I’m old enough to remember when Republicans called themselves “the party of personal responsibility” without immediately laughing their asses off at the absurdity of calling themselves that. Even when they might have been personally responsible, there were always caveats. Republicans were responsible with everyone else’s lives, habits and sexual organs.
People who judge others so relentlessly are always hypocrites. Comes with the territory — and the DNA.
Republicans judge others because all those others aren’t Republicans. Even if they are “Republican” by political choice, the absolute truth is, if you ask a “real” Republican about “those” Republicans? They’re more “mascots” than “Republicans”. They’re what Republicans use to “sell” the idea that they’re diverse. The fact that there are so few of those “other” Republicans says a lot — about them. They’re not forward-thinkers, they’re sell-outs.
Republicans are the party of unmitigated, unrestrained, relentless greed. They’re greedy for money — but also power. The RW Money — the Koch Brothers especially — recognized a while ago that conservatism was facing demographic oblivion. A rapidly diversifying citizenry meant — over time — more power for the diverse citizenry and less power for the shrinking white minority.
White people were not going to let that happen without a fight. And here we are.
If Republicans are good at anything (and we know governing isn’t one them), it’s marketing. Being cynical shits who’d make Machiavelli blush at their soullessness, they have no compunction about lying to get a vote. In her excellent piece on Mitch McConnell in the New Yorker, Jane Mayer cites multiple examples of McConnell cynically telling voters he’d do one thing when he fully intended to do the diametric opposite. McConnell openly admitted to “pandering” for votes.
Republicans will say literally anything — not just to get elected, but to “stay” elected. If they thought they could get away with canceling the election right here, right now, they’d do it — because (as Trump himself said out loud) elections are bad for Republicans — especially when more Americans vote. If EVERY American voted as a habit, I bet Republicans would already be lying beside the Whigs in the graveyard of American History.
In 2016, Mitch McConnell knew he was serving America a bullshit cocktail. He KNEW for a fact what Russia was doing; he refused to let We The People in on the secret — that Russia was actively engaged in perverting the coming election in order to make Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton POTUS. The Russians voted in our election — and McConnell knowingly let them.
To keep us in the dark, McConnell (and the rest of the Republicans — remember that even then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and current Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy openly discussed their suspicion that Putin was paying California Congressman Dana Rohrbacher and Donald Trump) fed America a cocktail of lies. That was after McConnell had refused to allow President Obama — the guy who was elected and re-elected by significant margins — to nominate judges per his Constitutional responsibilities. “The American People should decide” was the bullshit McConnell topped up our drink with. But we ARE the People. And we had already decided. We voted for Obama.
Even as we teeter, McConnell continues to ply us with bullshit. Mayer points out that McConnell really believes in nothing other than money and power. Even his marriage to Elaine Chao is a cynical money grab (McConnell told an acquaintance after divorcing his first wife “One of the things I’ve got to do is marry a rich woman, like John Sherman Cooper did”.
Norman Ornstein — a political scientist at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute — puts it bluntly in Mayer’s piece: McConnell “will go down in history as one of the most significant people in destroying the fundamentals of our constitutional democracy… There isn’t anyone remotely close There’s nobody as corrupt, in terms of violating the norms of government.”
McConnell long ago committed himself to bringing the Koch Brothers’ plan to take over America’s politics — that is how Mayer herself puts it — to fruition. To do that, once he achieved the power that Senate Majority Leader possesses, McConnell began to destroy the Senate as an institution, the judicary as a separate branch of government and America as the greatest experiment in self-government ever.
McConnell — and the Republican Party he effectively leads (Trump doesn’t lead the party) — have behave no differently than a rapist feeding a victim a roofie. Maybe that explains the strange, out-of-body feelings we’re all experiencing. Maybe that explains why we feel like we’re resisting as hard as we can yet nothing seems to stop the assault.
Time’s come to slap the drink from their hands.