The decline to moral bankruptcy of the GOP


Yes, that’s what I mean. The rest of it is mostly noise. Trump doesn’t admit that the US has done bad things, he brags about it. It’s American exceptionalism on steroids.

The tariff thing is just swagger and posturing. It’s part of him being a bore. He doesn’t have any ideological rational for them, he doesn’t even understand them. But on legacy policy, he’s a Conservative Republican.


Pretty sure the tarriffs are going to have quite the legacy.


Perhaps, but none of that is deliberate. He’s just an idiot. It’s not ideology.


The legacy of most populist movements ends up being a heap of unintentional consequences.


The legacy of most movements ends up being a heap of unintended consequences. It’s Sturgeon’s Law.


No, he uses our history to deflect criticism of North Korea and Russia because we’re no better than they are. That’s the opposite of exceptionalism, it’s cynicism.

Tariffs were a key promise in the Trump presidential campaign. They are absolutely deliberate. Just because it’s a stupid idea doesn’t mean it’s not ideological.


The Southern Strategy
Iraq II
Abu Ghraib
The Patriot Act

At what point was the GOP aligned with any kind of principle? It’s a bit odd to have a bunch of folks suddenly realizing, after all that (Palin!), that the GOP is batshit. All these folks with their No True Conservative t-shirts seem a bit disingenuous when they sat through–nay cheered on–George Bush Jr duh-ing his way through the aftermath of Katrina, or Rush Limbaugh peddling non-sense conspiracy theories about the Clintons or Reagan launching his campaign in Neshoba County talking about state’s rights or, well, Nixon being the chief ratfucker of all ratfuckers. When has the Republican party ever done anything good? I’m sorry all you American conservatives, not only did you make your bed, but you’ve been bumping uglies with Cthulhu for 40 years. You can’t pretend that it wasn’t obvious that whole time.


There are a lot of principles that the GOP held in common. Supply-side economics, pro-life, pro-gun, interventionism abroad, free trade, and so on.

Maybe you don’t like those principles, but they were still principles.

However, Trump supporters have abandoned several of those principles and are seemingly indifferent towards several more.


Yeah this attempt to make it seem like Trump showed up and suddenly, suddenly these things were happening. The joke that the GOP stands for family values did not spring up over night either. It was a joke specifically because these family guys would turn up with affairs and in hotel rooms and paying for abortions… for decades… It’s not sudden. The race baiting dates back to their golden man too. The lie until your people believe the lie or don’t care anymore, not new either.


I think with Trump any republican has lost any pretense they had to being part of a “moral majority”, or even part of a fiscally responsible party. They switched on issues like Russia and North Korea. And worse of all they bought in, line and sinker, to the idea that non-white immigrants were destroying the country.


Yeah, he thinks they’re great and always has. He has an ideology, it’s just stupid and horrible.

The only principle they believe in is the Party. I’d actually be interested in how they’d react if Donald decided to be anti-gun next week (which would have the bonus of being hilarious because Donnie was anti-gun until he started running for the GOP). I bet they’d suddenly agree that guns need to be regulated and the like. Or they’d declare that Donnie was controlled by the Jews, which they’d then forget about in a week (see Syria).


Which of these has Trump abandoned? I guess the free trade one. What are the others?

Also, too, which of these are laudable? I mean, if the thesis is that the GOP used to be good but Trump made it bad, were these the good things?


Interventionism for one. He’s more than happy to let everyone do whatever they want unopposed as long as they say nice things about him or pay him.


He has killed more people with drone strikes per year than Obama did. He’s not opposed to intervention.


Sure, but that’s just War on Terror stuff really.

It’s sort of semantics at this point, but I’m talking about opposing aggression from other actors. Kuwait gets invaded. Or Ukraine. Historically, the GOP intervenes. Trump? He could give a fuck. He’s fine with dictators doing whatever they want to anywhere and everywhere. Hell, he’ll cover for them if the price is right.

That’s a radical departure from the GOP historically. Remember Putin was a global threat that needed to be opposed. Until Don won the nomination. Then Putin was our best friend and could do anything he wanted. Same for North Korea for the most part.


Maybe, but it’s a dataset of one. The GOP intervened in Kuwait, probably because it was easy, because of oil, because of Saudi Arabia. They did not intervene on behalf of Hungary or Czechoslovakia or Georgia or Ukraine. They were fine with dictators in China and Saudi Arabia and UAE and Chile and so on. If nothing had gone before, and Saddam was around now, and he invaded Kuwait, I imagine the US would intervene. Don’t you?


Thank you Tom.

“I alone can fix this”
“I will bring back manufacturing jobs”
“We will make the best health care plans.”

What Trump is saying in all of these statements, is under my brilliantly leadership the Federal government will do all this great stuff that you need and want.

This is actually the antithesis of small government, the role of the states (Federalism).

But just as important as a political philosophy, conservatism is a state of mind and temperament.
We should be respectful of the old ways and old methods because they have served society well over generations. Temperamentally George HW Bush was a true conservative, even more than Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater, “it wouldn’t be prudent”, “don’t brag”, noblesse oblige.

Trump couldn’t give a flying fuck about any tradition, and seemly many of his supporters couldn’t care less either. I think many Republican elected leader do care about this things, but far less than they care about remaining in power, and winning.


Kuwait was a matter of ideology. A lot of people have been talking about it since HW Bush died, but he didn’t care about those things. He saw it as a moral duty.

I mean the GOP has certainly failed to live up to their ideals, but the ideals have been there. Ukraine was under Obama, so we can’t really say much there. Georgia is still regarded as a failure by many conservatives.

Again we’re talking details. Historically the GOP has opposed aggression, even if it was just words.

Now they’re pro-aggressors and kissing their asses. That’s a massive departure. Again Putin went from the largest geopolitical threat in the world from McCain up through the 2016 debates (so 8 year of this being the GOP position, to the point that during the debates they were talking about shooting down Russian planes over Syria), to… our close friend who can do no wrong and we don’t say bad things about. That’s a BIG change and it happened basically over night.


Only parts of society… so again there are certain issues baked into the GOP, current, old, dream that never existed GOP that have been bred for decades. Trump is not a stranger that that just walked in and joined the table. He was birthed right on top of it.


The problem is that I don’t believe that explanation and didn’t believe it then. Kuwait was (is) a corrupt oligarchy ruled by despots who enjoy power because of an accident of geology. The US opposed Saddam’s taking Kuwait because of our oil interests in Kuwait and because of the threat an enriched Saddam would pose to Saudi Arabia. Listening to HW’s speeches about defending freedom at the time might have fooled one, but hearing them now should make one laugh. There were no free people to save and the was no democracy to defend in Kuwait.

Recall that HW was the man who unilaterally invaded Panama. So much for the principle of non-aggression.