The decline to moral bankruptcy of the GOP


Trump is different, but the idea everything was okay with the Republican party until his arrival is equally absurd. It didn’t just go to shit overnight.


No argument from me. Heck I couldnt even give you a timeframe of when in the past it would be morally ok to vote Republican. Just saying I think Timex’'s point was “hey the party was not always like this”. Which i think is right.

My evidence for this is some of my older in laws who now vote Democratic because “The Republican party changed, I didnt”.

But I couldnt give you a year or a decade if I am honest.


Not that we need more evidence of how bad they have become but here we go…

"The Republican-controlled Legislature approved sweeping changes early Wednesday that weaken the governor’s ability to make rules that enact laws. The legislation also shields the state jobs agency from his control until September and cuts into the powers of the incoming Democratic attorney general.

Evers says the state “should be embarrassed” by the Republicans’ actions and that they have ignored the will of voters."


I said as much. Trump is the logical extension of the conservative movement for the last few decades, with an added disregard for truth, to the extent of not even bothering with the appearance of caring about facts. Part of that disregard includes the rule of law, certainly, though I didn’t explicitly say that earlier.


Of course, but to suggest that he’s just a normal Republican is insane, and minimizes the danger he poses to our country and the world.

Again, we all know this.

We all know that shit is different than it used to be. None of us felt like this when previous Republicans held the office. You might not have liked them, but you didn’t feel like you do now.


I suspect he and others like him would not go far enough back because if they did it would be horrifying how long they continued to tow the party line despite those signs. A few decades is not far enough. Trying to look back and see a Trump moment is not going to reveal anything. they poisoned the well slowly and different parts of it for quite some time.

Trump is what was normalized, pieces at a time… for decades. He’s just all of it, at once.

You have no idea how people felt.


We all seem to be regarding Trump as an inevitable consequence of Republican mistakes, but hindsight is 20/20. Two years ago, nobody here even thought he could win the nomination.


Yes, one of the big flaws of conservatism is that often serves well, only the majority, or in some case only the rich and powerful, at the expense of minorities and the less powerful. As for Trump, I don’t really agree.

Before, Trump there was a large overlap between GOP and conservatives. But there was also a large element of populism in the old GOP party. Fundamentally, populism and conservatism are at odds with each other. Your interest in keeping old traditions and customs make a hell of lot more sense if you are Wall St Banker, than West Virginia coal miner. Trump ran as populist, with no principals beyond self-interest. He adopted some conservative positions as a matter of political expediency, such as on social issues.

However, when Trump’s populist positions clashed with conservative principals the conservative principals lost.
Mostly without a fight,due to the cowardice of the GOP lawmakers. The issue of free trade is the one area, where GOP legislators are actually are fight for conservative principals against the populist protectionism.


Well I was going to come back with how about “The Contract with America?” which in my memory was mainly about government corruption.

Unfortunately when I looked it up with my 21st century eyes I just see racism and proto fascism all the way through it. So I guess we are gonna have to pick an earlier time…


I am pretty sure Triggercut was telling people not to jump off cliffs yet because he knew people thought he could win. That possibility didn’t show up overnight either. We’re talking about the guy who started the Birther nonsense, and he was even supported then.

Yeah, look despite the GOP talking points, they didn’t lose a few generations of a specific minority group because of their stances on trade with China or beliefs about Russia. That ugly stuff, it’s probably been there for nearly as long as the oldest member on this board has been alive. It’s not new, and it wasn’t hidden. It was ignored.


In many ways he has done us a favour. Now nobody can say :“I didnt know” when they vote Republican. It has removed any fig leaf people had. Which is a good thing.

Yeah. Modern me is taken aback how much 1990’s me missed the awful things republicans were doing and saying back then as well. Maybe because I wasnt the target. Now all of us are targets so its easier for those of us with privilege to see.


Logical consequence, not inevitable. I didn’t think he was going to win the nomination or the general election, but not because Trump didn’t fit the conservative movement’s path. I thought enough people were still concerned with their President’s morals and integrity, or at least lip service paid to those values, that they wouldn’t be willing to vote for him. More fool I.


I don’t expect anyone to be able to reach back and pinpoint an exact moment of a change like that. I don’t think it’s fair to hold anyone responsible who says they didn’t see it precisely, not really. I don’t think it’s right to say every Republican prior to recent years was a horrible person for voting one way or another either.

What I can’t accept is any idea that these problems are new, that they weren’t nurtured and coaxed and raised to the level they are today, or that the only way someone can cope with their past affiliation with these things requires them to excuse it. And it is an excuse because the voices were there. They weren’t convenient to hear.

The police are killing us. Record numbers of people are entering the prison system. Only specific drugs are being targeted to punish segments of the population. An entire group of people being ravaged, decimated by a relatively unknown disease because the leaders in charge don’t care if they die. Turning knowledge into some sort of character flaw so the uneducated feel better about themselves. Deregulating for short-term gains.

The Republicans, alone, are not responsible for all of it, but they bear a certain amount of that weight, and if no one heard the cries, the outrage, the fear… it’s because they chose not to hear, not because it wasn’t there.

People feared for their lives, their freedoms, their futures as a groups, long before now. And it wasn’t liking one political party or another, or liking one leader over another, it’s because they’d been targeted, over and over again, and knew it. There are just more targets now, and those people suddenly feel it more and now they can hear it, see it, sometimes it’s even recorded, and they’re horrified; that’s good, but others were absolutely horrified before them. It’s not hindsight though. Right along these so called conservative values was an ugliness. And it apparently was worth enduring to get these other things, at least for those who voted for it.

So if those people want to change their mind, let them. If they want have a change of heart, feel like they can make a change, today, now and forward, fine, go ahead. Welcome. I am not going to dog their every step with past mistakes or oversights, but do not try excuse that shit. Wipe it off the shoe and come on in.


The Civil Rights movement, and particularly the Goldwater campaign in '64, mark a pretty clear point where the Republicans recognized the inherent racism of the south and the weakening power of states rights Democrats and ran on an increasingly anti-civil rights platform. There were signs before that point, absolutely, and if you want to mix in the economic issues, dates get muddier, but it’s a pretty solid date to say “Yeah, that’s about where they said ‘If’n you wanna keep those uppity blacks down, vote for us.’”

And they’ve been saying it ever since.



I remember the presidency of George W Bush. I felt like it then. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I prefer Trump in office to Bush. Trump is a moron, surrounded by morons, which seems to limit the damage he can do. Bush was a moron surrounded by people who were very adept at manipulating the political system to achieve evil things: torture, black sites, the erosion of morality, stealing liberty in return for the illusion of security, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in an unnecessary war.

The best way to think about Bush-style pseudo-resistance is that it’s a hedge against the risk that the Trumpian political project collapses disastrously.

In that case, Republicans are going to do what they’ve done so many times before and keep all their main policy commitments the same but come up with some hazy new branding.

After the Gingrich-era GOP was rejected at the polls in 1998 as too mean-spirited, Bush came into office as a warm and fuzzy “compassionate conservative.” When he left office completely discredited, a new generation of GOP leaders came to the fore inspired by the hard-edged libertarianism of the Tea Party and its critique of “crony capitalism.” That then gave way to Donald Trump, a “populist” and “nationalist,” who coincidentally believes in all the same things about taxes and regulation as a Tea Party Republican or a compassionate conservative or a Gingrich revolutionary.

For better or worse (well, okay, for worse) the elite ranks of the American conservative movement are inspired by a fanatical belief that low taxes on rich people constitute both cosmic justice and a surefire way to spark economic growth. This assumption is wrong and also makes it impossible for them to coherently govern in a way that serves the concrete material interests of the majority of the population, leading inevitably to a politics that emphasizes immaterial culture-war considerations with the exact nature of the culture war changing to fit the spirit of the times.

The disagreement over whether Trump is a jerk and the more nice-guy approach of Bush is better is a genuine disagreement, but it’s fundamentally a tactical one. When the chips are on the table, Bush wants Trump to succeed. He just wants the world to know that if Trump does fail, there’s another path forward for Republicans that doesn’t involve rethinking any of their main ideas.



And I read Ari Fleischer’s Tweet.


Well that’s insane.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I prefer Trump in office to Bush.


Is it? I mean I could certainly change my tune if bad things start to happen, but to date we’re not torturing people or commission legal justifications for torture. We’re not disappearing people into black sites. We’re not invading other countries on false pretexts. There is an eerie parallel between Bush’s handling of Katrina, resulting in hundreds of deaths, and Trump’s handling of Maria, resulting in thousands. But if hell exists for politicians responsible for mass death, Bush is still a couple of circles lower than Trump is. Did everyone forget those 8 years?


At this point in his presidency GWB’s team was busy lying the US into an unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq, an act that would result in 4k death service members, billions upon billions wasted, and by most conservative estimates at least 150k innocent civilians dead. There’s something to be said for Trump being more upfrontly atrocious, but he’s yet to pull a stunt that directly led to 10s of thousands dead.