How can you tell a real Reformed Republican (RR) ally from a synthetic?
It's actually surprisingly easy!
A real RR ally recognizes that their party has been going down the shitter for decades.
A synthetic ally believes that their party went completely and spontaneously insane in 2015/16 and that before then everything was fine.
A real RR ally is able to admit that they bear some responsibility for their party devolving into a fascist dung heap, either by refusing to see what was right in front of them, or by actively helping the GOP become a monster factory.
A synthetic ally believes that, whatever their party has become, none of it was their fault. In fact, Liberals are probably to blame for it!
A real RR ally will use their public voice to loudly and energetically support the Democratic party because at this moment, the Democratic party is the only instrument capable of stopping the existential threat to our democracy posed by the Republican party.
A synthetic ally will use their public voice to loudly and energetically bitch that the Democratic party is on the road to ruin because isn't being run the way they would run it.
A real RR ally understands that the job facing the Democrats -- trying to keep a huge and fractious coalition together in order to save the republic and pass legislation vital to the health and well-being of Americans -- is orders of magnitude more difficult than the Republicans agenda of using every lever of power they can grab to rally a racist minority to bring government to a halt, blow shit up and fuck over Americans.
A synthetic ally complains bitterly that Democrats should never try to accomplish anything big, and should instead be "more like Mitch McConnell".
In the face of massive disinformation campaigns by Republicans, a real RR ally will challenge fence-straddlers and the few remaining wavering Republicans stop listening to Fox News and Hate Radio lies. A real RR ally will speak out aggressively every time the Right tries to manufacture controversy out of thin air or inflate some offhand comment AOC made last month into the the apocalypse.
In the face of massive disinformation campaigns by Republicans, a synthetic ally will demand that Democrats practice perfect Centrist message discipline and muzzle their progressive wing because the Right will manufacture controversy out of thin air and will inflate some offhand comment AOC made last month into the the apocalypse.
A real RR ally will not shit-talk Democrats they disagree with because the stakes are too high for that now.
A synthetic ally not only shit-talks Democrats constantly, but will insist that if Democrats won't shut up and support (whatever the fuck that means) a monster like Republican Liz Cheney for interrupting a lifetime of villainy with one gesture of grownup responsibility, then its the Democrats who don't understand how high the stakes are.
If pressed, a real RR ally will cop to the fact that, basically, the Left has been right about the Right all along.
A synthetic ally will tell you very loudly that the Left is only slightly worse than MAGA Republicans, that the near-future threat from a "Democratic Trump" is just as real and dangerous as Donald Trump was, and would rather pull their own head off than admit that the Left has ever been right about anything.
Because a real RR ally is honest about the past and their own part in it -- has undertaken what AA refers to as a "searching and fearless moral inventory" -- they are not afraid of engaging with actual Liberals over how we got here and what we need to do to save ourselves.
Because a synthetic ally refuses to candidly assay the trajectory the Republican party has been on over the decades leading to where we are today (and refuses to own up to the roles they themselves played in getting us here), they are terrified of honestly engaging with anyone who might confront them uncomfortable questions and react with scorn, derision and anger whenever anyone challenges them about the cozy, imaginary, guilt-free past they have invented for themselves.
For real Reformed Republican allies, there is always room at the table.
But for synthetic allies...