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JHB

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 27,506

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Video of Trump conceding to Pelosi about SOTU

Started long before the teabaggers...

Conservatives, including every "NeverTrumper" who made a career of Republican messaging or conservative media, have spent some 40 years building that base, the one that's so hypervigilant for "betrayal" and primed to punish any backsliders.


They scare-mongered and scandal-mongered and played to all the bigotries and pet peeves, and called it "playing hardball". They wanted to get conservative Republicans elected, and there was no part of that job that involved "dialing it back." They painted Democrats as supervillains: utterly-corrupt, moral degenerates out to destroy the nation and all that's good and holy to get their voters all hot-blooded and into the voting booth.

But the drawback is: When you paint the story that way, it's supposed to end with you bringing the bad guys to justice. They rot in jail, or better yet get hanged or fried. Blow up the Death Star. Drop the Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. The Enemy surrenders unconditionally and their symbols get blown up.

Your audience wants this:

But they never get it.


When you tell that story for decades, continually amping it up despite its blatant falsehood, you create an expectation that you can never really deliver on. You can justify decades of investigations and re-investigations and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-investigations, but that's not going to hold up in court. So you put yourself into the position of portraying the other side as unbearably evil and an active threat, and then don't do anything about it. The base still has their hot buttons pushed, still believes every word of it, they just start thinking you're ineffectual at best, or more likely are part of the problem.

Conservatives have purposely whipped up this extremist frenzy to give them the margin of victory. They've been punishing any Republican who didn't fall in line since the 70s when they started ousting Rockefeller Republicans.

Just because the foam is whipped up to new levels of frothiness doesn't mean we should lose sight of the fact that they've been whipping it up for so long that what counts as "whipped up" keeps getting redefined.
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