15 December 2020

No Republican heroes

I've argued for some time that the concept of a "good Republican" is definitionally impossible, because the party's enabling and support of Trump has made it so blatantly malignant that any politician or official worthy of being called "good" would not remain a member -- that is, he would leave the party and not be a Republican any more, as one Congressman did just yesterday.  I stand by that assertion.  Whatever Republican governor, senator, or functionary you are pointing to as being one of the few "good" ones, I would counter that if that person remains a member of the Republican party, then to that extent he or she is implicitly legitimizing it in its embrace of Trump's attacks on secular democracy and on fundamental human decency.  Show me his letter of resignation from the Republican party and I'll admit he may be a decent human being on some level.  Not before.

This is all the more true since the election, as the party en masse has followed Trump into the realm of sedition.  (Not "treason", a word which is thrown around a lot but requires an actual state of war -- "sedition", meaning attempting to overthrow the legitimate authority, is the accurate word for what Trump and his enablers are doing.)  People have debated whether Republicans' support of (or at least failure to condemn) Trump's election-stealing efforts is due to fear of Trumpanzee rage and of Trump's anticipated power as a Republican kingmaker after his term ends, or due to them genuinely having no more respect for democracy than he does.  My view is that it doesn't matter.  It's the practical effect of people's behavior, not their motives, that matters.

Look at cases like Gabriel Sterling and Brad Raffensperger of Georgia, widely lauded for denouncing Trump's rhetoric which has inspired death threats against Republican officials and workers who failed to subvert the election on Trump's behalf.  Where were they for the last four years of Trumpian venom denouncing the media as "enemies of the people", encouraging armed mobs, and ultimately inspiring a plot to kidnap and murder governor Whitmer of Michigan?  They admit they voted for Trump, after all that had happened, so evidently none of it was a deal breaker for them.  They got upset only when the gibbering mobs turned their rage against them and people around them.  The same goes for other Republican officials who have lately won praise for standing up to Trump in defense of the election.  Where were they for the previous four years when he was stirring up hatred against other people?  Did they still vote for him after all that?  Why didn't they leave the party when they saw it enabling him?  Why haven't they left now, when its seditious character is obvious beyond all denial?

In a survey of Republicans in Congress, only 27 -- barely a tenth of them -- were willing to recognize Biden as president-elect.  Even the utterly fatuous lawsuit filed by Texas AG Ken Paxton, to overturn the certified results in four other states, attracted the public support of 17 other Republican state AGs and 125 of the 196 Republican House members.  It's long past time to quit pretending that the party is anything more than the party of Trump.

Perhaps the worst thing the party has done is to aid, encourage, and pander to the wingnut media's brainwashing of tens of millions of low-information Americans into the paranoid and violent "fever dream" alternate reality we see today.  This process began long before Trump entered politics.  They created a dangerous monster they believed would be useful against us.  Now the monster has found, in Trump, a master more to its liking, and is starting to turn on its creator, as such monsters tend to do.  Now Republicans deemed insufficiently devoted to Trump are starting to get death threats and armed mobs outside their houses.

And I feel no sympathy.  None.  They knew the party was fomenting this madness, and by remaining members of the party, they endorsed it.  Now they need to learn -- via gut fear of their own monster, not via pointless genteel debate from us -- that the party was wrong to do it and that they were wrong to stay.  If they want to redeem themselves, then they can resign from the Republican party, and renounce it and everything it stands for.  Until they do that, to hell with them.


Blogger One Fly said...

You are being too nice.

15 December, 2020 04:39  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

It is sadly obvious that the majority in the GOP has forsaken democracy. Trump's been defeated, but the GOP is still stubbornly against representative government, truth, and rule of law. I don't see this changing anytime soon. Trumpism will leave its stench on America for years to come and still be a menace to democracy as long as Trump himself is around and continues to have any platform to spew his anti-democracy indecencies.

I don't think the current GOP will change in the near future, since it sees Trump's base as the reservoir of votes it needs to keep itself in power.

15 December, 2020 06:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A story: back in 1980 I moved to Florida. Part of doing so was registering to vote. You see there was this guy, an actor, steeped in dishonesty and betrayal, he scared me. Name of Ronald Regan, you might of heard of him; it was in all the papers. In him I saw a demagogue who could take off in the election and do serious damage. I figured the only chance of beating him was in the primaries. He was running against This guy Anderson. Anderson was, by today's standards, a pinko-comi bleeding-heart liberal.

In Florida we have closed primaries. You have to register Republican to vote in the Republican primary. So that's what I did. Okay ... I'm a Republican. I've voted for two Republicans in my life: Anderson and a county official who I knew personally. He was a liberal who registered Republican out of family tradition. He was primaried in a few years and replaced with a 'real Republican'.

The down side of being registered Republican is that I can't vote in Democratic primaries. One of the up sides is that as a long-standing Republican I get all the mailings. If you think republicans are nuts based on what they say in public you need to hear what they say when they think they are singing to the choir.

15 December, 2020 07:20  
Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

Infidel -- not only are the Georgia Republicans like Raffensberger not heroes, they're already busy looking into new ways to suppress the vote in future elections (investigating voter registration groups, spreading canards about voting by mail, extending voter i.d. requirements to voting by mail). They would have liked to have "done a favor" for Trump, but knew they'd be caught red handed. Their bad faith, like virtually all Republican officeholders, is truly bottomless.

15 December, 2020 09:45  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

I live in SE Georgia, during the run up to the General Election it was obvious who was spending the most money, the Democrats. TV ads, mailing and texts outnumbered Republican efforts to win the hearts and minds of the electorate.

The GOP didn’t really need to splash that much cash, after all Georgia wasn’t a battleground state, Trump would win easily, again.

What a difference a month makes. Thanks to the Senate runoffs, the TV networks, newspapers and the USPS are cleaning up. Georgia is awash in Republican money. They have reverted to type, the ads are vile, fear mongering, trashy and typical.

The GOP has gone full on GOP. The type Republican you describe in your post.

In my estimation, it is unlikely Democrats will win both seats, but early voting began yesterday and local TV news channels are reporting long lines at polling stations. Long lines for the privilege of voting in a runoff. Bodes well for Democrats if trend continues. Perhaps Georgia is a battleground state after all.

15 December, 2020 10:32  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

"Perhaps the worst thing the party has done is to aid, encourage, and pander to the wingnut media's brainwashing of tens of millions of low-information Americans into the paranoid and violent "fever dream" alternate reality we see today."


I feel no desire to engage with any Repug at any level for any kind of discussion. They KNEW who Cheeto was. They voted for him then and now. They have excused the most egregious abuse of power and corruption ever to stain the White House. I despise them all.


15 December, 2020 11:04  
Blogger Bohemian said...

Bravo, well said! I confess I've used the inappropriate word Treason rather than Sedition, but usually because I can't remember the proper Word. *LOL* The irony to me is that Trump has never actually been a Republican, when interviewed Years ago on whether or not he'd join in on Politics he merely said that if he did, he'd run as Republican because their Base is so Stupid! It's recorded so any of his Fanatical Fan Base could watch it and see what he really thinks of them, but he wasn't Wrong, was he? The same when he bragged that he "Loved the Uneducated"... those he spoke of weren't intelligent enough to realize the insult and that he merely saw poorly informed/uneducated as more easy to con and manipulate, less likely to research Facts and just Parrot and regurgitate whatever they're force fed from questionable Sources they've aligned with as being 'one of them'. I find it hilarious that any average or disadvantaged Citizen can Imagine he's EVER been 'one of them', given his obscenely Rich and privileged Life. He not only is Clueless about their lot in Life, he does not even Care. His own self esteem issues come as a result of Daddy Issues and not being accepted nor acceptable among the Upper Class, he's a Parody of himself and a Global Joke... whether or not he is lucid enough and in touch with Reality enough to be Aware of that is questionable.

15 December, 2020 18:05  
Blogger Ali Redford said...

Well-said. Thank you.

15 December, 2020 19:07  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

(PT.1) It appears that Trump has taken over a big part of Republicanism (not sure there is such a word, but I just made it up, I guess) ... also I keep hearing about Trump's organization, plan, or whatever you call it, to start to kick off his campaign for 2024. I certainly WAS WRONG in my assessment of this guy ... only because he was such a pop culture celebrity since years back. Even decades ago in The City (NY), you would see them tabloid zines at the corner newstands, with gossip about him, being a popular guy of NY and his love relations, how women are crazy about him, and whatever, he has also donated to Democrats in the past, popular to Hollywood liberals, talk shows, his own pop tele prime time show, friends of Clintons and others, etc ... so that is why I underestimated him, I guess. Bottom line, I gave him benefit of doubt, only in fairness, because I never pictured this guy as being the way he turned out as a politician. But now they say that he has like 70 million followers or something? I am very confused as to why? ... what has he done to make these people adore him, especially in rural areas? Some connect him to Jesus/ Messiah figures ... these are folks that believe generally in hard work as being admired, and usually look at someone like him as a "city slicker" ... not very admiring of his types. None of these folks received a thing out of him, and many are still in a rut after 4 years of him. He still didn't bring back the millions of jobs, or the manufacturing ... frankly he done not much of a thing, but TALK ... no actual action. So you can see how confused I am. Look at how he handled COVID, and all that died because of him, and he has not even been held accountable for anything. Maybe folks are just becoming more masochistic poltically, I don't know.

As ar as Republicans, at least in Texas ... they have been solely responsible for going against democracy here ... this is fact. From rejecting voters choice to not frack their lands, to gerrymandering, to making voting and even getting your old drivers license renewed, and on and on ... all just within the last decade. If it wasn't for folks like Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins(D), we would be in worse COVID crisis than ever ... he is the one who has helped so much as far as lockdowns, masks/ safeguards, etc. While Gov Abbott told bars/ restauants to operate at 75% compacity, and business as usual. But this is also nation wide, as far as how Republicans are handling COVID ... is no good, and can only amount to surge after surge.

16 December, 2020 08:07  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

(PT.2) Yesterday I took a gal to the drivers license place in Carrollton (suburb), because she had ankle surgery from working out. The line was around the building, they wouldn't even give me a form, in her condition, and said she had to make an appointment, and this place is huge. They also are now requiring, as of this year, original birth certificate, because of new immigration policies, all this done by Reps and Trump. Even when I went in January to renew my license (every 7 years), they asked for my original birth certificate. When I did renew, I had waited 6 hours in line ... that's 6 goddamn hours that I could have been doing something else. I told them, I been on your system and driving for decades, and as you can see talking to me face to face, I'm as American as you can get ... they told me "it's the law". Even just to vote, as I explained on your blog earlier, it was such a mess this year ... because of Reps, I felt like blowing it off at first, because of the hassle and time it takes me.

All this manipulation of these things, are done IN TEXAS, by Republicans ONLY ... the Democrats in Texas, are the only ones that are giving ANY help to people, this is fact. Sixpence (?) in his posting linked in the other day, talked something about Dems should gerrymander instead, even though it's wrong, maybe here in Texas it may do some good, since it's been a one- way street here. Meanwhile, I was at my apartment complex mail center a couple weeks ago, and the trash can had dozens of Census forms in it, all were latino/ spanish names ... I can only imagine, out of fear, how many thousands of Texas Latinos probably don't fill out the Census, even.

16 December, 2020 08:07  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Another thing that I was curious about, when seeing all the Census forms in the mail center trash ... is why would they be in there this late in the year? I mean, as I recall, I received mine like back in March and done it online, this is like after Thanksgiving. Also, I had never received my mail in voting ballot (and 2 others I know), even weeks after they said they mailed them to us ... which is why I had to vote in person. So I don't know what the Hell is going on in the mailing(?) ... something sure as Hell is not right.

16 December, 2020 09:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ones to blame for the rise of Trump, are the American people. We can thank the Republican judges (some appointed by Trump himself) for stopping Trump's election fraud garbage, or we might be facing a second Trump term. They showed more courage than the Supreme Court that put Bush in office.

16 December, 2020 18:16  
Blogger Mike said...

With a charge of sedition, Nancy could refuse to seat about 125 republican reps. Time for some payback.

16 December, 2020 22:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

One: I'll try to do better.

Shaw: It's hard to see how they can change. It's becoming more of a cult than a party. Those who resist Trump aren't just a rival faction but heretics to be persecuted.

Anon: What you're doing is registering Republican as a form of infiltration. I don't have much of a problem with that, but no Republican politician can use that excuse.

I can well believe their mailings are completely loopy. I read their blogs and news sites.

Hackwhacker: It figures they're back to their old tricks. Praising such people obfuscates important facts. The standard should be higher than just balking at flat-out sedition.

Holte: It figures turnout would be up now that everyone knows how critical the runoffs are. And Georgia is a battleground state, by definition, if it's so hotly contested, even if we don't win this time. Progress, progress.

Sixpence: I feel the same way. If they can't look at everything that's happened and realize that the party is a malignant dumpster fire, there's not much point in arguing with them -- aside from the fact that you can't argue with people whose brains are marinated in made-up "facts".

17 December, 2020 01:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Bohemian: Thanks! Certainly Trump has taken advantage of the Republican party, turned it into a vehicle for himself. The Republicans left themselves open to that by cultivating irrational cultism among their base. They brought this on themselves.

Ali: Thanks.

Ranch: What did Trump do to inspire such devotion? He pandered to their delusions, and he hurt the people they hate. In many cases, that was enough. People are also very reluctant to admit they were wrong, especially when that means admitting that the hated "smart people", the liberals, were right. Rather than do that, they'll dig in.

Republicans in Texas have reason to be scared. With the influx of people from other parts of the US, especially California, the state is changing and moving away from them. The only way they can keep control is by making voting as hard as possible for the "wrong" people. It will keep getting worse.

The government has been going back and forth about how much time to allow for the census. I did think it was over now. Maybe some people threw out their forms because it's too late now anyway.

Anon: "The American people" didn't put Trump in office. More of us voted for Hillary than for him. We were betrayed by vote suppression and the Electoral College, which thwarted the clear will of the people.

Mike: I'd like to see that, but I doubt Pelosi has the stomach for it.

17 December, 2020 01:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All sorts of presidents have won the presidency by manipulating the numbers. We elect presidents by electoral college, not by the popular vote. Understanding the numbers, it's not surprising that a candidate would win the electoral college, without winning the popular vote. It's just mathematics. I'm all for changing that system, but it is the same system we have had since the beginning of our country. Voter suppression has been going on since the beginning of our country. We have fixed some of it, we need to fix more. It's hard to cry foul when everyone is playing by the same rules, for over 200 years. Certainly, the system is unfair, but it is the same system for all. According to the rules, all electoral college electors voted for who they should have in 2016.

17 December, 2020 11:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon: Rank both-siderism. We've never seen anything like the corruption and criminality of the last four years or the outright sedition of the last four weeks.

18 December, 2020 06:08  
Anonymous wjbill said...

Koch, Murdoch, Thiel, etc must be held accountable for their role, but the current "party of the people" will never have the patriotism to answer that call, just like holding the Cheney administration accountable they will call for us to look forward not backward. The republican party and their endless amounts of money will use their media to help us forget.

19 December, 2020 05:54  

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