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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 27,506

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Boot leaves out the part where those "principled conservatives"...

...spent their careers turning the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Ahab, at which point all it took was a name change to make it the Party of Trump.

I've yet to see even one of them recognize that they did to themselves what they did to the Rockefeller Republicans in the 70s and 80s. The same themes they pushed in order to gain power created an expectation they could never fully deliver on, so the monster they fed swept them aside as weak and ineffectual.

But they still don't see it. Give them a chance, and they'll go right back to it.

There are different levels of engagement and forgiveness

What engagement needs, first and foremost, is someone on the other side who is willing to engage, as Weissman was. It can take effort to find them -- it's definitely missionary work or selling to a very reluctant customer -- you have to accept the success rate will be low. Not everyone has the temperament for that sort of work, but it does need to be done, if only to plant seeds in the cracks of the brick wall that might eventually sprout later on.

And once you find the ones who are willing to admit they were wrong about Trump, you can move into talking with them about "why did they think that?", "was that really true?", and "what other things are you just as sure about as you were about Trump, and are you willing to consider you may be wrong about those too?"

However, there's a difference between people who might be reachable if they can be weaned off their daily dose of foam from FOX and other RW bubble suppliers, and with high-profile people who may be saying terrific anti-Trump stuff now but who entirely sidestep their own careers as workers and managers in that foam-factory.

Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, Charlie Sykes, and other "NeverTrumpers", and Joe Scarborough get a lot of time and attention these days, but they are not our friends. We're not in an "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation with these guys.

It's more of a "the enemy of my enemy is the guy who will shiv me in the kidneys the moment I've done his dirty work for him" kind of situation.

These people spent their careers as Republican political consultants and conservative media people playing upon the same themes Trump does in order to deliver votes for conservative Republican candidates so that they would have the numbers to pass their own favored agenda.

But backfiring is inevitable for a long-term strategy of "vote for us and we'll take care of the bullshit things you hat and fear." It creates an expectation that they're never able to really deliver on ... and your target audience will still believe those things, but will turn on you for being weak and ineffectual.

That's where most of the high-profile anti-Trump conservatives are, and they don't get forgiveness until there's some sign they won't go straight back to their old comfortable spots and habits the moment they see an opportunity.

There are a rare few of those who do qualify, ones who have publicly said they were wrong and OMG, vote for Democrats so we can stop this madness. But they are still much too rare.

FYI, no TOONs post today

Going to be away most of the day, and those are not conducive to being collected on a phone.

Expect to be back tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to turn this into a crowdsourced one by posting toons in replies.

More video from Trump rally

Then he's still denying what actually happened, trying to wipe off the fingerprints...

George is a conservative. The "Big C" Conservative Movement kind.

The very people who insisted Republicans get with the program or be driven out of office. It's what they did to the Rockefeller Republicans in the 70s and 80s. And did it pretty damn gleefully.

When Poppy Bush wheezed the last gasp of of semi-authentic Republican "fiscal conservatism" by signing a too-small tax increase because the cherished 1986 tax reform was blowing an even bigger hole in the budget than earlier Reaganite cuts did, conservatives crucified him. And kept pounding the nails all through his presidency.

To get all the items on the Conservative Movement wish list, George's friends and colleagues played on voters' fears (especially bigoted voters' fears), said liberals and Democrats would make those fears come true, capitulate to the Soviets, be puppets of the Russians, and destroy the nation, while Republicans would stave off the end of civilization and restore us to our former glory (hey, don't that remind you of something?).

This all happened in the heyday of George Will's career, and he was fine with it. He and his fellow Movement Conservatives still thought it wasn't enough. When the Democratic candidate for president described himself as "pro-business", it wasn't an occasion to celebrate bringing an opponent closer to their point of view. No, they needed to demonize him, question his legitimacy, and throw up a fogbank of steam rising from great mountains of bullshit, lest they face pressure to compromise and have to sacrifice the biggest item in their wish list, destroying every last remnant of the New Deal and restoring the Gilded Age.

The Republicans aren't a party of invertebrates, George. You and your fellow conservatives transformed the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Ahab, and any among you who questioned the wisdom of hunting the White Whale were thrown overboard. When those people were fish-fodder, the ones who clove to norms and looked mildly askance at some of the excessively uncivil rhetoric were brought to heel or brought under the keel.

Think that's an exaggeration? For how may decades did any Republican who was even mildly critical of Rush Limbaugh jump to be on his show within 48 hours,doing qualifying runs for Olympic backpedaling?

Your elected officials are spineless, George, because they are your apparatchiks.

You're a conservative, George, and the Republican party is in the state it is in because your people made it that way. Good on ya for saying "elect Democrats", but don't pretend you and all of your NeverTrump colleagues didn't spend your entire careers preparing your party to embrace him.

No Disowning.

Tom Nichols: It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters...

...It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy.

Full thread starting with:
Tom Nichols‏ @RadioFreeTom
It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters. It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy. There's no way to have a policy argument with people whose eyes are always looking up to the television for a cue from Dear Leader about what to say next. /1

As @JVLast once said, Trumpism is non-falsifiable. Whatever Trump does is right. There are no principled arguments to be had, because if Trump changes his mind or tweets something off the wall, Trumpers change their position immediately. /2

This would basically be a cult except for one thing: most Trumpers do not believe their own bullshit. Yes, some of them really are stupid enough to think Trump is a good man and all that crap, but most of them are only interested in Trump as a vehicle of social disruption. /3

Trump's smarter enablers see him as an equalizer, a way to put them on an equal footing with "elites" - oh, that word - who they think look down on them. Thing is, the elites *do* look down on them. For good reason. Most of Trump's sycophants are second raters, at best. /4

For them, Trump is their shot. They know he's, um, emotionally disordered, to use @Peter_Wehner's term, but they don't care: this is their one chance to grab the car keys and throw a kegger before Mom and Dad get back home. That makes talking with them about policy impossible. /5

So if it seems like I don't engage Trump's enablers on the merits of this or that Trump policy, it's because I can't take Trump's "policies" any more seriously than Trump or his minions do. It's either pure stupidity or pure careerism, and either way, it's a waste of time. /6

Yes, there are people in government trying to hold everything together. I salute them and hope they can keep the ship afloat. But they can't make policy either. They can issue directives and hope for the best, mostly hoping Trump doesn't notice and overrule them via tweet. /7

I think we'd all be less exhausted if the Trumpers would just admit that what they value from Trump is the social leveling effect he has, forcing intelligent people to respond endlessly to stupid comments and bad ideas, than continue pretending they care about "policy." /8

For myself, I am resigned that Trump will be president for as long as he's president. How it ends is up to the voters. But I don't see the need to engage in the cynical bullshittery of arguing policy with people who will change their minds on anything in nanoseconds. /9

And for the love of God, don't tell me about what Trump's Real 'Muricans in the Heartland want. I know what they want: more government action, including money, delivered with a smile, inflated respect, and pity, earned or not. Those are utterly pointless discussions too. /10

Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do. He's not liberal or conservative. It's all just the blurted thoughts of an angry, frightened man who won an office he didn't really want. We have to get through it, but we don't have to pretend we're arguing about real things. /11x

I have to disagree on that last point. Trump is very much a conservative, and conservatives have spent 50 years building a voter base that gave Trump more Republican primary votes than anyone in history. They don't get to disown him.

Professional Left Podcast - Ep 443: The Whole GOP is 'That Illuminati Guy'

The Professional Left Podcast, with Driftglass and Blue Gal
Conspiracy theories like “Beyonce is the Illuminati something” are the Republican Party, and have been for longer than Trump. What does Jeff Sessions have on Trump? Roseanne is not as important as expanding Medicaid (congratulations Virginia!) And we do not support Rod B’s pardon. More at http://ProLeftPod.com

The 99% Is a Myth--Here's How It Really Breaks Down

Professional Left Podcast, with Driftglass and Blue Gal - Ep 441: Apologize!

Those who are wrong about Democrats, healthcare and Truth. Guess Which Party?! We talk about Rudy Guiliani, at least one person who is "tired of winning," and a number of people who've discovered all of a sudden that Truth is important, like Rex Tillerson and Matthew Dowd. A surprising sincere apology in the wrong place, the "Democrats in Disarray" lie never dies, and a wake up call for conservatives on Medicaid and nursing homes. More at http://ProLeftPod.com

And the podcast's wonderful hosts:


New Rule: Trump Is Above the Law Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

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