You won't like it, but if you want to know what to expect read on...
As I've written about since the earliest days of blogging, from the Reagan WOWGASM that kicked it all off --
And in the Conservative Crack House of Many Doors, Ronald Reagan was that first cocktail. The first line of coke. The first needle. The first "Holy Mother of God!” WOWGASM that shotguns right through the blood/brain barrier, reformats your entire ethical hard drive, and scrimshaws a brand new Prime Directive on the inside of your skull.
-- to the blood-drunk bender of the Dubya Years --
Dubya was meth with a ketamine chaser delivered hammer-and-anvil directly to the lizard brain.
Dubya was 40 million Pig People tired of the hard, fussy job of being a tolerant, powerful democracy finally once-and-for-all blowing America’s family inheritance on an eight-year, blood-drunk bender.
Dubya was the United States crawling through dumpsters at our national soul’s midnight, killing anything that moves, licking out the contents of random baggies, hoping the little white flakes clinging to the plastic is crank and not rat poison, and waking up the next day -- that horrible, horrible sun-also-rises morning after -- broke and twitchy, arguing over what more they can sell off to keep the party going and who they can blame for their gone-to-shit lives.
-- to the "Fuck The World" thrillride of monkey-gland-extract-horse-tranquillize-and-raw-heroin injected directly into the eyeball that was the Trump administration, the trajectory of the modern Republican party has been the steeply plunging trajectory of hopelessly addicted bigots and imbeciles looking for the ultimate high.
And the various amoral media scumbags and political vampires who deal it to them in exchange for money and power.
So no matter what happens in 2022 or 2024 there will be no Republican Autopsy 2.0 recommending compassion and reaching out to groups the GOP has traditionally demonized, because hate is the GOP's rocket fuel. They won't even dust off the Republican Autopsy 1.0 unless they think there might be some yummy-yummy methamphetamines hiding in there. Because win or lose, there is simply not enough electoral firepower anywhere to deal the thoroughly entrenched, depraved and gerrymandered GOP the kind of repeated, crushing defeats by huge margins that it would take to scare them them into sobering up.
Decades of Gingrich-style politics, Limbaugh-style propaganda and David Brooks-style Both Siderism have done their work. The monstrous pathologies of the Republican party we see before us now are more-or-less the same pathologies we will be dealing with a decade from now.
So anyone trying to put together a New Republican party will still need the four "M"s: Money, Media, Party Machinery and the Mob. And because there are no previously untapped sources for any of these essentials, anyone trying to cobble together a competing Republican party will be forced to build it using the same old toxic ingredients.
Like Chopped, except the basket is full of Tucker Carlsons, Dan Bonginos and these assholes:
And they're going to have to find a way to use all of them.
So what do we know about the Four "M"s.
We know that fascist capital is patient capital and that Republican megadonors will continue to throw money at anyone/everyone they think will advance their financial and ideological interests. So as long as the competing Republican party organizers swear to keep obeying the will of their oligarch funders, money will not be a problem.
As for the media, as the past six years have proven, any Republican who comes within a country mile of suggesting that Donald Trump is a shithead is guaranteed to become a Beltway media darling. And as long as they ride the party line of "On January 6th Trump did a bad thing, but overall his administration was awesome and we should keep going where he led us" they'll pick up a lot of support from the Fox News/Hate Radio world.
Now, as to the mob, remember that the mob is the party. They're called the "base" because they are the foundation on which everything else -- all of Conservative media, every Republican's political career, the autocratic dreams of every megadonor -- is built. And the defining feature of the base of any future Republican party will continue to be a seething hatred of the Left. And "Left" will continue to mean whatever the Republican Ministry of Propaganda needs it to mean at any given moment. Also, the average Republican would choose death by one million spider bites over ever admitting they were ever wrong about anything. No kidding. They can't do it. And finally, the Republican base will continue to be a shitpile of bigots and imbeciles who will go reliably ballistic should anyone even hint that they are, in fact, bigots and imbeciles.
So, the trick to recruiting this powderkeg of rage, racism, grievance and denial is to avoid speaking the ugly truth about them at all costs. Instead, any competing Republican party must manufacture an alibi for the mob's behavior over the past six years: a tasty myth to both flatter the egos of the mob and give the Beltway media something it will happily promulgate.
A myth in which the base isn't a mob of knuckle-dragging racists who found their Fascist Messiah in Donald Trump, but are instead noble patriots who were cruelly misled into bad behavior by a wicked con man.
An myth which will sound almost exactly like this.
Liz Cheney: Donald Trump knows that millions of Americans who supported him would stand up and defend our nation were it threatened. They would put their lives and their freedom at stake to protect her and he is preying on their patriotism. He is preying on their sense of justice. And on January 6th Donald Trump turned their love of country into a weapon against our Capital and our Constitution.
Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms.
Just ask Adam Kinzinger:
Kinzinger says in 10 yrs he thinks "you're not gonna be able to find a single person that admits to supporting or voting for Donald Trump in this country. Because they're gonna be embarrassed, because their kids are gonna say, 'you actually supported Trump? Are you kidding me?'" pic.twitter.com/sxbgMOv7OV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 22, 2022
Oh wait. Now it's five years.
I mean, it was a pretty solid hearing. We also nailed Trump as a stain on American history.— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) July 24, 2022
In 5 years nobody will be admitting they supported him.
Cheney, Kinzinger Confident They Nailed MSNBC Audition | Babylon Bee https://t.co/xjUDY16Taa
But it won't be ten years, or five years. I made that mistake back in 2006 when I was young and optimistic and predicted that it would take five whole years for the GOP blot out all memory of George W. Bush.
As I mentioned yesterday, the eradication and revision of recent Republican political history is going to be a little more complicated this time around since, unlike Bush, Trump has no intention of quietly slinking offstage and taking up a new career as a shitty painter. But you can rest assured that titanic media, financial and political forces are quietly aligning to move Trump far enough out of the limelight so that a newly upgraded Bush-Off Machine can be wheeled out to do its terrible work. In fact, an early, upscale prototype of the Trump-Off Machine has already been in successful operation since 2016.
Because the Prime Directive of the Right was, is and ever shall be that you and I and the rest of the Left are the Single Greatest Existential Threat to the nation, and sooner or later the base's love of Trump will be eclipsed by their undying hatred of us. And as Trump's grip on the party declines, those who have proven their bona fides by declaring that we on the Left are "pure evil" will be ascendent.
Y'know, like this person.
Democrats meet Liz Cheney:— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) July 6, 2022
The Vice Chair of the @January6thCmte believes that Democrats are "killing babies AFTER they're born" and are the "face of pure evil" and that Democrats will create "maternity wards turned into killing fields" if not stopped.pic.twitter.com/qXy9iPZ8bF
And the new, Lefty-hating ascendent class of Republican heroes will find no greater allies than all of those recently-former Republicans who -- surprise! -- have already successfully colonized the media. If you've ever listened to them talking amongst themselves about the plight of the nation, they make no secret of their utter contempt for their "allies" on the Left. They positively ache to get back to the good old profitable days when they could shit on the Left without caveats and exceptions.
And of course the mainstream media will fall dutifully in line because at this point they're so desperate to get back to singing from their Both Sides Do It hymnal they're ready to anoint literally any Republican as Serious and Sensible who isn't publicly goose-stepping and throwing out Hitler salutes.
And as to the party machinery, well that'll be the easiest of all. First, because the Trump administration has proven that most party aparats will eagerly debase themselves in the most humiliating way in exchange for money and status, and once a competing Republican party has established that it has both Republican donor money and media clout, the resumes will come pouring in. And second, because the work of porting over much of the existing Republican party middle management has already begun, thanks once again to all of those Never Trumpers who have been rewarded with premium seating in media!
Having been anointed by the media as the apex of America's moral and political high ground, our Never Trump "allies" have set themselves up in the redemption business as the sole distributor of political indulgences ("Boom Times Are Coming to the Indulgence Factory"). They and only they may now decide which Republicans are born again pure and ready to return to duty, and which are so far over the as to be beyond salvation.
And the Alert Reader has probably noticed how far that bright, red line has moved over the past six years.
At first anyone not calling Trump a poopy head by 2016 was persona non grata.
Then it was 2017 and Charlottesville and all the rest
Then it was 2018 and Helsinki and all the rest.
Then it was 2019 and kids in cages...and all the rest.
Then it was 2020 and as long as you didn't vote for him again you could be in the club.
And that bright, red line between Saved and Damned just kept slipping.
Where did you stand after the first impeachment?
Well what about the second impeachment?
Well...as long as you weren't actively huffing Trump's shit-streaked Underoos after January 6th.
But what if I still think to this day that Trump did an awesome job except for the insurrection thingie?
OK, fine. Sure. You can still be in the club Mr. Pottinger --
I'm also very proud of President Trump's foreign policy accomplishments. We were able to finally compete with China. We were also able to broker peace agreements between Israel and — and three Arab states. I mean, those are some examples of the types of policies that I think made our country safer.
-- and yes, Mr. Bowers, you can still be in the club too:
Yet the day before, in an interview with The Associated Press, Bowers threw a curveball. Despite bravely speaking out against Trump’s election interference, he insisted he’d still vote for him in 2024. “If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again,” Bowers said. “Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the country. In my view it was great.”
The timetable for all of this is not yet set, because Trump himself remains a wild card. But sooner rather than later you and I will wake to find that all of our "Party over Country", "It's Not About Left or Right" allies-of-convenience have used the time they spent crashed on our sofa, eating out food and bitching about our housekeeping habits to forge a newer, nastier Republican ax with which to carve out our hearts.