erik lundegaard


Wednesday March 04, 2020

Why the GOP is Awful and Keeps Winning

From “No More Nice Dems” by Joseph O‘Neill at The New York Review of Books: conventional measures, and certainly by comparison with the Clinton and Obama administrations, the national GOP has long been a disaster. Every Republican administration from Reagan onward has crashed the economy and exploded deficits. (Trump has already achieved the latter.) Their track record on health care is one of failure. Their handling of national security has been catastrophic (see the September 11 attacks, the rise of ISIS, Trump-Russia, climate change). Their criminality and corruption is scandalous: fraud, perjury, bribery, Boland Amendment violations during the Iran–contra affair, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, theft, and misuse of public funds are just some of the crimes committed by Republican administration officials and operatives—and that’s without counting those chalked up under Nixon and Trump.

I should recite that every morning until I have it memorized. We all should.

O‘Neill goes on to talk about how, despite all the above, the GOP keeps winning but I can’t access that part of the article since it's under a paywall. I should just pay but I already subscribe to so many. Can you buy an issue? Wouldn't that be nice? Like off a newsstand? I haven't seen it as an option. I hope that's the point of Joseph O‘Neill’s article. I hope we‘re going there. 

I have my own answers as to why the GOP keeps winning. Something like: Fox News, Kochs, Mercers, Rush. Mix with ruthlessness. Rich people pay for propaganda, propaganda works, and don’t give a fuck. It's also why the criminality and corruption. They break the rules to win. They break the rules to rule. Power is all. They don't give a fuck. 

Not so with Dems. We already know that but do we really know that? Last Friday I was having drinks with friends and got into the world's most boring argument: We rehashed 2016 again. It was the whole “Bernie woulda won” argument when Hillary did win (by 3 million) and would‘ve won the electoral college if not for 1) Comey, 2) Russia, 3) Bernie Bros. I know. I shouldn’t have even gone there—last Friday or here—and that's not the point. It was an annoyance but not the point. The point is that both of my friends planned to vote for Elizabeth Warren in the Washington state primary, and told me that my Joe Biden choice, already made, was “throwing my vote away.” I believed them. Last Friday I believed them. And now look. And no, wait, that's not the point, either, that's just another annoyance. The point, damnit, is that for a time last year one of my friends volunteered for Warren. He thought she was the best, smartest candidate who would make the best, smartest president, but he stopped volunteering for her; and I asked him why he stopped volunteering for her, and why her support suddenly eroded. She seemed to be flying high there for a while, right? What happened? And my friend said in one debate she prevaricated on whether taxes needed to be raised for her programs, and Bernie didn't (he said yes), and that's why he stopped volunteering for her and why he felt her support suddenly eroded. 

That one answer in one primary debate.

God, we want perfection. Imagine Trump supporters falling away because he gave one wrong in one primary debate. He gives so many wrong answers he is a wrong answer. He's the wrongest answer this country has ever produced and his support has never fallen away. Because money + propaganda + ruthlessness.

Democrats have money but they don't have the 24/7 propaganda machine. But they can get ruthless. And need to.

Posted at 08:16 AM on Wednesday March 04, 2020 in category Politics