Thursday, April 12, 2018

The #NotUs Movement : An Armada of Lifeboats with an Army of Straw Men

As the collapse of the Trump Administration continues apace and the unhinged braying of the Pig People becomes deafening, the ranks of Republican "It Wasn't My Fault" brigade sprinting as fast as possible away from any whiff of personal responsibility for the political monster machine they helped create is swelling from a trickle to a Cecil B. DeMille epic.

Mind you, the organizers and backers of this Not Us Exodus have absolutely nothing new to say in their defense because there is nothing new to say.  There is no Reformicon cavalry coming over the hill.  There is no Secret Other Republican Party full of Burke-spouting Sensible Centrists waiting in the wings to sweep in and save the the GOP from itself.  Practically speaking, there is nothing left but a brutal, bare-knuckle contest between the fully-up-armored and lavishly funded fascist Republican Party, and those of us on the Left who have been right about the Right all along.

This is a war, to quote Mr. Lincoln, between those who would make war rather than let the nation survive and those who would accept war rather than let it perish.  And it is here, now.

But this is most emphatically not the war which the Both Siderist enablers of the Republican Party signed up for, and not a war they have any interest in talking about.  Because any hint that this is true -- that at this moment in history, one side really is right and one side really is monstrously wrong -- would be the darkest heresy against their most scared dogma, would blow their carefully constructed cult of Both Siderism to atoms, and would ruin them both financially and psychologically.  And so, with no way forward and no way back, America's professional Both Siderists have no cards left to play left except to double down on the same  ridiculous, played-out lies and delusions they have been peddling for decades.

To them, this is the fucking apocalypse -- an apocalypse for which the decades they've spent knee-walking drunk on their own Beltway bullshit has left them completely unprepared.  And so now it's all about professional survival by any means necessary.  It is about getting their lifeboats into the water and their straw men behind the oars fast-fast-fast before they are sucked under by the collapse of their party and their movement.

Which bring us to three of the worst offenders in the media, each of whom has been hard at work this week doing what they do best: deflecting, blame-shifting and just plain lying.

First up, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times, who is finally willing to admit that, despite having virtually unlimited media resources at their command, the collective efforts of the Never Trump Republicans have amounted to a whole lotta nothing:
Over the past year, those of us in the anti-Trump camp have churned out billions of words critiquing the president. The point of this work is to expose the harm President Trump is doing, weaken his support and prevent him from doing worse. And by that standard, the anti-Trump movement is a failure.

We have persuaded no one...

We have not hindered him...

We have not dislodged him...

We have not contained him...

A lot of us never-Trumpers assumed momentum would be on our side as his scandals and incompetences mounted. It hasn’t turned out that way. I almost never meet a Trump supporter who has become disillusioned. I often meet Republicans who were once ambivalent but who have now joined the Trump train...
Which I coulda told him.  

Wait a minute ... I did tell him.  Years and years ago, during the Age of Bush:
You’ll find all of us pervy, frightened little angels with flawed intentions.

And with equal helpings of humor, discipline and reciprocity, most of us can make most systems work most of the time.

But not all of us. Not all of us.

And that is the bitter, epiphanic cup which too many of us choose to let pass on by.

Because we want to believe that there must be a better tool, a more perfect voting machine, a more compelling narrative that can be wrapped around the bare, blinding facts of Evolution which will (as I have written before) compel “Conservative Christopaths to grow opposable thumbs en masse, climb down out of the Stupid Tree and stop believing dangerously lunatic trash.”

But there isn’t.

And while all of those are perfectly good ends in themselves, there are no upgrades, patches or new releases that can bulletproof a system against the malevolent intentions of those who come with fascism burned on the board...
Eleven years ago I wrote that.

And eleven years later, deep the suffocating shadow of yet another depraved Republican administration, Mr. Brooks still has the gall to blame people like me for the ghouls and hobgoblins that keep pouring out of the Republican monster machine he helped create:
Part of the problem is that anti-Trumpism has a tendency to be insufferably condescending. For example, my colleague Thomas B. Edsall beautifully summarized the recent academic analyses of what personality traits supposedly determine Trump support.

Trump opponents, the academics say, are open-minded and value independence and novelty. Trump supporters, they continue, are closed-minded, change-averse and desperate for security.

This analysis strikes me as psychologically wrong (every human being requires both a secure base and an open field — we can’t be divided into opposing camps), journalistically wrong (Trump supporters voted for the man precisely because they wanted transformational change) and an epic attempt to offend 40 percent of our fellow citizens by reducing them to psychological inferiors.
Hippie punching?


Which brings us to Mr. Michael Gerson -- reliable Beltway stalactite and PBS's emergency backup David Brooks.  And from high atop his safe and well-compensated perch at The Washington Post what does Mr. Gerson have to say this week about his dungheap of a political party and the squirming horrors it is breeding at an exponential rate?  (emphasis added):
In the GOP, fanaticism seems to have all the passion and energy. On the left, the same is increasingly true. But there are problems when politics ceases to be the realm of partial agreement and becomes a conflict of social movements. The virtues essential to self-government — civility, compromise and moderation of temperament — are devalued. The incremental reforms necessary to solve public problems become impossible. Opponents are dehumanized and viewed as enemies. The cruel and intemperate come to dominate our political life.
Both Siderism?


And finally, Mr. Chuck Todd -- the Political Director for NBC News and host NBC's Meet the Press -- rounds out our roster by checking a few more of the Beltway media denialist's favorite boxes:

The modern Republican Party began two years ago and anything before that is unknowable and irrelevant?


And remember Mouseketeers, if anyone asks, it's "Trumpism", not Republicanism, right?


Finally, as my brilliant and beautiful wife documented yesterday, you can actually watch the use of the term "Trumpism" spike as the Not Us Exodus gains speed.

Expect a lot more of this.

And expect it to come at you faster every day.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


jim said...

Some wily miscreants have primo bespoke lifeboats already wafting them gently over the horizon even now.

dinthebeast said...

"Opponents are dehumanized and viewed as enemies."

Oh really? And if that's such a problem, in your way of thinking, then what do you have to say about "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control"?

-Doug in Oakland

RossK said...


And, as driftglass pointed out last week, there are many fine new mediaish folks out there who like to think they will end up on the right side of history that are more than willing to hand-out personal flotation devices to the vast majority of said miscreants.


Charlesdillon said...

But who wrote "you're either with us or you're against us"?

Robt said...

Talk about life boats.

There are R-wingers who have been in the life boats long enough to dry off.

They made their legal claim to the seat in the life boat.

Take Nicole Wallace. On the Maddow. She was there with Scooter Libby. She feels for Scooter and is fine with his pardon Trumpy threatens to grant by his royal decree. "What ever you thought of GW Bush, he didn't pardon Scooter (commuted jail time) after found guilty", Nicole said.
How disappointed she is that Trump dangles pardons to his crime family member. Bush commuting Libby OK. Trump pardoning her friend Scooter, she is OK with. She even said FOX is doing some very naughty things at Meuller.

Niclole holds the notion that she is old fashion EX practicing republican.

Never faces the reality of Rove, Cheney Viceroy Wolfowitz. How about Bush's AG Alberto??
Safe and dry in her life boat. Nicole makes the case that the republicans were something different. Something with respect, honor, dignity, humanity and worked for the people. She she basks in her rememberence of glory days of the GOP when she worked for the Bush crime family. As a family member, she has a rough time admitting she indeed worked and enabled the crime family once they made her an honorary member. She holds her employment saccrid.

As mentioned, Nicole stated she, "is an ex practicing republican". Is she libertarian, independent or that "true republican".

maybe Nicole is that republican who is like soft spoken on racism. She would never say " there are some good Klans men".
Her idealism would use law and power subtle to conserve that old racism as it is.
To quote Trevor Noah in response to a right wing hate talker who stated, "I am not a racist. I do not see color".

Trevor responded
"What do you do at a red light? When it turns green if you don't see color"?

Because it is what you do when you see color...........!

What does Nicole do when she sees the color of Scooter Libby's supposed pardon from Trump? She has heart felt warm feelings.
So tell me, out of so many justly convicted (and lesson learned) to those unjustly hit by our justice system.

What does she do when she sees that color of people she doesn't know?

Nice that Rachel hit her with the question between the oars of her life boat.

Nicole, "it is terrible FOX and GOP have set up oppo shop to trash Meuller. A well decorated veteran. Who worked for Republican Adm. and Democratic as well. But he is republican and was a republican confirmed family employee.

Just so naughty.

Like the media expressing how Ryan and Trump did not get along on values but on republican policy like tax cuts and nuking the Debt. Well they did get along and Ryan allows the Nunes to shit and stink. The Blake Fairenhold to walk away after using tax dollars to pay an $84 thousand sex harassment settlement to keep him from personal accountability of his own behavior and keep him out of court.
I guess Ryan would be willing to help the NAZIS get the Jews into the ovens as long as he saw eye to eye with Hitler on tax cuts.

Hey look,
Everyone knew it was going to get really bad under Trump. Let alone a house and Senate republican majority rule.
More of something wicked this way comes....

Betamax said...

It's odd to see a paladin of single-serving centrism resort to naked projection like that. Usually they can conjure sufficient cover out of fat air.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

As Donald Trump IS the Republican Party, a Never-Trump Republican is an unwitting Never-Republican Republican.

Be seeing you.

Robt said...

Your honor,

When i got stinking drunk and got in the car for a joy ride. Ran over the kid in the crosswalk and slammed head on into an oncoming auto when I swerved over the double yellow.

Sure I was too intoxicated. But I really didn't think that the law profiting drunk driving pertained to me. For who I am and the pillar of community my family I was born into possesses.
Most my life, I have been excused from general law breaking because of stated affluence. To hold me accountable now is would be irresponsible and biased legal judgement on your honor's part.
Further, this persecution of me because I am republican and yes I realize you too, are republican. Because you chose to rule in favor of the law. It is obvious you are unqualified to judge me. The DA here is republican and it was his witch hunt that put me here in this court to begin with.

I have a conservative idea of yearning for values of the past.
-Perry Mason. Where are you????

Matthew Kieltyka said...

Still can’t believe that “We Built It” slogan. Somehow they managed to both misquote Obama and make his point.

Neo Tuxedo said...

For the benefit of anyone who missed it, Brother Charles went full driftglass yesterday and offered a helpful quiz by which the likes of Butcher's Bill and Joey Joe Joe Junior could explain what, if anything, they did to stand up to the resistible rise of Donald Trump:

He goes clear back to the moment when they decided chilled monkey brains were the best dessert in the English language:

4) In one sentence or less, please describe the political style and impact on the nation of the following: Newt Gingrich, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Richard Mellon Scaife, the Mercer family, the Koch Family, the Bradley Family. Please include details of the positive contributions of each of these to the political life of the nation.

5) True or False: Ronald Reagan was correct in referring to Michael Dukakis as a “mental patient” from a White House podium.


7) In 1983, Ronald Reagan told Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir that he personally had been part of a film crew at the liberation of the concentration camps in Europe. In 2018, Donald Trump said he wished he’d have been in Parkland, Florida so he could have rushed school shooter Nikolas Cruz. Compare and contrast.

8) Ronald Reagan once said that, “Trees cause more pollution than humans do.” Donald Trump once tweeted that, during a cold snap, the “East Coast could use a little of that global warming.” Compare and Contrast.

And, finally, a possible topic to explain, if the student can, in a 500-word essay:

2) Donald Trump’s corrupt Cabinet is different than Ronald Reagan’s corrupt Cabinet.