Plus: Remembering what the Iraq War was like, 20 years later.
Thanks to The Bulwark and You Charlie for keeping things understood and in our minds at all times. Keep it up!
Rock Wilson! He paints a picture more true than any amount of sincere bloviating.
When the beards show up with their guns, drop napalm on them.
Lt. Col. Selber asks us to initiate conversations with veterans of the recent wars. I would happily do so, but I remember the warnings I received as a boy in the 1950s, to be very careful about asking WWII veterans about their war experiences. Every adult man I knew as a boy was a veteran, including my father. When I noticed Marine Corps memorabilia in a friend's house, he gave me a stern warning not to ask his father about it. My son-in-law is a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, but I hesitate to to bring up his deployments. I worry that it might provoke fearful thoughts and memories in one who has already suffered enough.
Of course, Dev, every point you make is powerfully right!
I do not advocate abandoning Ukraine, as the Russian-funded GOP argues for. I do not agree with caving in to any bully dictator.
But I direct your attention to my phrase—IF we were a rational race—WHICH WE CLEARLY ARE NOT.
If that fatal dominance/arrogance/ego aggrandizing part of our psychology had been tempered by healthier instincts, then Putin, Xi, *Rump, KimJong-un, Assad, Netanyahu and the whole gang of psychos would wake up from their feverdream and comprehend that the planet and our species face a critical existential threat. THEN we would find a way to agree to cease the dangerous practice of war.
In the current context, you are sadly right. We must stand up for freedom. But the cost will be dire.
So… here’s a question. How does any potential primary candidate expect to beat Trump in 2024 unless they’re willing to confront him on his legal problems? If the 2024 primary campaign becomes a cult of martyrdom where every other viable candidate is forced to kiss his ring and dutifully say, “yes, Mr Trump, you are a victim of fraud and political persecution,” then the implied conclusion is, “…and you should still be President and I can’t think of a single good reason any red blooded conservative voter shouldn’t return you to your rightful place in the White House.” They for out can’t beat him that way. This is conceding him a home field advantage and letting him set all the rules of debate.
If they want to win, I think they HAVE to push back on the victim complex on his legal troubles. They HAVE to be able to say, “if Republicans want the White House back, maybe they should consider voting for someone who isn’t facing felony prosecutions in several jurisdictions” with a straight face and be willing to at least suggest that Trump is responsible for his own legal problems. They have to puncture the messianic balloon and get out of the feedback loop that he’s self-evidently the chosen one and all the woke evil doers will do anything they can to keep him out of his rightful place. He’s simply not beatable in a Republican primary if they let him define it this way.
It’s hard not to think about people in other countries who risk their lives to do what’s right. Iranian women protesting. Chinese dissidents. They could literally be tortured and killed by the state. President Macron in France is doing something terribly unpopular that will make him a pariah in his own country. He’s doing it because he has a duty. Meanwhile tough talking come-and-get-my-guns Republicans won’t risk being attacked on Twitter and losing reelection. They are coddled, entitled and weak. Now we see how easily countries go from free to totalitarian. The political class cannot give up their comforts.
People don't always realize this, but in my home state of Massachusetts, which is one of the deepest blue states, we had mostly Republican governors in my lifetime. Competent, sane, effective. And I voted for more than a few of them because in those dimly remembered days, political party wasn't a religion and no one saw voting for the better candidate as anything but that. But today I wouldn't vote for the Republican even if he or she were sane and competent and the better candidate. Not now, not ever.
The piece on Iran is excellent, yet so sickening to read the reality of that situation next to the trump maga moronic shit show currently happening to American democracy.
C'mon America, mouth the words you know are true... Donald Trump is a putative fascist dictator to rival Adolf Hitler and he and all who enable him must be stopped, dead in their tracks. Godwin's Law be damned!
Enjoyed the podcast with Susan Glasser. You were talking about the magnitude of the Iraq mistake and how much it has cost this country and the world. George the Second and company deserve the direct (dis)credit for it but the original American mistake in this century was Bush v Gore. The conservatives on the bench gave the presidency to the GOP because, well, they certainly couldn't give it to the Dems, despite the merits or the overall popular vote.
9/11 would still have happened, and probably some version of Afghanistan, but it would have likely been seen through to conclusion rather than ignored to chase Saddam from power. Iraq would not have happened.
We would also likely have had much more robust action on climate change at a time before it was too late.
It's only one instance among many since in which the Republicans have broken norms because they're not laws in pursuit of power, but it set the standard and the tone for the century ahead.
The conservative's unwillingness to honor the will of the voters is costing the county (world?) it's future.
With Trump. the worst is always yet to come.
From Benjamin Higgs at the Steve Schmidt Fan Club on Facebook..."If you are still supporting Donald Trump and the Clown Circus, you are smoking the drapes. I have been a Republican all my life. I am 72 years old. I wrote talking points for Jack Kemp. I am a veteran officer of the USMC 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and you have the idiotic audacity to support a malignant narcissist, racist, misogynist con man. He has ruined the Republican Party, that is nothing but a cult filled with inane and fatuous conspiracy manipulators as well as when they move their lips they are lying. You want to talk about dirty laundry? Under Trump at least 11 people who played a role in Trump’s presidential campaigns or his administration have been charged with crimes and convicted and the list is growing. You call Democrats sheep and snowflakes, but the real sheep and snowflakes are cultist like you who follow your shepherd Donald Trump. You are of an ilk that hate people of color and different ethnicity that refuse to accept the truth. Many of you complain that Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed. I would have not only blown her head off, but everyone around her. Their invasion of the U.S. Capitol was an act of war. The police had major restraint by not killing more of these home grown terrorists. Any spin Tucker Carlson puts on the video footage of the insurrection is Nazi propaganda supported by Kevin McCarthy. Furthermore McCarthy is nothing more than a follower and sycophant of Trump who has installed some of the dumbest idiots on the planet in committees that they do not have a clue. Jim Jordan doesn’t have a law degree and is Chairman of the Judiciary committee, Boebert thinks that 60,000 feet in the sky is one mile, Gaetz is a suspected sex trafficker, MTG is a blatant racist and there is George Santos. There are no words to describe Santos. I could go on and on. George Will one of the most conservative pundits in the country left the Republican Party in 2016 because of Trump’s nomination, as did Steve Schmidt and numerous others. Any argument you have is specious and filed with lies and conspiracy theories. Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan would NEVER tolerate this Fascist establishment."
Charlie, I know that you mean well, but it is clearly a bridge too far to conflagrate the 6 Jan "call to revolution" with the presidential trumpet and its specific, long-planned, specific location, date and time, and TFG's unhinged, 3rd rate social channel ranting about "Take our nation back" on the back of an unsubstantiated date (Tuesday) and total absence of where the nutcases have to go to help him. Besides, the vast majority of his loyal fanatical foot-soldiers, aka Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, et al, are currently unable to come to his aid due to a government paid for inability to leave their vacation digs.
I have to say I am still a bit surprised at the stupidity of GOP politicians who do not seem to realize the RESTRAINT of 320,000,000 Americans who have been patiently awaiting the Rule of Law to kick in and prove that there are NOT two systems of justice (or more), one for DJT and one for the rest of us, with a middle tier for All GOP enabling politicians unless they are lumped with the criminal DJT. The country could be done with this nonsense very quickly, the moment someone with a gun finally snaps from the decade of psychological abuse we have all been subjected to. I'm unsure whether Americans are tolerant and believe in the Constitution and its institutions or whether Americans are just comatose and moronically unintelligent and droolingly blithering at this point, but I'm fairly sure it's one or the other.
I am in the camp of having given up on America's political and law enforcement camps showing any honor or integrity or spine or indeed understanding of existential threats to our existence. I'm not even making popcorn for this one! I'm sick of watching dishonesty and dishonor and lack of morals and values and integrity and good character play out on the taxpayer's dime! It's like being a divorce lawyer for the whole damn country! At its worst, as divorces always are!
PS: There is only one bottom line here: Either America is a nation of laws and order or it is a nations of lawlessness and disorder; it cannot be both; and if/when DJT walks, and his mob is allowed to go home, we will once and for all know that America as we thought of her no longer exists. Mad Max has won!
I know it is useful for headline writing in particular, but perhaps the time has come to stop calling the Republican party the GOP? If it ever was grand (and I imagine it was at least in the days of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt), it certainly is no longer.
Yes, it's old, but its direct competitor, the Democratic Party, is older for whatever that matters, having been founded, you know, by Thomas Jefferson, an actual founding father.
Finally, is it really a party these days, or more of a rebel faction?
Time to place the moniker GOP in the dustbin of vocabulary history, I say.