Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, October 28, 2016


"Blunt force trauma with a loud, orange object"

by Tom Sullivan

The Republican Party's post-mortems have already begun. Cause of death: "blunt force trauma with a loud, orange object." So writes Julia Ioffee in Politico.

The candidacy of Donald Trump has exposed much of conservative ideology as as much a Potemkin village as Trump's campaign. Free trade and supply-side economics were only the lipstick applied to a much uglier Republican base. The neocons have "broken off," says conservative political scientist and commentator Peter Berkowitz. Gen-X "reformicons" who might have been the party's ideological future now see older party pragmatists willing to go along to get along as "collaborators." Mike Pence has disgraced himself in their eyes:

With less than two weeks until election day, this is what Republican agony sounds like. “I’ve never seen so many really smart people at a loss for what to do,” says the head of one prominent conservative think tank. “They’re pulling their hair out, to the extent they have any hair left.” Douglas Heye, a former RNC official and Eric Cantor staffer, rejects the word “collaborator.” “I don’t like that language. I don’t think it helps,” he told me. “I’ve been watching a French TV series about World War Two, and now I’m watching the part about the aftermath of the war where they’re trying to figure out who’s a collaborator, shaving women’s heads, etc.” The echo scares him. “I would like to see us sort out our difference in non-punitive ways,” he says.
The task ahead to salvage what is left of the party is daunting. Pete Wehner, a senior fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center, is apalled by what Trump's candidacy has revealed:
“The ugliness of those forces is real. The number of people who supported Trump is alarming. It turned out that those forces within the Republican Party were larger than what I had imagined.” He sees “a moral necessity” to hand Trump a humiliating defeat and to scrub out the uglier things he brought to the surface of American politics. But, like Soltis Anderson, he recognizes that splitting the two may prove a Solomonic task. “Is there a way to repudiate the worst of Trump—the nativistic, racist, misogynistic elements—and appeal to people whom he brought because of economic anxiety?” he asked. “It won’t be easy because he has loyal following. If you morally repudiate him—which has to happen—those people may decide they don’t want to be part of that.”
That economic anxiety is real. Neither party has adequately addressed it. Free college and debt forgiveness might appeal to millennials, but what of the working-class? Neither party has yet to address their concerns both for themselves and for their grandkids.

While I was electioneering the other day, a Republican candidate tried to start a debate over what to do about the changing economy. Automation is reducing the number of people needed to produce goods, he observed. He hinted at the same, old GOP concerns about government supports engendering dependency, and people needing incentives to work. But Republican orthodoxy either places blind faith in entrepreneurship as a cure-all, or consigns those without the gene for it to the ravages of social Darwinism. What do you do with all those people, I asked, how do we as a society adjust to a world in which there are no jobs for a large portion of 7 billion people? Thus ended the "debate." It is a question David Atkins has addressed here and here, and one which neither Republicans nor Democrats have yet engaged.

But getting back to the Republicans' conundrum, Grover Norquist argues (unintentionally in a Monty Pythonish way) that the GOP is not dead yet. As much as I hate to cite Norquist, he makes a point that too many progressive non-activists fail to grasp about the importance of down-ballot races for their futures:
“Back up and look at the map of 50 states,” says Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, the activist who has badgered hundreds of Republican politicians into signing a pledge never to vote for tax increases. “There are 31 states with Republican governors. Thirty-one where we have both houses of legislature; twenty-three where we have both houses of the legislature and the governorship. The Democrats have all of seven states where they have all three. That is a depth of Republican strength that is enduring. We really ought to have 60 senators on a bad day. The focus on the Presidential race alone give people a strange view of the miracle strength modern Republican Party.”
Miracle or not, those of us in states recently taken over by Republican and T-party legislatures know what damage this wounded party can still do. Damage neither President Hillary nor President Bernie can wipe away by executive action. Winning the hearts and minds of voters and regaining lost trust is a project both Republicans and Democrats need to undertake. The left will have to get over its fixation on the White House and focus more on the state house. For Republicans, Ioffee writes, repairing internal rifts will be harder if the "loud, orange object" starts a media company with a business model based on keeping the wounds open. He could prevent "Trump fans, the stand-pat establishment, and the conservative Jesuits" from resolving their differences.

Tough being you. But can Democrats do better?