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Member since: Wed Aug 19, 2015, 04:47 AM
Number of posts: 10,721

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Nobody was ignorant of Trump's abject racism, misogyny and xenophobia.

Never mind all of the horrific statements Trump made throughout the campaign, which were broadcast far and wide.

Never mind Trump's long history of racist business practices and blatant sexism.

Never mind how the audience responded to Megyn Kelly reading off Trump quotes about women in the first Republican Primary debate (reminding me of how the audience responded to Ron Paul being asked at the 2008 Republican Primary debate about whether someone without health insurance should just die).

Let's put all of that aside for the moment. And remember this:

Trump was the father of Birtherism. Trump led the charge that Obama was not born in the US. Years before taking office, Trump's blatant racism was on full display, and it got a ton of play in the media. That alone should have ruled him out as a candidate for any public office, much less the presidency.

And nobody can claim ignorance about Trump's abject racism, sexism (or downright misogyny) and xenophobia. Those who voted for him either loved him for it, or weren't bothered by it. None of his supporters get to plead the 5th.


Principle vs. Power

Another thread features an article about how some Democrats up for re-election in stark red states (and one purple state) voted to confirm the dangerously unqualified Mike Pompeo. I can't help but question the notion that voting against Pompeo's confirmation would really make a difference in terms of their chances at being re-elected. I guess I find it hard to believe an ad campaign about how "Senator X voted against Pompeo's confirmation" is going to deter votes or inspire the opposition (for one thing, I don't think most people pay enough attention to know who Pompeo is). I suppose the ad would phrase it differently ("Senator X is an obstructionist who continually votes against confirming highly qualified persons for partisan reasons," or some such garbage). Can't Senator X respond with an ad campaign about how she or he will always vote on principle? Will that not mitigate the potential loss of votes? Obviously, the Dems who voted to confirm Pompeo don't think so...either that or those Democratic Senators don't actually have any problem with Pompeo becoming Sec. of State, which I doubt.

Putting aside that specific example, though, what does everyone think about this issue more generally? Yes, we want Democratic control of Congress. Yes, we want a Democrat in the White House. Yes, even a Blue Dog is better than any Republican. But is a person of conscience not duty-bound to vote on principle?

Caucuses: they need to go

Caucuses are disenfranchising in that many people simply can't (for a variety of reasons) take part in them. So much so that it's embarrassing that the Democratic Party continues to have caucuses. Is there any chance we see caucuses fall by the wayside?

Mainstream Republicans

There's been much discussion about Trump's base, "mainstream Republicans," whether or not Trump followers (and Faux News) will eventually see the error of their ways, etc.

I postulate that, in spite of his low approval rating, Trump's base is each of the following:

1) a clear majority of the overall Republican Party base (not a small subset but the bulk of what is today's GOP base)

2) more rabidly supportive of Trump than the GOP base was of previous Republican presidents (a cult-like following that is more likely to act violently in response to opposition)

This poses a real dilemma for Republicans (be they in Congress, in media, or in the electorate) who would much rather have someone like Pence or Romney or Jeb Bush in the presidency. They can't risk alienating the bulk of their base.

Trump is truly a monster of the Republican Party's own making. Decades of Southern Strategy, dog whistling and more blatant hostility (toward POC, women, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, poor people, non-Christians, etc.), as well as jingoism, laid the groundwork for Trump and his following.

At the same time, an argument can be made and has been made (just recently in another thread, in fact) that impeaching Trump carries some potential risk for Democrats and the US as a whole. That's a more complicated argument and one I'm not completely dismissive of, but that's a whole other discussion and not one I wish to take up in this thread.
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