Sure they’ll run from him if he loses. We can’t let them do that again. They own him.

Sure they'll run from him if he loses. We can't let them do that again. They own him.

by digby

Yesterday former Obama official Austan Goolsbee said this on Lawrence O'Donnell's show:

Remember in the [2016] campaign we had the conversation, and I said we needed to start following what I called the "Trump Policy Directive," which is we should not spend any more time talking about Trump's policy ideas than he spent coming up with them. And at the end of this sentence, we've already violated that directive.

Throughout the campaign, it was totally obvious that what he was saying was complete nonsense. It's a fraud wrapped in quackery inside of a bamboozle. The things that he promised were self-contradictory. And there are people that wanted to believe, and I think now, as various parts of what has been a strong economy start to slow down, we start to see some yellow lights, people even talking about the dreaded "r" word of recession, I think a lot of those people that wanted to believe are by the end of his term going to be acting like they never knew him, they had nothing to do with him, just like no one remembers having voted for Richard Nixon.

They'll try for sure.

14 years ago I discussed how the Republicans were turning on George W. Bush and how that was entirely predictable.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

An Observation From Highpockets 

by digby  
[John Hindraker or the conservative Powerline blog] wrote: 
For reasons I don't fully understand, there is something about "leaders," especially self-appointed leaders, and most especially those who are drawn to intensive participation in organizations, that tends toward liberalism. We see this in politics all the time, of course: it is one thing to vote for conservatism, something else entirely to get it from our elected leaders.

All of which makes me especially thankful, this year, for democracy, limited government and free enterprise: the best measures yet devised to protect us from our leaders.

I'm seeing a lot of this lately. Movement conservatives are getting ready to write the history of this era as liberalism once again failing the people. Typically, the conservatives were screwed, as they always are. They must regroup and fight for conservatism, real conservatism, once again. Viva la revolucion!

There is no such thing as a bad conservative. "Conservative" is a magic word that applies to those who are in other conservatives' good graces. Until they aren't. At which point they are liberals.

Get used to the hearing about how the Republicans failed because they weren't true conservatives. Conservatism can never fail. It can only be failed by weak-minded souls who refuse to properly follow its tenets. It's a lot like communism that way. 

A year later, it was building:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Back To Their Natural State

by digby

Peggy Noonan is signaling (along with a lot of others) that it's time to purge the Bushmen:
There remains a broad, reflexive, and very Republican kind of loyalty to George Bush. He is a war president with troops in the field. You can see his heart. He led us in a very human way through 9/11, from the early missteps to the later surefootedness. He was literally surefooted on the rubble that day he threw his arm around the retired fireman and said the people who did this will hear from all of us soon.

Images like that fix themselves in the heart. They're why Mr. Bush's popularity is at 38%. Without them it wouldn't be so high.

But there's unease in the base too, again for many reasons. One is that it's clear now to everyone in the Republican Party that Mr. Bush has changed the modern governing definition of "conservative."

He did this without asking. He did it even without explaining. He didn't go to the people whose loyalty and support raised him high and say, "This is what I'm doing, this is why I'm changing things, here's my thinking, here are the implications." The cynics around him likely thought this a good thing. To explain is to make things clearer, or at least to try, and they probably didn't want it clear. They had the best of both worlds, a conservative reputation and a liberal reality.

And Republicans, most of whom are conservative in at least general ways, and who endure the disadvantages of being conservative because they actually believe in ideas, in philosophy, in an understanding of the relation of man and the state, are still somewhat concussed. The conservative tradition on foreign affairs is prudent realism; the conservative position on borders is that they must be governed; the conservative position on high spending is that it is obnoxious and generationally irresponsible. Etc.

This is not how Mr. Bush has governed. And so in the base today personal loyalty, and affection, bumps up against intellectual unease.

"He did it without asking." Poor Peggy, she was given a political Roofie and taken against her will. I've said it before but I'm going to say it again. Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. 

The Republicans have fielded five presidents since 1968 and only one of them can be considered politically successful. One out of five. The rest have crashed and burned each time on incompetence, corruption or some combination of the two. I think it's fair to say that neither the modern Republican party or the conservative movement is capable of governance. And there's a reason for that.

I wrote this a while back:
The movement conservatives are not really very comfortable on the inside. Witness their absurd appeal above. It's all about the "permanent revolution" for them, even to the extent that they could ridiculously defend Tom DeLay as innocent, upright and under seige from powerful liberal factions less than a year ago. They seem to have realized that it won't work any longer and it's time to begin the conservative purification rituals if they want to keep the revolution alive.

This is why I don't want any of us to think for a moment that winning and losing elections means the same thing to us as it means to them. Democrats believe in government and they want to make it work. Republicans see government purely as a means to exert power. Unfortunately, they are not very good at that because in the modern world sheer, dumb might is no longer possible. The best they can do is loot the treasury and leave the rest of their mess to be cleaned up by the Democrats. 

What they really excel at is politics. Governance just hangs them up. And don't think for a moment that they will be chagrined or ashamed and crawl off into a hole to lick their wounds. Being defeated liberates them to do what they are really good at --- destroying the opposition and pushing their agenda with sophisticated, scorched earth political rhetoric. It's not natural for them to be on the defense and they don't like it. They are going back to their natural state --- victimhood and the aggressive attack. 

Get ready. The Democrats will not only have to govern, but they will have to fix all the problems they've created while fighting them every step of the way. They're not going away. And they will pull out every stop to win every election, not because they necessarily want to govern but because that's how you keep score. For a long, long time they've been able to get their way whether they win or lose and they see no reason to doubt that will continue. And unless we put a stop to this they might be right.

This is why Trump really needs to be pursued to the ends of the earth and the Republicans must be made to own what they have done. If the Democrats don't do it this time, the GOP will just do what they always do. Considering the fiery trainwreck in the current White House and congress, this time we might not survive.