Plus: What if they gave a coup and nobody cared.
What could go wrong helping extremist be elected in the primary so you can beat them? Everything. You name it. In Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro has a fight on his hands now with Mastriano. If Mastriano wins, women can kiss goodbye any reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights-gone...transgender you better move. Mastriano wants a theocracy. Be careful what you ask for. Interracial marriage is at risk but may be protected by Clarence Thomas. This was a stupid, dangerous strategy. In spite of this craziness I am heeding Liz Cheney's warning- don't look away!
Seven years ago I started listening to late night AM radio as a way to stay awake while driving long distances in the dark. The talk shows startled me so much that I was wide awake. Even then talk-show hosts were talking openly about civil war and “killing libs”. In the years since the rhetoric is even more extreme. Give AM radio a listen if you have a stomach for what you will hear. The ultra-right is armed and dangerous and minds are irretrievably poisoned. The portion of the right that is alarmed by this must unite with democrats to sweep the extremists from our government. Democrats must unite and VOTE in the midterms. En masse.
Anyone who thinks Doug Mastriano doesn't have a chance is delusional and hasn't spent a second in red Pennsylvania. The barn-sized banners are already up across the countryside. He speaks Trumpish fluently, is an actual veteran, and is exactly the kind of crazy they love and crave. I think many like me were moderately confident that Shapiro could ride Fetterman's coattails, but I get more concerned every day with the latter's continued absence no matter how hard his wife is working. I fear the national party leadership will pay dearly for assuming the clowns will defeat themselves.
I have come to realize that from the POV of Republicans of my acquaintance, this really is an apocalyptic struggle for them. If democracy and voting and free and fair elections are in the way of winning the perceived struggle against pure evil, they will discard our democracy and align with whatever strongman can deliver. Be afraid, very, very afraid.
The majority of Americans do care, it's just that the Republican coalition receives so much electoral welfare that they can stay in power despite their deeply unpopular positions.
Then, once in power, they use that power to give themselves more power and make votes against them count even less.
A better question is "What should we do about it?" and right now anyone who offers a serious, realistic answer, is ridiculed as being extreme. They act as if the GOP is just a totally normal party who disagrees with them on some totally reasonable policy positions like "Should interracial marriage be a thing?" and "Should we criminalize LGBTQ people's right to engage in consensual sexual activities?"
On the excerpt from Brooks' article, more evidence of the double standard applied to Reps and Dems: similar activities by Reps (e.g., same-name candidates in FL) are claimed to be smart, albeit underhanded; but Dems doing basically the same things are "acting recklessly and unpatriocally". I don't think it's wise to amplify much of anything Brooks has to say about Democrats/
I'm an independent and live in an R district in Texas. I researched the Republican primary candidates looking for sane options so that whoever (almost inevitably) won the general would be the best. Sadly, all of them were too trumpy to get my vote.
I really don't know why anyone wants the worst one to be running. In 2016 we saw what can happen.
I have an idea running around in my head that's not fully formed yet but it goes something like:
Ok, we have a voter crisis in the United States, granted. But given that Democrats hold a 10% advantage in registered voters over Republicans and that the majority of states have more registered Democrats than Republicans (yes, independents need to be factored in but I'm just going by people who care enough to commit to a party affiliation) why is a crisis among Republican voters treated as a crisis of voters overall?
"Voters" aren't reacting to the J6 Committee with a shrug. Republican voters are. Most Democratic and independent voters care about what happened and are paying attention. But, as always seems to be the case (see: hanging out in diners to track down Trump voters stories that were everywhere for awhile) Republican voters are treated as if they are the norm, the majority, the ones that matter.
It permeates even here whether it's Sarah's focus groups that are done the vast majority of the time with just Trump voters or nearly everyone here treating Liz Cheney and (sometimes) Adam Kinzinger as the only members of the J6 Committee or that the good choices of the committee are due solely to them.
It's like Democratic voters or leaners are just ignored as nonentities unless some of them can be used to point out "oh, look how crazy those Democrats are and they're going to make Trump win."
Like I said, it's not fully formed yet but that's where my thinking is at and what I'm feeling right now.
Link to registered voter data: https://ballotpedia.org/Partisan_affiliations_of_registered_voters
To tie point one to Tim's observations, the GOP is now filled with "LOL nothing matters/Tribalist Trolls" conservative voters. The greatest threat to democracy isn't The Big Lie, it's the nihilism required to throw logic to the wind and go all in on simply keeping liberals out of power because nothing else matters (polarized nihilism).
This is roughly the same position the country was in just prior to 1861. The thought of abolitionist Republicans like Lincoln taking office and ending the slavery the southern economy relied on for growth was their Flight 93 moment. The same could be said of climate change legislation and Texas' oil wealth and Pennsylvania's gas wealth--hence the SCOTUS ruling yesterday on carbon regulations. Conservatives would gladly sacrifice the world and the country just to have a better-paying rig job because they couldn't make it through school and get into the white collar world or simply just work as a plumber or mechanic instead of an oil/gas worker because the pay cut would be too fierce. And now we're surprised to learn that they'd abandon democracy just to avoid having to live under the rules of the liberals who want to take away their rig jobs and guns? OF COURSE they were always going to choose economic survivability and "their way of life" over the country all along. They did it in 1861 and they'll do it again today I promise. If you think it can't happen just because there's no Mason-Dixon line anymore, just imagine 50 mini civil wars between urban liberals and rural Trumpers in every state. That's what it would look like and they are 100% willing to go there via their anti-liberal (small l) cult mentality. We've already gone kinetic. Just swap out the suicide-by-cop mass shootings for the suicide bombings we typically associate with civil wars in other countries and you'll see that we're already in the Bloody Kansas phase. We just don't look at mass-shooting martyrs for causes like GRT the way we look at suicide-bombing martyrs for causes like an Islamic caliphate in other countries because that comparison makes us uncomfortable.
Bulwark, you can’t both complain about Dems being feckless and ask them to unilaterally disarm. Where I live, with a top two primary, the Rs fund a schizo Dem to force a runoff in local elections and have been for a long time. This means more money and more time campaigning. It works. Maybe not in each election but in the aggregate it makes it tougher.
So, who else isn't ready to watch Democrats and D-leaning voters hand over their rights because screaming on Twitter is enough for them?
Register to vote -- 40+ states let you do that online. If you have to go do it in person, go and get that done.
Vote in the primaries, vote in the caucuses. A big part of why extremists end up on the ballot is because only the nutbars show up on primary night.
Vote in the general. Vote on everything. Not just the top of the ballot, the whole fuckin' thing. You can't eat half the meal and take the rest home, here. Go to the polls hungry, and vote hard.
Not much different, A. being invaded by a hostile neighboring country or B. being invaded by a hostile country residing within your country. Evil does what evil does
Hi Charlie. Indeed, "the stakes are apocalyptic". But not just for America. As a Canadian, I can promise you that as America goes, so goes all other democracies. WE can't rely alone on incredibly fragile institutions that are clearly insufficient to the times we find ourselves in. The choices are not that we keep doing what we are doing, or that the system collapses into revolution. There is a middle way - a Plan B.
My wholly off topic little rant for the Fourth, which everyone in my (small) circle is so sick of hearing me talk about that I have nowhere else to go with it: As we celebrate this holiday, and perhaps call to mind some of our favorite Americans, I want to recommend a thought towards Mary Todd Lincoln, a great American.
Prior to taking my son to Springfield,IL to visit all the Lincoln stuff (my son is named after Lincoln), I had only the vaguest notions about MTL, which were mostly that she was nutty and a millstone and nuisance to her husband. In the Lincoln Museum there was a hologram of the Lincoln family, and I became instantly curious about the woman standing there. (There is also an actual stovepipe hat that Abe wore, and you can see the spots of wear left on it by his fingertips - I cried.)
In the gift shop I bought a biography of Mary, and have since read more. She and Abe had 4 sons, 3 of whom died - one before the WH, one while in the WH and during the war, one after the WH. The fourth son had her committed to a mental hospital, from which she was sprung by a rare-at-the-time woman lawyer.
When her husband was mortally shot at Ford's theater and moved to a nearby house, the men in the room where his dying body lay and where she was wailing, shouted "get that woman out of here," and they did get that woman out of there.
Mary and Abe were maybe the original American celebrity couple, as they took the train journey from Springfield to Washington to begin his presidency there were throngs of people lining the way, at stations climbing lampposts to get a view of the couple.
She was maybe an original believer in American consumer culture once at the WH, buying what she hoped would be a sense of security and belonging, but was in fact just deep and damaging debt.
She was derided by the Washington establishment - too Southern, too emotional, too hick.
Their marriage began as a real love-match, maybe even passionate in the you-know-what dept, but the horrors of the war, the loss of their first 2 children, put a strain on them both individually and as a couple.
Her grief lead her to conduct seances and alienated her from the people around her...she should just get over it. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that if the many personal catastrophes, not to mention the national one of civil war, were to befall me, I'd be holding seances too, and tend to nuttiness. I think she sacrificed as much as any American ever has, and should hold a place of honor, especially on July 4.
This is spot on Charlie!! I remember reading an article by Newt Gingrich why he didn’t except Biden winning. It was an aha moment for me. The thrust of the article was that any democrat winning was illegitimate. At that moment I realized the republican party does not support democracy if it means the people will elect Democrats￼￼￼￼￼￼. They really do think that liberal Democrats are anti-American and are going to destroy the country. When your dogmatism and ideology becomes that extreme the ends will always justify the means. ￼ So Republicans now think that democracy is “dangerous!“!
And of course all this takes place with an electorate as follows:
50% are too stupid and ignorant to show up.
Half of the remaining 50% are just fine with the implementation of a fascist police state that keeps the other 50% "down."
Half of the other remaining half think elections are held every four years, for president only, and their fee-fee's are easily hurt when they don't get their ponies and rainbows and the guy they voted for doesn't make the sun rise in the west. So they join the Moron 50% and stay home. Or they exercise their god-given right to "vote my conscience" for some idiot with the chances of a snowball in hell of winning anything ever.
And the ones who know better, half of them do dumbass shit that makes me embarrassed I ever thought well of them.
Churchill was right. "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."