Washington Post: The Opportunity For Democrats In The GOP Civil War

Greg Sargent makes some good points in this article.

The Washington Post:

“The rage-addled statement that Donald Trump has fired at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plunged the GOP into worsening infighting. But as Republicans reacted to the former president’s missive, it also revealed a glaring tension in the story they are telling about his legacy.It’s a tension that Democrats can exploit to their advantage.

Conservative populists are ceding that space on other fronts. When Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) rolled out a well-received plan for a tax credit of at least $3,000 per child to fight childhood poverty, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) attacked it as “welfare.” …

Rubio is also a champion of the new conservative populism. It’s supposed to offer a decisive break with plutocratic GOP economic orthodoxy while championing immigration restrictionism, suspicion of internationalist solutions to problems like climate change, and nationalist industrial policy to counter China. …

“What that means,” Hammond concluded, “is that Democrats have space to occupy that vacuum and in some ways be more authentically populist than Trump or Trumpism ever could be.”

I think he has a blinkered view though.

Are the Democrats really capable of populist progressivism in light of their new coalition? The $2,000 stimulus checks which were supposed to go out the door “immediately” have yet to materialize. The $15 minimum wage doesn’t appear to be getting past Joe Manchin in the Senate. Neoliberal Joe made news last night by shooting down the idea of $50,000 in student loan debt relief.

Is anything realistically happening before the 2022 midterms on health care, infrastructure or the Trump tax cuts? Budget reconciliation is being used to pass the COVID relief bill. The new moderate voters from the suburbs who are the pride of the Democratic Party are people like the Lincoln Project, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce constituency, the True Cons “deficit hawk” wing of the GOP.

Good luck reconciling all of those new Democrats with the Bernie Sanders wing of the party. The neocons are all Democrats now too. Now that Donald Trump is gone, they are going to start pushing for tax cuts, free trade, new wars and libertarian economics inside the Democratic Party while virtue signaling about “racism” and “white supremacy” to fit in with their new liberal allies. Has anyone given much thought to the fact that the voters who used to support the Republican establishment are Democrats now? What effect will this have on the balance of power within the Democratic Party?

The Democratic Party is becoming the establishment party. It is like Bill Clinton on steroids with all the middle class suburban voters who were Bushies who supported the Republican establishment and who are the PMC constituency for neoliberalism becoming “centrist” Democrats now. The Democrats are the party of media elites, Hollywood elites, Wall Street elites, corporate elites, academic elites, military elites, etc. How in the world will such a party be able to manage populism when all of the resentment in this country in the working class that has been brewing on both sides is against those people?

It is true that the policy agenda of the Republican Party and the Reaganite gerontocracy in Congress led by Mitch McConnell hasn’t caught up yet with the working class demographics of the party. Donald Trump is bashing Mitch McConnell though now over losing the Senate because of his stubborn resistance on the $2,000 check issue. It is also worth noting that the $2,000 was Trump’s idea. He is finally using his cult of personality to push his base in a redistributionist direction after four years of deferring to Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment. Trump is now effectively the Republican establishment.

What if Trump continued to use his cult of personality to transform the Republican Party on economics like he has recently done with the stimulus checks? There was a little twinkle of Huey Long there at the end and as we all know “Trumpism” is infinitely flexible and the man has no ideological scruples. If Trump came out in favor of something like universal health care, his own followers would embrace it because Trump is for it and all the disaffected Independent and Democrat voters who agree with Trump on immigration, but not the GOP on health care would warm to him. Trump isn’t any good at winning suburban voters, but he does have a talent at attracting disaffected working class voters. It was people like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan who held him back. He lost some number of people who were with him in 2016.

Note: Republicans lost the House in 2018 because of the immigration/health care dilemma with swing voters. Democrats made health care the focus of their campaign and voters who supported Trump on immigration put the Democrats in charge of the House after he pushed Ryancare. The people who vote on the basis of health care are more restrictionist on immigration.

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4 Comments

  1. The next distraction the Democrats are rolling out is using the “KKK Act” from the 1800’s to prosecute various Republicans involved in the January 6 “Capitol Siege.”

    Just like “Russiagate” – the Democrats are going to go out of their way to obscure which Trump official ordered a kind of “stand down” and let the various goofballs – like the “QAnon Shaman” – in to take selfies.

    It’s virtually certain that no one important will actually be prosecuted, but they could very well railroad some poor Trumptard.

    The point is that for the next six months the entire mass media will be talking about “the KKK” and how Trump voters are “KKK” and did we mention the “KKK?”

    That way the Democrats don’t have to send people their $2,000 checks and also makes a good distraction for the military escalations they are making in Syria and Iraq, against … well, against everyone. Russia. Syria. Iran. Libya. Yemes. Iran. Various Gulf states that aren’t playing ball, etc.

    Biden and the Democrats do not want to have to confront any of those issues. So, they are going to chant KKK KKK KKK KKK! for the next six months.

    Every single TV channel, every single newspaper, all the major blogs, it is going to be KKK KKK KKK 24/7.

    Which is frankly a relief after the last five years of “TRUMP HITLER NAZI.” That was getting boring.

    Anyone want to take a bet? Not a single Trump operative, nor Trump fan, that is Jewish will be prosecuted. No one is going after Jared Kushner, Ezra Cohen-Watnik, etc. That’s how the game works – the Jews on one side attack the non-Jews on the other side, and vice-versa.

  2. A bunch of bullshit Conservatives bastardizing Nationalism or skinning Nationalism and pushing through straight up Conservative Republican shit.

    The politicians and must of the Republican party is still Conservatives with now a more Nationalist veneer.

  3. if Trump did this. if Trump did that.

    Yeah, well if pigs fly, we’d all be on the moon as well.

    The fact is that Trump isn’t a Nationalist. He’s a boomer who doesn’t understand what words mean. If he did, he’d be pushing these policies like you mentioned.

    You give Trump way too much credit. Trump is a conman that taps into the energies of the white base better than the typical GOP ever did. That’s it. (resentment grievance politics of political correctness [which is nothing more than a social cultural order to protect elevate minorities and control/contain the majority]). He had the house senate and presidency and did nothing. I think you know that. But there’s still this lingering hope that he does something rather than being sober about what is (using your self-made rationalization of people leaving the party will open up the possibility to more economic populist things).

    It’s arguable how much he could do since he was an “insurgent” in the party that relied on the GOP house and senate to do anything. So he was doomed from the start. He picked GOP for his cabinet. How could he do policies when he relied on the GOP house and senate (and after the second two years with impeachment he had to do more what the GOP wanted in order to have them block impeachment) or without picking them for his close cabinet positions? He even ousted “nationalist” Bannon in favor of Kushner. He’s now going to create a more Trumpian GOP by primarying them.

    Mitch didn’t hold him back. He held himself back.

    There’s no deep hardcore ideological grounding to why he wants healthcare. Simply wanting healthcare for opportunist reasons of democratic electability and popularity is superficial and flimsy. It allows you to sway based upon whatever the winds may be. It’s backwards. The reason should be you (if you’re a Nationalist) want your Nation to be taken care of, not to die, etc. Or whatever it may be.

    This the same problem with racial Nationalists (and all other Nationalists)- like Trump (whether Wignats or Amnats they like to call themselves). They don’t have the deeper economic convictions for economic “populism” redistributionism, and so politicians can take advantage and “red meat” their way to power. To have a deeper conviction would require the hard work of introspection about why you want economic redistribution to begin with (and to be critical and aware of those around you). That’s a harder and longer path very few take (and so people are more concerned with winning than the hard work (like Trump. the irony). People are only concerned with what’s most palpable to “win” and nothing else. What makes it important as a Nationalist for you (and others) to have more economic redistributionist beliefs? How does it help the Nation? What is the purpose of a Nation? Etc. You should be all be asking yourselves this again and again and again and again. And again and again and again, wonder who around you have those same beliefs and who doesn’t (and why). Growing your self-awareness and the awareness of your political group.

    What is winning? Is winning just about seizing power and doing what is most popular at a given moment of time without much thought and introspection? I rather not win and have the right answer then win and not have the right answers. Or answers I don’t truly believe in vigorously, because I haven’t really made the connections to my other strong beliefs, or thought it about it truly. It can easily be discarded at a moment’s notice. I can turn a blind eye to others, whether politicians or even peers, that don’t also share those beliefs or try to use other sentiments to get out other beliefs I hold dear. Politicians are especially savvy of this.

    Nationalists, Populists, etc, are incredibly frustrating.

    Also Trumpism isn’t as Nationalist or economic populist as people make him out to be. One of the benefits of stronger personal convictions on various issues means you don’t have a tendency to inject what you wish or hope Trump does (if Trump did this. if Trump did that). Hoping that he becomes more like you. Learn to deal with the real not what you want someone, some group, or something to be. And also, you don’t wish for it for the simple sake of winning. Or worse, through cognitive dissonance (like Nick Fuentes) ignore a lot of what Trump is and turn him into something he’s not. Or for Huey Long fans, Hunter, going wild when Tucker mentions his name, think he and they are becoming mainstream, and ignores what is truly being said about Long in some media segment.

    I still see a lot of the same “freedom,” “liberty,” “socialism fearmongering,” in Trump as well as the Trump base. And so, it makes me wonder if Trumpism is just more batshit Conservatism and the dormant Nationalism or economic populism is largely exaggerated? Anyone with deep convictions will not simply look away when Trump doesn’t do the economic things they way. They will either hold Trump to the fire or ditch him entirely. They are not phased by a mirage or hope he may drift in their direction based on some gesture of possible outcome. An economic populist, I would think, would hold people to the fire for their economic beliefs and not just go along with the flow just based upon a few meager scraps someone may or may not throw your direction.

    Antiracist have the same problem when it comes their red meat (about the specter of racism and white supremacy to galvanize their base) and allow for certain economic issues to be ignored as it is not as important to them as racial/cultural politics is (as you state).

    People need to really do the introspection of what is important to them (like alone cultivate awareness). How important things are is going to determine what gets thrown to the wayside and what is not ignored. This is why “owning the libs” as so stupid. You achieve temporary schadenfreude for nothing substantial that helps change your life or your society’s future.

    Look deeper and do more introspection.

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