With all of the outrages perpetrated by Republicans every day on every front, it is easy to miss the forest for the trees. When Trump attacks the press as “fake news” he is not pressuring them to be nice to him or trying to fend off their criticisms, he is signaling to his base who they should or should not listen to. He really could care less what anyone outside his base has to say about him.
When McConnell violates every Senate norm to stack the courts with far-right judges who openly reject 150 years of legal precedent he is not shifting the courts to the right, he is throwing out the laws that have been written over that period of time. When conservatives talk about “originalist” interpretation of the law they are saying that any laws passed after the signing of the Constitution are basically illegal. So say goodbye to labor, civil rights, and environmental law.
When McConnell shuts down lawmaking when state legislators and governors gerrymander their states and throw Democratic voters off voter roles, when McConnell stops efforts to protect elections from foreign hacking, they are not simply tying the hands of the Democrats, they are rendering our government inoperative in order to shut it down. And they are asking for help from our enemies abroad to do so.
Meanwhile, by gutting regulatory law and authority they are setting up the libertarian corporatocracy they have always envisioned to operate in place of our government. They are “drowning government in a bathtub” and giving free rein to a plutocracy run by the likes of the Kochs, Mercers, Adelsons, and so on.
The Republicans are not playing the same game that we are playing. Neither are they playing by the same set of rules. They are engaged in open rebellion against the United States and are intent upon sidelining our government, rendering it obsolete and irrelevant in favor of autocracy with a Machiavellian madman at the helm.