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?


Saturday, July 15, 2017


Conservatives without conscience again

by Tom Sullivan

Link to tweet here.

After decades of accusations from conservatives that the American left advances reprehensible moral relativism, this week we saw that the real sin was having morals of any kind. What the Trump family modeled for the world this week is what it looks like to have none. Watergate veteran John Dean warned during the Bush II administration of the rise of "Conservatives Without Conscience." The Trumps consider that lack a plus.

"What stood out most in the interview was the moral emptiness of the president’s son," Slate's William Saletan wrote after Donald Trump Jr. appeared with Sean Hannity to explain away his meeting last June with a Russian emissary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. What looks to be a willingness to conspire with a hostile foreign power to undermine an American election, Trump Jr. dismissed as no big deal. “That’s what we do in business. If there’s information out there, you want it." He might have done things differently, but he'd done nothing wrong.

President Trump remarked, “I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting.” Most people named Trump.

Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin disagrees. She builds on an earlier column from David Brooks accusing the Trumps of being naked capitalists with “no attachment to any external moral truth or ethical code.” Rubin sees a much deeper rot underneath the Republican standard-bearer, a party animated by decades of demonization of the Other, by a distorted sense of reality — indeed, the party has constructed an alternative one more to its liking — and by a pervasive and conditioned sense of victimhood. Mixed with Clinton derangement. "Only in the crazed bubble of right-wing hysteria," she writes, "does an ethically challenged, moderate Democrat become a threat to Western civilization and Trump the salvation of America." Rubin continues:

We have always had in our political culture narcissists, ideologues and flimflammers, but it took the 21st-century GOP to put one in the White House. It took elected leaders such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Republican National Committee (not to mention its donors and activists) to wave off Trump’s racists attacks on a federal judge, blatant lies about everything from 9/11 to his own involvement in birtherism, replete evidence of disloyalty to America (i.e. Trump’s “Russia first” policies), misogyny, Islamophobia, ongoing potential violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause (along with a mass of conflicts of interests), firing of an FBI director, and now, evidence that the campaign was willing to enlist a foreign power to defeat Clinton in the presidential election.

Out of its collective sense of victimhood came the GOP’s disdain for not just intellectuals but also intellectualism, science, Economics 101, history and constitutional fidelity. If the Trump children became slaves to money and to their father’s unbridled ego, then the GOP became slaves to its own demons and false narratives. A party that has to deny climate change and insist illegal immigrants are creating a crime wave — because that is what “conservatives” must believe, since liberals do not — is a party that will deny Trump’s complicity in gross misconduct. It’s a party as unfit to govern as Trump is unfit to occupy the White House. It’s not by accident that Trump chose to inhabit the party that has defined itself in opposition to reality and to any “external moral truth or ethical code.”
I'll note that the Republican party continues to press forward in a near-Ahabish pursuit of abolishing Obamacare and immiserating millions of Americans so it can pass tax cuts for its wealthy patrons. Two (and maybe a few more) of its senators may yet have "what passes for a crisis of conscience" in balking at passing "savage cuts" to Medicaid in the repeal bill, according to Ford Vox, a physician specializing in rehabilitation medicine and a journalist writing for CNN. He observes the same empathy-challenged nature Dean reported from Robert Altemeyer's research on authoritarians:
What neither side [of the GOP split] acknowledges, nor even seems aware of, is another moral divide that exists in the shadow of the Medicaid battle. It is created by politicians who cannot resist offering extraordinary, extremely expensive and rickety lifelines to individuals whose suffering makes the TV news. At the same time, they are entertaining dramatic and life-wrecking cuts to the basic humanitarian care we provides to millions of poor Americans -- children, disabled and elderly.

They'll spare no expense when there's a name and a face behind a need, but if they don't know for sure which of their fellow citizens might benefit, pennies get pinched, and dollars slashed.
And that's why you will be going back to your phones and faxes again this weekend.