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The “normalization” in the GOP is complete

The "normalization" in the GOP is complete

by digby


If you're looking for something to subscribe to that really offers real value for money, I urge you to consider subscribing to Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo for the insights he provides in his column. They truly are invaluable.

In his latest, he writes at length about the Kavanaugh process detailing how Mitch McConnell admitted that they thought they were in real trouble after Christine Blasey Ford's testimony and the evidence showing McGahn and Kavanaugh decided to go full Trump as a defense in response to it. And he observes that it worked. Bullying Trumpism is a winner.

I hope Josh won't mind if I share his conclusion (again, please subscribe!)

What this all means is that conservatism and the GOP are now Trumpism. More significantly it means that it is transferable. Others can pick up the mantle and make it work. This is hardly surprising. Last year Rep. Greg Gianforte body slammed a reporter days before his election and is now a Representative in good standing who is often praised for his physical toughness. Equally significant, Trumpism didn’t begin with Trump. I take some pride in the fact that I think this site has done as good a job as any news publication in the US over the last 18 years chronicling the rise of the revanchist right in the Republican party and the party’s subsequent transformation. The politics of aggression, norm-breaking, the penchant for conspiracy theories, the increasingly explicit white nationalism – these were all present in 2014, 2010 and in a more attenuated form in 2004. What Trump did was, through some malign and impulsive intuition, fused these together into a workable politics. He took what was still the underbelly of Republican politics, which nevertheless provided it with the bulk of the GOP’s motive force, and made it the face, the brand.

Kavanaugh himself is a noteworthy bridge. A scion of the beltway political elite who received the country’s finest elite education, he made his name in the Bush White House. He is the epitome of the pre-Trump conservative establishment. Yet we can see here how seamless the transition was to full Trumpism, as it was for all the Republicans Senators who rushed to his side after his Thursday afternoon performance.


They believe this is what their voters want and they believe that with the help of every means at hand, whether through vote suppression, gerrymandering and/or foreign assistance, they have enough of them to stay in power. Right now, they have a bare majority in the Senate. It's still quite likely they will keep it for the next two years and will do everything in their power to keep Trump out of trouble. In 2020, there will be 33 seats up for grabs --- 21 of which are currently held by Republicans. If Trump manages to make it through his first term, as he likely will unless something forces him to resign or he dies in office, he will hopefully be totally repudiated at the polls and likely take a bunch of those simpering sycophants down with him.

It's something to think about and work toward. It is vital to take the House in 2018 and there's a good chance the Democrats will do that. That spells the end of the Trump Party's legislative agenda and finally marks the beginning of some constitutionally mandated congressional oversight of this criminal in the White House. But even if they eke out a majority in the Senate, which would be great and stop Mitch McConnell's court-packing scheme, it won't be enough until they have been turned into a powerless rump minority. 

This rightward turn is global and it's terrifying. But the US is still the most powerful country in the world and can be an inspiration in righting our own ship and holding back the tide. At the very least we should be able to save ourselves.