Ten years ago I explained to my then-tiny readership how the GOP works using a cutaway diagram of a nuclear reactor.
The GOP was (and is) powered by it's radioactive base. A...
...three-dimensional array of the ignorant, the hateful, the insane and the Christopath Right.The tricky part about this arrangement was never getting the nutjobs heated up: they come out of the ground bitter and paranoid and looking to take it out on somebody. The tricky bit has always been modulating their rage and directing it where the Party Elites wanted it to go while at the same time continuously lying to the rest of the world about the existence of the party's Radioactive Base or their means by which they contain and target the crazies:
Individually, these samples of Enlightenment’s backwash make a persuasive argument that the good of our common humanity would be better served if the hatecults that fester in the wounds of our Democracy were gathered together for an All Ratfuckers Tribal Council at the Trinity Site and spontaneously Raptured into the stratosphere in a single, thermonuclear flash.
Collectively, they are the Modern GOP, and by putting every last species of botched American citizenship and knuckledragging bigot in harness together under one whip, the Republican Party has clawed its way to power.
...For that they needed a coolant system:
Because if the entire Right Wing understands anything it is this – as frustrating and degrading as it is to men like Trent Lott, Tom Tancredo, G. Felix Allen and Rick Santorum who really, really want to shout their love for all things Segregated and/or Despotic from the rooftops, it is still not socially acceptable to publicly embrace and celebrate your Inner Klansman.
Thus they must commune with their Swine Army in code.
They must use lightly encrypting hatespeech to manipulate the Rove Rods to get the Electoral Reactor Core seething hot enough to activate the base...but always keep the Bobo Koolant level of soothing denial, spin and outright lies juuust high enough to keep the Moderates from being directly exposed to and freaked out by the unshielded Core of the GOP.
The Koolant system that keeps it all from blowing apart at the seams and melting itself back into the masturbatory fever dreams of every wannabe Jefferson Davis circulate a viscous Koolaid-based composite goo made up of 43% David Brooks, 27% Tom Friedman, 23% Tim Russert, 12% Joe Klein and 10% David Broder.
You say that’s 115%? Well fuck you and your fancy, liberal, Jebus-hating elitist “arithmetic” anyway...
And that is what has now broken down. The humiliating public failures and disintegration of the Bush regime turned the Base into a bomb, and the election of a black Democrat lit the fuse. Reactor temperature spiked up and stayed up as the party base were encouraged to hurl themselves even deeper into the black hole of delusion and denial by putting on funny hats, waving funny flags and pretending en masse that they had never even heard of George W. Bush.
All of which served the depraved interests of the Party Elite just fine. The more dumbed down and desperate the base became, the more pliant and manipulable they became, willing to blindly follow anyone with a loud enough and angry enough voice who promised to slay the boogie man that haunted their dreams and never, ever make them face their own past.
And then along came a spider. A glitch in the matrix. Along came Donald Trump, who was willing to go where the Party Elite was not. Who could not be bought or outshouted and who, most importantly , understood the psychology of conservative chumps better that the Party Elite that manufactured them. (From "Stranger in a Strange Land" with emphasis added):
Trump was suddenly there, in the middle of all the GOP's carefully laid plans, fucking everything up, towering over the midgets and retreads they were offering, winning the chumps' blackguard hearts and tiny minds with promises of money and power, redemption and pride, security and the ultimate, We-Win-You-Lose killshot to all those mooching minorities, smarty-pants Liberals and fat cat Republican party bosses who have ripped them off, laughed at them, used them and then cast them aside....You don't have any feeling for what makes a chump a chump; you don't get inside his mind. A real magician can make the marks open their mouths and catch flies just by picking a quarter out of the air. That Thurston's levitation you do-I've never seen it done any more perfectly but the marks don't warm to it. No psychology. Now take me, for example. I can't even pick a quarter out of the air-hell, I can barely use a knife and fork without cutting my mouth. I got no act . . . except I got the one act that counts. I know marks. I know where that streak of larceny is in his heart, I know just how wide it is. I know what he hungers for, whether he knows it or not. That's showmanship, son, whether you're a politician running for office, a preacher pounding a pulpit . . . or a magician. You find out what the chumps want and you can leave half your props in your trunk."...He wants sex and blood and money. We don't give him any real blood-unless a fire eater or a knife thrower makes a terrible mistake. We don't give him money, either; we just encourage him to hope for it while we take away a little. We don't give him any real sex. But why do seven out of ten of a tip buy the blow-off? To see a nekkid broad, that's why-and a chance to be paid a double sawbuck for lookin'-when maybe they got one just as good or better at home, nekkid anytime they like. So he don't see one and he don't get paid-and sill we send him out happy.What else does a chump want? Mystery! He wants to think that the world is a romantic place when he knows damn well it ain't. That's your job . . . only you ain't learned how. Shucks, son, even the marks know that your tricks are fake . . . only they'd like to believe they're real, and it's up to you to help 'em believe, as long as they're inside the show. That's what you lack....take this notion you had of billing yourself as 'The Man from Mars.' You mustn't offer the chump what he won't swallow. They've all seen the Man from Mars, in pictures and on stereovision. Hell, I've seen him myself. Sure, you look a bit like him, same general type, a casual resemblance-but even if you were his twin brother, the marks know they won't find the Man from Mars in a ten-in-one in the sticks. It's as silly as it would be to bill a sword swallower as 'the President of the United States.' Get me? A chump wants to believe-but he won't thank you to insult what trace of intelligence he has. And even a chump has brains of a sort. You have to remember that."
This is development -- this is political China Syndrome -- which the Party Elite did not foresee. They tried fiddling with the control rods to no avail. The tried to use the Fox News Propaganda Pumps to drown Trump, but he just absorbed it and got stronger because by this point the reaction was self-sustaining.
And now, finally, the coolant system has failed, and those Serious and Reasonable Republicans in nice suits with calm voices whose job it has been to keep the public from seeing what was really going on in the raving, raging core of the party are now reduced to running in panicked circles (David Brooks in the NYT) and shrieking hysterically (Mikey Gerson in the Washington Post):
For the sake of the Republican party, both Trump and Cruz must lose
...Sorry, Mikey. Sorry, David. You and you pals have all made a fine living for a long, long time covering up what was going on inside your Republican Party as it destroyed everything in its path and blowing off those vituperative, foul-mouthed Liberals who have been warning you for years that this day was coming.
Cruz represents the arrival of tea party ideology at the presidential level. He espouses a “constitutionalism” that would disqualify much of modern government, and a belief that Republican elites are badly, even mainly, at fault for accommodating cultural and economic liberalism. Trump has adopted an ethno-nationalism in which the constraints of “political correctness” are lifted to express frankly nativist sentiments: that many illegal immigrants are criminals and rapists who threaten American jobs, and that Muslims are foreign, suspicious and potentially dangerous.
We are already seeing the disturbing normalization of policies and arguments that recently seemed unacceptable, even unsayable. Trump proposes the forced expulsion of 11 million people, or a ban on Muslim immigration, and there are a few days of outrage from responsible Republican leaders. But the proposals still lie on the table, eventually seeming regular and acceptable.
But they are not acceptable. They are not normal. They are extreme, and obscene and immoral. The Republican nominee — for the sake of his party and his conscience — must draw these boundaries clearly.
For Republicans, the only good outcome of Trump vs. Cruz is for both to lose. The future of the party as the carrier of a humane, inclusive conservatism now depends on some viable choice beyond them.
Well now the radioactive core of your Party is finally exposed to the open air, hot as Hell and clear as day. And while I have no doubt that you will all redouble your efforts to pretend that none of this is really happening, or that Both Sides are somehow to blame, for now it is cheap and entertaining theater watching you scalding your little, pink fingers in the hellfire you helped to create.