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JHB's Journal
JHB's Journal
June 23, 2018

Then he's still denying what actually happened, trying to wipe off the fingerprints...

George is a conservative. The "Big C" Conservative Movement kind.

The very people who insisted Republicans get with the program or be driven out of office. It's what they did to the Rockefeller Republicans in the 70s and 80s. And did it pretty damn gleefully.

When Poppy Bush wheezed the last gasp of of semi-authentic Republican "fiscal conservatism" by signing a too-small tax increase because the cherished 1986 tax reform was blowing an even bigger hole in the budget than earlier Reaganite cuts did, conservatives crucified him. And kept pounding the nails all through his presidency.

To get all the items on the Conservative Movement wish list, George's friends and colleagues played on voters' fears (especially bigoted voters' fears), said liberals and Democrats would make those fears come true, capitulate to the Soviets, be puppets of the Russians, and destroy the nation, while Republicans would stave off the end of civilization and restore us to our former glory (hey, don't that remind you of something?).

This all happened in the heyday of George Will's career, and he was fine with it. He and his fellow Movement Conservatives still thought it wasn't enough. When the Democratic candidate for president described himself as "pro-business", it wasn't an occasion to celebrate bringing an opponent closer to their point of view. No, they needed to demonize him, question his legitimacy, and throw up a fogbank of steam rising from great mountains of bullshit, lest they face pressure to compromise and have to sacrifice the biggest item in their wish list, destroying every last remnant of the New Deal and restoring the Gilded Age.

The Republicans aren't a party of invertebrates, George. You and your fellow conservatives transformed the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Ahab, and any among you who questioned the wisdom of hunting the White Whale were thrown overboard. When those people were fish-fodder, the ones who clove to norms and looked mildly askance at some of the excessively uncivil rhetoric were brought to heel or brought under the keel.

Think that's an exaggeration? For how may decades did any Republican who was even mildly critical of Rush Limbaugh jump to be on his show within 48 hours,doing qualifying runs for Olympic backpedaling?

Your elected officials are spineless, George, because they are your apparatchiks.

You're a conservative, George, and the Republican party is in the state it is in because your people made it that way. Good on ya for saying "elect Democrats", but don't pretend you and all of your NeverTrump colleagues didn't spend your entire careers preparing your party to embrace him.

No Disowning.

June 10, 2018

Tom Nichols: It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters...

...It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy.

Full thread starting with:

Tom Nichols‏ @RadioFreeTom
It's not that I disagree about policy with Trump supporters. It's that I know they don't give a shit about policy. There's no way to have a policy argument with people whose eyes are always looking up to the television for a cue from Dear Leader about what to say next. /1

As @JVLast once said, Trumpism is non-falsifiable. Whatever Trump does is right. There are no principled arguments to be had, because if Trump changes his mind or tweets something off the wall, Trumpers change their position immediately. /2

This would basically be a cult except for one thing: most Trumpers do not believe their own bullshit. Yes, some of them really are stupid enough to think Trump is a good man and all that crap, but most of them are only interested in Trump as a vehicle of social disruption. /3

Trump's smarter enablers see him as an equalizer, a way to put them on an equal footing with "elites" - oh, that word - who they think look down on them. Thing is, the elites *do* look down on them. For good reason. Most of Trump's sycophants are second raters, at best. /4

For them, Trump is their shot. They know he's, um, emotionally disordered, to use @Peter_Wehner's term, but they don't care: this is their one chance to grab the car keys and throw a kegger before Mom and Dad get back home. That makes talking with them about policy impossible. /5

So if it seems like I don't engage Trump's enablers on the merits of this or that Trump policy, it's because I can't take Trump's "policies" any more seriously than Trump or his minions do. It's either pure stupidity or pure careerism, and either way, it's a waste of time. /6

Yes, there are people in government trying to hold everything together. I salute them and hope they can keep the ship afloat. But they can't make policy either. They can issue directives and hope for the best, mostly hoping Trump doesn't notice and overrule them via tweet. /7

I think we'd all be less exhausted if the Trumpers would just admit that what they value from Trump is the social leveling effect he has, forcing intelligent people to respond endlessly to stupid comments and bad ideas, than continue pretending they care about "policy." /8

For myself, I am resigned that Trump will be president for as long as he's president. How it ends is up to the voters. But I don't see the need to engage in the cynical bullshittery of arguing policy with people who will change their minds on anything in nanoseconds. /9

And for the love of God, don't tell me about what Trump's Real 'Muricans in the Heartland want. I know what they want: more government action, including money, delivered with a smile, inflated respect, and pity, earned or not. Those are utterly pointless discussions too. /10

Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do. He's not liberal or conservative. It's all just the blurted thoughts of an angry, frightened man who won an office he didn't really want. We have to get through it, but we don't have to pretend we're arguing about real things. /11x

I have to disagree on that last point. Trump is very much a conservative, and conservatives have spent 50 years building a voter base that gave Trump more Republican primary votes than anyone in history. They don't get to disown him.
June 2, 2018

Professional Left Podcast - Ep 443: The Whole GOP is 'That Illuminati Guy'

The Professional Left Podcast, with Driftglass and Blue Gal
Conspiracy theories like “Beyonce is the Illuminati something” are the Republican Party, and have been for longer than Trump. What does Jeff Sessions have on Trump? Roseanne is not as important as expanding Medicaid (congratulations Virginia!) And we do not support Rod B’s pardon. More at http://ProLeftPod.com

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