Josh Marshall has an observation about what has happened that should alarm everyone who isn’t already enraged.
What this all means is that conservatism and the GOP are now Trumpism. More significantly it means that it is transferable. Others can pick up the mantle and make it work. This is hardly surprising. Last year Rep. Greg Gianforte body slammed a reporter days before his election and is now a Representative in good standing who is often praised for his physical toughness. Equally significant, Trumpism didn’t begin with Trump. I take some pride in the fact that I think this site has done as good a job as any news publication in the US over the last 18 years chronicling the rise of the revanchist right in the Republican party and the party’s subsequent transformation. The politics of aggression, norm-breaking, the penchant for conspiracy theories, the increasingly explicit white nationalism – these were all present in 2014, 2010 and in a more attenuated form in 2004. What Trump did was, through some malign and impulsive intuition, fused these together into a workable politics. He took what was still the underbelly of Republican politics, which nevertheless provided it with the bulk of the GOP’s motive force, and made it the face, the brand.
Kavanaugh himself is a noteworthy bridge. A scion of the beltway political elite who received the country’s finest elite education, he made his name in the Bush White House. He is the epitome of the pre-Trump conservative establishment. Yet we can see here how seamless the transition was to full Trumpism, as it was for all the Republicans Senators who rushed to his side after his Thursday afternoon performance.
Early Thursday afternoon, Kavanaugh nomination was on life support. He went full Trump. And it worked.
That’s the scary thing about this. You can call the Republicans all the names you want; you can call them out for their hypocrisy and their lies. It won’t stop them — because what they are doing works.
The Democratic leadership has yet to show they have any clue about how to meet this, let alone overcome it. Even if Democrats take back the House, will Nancy Peolosi or Steny Hoyer be able to deal with this? The entire GOP caucus will go into Tea Party mode. They’re considering a leader with his own sexual misdeeds and just don’t care.
If Democrats take back the Senate, does anyone believe Chuck Schumer will have the stones to face down McConnell and the unregenerate thugs the GOP have become? He’s already shown he’ll cave by letting Joe Manchin vote for Kavanaugh rather than stand up to this nonsense. If Murkowski can vote no, Manchin can too.
Right Wing media will go into overdrive, ramping up the hate if Democrats gain any ground anywhere. Do Democrats have any kind of media strategy to deal with that, or a useless mainstream media that has become emasculated in the face of Trumpism?
The old saw about “Treason never prospers, for if it prospers none dare call it treason” is still true.
As long as Trumpism works, Republicans will keep doing it. They must be made to pay a price so high, no one will ever go there again. Kevin Drum is right — the GOP must be destroyed. November is only the beginning of the Long March ahead of us if we are to survive as a democratic republic.