In his Politico essay about the unlikelihood of a Republican civil war this morning, Jeff Greenfield noted that media coverage shows Republicans at each others' throats BUT... "In Congress, and at the grassroots, the dominance of Donald Trump over the party is more or less total... [I]f you want to survive as a Republican official, you will support the former president; if you support the former president, you will support laws that reflect his conviction that the election was stolen; if you enact those rules, you are making it more possible that he will win a second term. The party is talking with one voice; the voice is Trump’s, and it’s one that plenty of Americans are still perfectly receptive to."
Will Americans' better angels come to the rescue of our democracy and save the country. Honestly, it doesn't look good. Right-wing super-star Matt Gaetz, for example, is very likely on his way to prison for a number of serious crimes, including sex with minors, but to the Republican media and the Republican masses, he is an actual hero and the noisy tour he and Marjorie Taylor Greene have embarked on is an undeniable success. He and Greene have become important voices for the Republican Party and not only do Republicans not mind their outlandish behavior, they absolutely lap it up and celebrate it as their own lib-owning.
In his Washington Post column yesterday, Marjorie Taylor Greene's Verbal Assault on AOC Reflects Deranged Anti-Leftism, Greg Sargent wrote that it's impossible to divorce Greene's crackpot behavior towards AOC this week (and even earlier) "from its larger context, which is that people like Greene represent a form of ongoing right-wing radicalization that is inextricably bound up with a profoundly deranged and hallucinatory depiction of the left."
Sargent admits he has no "special insights into Greene’s mental condition," but he reminded his readers that "Greene regularly traffics in a strain of wildly insane anti-leftist hyperbole that has appeal far outside her mental precincts. It has great seductive reach on the right, which is no small part of what makes Greene a right-wing superstar."
The way deranged, far right extremists like Greene depict Democrats-- as a "ferociously destructive and monolithic socialist leftist enemy who wants to level the country-- is regular fodder for Greene. She has typically gotten attention for ravings about staged mass shootings and space lasers. But the violently hyperbolic depictions of the leftist threat are even worse."
That’s because they carry with them the vague hint that anything is justified in response to that leftist enemy. Greene promoted the “Stop the Steal” rally (which culminated in the insurrection) as potentially being the GOP’s “1776 moment.” She endorsed the killing of prominent Democrats. And just before the 2020 election, she suggested that a Democratic win would destroy “freedom,” which can only be won back “with the price of blood.”
Greene is easy to dismiss as crazy, but such talk is par for the course among Republicans and their media allies. Just after meeting with President Biden this week, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)-- who is the House Minority Leader , last we checked-- blasted out a fundraising email about “Corrupt Joe Biden” imposing his “radical Socialist agenda” on America.
Images of antifa burning down cities juxtaposed with Ocasio-Cortez and “the Squad” appear in standard-issue GOP ads. As president, Donald Trump had his top national security and law enforcement officials use their official stature to largely manufacture an organized and violent leftist terrorist threat for him to run against.
Tucker Carlson, the most popular TV host on the right, says Democrats are engineering the mass importation of immigrants to replace virtuous native-born Americans, and agreed with a guest that leftists just might push conservatives into fascism. And so on.
It’s hard to see this ending anytime soon. One can only hope it doesn’t get any worse than Greene shouting deranged crackpottery at Democrats as they politely hurry away.
Pelosi seems to have finally put together her bipartisan commission on the 1/6 insurrection, but is it too late for it to make any impression... at least on the kinds of people who have embraced the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, Matt Gaetzes, Mad Cawthorns, Andrew Clydes, Jim Jordans, Kevin McCarthys? None of these Representatives-- with the possible exception of Cawthorn-- won their districts narrowly. Their support from a radicalized and brainwashed electorate is gigantic and very solid. Again, with the possible exception of Cawthorn, none of these extremists are electorally vulnerable next year. These are their win numbers last November:
Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA)- 74.6%
Matt Gaetz (R-FL)- 64.6%
Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-NC)- 54.5%
Andrew Clyde (R-GA)- 78.6%
Gym Jordan (R-OH)- 67.9%
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- 62.1%
Blue America has endorsed a progressive superstar of our own in south Florida, Christine Olivo. We need to support her and others like her. Christine put this video she did up on YouTube recently. (Take a look-- and then consider contributing to her campaign.)