the North. It passed to the south and sucked the water right out of Tampa Bay. Fort Meyers/Naples, not so fortunate.Report

  7. North says:

    The GOP elite have been bucking paying the bill for quite some time now. From my own xenial perspective the big deferral came down in ’09 after Obama won and the GOP, sitting in the burning rubble of W’s execrable performance, had a choice to make: eat their veggies, reexamine their republican/libertarian policy stances or defer that reckoning, accept the daring plan that Cocaine Mitch came up with to pursue a path of escalation and total obstruction and ride it back to power. The GOP chose Mitch.

    Come 2016 the waiter dropped by with the bill once again. In the cooled rubble of Romney’s failed attempt to capitalize on Mitch’s obstruction strategy the GOP discovered that an undesired side effect of their escalation strategy had manifested. Trump had seized the nomination primarily by rejecting both the idiocy of the W years and the policy preference of the GOP elite. But Trump was obviously an idiot and once in power could be steered by the GOP elite. The choice was again presented: stick to principles, reject Trump and cause a disjunction that’d throw the election to Hillary Clinton and lead to a genuine evolution in party policy on the right or else fall in line behind Trump and use him to snow the right-wing voters again to get more tax cuts. Once again the GOP chose the easy path.

    Now here in 2022 the waiter is back again. The bill is still due but the compounding interest has made the cost steep indeed. Turning on Trump now risks massive schism, possible exile from the party and, even in victory, a likely third party run that’d hand the election in 2024 to the Dems. That is a LOT of broccoli to eat just to try and shake Trump out of the GOP and evolve it into something that stands for something other than tax cuts… and also the GOP elite really, really want tax cuts. But the upside plans aren’t looking very pretty either. Trump isn’t exactly a winner any more and he’s been mainlining grifters, clowns and charlatans into the right for quite some time.

    What the GOP needs is to figure out what the new sensible right-wing position is post republitarianism. What they want, though, is a political figure talented enough to gently edge Trump out, coopt his fans and then thunder back to victory to cut taxes again and defer that terrible reckoning. Ron DeSantis, a desperate clique of plutocrats turns their lonely gaze to you.Report

    • Philip H in reply to North says:

      You forget that the desperate clique of plutocrats also want to dismantle the regulatory state. That’s the OTHER reason for their 40 year pack the courts campaign and one of the two reasons for the tax cuts. Trump never really delivered on that, though he did nibble the edges enough until COVID to make them sort of happy-ish. The tricky part of this for the GOP is that dismantling the regulatory state would actually have pretty quick repercussions on the rank and file, and a bunch of MAGA populists might actually notice the plutocrats fleecing them. So what the GOP needs to do is cut/destroy/”Fix” everything else first so the regulation roll-backs aren’t nearly as visible.Report

      • North in reply to Philip H says:

        Sure but the GOP/Rights deregulatory zeal is contingent. Any individual plutocrat has some regulations they like/support and some they want gone. Often across the entire body of plutocrats on the right (and indeed on the left) those specific deregulatory desires and supports are contradictory and conflicting. While the right likes deregulation is doesn’t command the uniform support in their ideology that tax cuts do which makes it a second tier priority much like budgetary spending discipline (which they focus on because it impacts debt which eventually informs taxes and inflation which they care deeply about).

        But tax cuts? Everyone likes those tax cuts. The line on the hymnal is simple and easy- “whatever else happens, cut cut cut the taxes, Hallelujah!”Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

      Heh, aspersions towards broccoli aside, plausible steel-man starting position. Kudos.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

      There is an interesting question of how long a political party needs to be out in the cold before it accepts the need to reform.

      Labour was out in the cold from 1979 to 1997. During that time, it at least doubled down on policies that made it extremely unpopular in the first place (see “the longest suicide note in history”) and there were decades of internal struggles before New Labour emerged as the leaders and/or people grew tired of the Tories before Labour was the majority again. Labour’s current place in the minority started in 2007 but there are different factors at play this time and some of Labour’s changes now involve some moves to the left. Not as left as Corbyn but Stamer’s reforms are to the left of Blair.

      Likewise, the GOP were largely in exile in the Federal Government from 1932-52 except for controlling Congress for two years from 1947-1949. So it took them about 20 years before the Eisenhower and Rockefeller Republicans wrested control from the “old right” and even then the old right lied in wait for decades to claw back power and control. A process that might have been completed until recently.

      The Democrats have a long-shot chance of retaining the House. No one knows how 2024 will go but there are at least three tough seats for Democrats to retain (Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia). I think Tester, Brown, and Manchin are possibly the only people who could thread those needles but it is tough.

      Basically, the structural system of American politics makes it very hard to state a party is completely out in the cold except a few events. Reagan-Reagan-Bush was the last time a party held the Presidency for three consecutive terms. Before that, you need to go to the Democratic Run of FDR and Truman.

      The only way the GOP really learns is if 2020 and 2022 were realignment elections which keep the GOP out of Federal Power for a long time.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Yes, it is so different in the USA compared to Canada where I came of political age. It’s a lot easier to be consistently locked out of power in a parliamentary system.

        What makes the story so bleak here in America is that the country desperately needs a second fully functional and ideologically coherent party. The ol’ Democratic party is having to contain every ideological tribe from Never-trumper right wingers on the right through the whole centrist gamut to the Socialism Now! contingent on the left and that is a LOT of load to put on a single engine. I’m not even going to pretend it’s performing well, merely adequately at best.

        I can’t even begin to guess what the new healthy normal would be on the right. Obviously the economic dynamism/efficiency crowd needs a home and they’ll always have one (they have the money to buy their way in anywhere if they have to). But there has to be somewhere for the !left-of-center to go without instantly becoming “facists” or it’ll all fall apart at some point. The one engine on the left side of the keel can’t keep hauling the ship of state along by itself.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

          The weirdest new Congressperson so far for the Republicans in probably George Santos from NY-3. He is:

          1. Openly gay
          2. Brazilian-Ukrainian Jewish
          3. A first generation American
          4. Pro-DACA
          5. Prop-SALT (always a winner in NY-3 style districts)
          6. Was at Jan 6.

          Now he might be particularly sui generis and it is hard to see how long he functions in the same party as MTG or Boebert but there you are.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to North says:

      I’m recalling this ( discussion here at OT from a few months ago. I pled for anyone to make a positive case for the Republican party and the most anyone could do was Republicans aint’ Democrats.

      I guess we found out that was true after all. America needs a functioning opposition party and we are sorely lacking that right now.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

        The thread was (inconsistently) about making a case for voting for an unnamed Republican presidential candidate to a Democrat. Since I couldn’t argue on behalf of a specific candidate, I replied generically about Republican principles and then gave specifics about the Democratic Party having lost its way. We talked about this. You thanked me for a reply. I remember the thread and avoiding making a statement because I predicted how it would fall apart (too many variations on the question that modified the expectations for a response). Then sure enough, here it is, being misrepresented again.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

          There is always a huge chasm between assertions of Republican principles, and the principles enacted by its leaders.

          For example, Trump and DeSantis are inarguably the most representative of Republicans. They are by far the most popular, the most well liked, the most influential.

          Compare their actions to whatever principles any Republican cares to offer.
          Look at what they do, what their signature achievements are. What principle is on display here?

          On a deeper level, look at their character and describe it. If Reagan and W could be described with words like “Affable”, “Sunny”, “Good natured”, “Guy you’d like to have a beer with”, what words describe DeSantis and Trump?Report

          • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            Your comment is off-topic, but there’s one thing I have to point out. Reagan, W, and Trump were all hated in their time. They were described as stupid, cruel, and dangerous. It’s only afterwards, when they’re no longer a threat, that your side recognizes how personable they are. Obviously they’re not quite there with Trump, but in the next six months your side may turn the corner. I don’t know DeSantis enough to tell if he’s likeable in the same way, but even if he’s the life of the party, I know how your side will think of him.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

              From the New York Times opinion page:


            • CJColucci in reply to Pinky says:

              Pinky, you must be very young. I’m old enough to remember all of these Presidents and what people said about them in real time. They were stupid, cruel, and dangerous, and their opponents said so at the time. They also said at the time that Reagan and W were affable, sunny, good-natured, and the kind of guy you’d want a beer with. Which they were. And which, as their opponents recognized, provided cover for the stupidity, cruelty, and dangerousness.Report

              • Philip H in reply to CJColucci says:

                Its also worth noting that Reagan and W – based on their records – would not be electable in Republican primaries presently. Reagan raised taxes 13 times in 8 years because he was so concerned about the debt.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

          Hello, Democrat-leaning casual associate. I’m a Republican. I think my party is just right on things. Federalism, individual rights, free markets. I don’t trust Ivy League elites to run the country, and the Constitution says what it says. The Republicans don’t always do the right things, but I believe they’re right on their principles, so no apologies.

          So, as Chip note, do Republican politicians enact legislation in support of these principals?Report

          • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

            – Neither party passes legislation anymore. It’s a problem.
            – Federalism doesn’t need legislation; it’s where the power lies. I think Trump and DeSantis represented it well.
            – Our parties are focused on a different set of rights. Yours is focused on obscenity and child murder. Our set is a bit more constitutional.
            – Trump was weak on free international trade, although he negotiated some good deals. I’m fine with the Republican record on trying to keep businesses open during covid.
            – Also, I said that the Republicans don’t always do the right things, but I believe they’re right on their principles, so no apologies. I mean, you quoted that. So my stand on the thing I said that you quoted then repeated as a question is that I meant what I said.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

              – Neither party passes legislation anymore. It’s a problem.

              This is untrue. The Affordable Care Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the 2017 tax breaks. All legislation.

              – Our parties are focused on a different set of rights. Yours is focused on obscenity and child murder. Our set is a bit more constitutional.

              That’s an interesting take on preserving women’s body autonomy and the rights and freedom’s of the LGBTQ citizens of America. All of whom seem to enjoy Constitutional protection.

              – Also, I said that the Republicans don’t always do the right things, but I believe they’re right on their principles, so no apologies. I mean, you quoted that. So my stand on the thing I said that you quoted then repeated as a question is that I meant what I said.

              That’s amusing. The principals don’t matter if they don’t translate to policy via legislation consistently. Which sort of proves my and Chip’s point.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

              Regardless of how liberals described Reagan and W at the time, conservatives and moderates and most mainstream press described the way I characterized. The whole “Guy you’d like to have a beer with” is a direct quote.

              Can ANYONE plausibly describe Trump or DeSantis this way?
              Isn’t their anger and sense of grievance what makes them so attractive to the base?

              Which gets back to, what sort of “principle” is at work here?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I wouldn’t want to be in a room with Trump, but he’s universally described as charming in person. Democrats will start to admit that in .25 years, 2.25 years, or (boy I hope not) 6.25 years. I don’t know DeSantis.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                So why do Republicans so strongly support a man they themselves admit is repellent?

                What principle is on display here?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Pinky says:

                I wouldn’t want to be in a room with Trump, but he’s universally described as charming in person.

                No, he isn’t. Just ask all sorts of people who dealt with him in person and described, often in actual books, how he acted in person.Report

              • Snarky in reply to CJColucci says:

                Have you ever asked someone who knew Nixon?
                He was a real baby-kisser in person. Real good at the personal, up-close schmooze.
                And I hear this from a liberal reporter, so it’s not superbiased.

                Romney was the dude who made a lifestyle and a personality choice out of being blatantly rude to people. “Did you get these cookies from a 7-11?” (on the campaign trail, to cookies from a famous local bakery. Class act.)

                Trump is a world class troll, and a decent actor. (If you haven’t guessed his gig, it’s playing Stephen Colbert 2.0). Remember that he didn’t go all in on the 2016 election until October.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Snarky says:

                No, I never knew anyone who knew Nixon. But I wouldn’t be surprised. Even though he was the dominant political figure, and principal villain, of my late youth and early adult years, I always had a soft spot for him, suspecting that if a few things had broken differently in his early life he might not have been so resentment-driven and become a constructive statesman.Report

              • I can imagine DeSantis being pleasant company in a social setting. But I don’t also have to imagine him being a petty bully, because there is video of it at

                Trump is only nice to people he wants something from when he wants something from them, and is petty, cruel, and unpleasant to people who obstruct him or from whom he can identify no value to be extracted. Sources for this personality pattern are legion.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I can easily imagine any public figure being entirely different in private than they present in public.

                What’s striking about the Trumpists is that the public face they present is so loathsome even their own supporters turn away in disgust.

                That’s new in modern American politics.

                DeSantis’s immigrant stunt didn’t have even the barest fig leaf of plausible public benefit or high minded principle. Even to his most charitable supporters, it was for no other purpose than to inflict pain and humiliation on his political enemies and a hated Outgroup.

                And it’s pretty much this way across the board. They barely even bother with mouthing high sounding principles anymore, it’s just nonstop Two Minute Hate.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                DeSantis’s immigrant stunt didn’t have even the barest fig leaf of plausible public benefit or high minded principle…

                The stunt showcased Team Blue’s love of immigration doesn’t apply to them actually living with the outcomes of their policies, that’s for the little people.

                So it’s a political appeal to “the common man”.

                It’s like pointing out someone arguing for gun control lives in a gated communities and has armed guards. Or pointing out that elites (or even Team Blue in general) who are supposedly strongly in favor of integrated schools send their children into highly segregated schools.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Wrong. When those immigrants showed up in Martha’s Vineyard, unannounced and unplanned for, they were fed, housed, given medical attention and then out in touch with the state agencies actually equipped to help them. A few stayed on the island to work; some went to relatives In Massachusetts and others were placed in properly run shelters where they could access the services they deserved. They were treated with compassion and support.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

                unannounced and unplanned for

                You mean, exactly as the boarder states?

                They were treated with compassion and support.

                And then shipped off to live somewhere else.

                Martha’s Vineyard treated the immigrants exactly like the boarder states want to deal with them. Briefly, and then have it be someone else’s problem. The boarder states are being asked to live with the issue constantly.

                Thus the integration of schools comparison. When the Red States have the same rates that the Blue states have, it’s called racism, even if the only difference is spin and how it’s reported.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Martha’s Vineyard has a population of 15,000. Its not Houston or Dallas or El Paso. It doesn’t have the infrastructure to support the refugees and it wasn’t going to gin that up without warning either. So your analogy is flawed at best and dishonest at worst. The local population did what it could with the resources it had. And it welcomed anyone who chose to stay out of the migrants it received. Most of them chose to leave to go to relatives elsewhere. That’s not Martha’s Vineyard’s “Fault.”

                And Texas, Arizona and New Mexico can and should plan how to deal with people crossing the border – California certainly does. Over and above what is spent by the feds on directly interacting with migrants via the Border Patrol and the other agencies that handle them after they cross, 41.5% of Texas state budget comes from federal revenues. That’s my taxes. And yours. Texas has the where withall to deal with this. They choose not to.

                And Ron Desantis – who is NOT in a border state nor does he govern Texas – decided to insert himself into this to score cheap points with his political base.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

                Martha’s Vineyard has a population of 15,000.

                And they got 50 immigrants unexpectedly. Wow. If it were actually on the boarder it’d be getting a lot more than that every day, just because of it’s location.

                El Paso has a population of 600k. If they only had to deal with 2000 immigrants per year we wouldn’t be talking about this.

                And Texas, Arizona and New Mexico can and should plan how to deal with people crossing the border

                What we should do is change the laws at a federal level so they can actually be followed.

                Desantis decided to insert himself into this to score cheap points with his political base.


                It’s a way to score cheap points because everyone is aghast that Martha’s Vineyard needs to deal with this sort of thing at all. 50 immigrants for a population of 15k rounds to nothing.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

                ” It doesn’t have the infrastructure to support the refugees ”

                goddamn dude you’re supposed to take longer than TWO POSTS before you start explaining how yeah okay sure maybe this looks bad but you have to understand the special circumstances that make it ok for YOU do to itReport

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Uh huh.

                So the purpose was to inflict pain and humiliation on his political enemies and a hated Outgroup.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter says:

                That’s where you’re wrong. If Philip says something about how conservatives think, and Chip backs him up, I don’t see any grounds for either of us to dispute it.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                Dark started his attack in liberal policies – in response to Chios questions about DeSantis and his immigration policies – by lying about how the immigrants he moved from Texas to Massachusetts were treated by the residents there because propagating that lie serves his push back purpose better then the truth. It’s like his assertions that only liberals in gated communities favor gun control or liberals with kids in highly segregated private school favor affirmative action in education. Those assertions are also factually questionable. And since we can’t actually debate policy without describing the world as it is, I push back. As do you and he when I get the facts wrong.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                But nothing you said rebutted what Dark said, and you and Chip have been mind-reading Republicans on this thread. Like, am I missing something? You just said he lied, but I can’t find a lie on this topic. He practically said nothing on it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                Everyone on this thread, including you and Dark, agree that the purpose of the stunt was to cause pain and humiliation on their political enemies and hated Outgroup.

                You say it in different words so as to justify it, but you say it nonetheless.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “I can’t believe you tried to socialize the losses into my privatized gains.”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I believe that the purposes of the action were: to call attention to the problem of handling migrants, and to call out (I wouldn’t say “humiliate”, but it’s close enough) the sanctuary areas. I don’t believe there was any attempt to make life worse for individual immigrants.

                ETA: Oh, and I made fun of the notion when you first posted it on this thread – if that wasn’t a clear enough denial, I don’t know what to tell you. As a general rule, if I reject a statement of yours more than five times, and afterwards I stop posting comments rejecting it, don’t take that as an endorsement.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                So we agree that the purpose of the stunt was to cause pain and humiliation embarrassment to their political enemies.

                And it wasn’t meant to inflict pain on the hated Outgroup.

                Sure, they lied to them and promised to give them assistance. And sure, they transported them to a faraway place then dropped them off at a empty building and drove away real fast leaving them abandoned and alone.

                But c’mon, it was a joke! Can’t anyone take a joke?

                You sound like a adolescent bully explaining why stuffing the nerd in a locker was really not meant to humiliate him, it was just, y’know, a joke.

                The immigrants, to the conservative, are not real people, their pain and trauma of fleeing oppression and finding their way to a foreign land isn’t real, their suffering isn’t real, nothing about them matters.

                Only that they can be useful props to embarrass the political enemies.

                This is who Ron DeSantis is, its his true nature.
                So…in the end, we agree, just you use different words to try and justify it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Pointing out that something is a problem is embarrassing to people in denial, I suppose.

                It’s a side-effect. It’s not the point.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Its like I’m explaining to 5 year olds why it is wrong to torture the puppy.

                DeSantis spent over half a million dollars to send out his people to find desperate and traumatized immigrants fleeing oppression.

                To help them?
                No, to lie to them and promise aid and sanctuary, then transport them to another state, where they were dumped without warning.

                So this was to help them?
                No, it was to embarrass the people in the faraway place.

                In response, the people in the faraway place immediately offered the immigrants shelter and assistance and relocated them to more permanent lodigns.

                And…Republicans think this is embarrassing to us.

                Seriously, even by your own account, even by your own logic, this is sociopathic. I don’t have to accuse, I only need to restate the acts which no one denies.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip, I am not saying “it was good that they did this!”

                They were right bastards for doing this.

                But we’ve discussed immigration a hundred times and you’re consistently surprised that there are costs imposed on others in addition to the benefits that you (and I!) enjoy.

                And whenever they’re pointed out, you appeal to morality instead of acknowledging that you’re benefiting from the events that are imposing costs on others.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Once again, even by your own words…

                You in your own words, characterize the “right bastard” behavior as an attempt to, quote, “point out” the cost associated with immigration.

                Your own words! An act which was crafted to deliberately cause pain and suffering of dozens of innocent people is…”pointing out”, like it was a sternly worded position paper.

                You drape behavior which you admit is horrific in the softest of bureaucratic euphemisms so as to deflect blame and protect the guilty.

                This fails every conceivable test of ethics and just baseline human behavior.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                An act which was crafted to deliberately cause pain and suffering of dozens of innocent people…

                Eh? They got moved from some very over crowded immigrant shelter to Martha’s. Easy to think they’d be better off and attract the attention of the very wealthy residents.

                So they got moved to the head of the line for immigration services. That’s not a small benefit, it’s an extremely long line.

                I managed to get red carpet treatment (i.e. personal and positive attention) for my wife back in the day. That was legal immigration 25 years ago but the facility was crazy slammed. Getting walked to the front of lines is massively huge.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                They were dumped at a closed building without any advance warning or contact with local people and then abandoned.

                And the commenters here have made it clear- This was deliberate, an attempt to embarrass the people of Martha’s Vineyard.
                No one is even claiming that this was an attempt to help anyone or make anyone’s life better, just to embarrass political enemies by using innocent refugees as pawns.

                Again, DeSantis spent $600,000 to do this to 50 people. Spent $12,000 per person, in a vain and futile attempt at embarrassing his political enemies.

                And these weren’t even refugees coming into Florida.
                DeSantis had to send his henchmen all the way to Texas to round them up.

                This is the man the “Reasonable Republicans” want to elevate to the highest office in the land.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t think it was their priority to make people’s lives better, but those migrants were likely better off for it.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                This was deliberate, an attempt to embarrass the people of Martha’s Vineyard.

                Not just those people, all of Team Blue. And it worked.

                Even in this thread, we have pearl clutching over 50 immigrants dropped on a city of 15k like that’s supposed to be a serious problem when millions of people on the boarder isn’t.

                There’s talk of “abandonment”, and “pain and suffering” when the way to bet is they’re better off. Certainly much better off than where they were fleeing and highly likely better off than being in some concentration camp on the boarder.

                Oh if only Obama were in charge and they were handled (put in cages) far away from Martha like they’re supposed to be!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Chip, I can’t help but think that you’d have a firmer leg to stand on if Martha’s Vineyard lasted longer than two days because of 50 immigrants.

                As it is, it comes across as “HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME LIVE WITH THE STUFF I’M OKAY WITH FOR YOU”.

                Which, trust me on this, is one of the conceivable ethics tests out there.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think what it speaks more to is the fundamental lack of seriousness of doing politics by stunt for Fox News. I comment enough for people to know my position on the border (i.e. it’s a major problem that needs to be solved) but Chip is right that it is wrong for elected leaders to use people the way DeSantis did, no matter who they are and no matter the alleged hypocrisy of the residents of Martha’s Vinyard. There’s so much projection going on of who is who, as if we can reduce individuals to avatars of our political friends and foes. None of it moves the ball forward, no credit is deserved or points scored, and meanwhile the crisis down there continues.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                There’s a lot of fundamental lacks of seriousness out there. The lack of seriousness of the whole “sanctuary city” thing was demonstrated and in less than two days. If we wanted to compare the wealth of Martha’s Vineyard to the wealth at the border, what do you think we’d find?

                From my perspective, it seems that we’d find that the wealth of Martha’s Vineyard exceeds the wealth at the border and it does so by a damn sight.

                At the cost of harming 50 people, this was put into stark relief.

                And instead of the questions coming “well, should we change our policies? Should we change our incentives?”, they come “can you believe the lack of the ethics of the guy who pulled this stunt?”

                Yes. I can believe the lack of the ethics of the guy who pulled this stunt.

                Let me know when we’re finally allowed to talk about our policies.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                And instead of the questions coming “well, should we change our policies? Should we change our incentives?”, they come “can you believe the lack of the ethics of the guy who pulled this stunt?”

                Yes. I can believe the lack of the ethics of the guy who pulled this stunt.

                Let me know when we’re finally allowed to talk about our policies.

                Chip, and me, and a whole host of other people here have talked about the need for sane immigration policy. At some length. As have a great many national politicians, including the Current President and his former boss Mr. Obama. Democrats, including the current Congress have made legislative proposals, which are routinely shot down by Republicans for a variety of nebulous reasons. If you haven’t seen all this over the last 30 years I can’t help you. If you have seen it and choose to still ignore it I can’t help you.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Pardon me, I meant “talk about *CHANGING* them.”

                Of course, I’m familiar with the hot air version of people standing up and saying “I can’t believe these pictures of Trump’s immigration camps! HOW IMMORAL!” followed by “those pictures were taken in 2015” followed by “well, you have to understand…”

                I’m hip deep in those conversations.

                As for the legislative proposals… you mean stuff like e-verify?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                No I was thinking of things like – lets raise the number of agricultural visa’s so farmers can get the number of migrants they need. Things like let’s give a legal path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented migrants already here since they are integral to our economy. Things like The proposal that President Biden sent to Congress in January 2021 after his inauguration (The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021) which is sadly languishing in the House (!). Things like the Agriculture immigration reform bill in the Senate that Democrats can’t move because they can’t break the fillibuster.

                But I’m sure you knew about all that right?Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H says:

                That proposed law is its own PR stunt.Report

              • Philip H in reply to InMD says:

                Perhaps, and that the Administration let it lie is disgusting. but it’s more then we saw out of the last administration, and its more then we’ve seen from Republicans since 1986.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

                Philip H: its more then we’ve seen from Republicans since 1986.

                W was going to do it in 2001 and then 911 made a mess of things.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                The last 2 serious attempts at comprehensive immigration reform were scuttled by Congressional Republicans, once under W and once under Obama. They didn’t even try under Trump when they had a trifecta, and relied on executive action alone with no sustainable results. Whatever is going on with the GOP, I would struggle to characterize it as trying to solve the problem.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                Good god, please do not interpret my saying “the democrats are full of hot air and moral grandstanding” as me saying “therefore republicans are good!”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

                You have no idea how often you’re perceived as Voice of the Elephant.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

                “He’s not agreeing with me, therefore he must be on the other team!” is something that I’m familiar with.

                I will continue to point out that there are tons of other teams as well as tons of ways to be a teammate.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                I certainly don’t. But I do think that you might be granting more charity to this sort of performative escalation than it deserves. Nothing in this episode got us any closer to fixing anything.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD says:

                I do think that abandoning the whole “THIS IS A MORAL POSITION!!!!” for something closer to “this is an engineering problem” will get us closer to fixing it.

                And the whole issue of sanctuary cities complaining about the immigrants showing up does help us reframe the whole “THIS IS A MORAL POSITION!” issue.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                And the whole issue of sanctuary cities complaining about the immigrants showing up does help us reframe the whole “THIS IS A MORAL POSITION!” issue.

                What exactly do you think Sanctuary Cities promise to do for Migrants?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                “Ship them out in less than two days?”


              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                yes and?

                The phrase sanctuary city is not a legal term, but one developed over time and more recently reflecting a response to ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) policies and actions. In general, a sanctuary city is a community with a policy, written or unwritten, that discourages local law enforcement from reporting the immigration status of individuals unless it involves investigation of a serious crime. These sanctuary communities go beyond cities, though. One can find entire counties and states declaring sanctuary status.

                These communities typically do not honor requests by ICE to detain undocumented immigrants whom local agents apprehend for misdemeanor crimes or investigations. Many in sanctuary cities also refuse to deputize their local officers as federal agents, a necessary technicality if those local officers carry out the duties of ICE agents. There is no specific federal law against sanctuary city policies.


              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                At the cost of harming 50 people, this was put into stark relief.

                This is, quite literally, agreeing with me on every count.

                The only thing we are disagreeing about now, is whether it was wrong.

                So I will continue to hold up the DeSantis stunt as “What Republicans want, who they are” because well, here they are, defending it.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Of course it was wrong.

                As is what it brought to light.

                But I’m glad we agree on every count.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird says:

                Having gotten respectful, intelligent, useful services from immigration services and knowing just how rare and useful that experience is…

                …playing a bit part in a little political grandstanding is a price I would have been thrilled to pay for that when I was in a MUCH better situation than these people were.

                So no, I don’t agree that they were harmed.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Have your opinion all you want, just stop claiming that I share it.Report

  8. Philip H says:

    Now that Trump has announced his candidacy we will see if this civil war comes to pass. My guess is he has everyone’s endorsement by Christmas.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

      I can’t vote for him. The sane GOP voters I talk to say they can’t vote for him either.

      I’m doubtful that stops him in the primaries, but it’s death in the general.

      He tried to overturn democracy. That’s not even selling pardons or sacrificing points of gdp growth.

      Without that he could be bragging about the Trump vaccine and how he did it in 9 months (and where is Joe’s after two years) and if it’d come out a few weeks earlier he would have won and not made inflation worse. But what he really wants to talk about is crazy town election-was-stolen theories. We’re deep into “demented” territory.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter says:

        And yet those sane GOP voters are, in many cases, electing Congresspeople and Senators who refuse to call him out publicly and who in a number of cases voted against convicting him in his second impeachment. The GOP had numerous opportunities to dump him and chose not to.

        And lets remember he got nominated the first time on a plurality. He doesn’t need much for the math to work out again.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H says:

          The GOP had numerous opportunities to dump him and chose not to.

          While he still has his base the ugly realities of dealing with the voters makes that hard. We’ve pushed a lot of the power of the political parties down to the voters. We don’t have political overlords who can make unpopular choices.

          He doesn’t need much for the math to work out again.

          In the old days there would be a smoke filled room in the back where the powers that be would decide who the nominee would be.

          Having said that, Team Blue decided to go with Biden for electability rather than a true progressive so there’s still hope Red will do the same. However good chance we’ll have Biden v Trump 2, with a more solid Biden victory.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter says:

        I think you’re overstating it about trying to overturn democracy. But Andrew Klavan did a great job describing Trump now on his most recent show. Trump ran in 2016 on issues – I’d say he did it in a silly way, but you knew which way he was going to try to govern. He ran in 2020 on being Trump. Losing the presidency breaks even stable people, but now there’s nothing left in Trump but pettiness and he doesn’t talk about anything but his supposed win. The candidates he endorsed in 2022 didn’t represent MAGA, they represented Trump, and there’s nothing to Trump but his election bitterness. I haven’t heard his announcement speech, but I’m willing to guess how much of it was about governance.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky says:

          I think you’re overstating it about trying to overturn democracy.

          A lesser way to spin that would be he was trying to make reality match his desired beliefs. However he starts with believing that he won the election, and then forces everything to work around that, and the only way to get there is to overturn a fair election.

          If you’re trying to dismantle/overturn elections then “dismantle democracy” is (unfortunately) the correct phrase.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter says:

            I think I’d phrase it as “he pooped himself for two months then skulked away”.Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky says:

              He put tremendous pressure on various officials to “find” the votes. He had his followers attack Pence for not putting out a fig-leaf to overturn the election. There are people in his administration who had laid out a plan for how all that would work.

              The transfer of power is delayed “because of concerns over the election”, a key state or three submits two slates of delegates, either the correct set is chosen or both are thrown out. He staged a riot to stop the transfer of power.

              We are deep into “treason” territory here, done because he wanted to stay President and refused the concept of himself losing. In order to stay in power he needed to dismantle democracy in fact although he no doubt has some verbal fantasy which obfuscates that.

              It’s important to give things the correct label and description.

              Now softening that we have him being vague, ineffective, and whatever his mental illness is.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

      Is that a serious guess? If so, will you rethink anything if it’s wrong? I won’t even apply the weird literal standard you were using yesterday that he’d need to have “everyone’s” endorsement.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

        Yes It’s my best guess at this point. There’s been a lot of lip flapping about dumping him for years, but it has yet to amount to anything – because the GOP needs his MAGA base. Until they don’t they have few incentives to ditch him.

        IF he is not the nominee I will be very surprised.Report

  9. Philip H says:

    Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell won a secret-ballot leadership election after days of finger-pointing over the Republican midterm losses, putting him on pace to become the longest-serving Senate party leader in US history.

    McConnell defeated Florida Sen. Rick Scott, his first challenger in his 15 years atop his conference.

    McConnell won the leadership vote 37-10-1 and said at a news conference that he was “pretty proud” of the result.