GOP Exorcism-Part III
—The adults in the GOP appear to have caved, meaning there will be no party exorcism this year.
This is a stretch, we admit, for nothing in American politics this past year would suggest that it is likely the nation will come back to its common senses, be smart and realistic, and mete out justice where justice is due in November.
BUT, assuming it does, Jan. 20, 1917 looks like this:
-President Obama is standing on the inaugural stand once again as the oath of office is given. (Quickly, read on before you hiccup and laugh.)
-Obama is witnessing the event as the outgoing President, happily watching the event as Hillary Clinton becomes the first female president and Bill Clinton the “first gentleman.”
-Earlier, on Jan. 3, Democrats retook control of both houses of Congress.
-The re-elected and newly elected GOP members of the House and Senate are of two types; those who have been eating crow and have spent the past two months walking back their positive words they espoused for their ticket’s leader, and those who held their collective noses and ran with their name on the down-party part of the ballot.
-The latter, and many of the former hypocritically, have called since the November election for heads to roll in the party leadership, inviting in new adults.
The housecleaning was invited because there was no exorcism, and the Tea Party types united with the No-Nothings in support of he who would be bloviator-in-chief Donald Trump. The party’s remaining adults caved.
They who allowed the party to be taken over first by the Tea Party types and then Trump’s No-nothings, decided to double-down on their crime of leading a Congress that was downright seditious in its behavior. They would have allowed the country whose flag they wouldn’t dare leave home without in their lapel to be led by a nut-case who would have brought it to the brink of disaster and the Second Great Depression as confidence in the U.S. dollar disintegrated and the economy collapsed again. This time the collapse would have at the hands of the only person who could have qualified as dumber than the GOP president who preceded him.
In the end, has ended up splitting anyhow, and with the same outcome as they would have had if they had orchestrated the split renouncing Trump and ousting the Tea Partiers, creating two conservative parties running against each other as well as the Democrats in November, and neither of which stood a chance of winning on its own. And now, the adults who caved have lost their adult roles for failing to race to the edge of the precipice to once again save the recalcitrant brat of a child from plunging over the cliff.
Meanwhile, Trump has spent the post-election, still refusing to concede his loss by the biggest margin of any presidential candidate, and filing suit after suit challenging the outcome and anything else, except him, for the loss he does not concede. It was the “greatest” amount of the “best-ever in history” suits ever filed by a loser, this one the
He, they and their party were “hoist by their own petard.”
One of our inspirations for reviving Setting the Record Straight is the outrageous idiocy that commands the Republican presidential primary campaign. We shall examine the negative impact that tabloid cable has had on polling as well as its dumbing-down of prospective GOP voters. That the Trump movement has not become the Dump Trump movement by now is absolutely appalling and insane. That there are voters who would choose this narcissistic egomaniac, shouting, bullying, lying fool as global leader is emblematic of how stupid we have become as a nation when it comes to current affairs.
It’s High Time for a GOP Exorcism-Part II
—Strange as it seems, the two parties were just the opposite of what they have become today—Republicans anti-slavery, Democrats dominated by southern senators firmly opposed to civil rights. The fact the Democrats adopted labor unions (segregated then, of course) as a major cause was not enough to overcome what was still a losing strategy, keeping the party out of the White House for more than half a century until the Great Depression and President Franklin Roosevelt.
After the mid-1960s and President Lyndon Johnson’s manhandling leadership in getting civil rights legislation through Congress, both parties made simultaneous switches into what they have become today.
Now seeing a greater pool of voters not likely to see things its way, Republicans adopted a “southern strategy” to attract into what it would call the “big tent party” the crusty southern Democrats who fought tooth and nail against desegregation and all that came with it.
Richard Nixon was to face Johnson in 1968, so the strategy was put into full force on his side. Southern Democrats felt they had no choice but to retire, leave their party and throw their lot in with Republicans, or at least not support its candidate. It worked and Nixon won against unabashedly liberal Hubert Humphrey.
The GOP has been riding that win ever since, now equally balanced with the Democratic Party which tended to control both houses of Congress. In and out of the presidencies, the parties managed the nation’s affairs in a spirit of collegiality and statesmanship, practicing politics as it was meant to be practiced in a democratic society—give and take under the rubric, “compromise.”
Those men included Republican Sens. Everett Dirksen of Illinois, Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, Howard Baker of Tennessee and Bob Dole of Kansas. Their counterparts in the House were Gerald Ford of Michigan, John Rhodes of Arizona and Bob Michel of Illinois.
As those men represented their party and country loyally, productively, honorably and successfully, they dealt with leaders generally less so in the other party, with the exceptions of Rep. Tip O’Neill as House speaker and Sen. Mike Mansfield as Senate majority leader and his equally effective, but less admirable successor Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Then it descended into string of bad choices before finding George Mitchell of Maine for a brief stint.
Then, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, both parties became dominated by what the aging leaders called “young Turks” in the House who wanted things their way, highly partisan with a low tolerance for compromise.
Richard Gephardt of Missouri came first, in the late 80s, launching a successful attempt to oust O’Neill, leading to the affable Bostonian’s early retirement. New Gingrich came second, early in the 90s to do the same against Michel, with the same outcome. Congress was never the same, especially on the Republican side.
Adults among the Democrats managed to stave off its party’s attempted revolution while the Republicans acquiesced to total destruction and rebirth as a nasty, hateful party reflecting its new Speaker Gingrich. Compromise was out, hateful, obstructionist politics was in and that’s where the GOP is today and descending.
Now the party is hoist by its own petard, having attracted like-minded and increasingly ignorant members to both houses, each reflecting the unflinching anti-government hostility of the constituents who sent them there.
The “big tent” idea actually was intended to attract minorities, women, Hispanics, the poor, the middle-class and all those who traditionally identified with the Democratic Party because of policies that generally favored them or helped them gain a modicum of equality.
Unfortunately for the GOP, it continued to behave towards those groups just as it had before, no welfare, no choices for women, fewer civil rights and what middle-class? as it moved to satisfy the yearnings of the rich and stingy. Obviously, why would people from those groups want to enter a tent like that?
No wonder the right-wing nutcases who tend to hate more than love, was able to take de facto control of the party.
The only answer we see for getting the party back is for the adult leaders still around to reject seemingly all of its presidential candidates toadying to the nutty right and tell them to find their own party, the GOP is going in the opposite direction and no longer wants their kind. The big tent has shrunk.
Obviously, that would split the opposition to the Democrats and almost certainly lead to several years of that party’s domination of Washington. A democratic government is not well-suited to long-term solutions that extend beyond the longest term, which is six years for a senator. Who would want to run now in a party doomed to serve a minority role for how many years?
Thus, the idea of a split and rebirth would be extremely hard to swallow, so hard it is highly unlikely, bordering on impossible, for it to happen.
Too bad for it. The Democratic party is not all hugs and kisses among its members. Liberals have chafed as its two recent supposedly liberal presidents over-bent to the middle.
Who knows, a new old GOP rising like a phoenix might be more successful sooner than we think.
It’s High Time for a GOP Exorcism-Part I
—The Republican Party has become the laughing stock of national politics. It has been, to use a favorite phrase from Shakespeare, “hoist by its own petard.”
Now the party is floundering, not knowing what to do as its presidential nomination process spirals out of control of the adults in the room into the hands of what may be America’s most ignorant voters, or at least potential voters.
We have the answer, but it would be so ugly for the party for the next several elections, it is highly unlikely it would adopt the solution. It would mean self-sacrifice for a while, handing control to the Democrats. But, if it doesn’t and be willing to lose elections, it stands to morph into the not-so-grand new party. It’s a Hobson’s choice.
GOP adults, the titular and non-titular leaders of the party, are laying plans to block Trump at the convention, using some of the tactics borrowed from Congress. We fear that will not be the answer. Something must be done now, something also fearful to the party and what is left of its sane adherents.
For 50 years, beginning with the “southern strategy” and continuing to the present, the party has attracted and invited the worst of Americans into its “big tent.”
The “big tent” intent was to attract into the party minorities, women, Hispanics, everyone not its usual white suburban middle-age man. That was laughable because Republicans on city councils, legislatures and Congress continued to work against all of those voter segments even more repelled by the party’s ideals than before.
Still desperate for numbers, the party readily accepted anyone who would vote on its side, regardless of how nutty they were. Now it faces the prospect that the nuttiest of them just could get the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
Rising from the ooze and slime with the party’s acquiescence is a bigoted demagogue whose aim appears to be, judging by his words, the equal of the World War II era’s biggest bigoted demagogues, Hitler and Mussolini and supposedly on the side of the our allies, Stalin.
Some may laugh at that idea, or at least want to laugh as they choke back what is attempting to be regurgitated, but we have become a different American society over the past decade. A large portion of our electorate is becoming ignoramuses.
Thanks to the Internet and the ability of anyone, including us, to post anything we want on it regardless of whether we have the credentials for doing so, we have become a society of insulated minds, accepting and believing only what we want while ignoring all evidence to the contrary.
Taking advantage of that characteristic of complete ignorance has been the supposed “news” network of an Australian who made his first millions publishing tabloid magazines of the quality of the supermarket rag National Inquirer, which made up crap about celebrities and others to pander to the weak of mind.
Today, the weak of mind are being corrupted by the FUX network, which lies up front in its slogan, calling FOX News “fair and balanced.” Nothing on television has failed to live up to that slogan more than FUX.
Today, the GOP might as well be called the FOX. Its slobbering followers now have brought Congress to a halt and flummoxed the party leadership to the point that the adults, including Speaker John Boehner, facile liar that he is, decides he can’t deal with them any more. It’s only a matter of time before the reluctant Speaker Paul Ryan, also throws in the towel, particularly if Donald Trump continues to attract voters so racist, xenophobic and all the other worst things one can say about another human being.
Just as it must be one of the most painful acts a human being can perform to save a loved one, practicing “tough love,” the party must sacrifice itself for the near future for the sake of its own future, even if it does emerge from the ashes like a phoenix, with a new name.
The adults of the GOP must reject Trump and all of his followers and tell them to go form their own party; they are no longer welcome in the Republican. Perhaps they can join Ben Carson.
How that decision could be enforced and upheld in today’s legal environment is unclear. In addition, it would be political suicide in the near term. Call it an exorcism, if that term is easier to accept.
From His Own Huge Mouth
Which of these quotes are from Donald Trump (and in some he followed the words of his speech writer)?
–The Muslim has always been a people with definite racial characteristics and never a religion.
–Due to his own original special nature, the Muslim cannot possess a religious institution, if for no other reason because he lacks idealism in any form, and hence belief in a hereafter is absolutely foreign to him.
And a religion in the Caucasian sense cannot be imagined which lacks the conviction of survival after death in some form.
Indeed, the Koran is not a book to prepare a man for the hereafter, but only for a practical and profitable life in this world.
–The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Muslim himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine.
–First, therefore, [the Muslim] goes about making up to the people for his previous sins against them. He begins his career as the ‘benefactor’ of mankind. Since his new benevolence has a practical foundation, that the left hand should not know what the right hand giveth; no, whether he likes it or not, he must reconcile himself to letting as many people as possible know how deeply he feels the sufferings of the masses and all the sacrifices that he himself is making to combat them.
–But even more: all at once the Muslim also becomes liberal and begins to rave about the necessary progress of mankind. If we consider how greatly he has sinned against the masses in the course of the centuries, how he has squeezed and sucked the blood again and again; if furthermore, we consider how the people gradually learned to hate him for this, and ended up by regarding his existence as nothing but punishment of Heaven for the other peoples, we can understand how hard this shift must be for the Muslim.
The black-haired Muslim youth lies in wait for hours on end, satanically glaring at and spying on the unsuspicious girl whom he plans to seduce, adulterating her blood and removing her from the bosom of her own people. The muslim uses every possible means to undermine the racial foundations of a subjugated people.
–…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Muslim.
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: ‘by defending myself against the Muslim, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.’
How many are Trump’s? All? None? Some? Many?
All of the words were written down 90 years ago, the word “Muslim” we substituted for “Jew” and the Koran for the Talmud. The book was Mein Kampf, the author, of course, Adolf Hitler.
How could a Trump presidency possibly go wrong?