Thursday, October 18, 2018

Never Turn Your Back on a Never Trumper. Continued

Behold, a Birthday Fundraiser!

A few months ago as many of my allies were co-signing ideological third mortgages for their new Never Trump friends, I remember saying ...
Repeat after me:   There is no such thing as a "former" hard-core Republican.

A causal, occasional Republican voter?  Sure.  They can kick the habit.  Over the course of many years I've voted for Republicans once or twice on down-ticket races or in board elections where I knew the person and they were extraordinarily well-qualified.  Hell, in my misspent youth I also voted for John Anderson, because Reagan was clearly dangerous, but Carter wasn't pure enough for my noble and rarefied political tastes.

But this it not so for the hard-core Republican.  The party activist, campaign coordinator, door knocker, serious donor, straight-party ticket voter, pundit, elected official, analyst or pollster.  Anyone who has evidenced a keen and active interest in advancing the Republican party's depraved agenda over any length of time.

They've been in the life too long.  They have been too conditioned.  Too bent.  Their brains and political pleasure centers have been permanently rewired.  And so, like any other kind of toxic, lifestyle addiction, the best you can ever hope for with your hard-core Republican is a state of recovery that they can maintain one-day-at-a-time until they shuffle off this mortal coil

But until they join Ronald Reagan in Republican Heaven, they will always be junkies who, given the slightest opportunity to rationalize themselves into just one more little taste, will backslide right back into their bad habits every fucking time...
Since then, I've gotten quite a number of cold shoulders from some of my Liberal brothers and sisters, and some blunt feedback, which is fine.  I went through a somewhat similar cycle when I was one of the only people in the Liberal blogosphere who bothered to kick the tires on Glenn Greenwald's shtick and notice that there was something drastically wrong going on.

And boy howdy, lots of Liberal "friends" did not want to hear anything like that.  They either got very, very angry with "droneglass" (which was kinda hilarious coming as it often did from people who were barely aware of my existence before then) or timidly stood aside while the Spleenwald Horde slagged me on a daily basis.  I had done the unforgivable.  I was voted off Liberal Island, and I lost a lot of traffic and big chunk of supporters.  Which was fine.  You do you, and I'll do me, and if it occasionally costs me dearly to write what I please, unbought and unbossed, well that's part of the deal.

Eventually the slow grind of time and events revealed that my bead on Mr. Greenwald was essentially correct.   There was no "Welcome back to our good graces"party with balloons and a giant novelty check.  I was never officially voted back onto Liberal Island.  Things just gradually got quieter and quieter, and by the time Mr. Greenwald started showing up on Fox News as Tucker Carlson's smirking side-kick, I got the very clear impression that my once very loud Liberal critics would really rather forget the whole thing and never speak of it again.

I don't really care either way, but the experience did reinforce a valuable lesson about how quickly and imprudently many of my Liberal brothers and sisters will rally to the flag of anyone who tells them pretty things that they very much want to hear, even (as in the case of Never Trumpers) when the person whispering sweet political nothings to then has built a career out of calling them a traitor and stomping on their values.  Even when their half-assed apology reeks of expedience and desperation. 

It also reinforced a corollary lesson about how reluctant those same Liberal people can be to bury the hatchet with someone who generally supports their values and enthusiastically sides with them most of the time, but also dared to tell them something they did not wish to believe that later turned out to be true.

Which brings me to this very timely post on alicublog:
As I've said before (and it's not just me and the leprechaun who tells me to burn things saying so, either, but also credentialed bigbrains at major publications) that the Kavanaugh nomination has basically blown the whole NeverTrump and KindaTrump and JustTheTipInTrump phenomenon, making it obvious that Trumpism is conservatism and vice-versa. And it's had the knock-on effect of making rightwing authors who were previously pitched as prim-and-proper True Conservatives into something more suitable to Trump Time -- that is, trolls.

Take David French, one-time NeverTrump Presidential contender, who has gone on since the dawn of Trump about how real conservatives like him were fighting for the True Cause despite, not enabled by, the vandal Trump; last year he was blubbering over "O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture," in which he lamented that conservatives' reflexive defense of Fox News "knifework" had "reached its apex in the person and personality of Donald Trump."

But now French is juiced that Trump has with Kavanaugh brought America one step closer to Gilead, and hardly ever bothers to wring his hands anymore. Just recently he defended Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed. But as the example of his cabinet shows, you're not totally in the tank for Trump until you've humiliated yourself as French does here...
For me this is actually pretty simple.

I don't believe in being stupid, or credulous, especially when it comes to trusting the good intentions of life-time repeat offenders.

On the other hand,  I do genuinely believe in redemption, but in the case of the Never Trumpers, it would be insane for anyone to settle for anything less than redemption though restorative justice, which emphasizes accountability, making amends, and repairing the profound harm the offender has done.

And frankly, if you're coming right out of the gate swearing that there was nothing all that bad going on inside the GOP before Trump...or if there was, you personally just never knew about it...or if you knew about it, well. so what, because Both Sides are equally terrible...then you're either lying or your an imbecile.

And in either case, there is no reason on Earth why anyone should trust you.


The Sophist said...

Amen, brother. Amen.

Learned that the hard way. Just b/c somebody is rabidly angry with Donald Trump, doesn't mean that they're no longer a Republican. A racist. A homophobe. And 100% bought into Lee Atwater's agenda and message. They can be both.

Me, I was shocked to find this in a -woman- who was *spitting* *mad* at what Shitmidas is doing to women and for women's rights. But hey, it's her "pet issue", just like the Cheneys are OK with gay people and Jeb is OK with Mexicans.

Doesn't change that they're despicable people who hate everybody else but their pets.

Batocchio said...

Right on, brother.

(And ah, I remember the "droneglass" days.)

Dr.BDH said...

Our local boy, Charlie Sykes, needs to crawl across Wisconsin on his knees, starting in Milwaukee, begging for forgiveness. Then he needs to head into the suburbs, confessing that he was shitting unacceptably on the radio for mere shiny coins. Then, if his knees can take it, he needs to crawl along the Lake Michigan corridor of racism, crying out that Republicans must atone for their sins and they can start by staying home on election day. Then he needs to plant himself outside the state capitol, smearing himself with feces and begging the teachers to forgive him. Then and only then will the crows deem his eyeballs worthy of plucking so he can wander forever in darkness.

Or, he could apologize to Michelle Obama and see where that gets him.

Lit3Bolt said...

David French and Benjamin Wittes and Jay Caruso and Joe Walsh are "Never Trumpers" because they think putting Neo-Nazis on judicial benches should be done with better costumes and lighting and the main star of the Republican Show can't sing on pitch. That's it.

Rick Wilson is a Never Trumper in that has the Wisdom score to see Trump the Media Enchanter making moves like "I use my Ring of Three Wishes to wish for more explicit racism and misogyny and stochastic terrorism in society" isn't a good long term play for the GOP. Trump's problems are now the GOP's problems, and the extra scrutiny coming from House Democrats and Federal and State prosecutors are making rich old white anuses twitch and throb in discomfort.

Tom Nichols and Scott Lincicone is a Never Trumpers in that they see their party committing foreign policy and economic seppuku in real time but Democrats are bad at politics because they can't make Republicans act ethically about voting rights and can't conjure up mythic magical voters from the nation's 18 year olds. Ergo Democrats are bad at politics buy my book I am an expert except not in the field I am commenting on but did you buy my book?

David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, and Max Boot are like assassin droids in Star Wars receiving moral and ethical programming for the first time. They'll still hate the Clintons and socialists with the fury of 1,000 suns, but are suddenly getting nervous that all of their fellow conservatives are saying things like "By golly Trump sure heils my Hitler, if you know what I mean say no more say no more." They are imperialists like Churchill who know that buddying up with George Orwell is better than buddying up with the aristocracy who simply couldn't wait to prance about in their quasi-para-military-fascist cosplay outfits. And they're mainly concerned about themselves; once Republicans stop saying the quiet part about "cooking journalists and Jews in ovens" loud they will eagerly return to the fold of cheering the shooting of African-Americans, the torturing of Latino familes, and the free for all rapine of women in society.