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JHB

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 27,506

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Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm hunting for stock tips (Romney on Trump)

https://twitter.com/jhb0034/status/1119376632723193866

As promised, Image for the Twitter-incompatible:

Every NeverTrumper who gets air time or page space is a career political professional

Republican campaign consultants. Conservative media hosts. Republican speech writers. Conservative pundits.

They have all spent their careers in Republican messaging and conservative media. They've spent decades wooing, building, and feeding a base that has become Trump's base.

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 to keep the audience's blood at a rolling boil, 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 turn up anything that will 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. It started decades ago, but they've been on a precise trajectory to Trump since they hailed Rush Limbaugh as the "majority maker" of the 1994 election and Newt Gingrich accused Democrats of being "the enemy of normal Americans".

Every NeverTrumper who gets air time or page space helped make this happen. Yet we're supposed to pay attention to people who devoted their professional lives to political vandalism and willful blindness. Unless their excuse is that they're just f***ing idiots.
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