New: by rejecting consequences for Trump for the #CapitolRiots & welcoming #MarjorieTaylorGreene into their caucus Congressional Rs are crystalizing an ominous question: Has the extremist wing of the GOP coalition grown too big for the party to confront?https://t.co/JyATDSSXsc— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) February 14, 2021
“Ah, my friends, we say not one word against those who live upon the Atlantic Coast, but the hardy pioneers who have braved all the dangers of the wilderness, who have made the desert to blossom as the rose – the pioneers away out there (pointing to the west), who rear their children near to Nature’s heart, where they can mingle their voices with the voices of the birds, out there where they have erected schoolhouses for the education of their young, churches where they praise their Creator, and cemeteries where rest the ashes of their dead – these people, we say, are as deserving of the consideration of our party as any people in this country.
It is for these that we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest. We are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned. We have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded. We have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came.
We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!”
William Jennings Bryan, “Cross of Gold” Speech, 1896
America’s two major political parties occasionally go through realignments. New grand issues arise, dead issues are laid to rest, old coalitions break down and new governing philosophies emerge to replace defunct ones as the electorate resorts until it reaches a new equilibrium. It is a cyclical process that tends to happen about every fifty years or so. We’re just at the end of the Reagan era.
“While “there were numerous opportunities over the last four years for historically mainstream Republicans to throw the switch and find an exit ramp,” he adds, the attitudes Trump has solidified in the GOP base now make that much harder. “Trump and Trumpism is now a runaway train that is not going to be easily derailed within the Republican Party,” he says. …
The new American Enterprise Institute study underlines his conclusion, according to previously unpublished data provided to CNN. In that survey, a striking three-fourths of Republicans agreed with the statement that discrimination against Whites is now as great a problem in the US as discrimination against Blacks and other minorities. Social scientists view agreement with that question as a measure of denial of the existence of systemic racism in American society.
The big majority of Republicans who consider discrimination against Whites as great a problem as discrimination against minorities were far more likely than those who disagree to endorse anti-democratic ideas. More than three-fifths of those worried about discrimination against Whites agreed that “we may have to use force” to save “the traditional American way of life.” Among the Republicans who believe minorities face more discrimination than Whites, nearly three-fourths disagreed with that statement. Nearly half of the Republicans who see widespread bias against Whites say Americans must consider violent action; almost four-fifths of the other Republicans reject that idea.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the American Enterprise Institute survey also found that anti-democratic and extremist attitudes had penetrated most deeply in the portions of the GOP coalition that have provided the most die-hard support for Trump, including Republican voters without college degrees and White Christian evangelicals. Nearly three-fifths of White evangelical Christian Republicans said Antifa was mostly responsible for the attack on the Capitol, Cox found. …”
In light of the numbers that I have seen lately, which are a reaction to the BLM and Antifa riots and the embrace by the political, cultural and corporate establishment of the systematic racism conspiracy theory, I suspect that a “war on white supremacy” could backfire … like big time.
“For four years, Donald Trump downplayed the risk of white-supremacist violence and denied that racial bias is pervasive in law enforcement. In a single, searing day, the assault on the U.S. Capitol exposed the price of both of those choices—and may have provided Joe Biden new political momentum for reversing direction on each front.
At once, the rioters demonstrated how much the threat of white extremism has metastasized under Trump, while the restrained police response vivified a racial double standard in policing. The attack could strengthen the case for systemic police reform, both through congressional action and a revival of Justice Department oversight of local police practices that the Trump administration essentially shelved. Representative Karen Bass of California, the lead sponsor of a police-reform bill that passed the House last summer, told me she believes that the lower chamber will approve a new version “within the first quarter” of 2021. “This was yet another example in the disparity of treatment between African Americans and others,” Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of the NAACP, told me. “This is yet another example of how police agencies viewed citizens differently.” …”
No one gives a shit what George Will or David French or The Bulwark thinks. It is like Baseball Crank’s big essay on the history of conservative liberalism … people in their seventies are reading that stuff.
“The key figure in that process was William F. Buckley Jr., the conservative intellectual and founder of National Review, the right’s leading journal at the time. Though Welch had been a friend and financial supporter, Buckley came to view his unbalanced extremism as a threat to conservatism, and over time he wrote a succession of editorials and newspaper columns trying to excommunicate the Birchers from the movement. “Buckley believed [that] before he could make conservatism dominant in the Republican Party, he had to be able to compete on equal terms with the moderates and with respectable liberal opinion,” says Geoffrey Kabaservice, the author of Rule and Ruin, a history of moderate Republicans, and the director of political studies at the libertarian Niskanen Center. “It was really important for him for conservatism to be respectable and not tainted by association with these extremists. Buckley understood there is a price to be paid for tolerating people like that.” Contained, if not directly confronted, by this generation of Republicans, the John Birch Society’s institutional strength declined after the 1960s (though the group still operates today). …
The response among conservative media organs and right-leaning intellectuals to GOP extremism is very different now. Compared with the Birch era, thinkers on the right are doing “less policing of the borders” between conservatism and extremism, as Bill Kristol, the longtime conservative political strategist, put it succinctly. Buckley’s successors at National Review have condemned QAnon and Greene (even if they’ve blunted that message by relentlessly insisting that conservatives are being unfairly persecuted for their views, as Kabaservice notes). Right-leaning anti-Trump outlets such as The Bulwark have been unequivocal. But the most powerful voices on the right—Fox News and talk-radio hosts—have done backflips to avoid disowning Greene and other radical voices. Tucker Carlson has suggested that criticism of QAnon’s bizarre beliefs represents a step toward “tyranny … and dictatorship.”
/ Jewish hysteria.
Essentially what I said though about the power shift going on within the GOP.
We’ve come full circle.
Fifty years of neoliberalism has returned us to the Gilded Age.
Look at it this way: we’re going back to populism vs. progressivism, nationalism vs. imperialism, republicanism vs. technocracy, traditionalism vs. modernism, workers vs. plutocracy.
The age of the television and print newspaper was the age of the Boomer. Some people got a little too accustomed to talking down to the masses in the late 20th century. They don’t like it that much that the masses can now talk to each other and back to them … if necessary in encrypted apps. Isn’t that a good thing though for “our democracy” that ordinary people can communicate can talk, debate and arrive at their own conclusions rather than just absorbing television narratives and slick campaign ads?
Am I the only one besides Thomas Frank who sees the parallels between the Trump panic and the establishment meltdown over William Jennings Bryan?
Note: If over 6 out of 10 Trump voters believe in the importance of sticking up for the White race like we do now, what is the “far right”? What is “extremism”?