Ever Wonder Why People Stay In The Republican Party, Even Ones Who Seem Intelligent?
If you watch Fox News, you are constantly being fed false information— probably the reason you watch Fox News in the first place. A new poll by You Gov asked registered voters if they think the J-6 attack on the Capitol was justified, 66% said it wasn’t, although among Trump voters that shrinks to just 43%! Fully 26% of Trump voters think the attack was justified. Interestingly, 82% of Trump voters (and 62% of Fox News viewers) say they blame “left wing protesters trying to make Trump look bad” for the attack on the Capitol. These people have the same rights to vote that you do.
And perhaps they’ll vote for crackpot Republican sore losers. NPR looked at it and found a large number of Republican primary candidates who lost by wide margins and refuse to concede and admit to defeat… just like you know who. A GOP neo-Nazi in the Georgia gubernatorial race, severely mentally ill Kandiss Taylor got just 3.4% of the vote, but says the election was stolen from her. Another mentally ill far right fascist, Tina Peters, Colorado’s Mesa County clerk, ran for Secretary of State, came in third and now says, without any evidence whatsoever, that there was fraud and she’s the rightful winner. Wherever Republicans run for office, there are sore losers imitating Trump and claiming they won, even if they got less than 10% of the vote.
Yes indeed— it’s a grand old party, sitting on a base filled with trash. Last Wednesday, the NY Times profiled a former Republican operative, author Tim Miller, who wants nothing to do with the Republican Party any longer. His new book, Why We Did It-- A Travelogue From The Republican Road To Hell, blasts, not just Trump, but the party itself. The Times described Miller as “once a rising star with access to the highest levels of power inside the GOP” who started losing faith when the party nominated Sarah Palin as Vice President. They asked him why he wrote the book. “Partially atonement,” he said, “partially a genuine sense that despite living through all this for six to seven years, I still didn’t quite understand why my former friends and colleagues and I kept going along with it.”
The new book is marbled with pearls of wisdom, observations on human psychology and entire chapters of harsh self-reflection that only an insider like Miller— who by all accounts is a supremely talented opposition researcher and communications strategist who had a direct hand in everything from planting hit pieces on various politicians in Breitbart to knifing rivals— could pull off.
…On his way out of the mainstream GOP class, Miller blew up every bridge he had built over his years in Washington, fled to Oakland and adopted a daughter, Toulouse, with his husband.
Friends say that Miller “walked off a cliff” into a future that could mean ostracism and threats to his mental health and physical safety. His book, which chronicles his relationships with the Republicans he left behind, tries to unpack why he did what he did and why they did what they did.
On the central question the book seeks to answer, Miller reaches no firm, one-ring-to-rule-them-all conclusion to explain the mystery of why some Republican operatives stuck with Trump and those Miller sees as the GOP’s new MAGA overlords, while a few others, like him, bowed out.
Nor was there any single Eureka moment when he decided he could no longer compromise his values by working for politicians he despised, he said. But he noted that Republicans from marginalized groups, such as the LGBTQ community, seemed more likely to be offended by Trump’s boorish behavior than others.
For Miller, leaving the Republican establishment was a zigzagging personal journey of fits and starts. He worked for Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia in 2013, despite Cuccinelli’s opposition to same-sex marriage and his defense of the state’s anti-sodomy law.
And in early 2017, while doing what he calls “corporate P.R. skulduggery” to make ends meet, Miller took on as a client Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, who later resigned under a series of ethics investigations.
Feeling deeply ashamed of his own actions, those experiences landed Miller in therapy, which he says helped unlock the emotional self-awareness to write the book and again feel at peace with his decisions.
The book is as much a warning as it is a searing exploration of his own self-loathing. By most indications, Trump seems to be preparing for another presidential run in 2024, and the same pathologies that drove Miller out of the Republican power centers he once ran in have only grown more cancerous, in his estimation.
“Maybe,” he said, “I should have called the book Why Are We Still Doing It?”
I find Miller’s work at The Bulwark insightful and valuable. Damn, I hope he doesn’t turn into another fence-jumpin' huckster like David Brock, who went through a very similar odyssey-- a talented gay sociopath switching sides in 2002, writing Blinded By The Right and building an empire of corruption inside the Democratic Party establishment where he serves the interests of conservatism in their fight against progressivism. And he's stolen enough to be a multimillionaire now, even after paying off his former husband to not spill the beans to the press (or courts).