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Hullabaloo


Thursday, December 10, 2015

 
We tried to warn you ...

by digby


This is a nice piece by Brian Beutler on the fact that liberals (and even centrists) have been trying to warn the GOP of the danger of going down the path they've gone:

While closing the country to foreign Muslims altogether is a radical idea relative to our founding ideals and current policy, it is but an incremental step relative to the outer bounds of legitimate debate in the GOP primary. Republican presidential candidates have supported discriminating against Muslims in our refugee policy, and opposed the very notion of a Muslim-American president, all without subjecting themselves to universal condemnation. The most surprising part of the latest Trump story is that it proves a Republican candidate can take Islamophobia too far for his party’s tastes.

For most liberals, and for the Trump-backing or Trump-curious segments of the right, the Trump phenomenon needs little further explanation. The only people who claim to be befuddled by the Trump phenomenon are officials on knife-edge in the party he leads.

On the left, the view that Republicans allowed the conservative grassroots to turn their party into a political action committee for white ressentiment has evolved over the years from an argument into a creed. Since at least 2012, liberals have been warning (at times mockingly, but never disingenuously) that by indulging and at times fanning the hostilities and procedural extremism of this part of their coalition, Republicans were letting expediency get the better of them.


Actually liberals have been issuing this warning for a lot longer than that. One might even say forever. But this specific spasm of outrageous extremism really hit its stride in 1998 when it impeached a duly elected president over a personal indiscretion and turned politics into an embarrassing tabloid obsession. This may seem like a trivial thing now but it was their first serious foray into the breaking of norms and rules of governance that had up to that point kept the system running with at least baseline efficiency. When they pulled out their partisan IEDs in the 2000 election they proved all bets were off.

This form of slash and burn politics has always been part of American politics on some level but this latest iteration hit warp speed in the 1980s when Gingrich and the back benchers, followed by right wing media, started making their move. Trump is the inevitable result.

.