, 30 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
The last few weeks of the Trump Show have been more awful than usual but also inadvertently revelatory @ Trump's coalition.If you've paid attention, you've suspected this stuff for a long time,but bc T says the quiet parts out loud,a lot of GOP masks have definitively dropped: /1
1. Gun rights advocates now clearly think that routine massacres are an acceptable price to pay for access to long guns. The president's teleprompter speech was so forced & hackneyed, & his desperation to blame anything - video games, mental health, the culture, hate - except /2
easy gun access, was so transparent, that no one serious will ever buy that stuff again. That doesn't mean gun control will happen - Fox and empty-state senators will see to that - but at least the 'debate' is over. The insincerity of these arguments is now undeniable. The NRA /3
& co. now clearly prioritize gun ownership over public safety, and they will say anything to defend a capacious reading of the 2A.

2. A lot of Trump voters are racist. Again, this wasn't too hard to figure out before; the tea party pretty clearly wasn't motivated by limited /4
government. But Trump has ripped the mask off, just as he did with his blatantly fatuous speech on the shootings. Journalists have danced around calling the president racist for 2 years and have hedged for decades on racism as a motivation despite stuff like Willy Horton and /5
the Southern strategy. Those days are now over. 'Economic anxiety' is the standard talking point to deflect this. That is impossible to invoke after 'send her back' caused no drop in Trump's approval rating. It is apparent now that Trump wants the GOP to be like theNat'l Front /6
3. Evangelicals couldn't care less about personal virtue. Here's another Trump 'silver lining': Trump's personal behavior is so appalling - spiteful, mean-spirited, selfish, adulterous - that evangelical support for him auto-demolishes any ethical/virtue argument they make. We /7
never need to take moralistic arguments from religious conservatives seriously again. They're just another interest group now, with no principled belief in elevating our debased politics. I find this sell-out the most disappointing. There is something noble in the notion that /8
politicians should strive for personal virtue. But evangelicals sold their soul to Trump for judges & access.

4. It's all about the tax-cuts and judges. Trump is woefully unfit for the office. Lots of retired GOP officials, like Boehner and Ryan, pretty clearly see that. But /9
they swallowed all the racism, misogyny, narcissism, norm-busting,& so on just for that juicy 2017 tax cut to their donors. Again,you probably suspected plutocracy before. W's 2001 & 2003 tax cuts were upwardly redistributive too. But Trump is so awful that the Congressional /10
GOP's willingness to stand with him anyway has starkly revealed its donor class preferences.

5. Budgetary restraint is for Democratic presidents only. Trump's keynesianism, exploding deficits, & bullying of the Fed for low interest rates to help him get re-elected are now /11
so obvious as to be undeniable. Again, you kind of already knew this, but maybe the tea party was serious and Romney and Ryan really did think we were becoming Greece. Well that story is gone now too. Trump deficit spends with such abandon, that this GOP plank is revealed as /12
insincere also. Kinda makes you wonder what's left?

Trump is woefully unfit & a terrible president, but his inability to lie convincingly is weirdly useful, ideologically at least. Yes, Trump lies and flim-flams all the time, but he when he does, he almost always signals his /13
insincerity via his body language. He says the right stuff for a moment - at Charlottesville or after the shootings - but in such a fake, reading-from-the-teleprompter manner that you can easily decipher his true beliefs. This inability to mouth appropriate platitudes, to lie /14
convincingly, has inadvertently revealed a lot about the GOP coalition and destroyed a lot of its most useful pretenses, e.g., crime, not race, is the concern, or mental health is the culprit of gun violence. This myth-busting is a 'progress' of a sort, which the GOP will /15
come to regret after Trump is gone and no one knows what it stands for besides racism and upper income tax cuts. Aligning with Trump is a faustian bargain, and the bill will come due. But by demolishing useful, deflective GOP myths, Trump is accelerating that reckoning. END
ADDENDUM: Since this thread went viral, let me add some follow-up:

1. I listed 5 GOP positions Trump has inadvertently revealed as fictions. There is a 6th: GOP foreign policy is hawkish until it collides with Trump’s personal interests. This is biggest surprise to me. The /17
GOP has been hawkish as long as anyone can remember, but now if Gulf theocrats spend big at Trump hotels, they’re our friends; if Kim Jong Un calls Trump ‘your excellency,’ we’re ‘in love’; if Putin interferes in the election, it’s no big deal; allies are free-loaders ripping /18
us off, as is free trade. Wait, what?! Realists and neocons used to make principled arguments for this or that GOP foreign policy. These were vital debates which underpinned the long-standing GOP claim to be the party of national security, & free-trade was practically dogma. /19
And now that’s all just dropped because of Trump’s vanity and corruption? Just like that? This is a foreign policy revolution actually, and the Congressional GOP surrendered to a reality TV star without a shot. It also shows, again, how Trump is patterning after the National /20
Front – white racist, anti-multilateral, protectionist/mercantilist, corrupt, gangsterish, pro-Russian, semi-authoritarian. Not enough people are paying attention to these FN parallels, btw, right down to Ivanka being like Marine LePen – the ‘kinder, gentler’ successor to the /21
angry, conspiratorial founder.

2. As one commenter put it, this is about plausible deniability. That’s right. Before Trump, the 6 listed arguments could be rolled out, and while the left would dispute them, they retained come credibility on the center and right. Trump is /22
destroying that credibility in the center (never in Foxworld though). For example, it simply isn’t plausible anymore that evangelicals prioritize morally upright politics. Trump is so obviously unchristian – unchurched, adulterous, vain, callous – that the religious right has /23
lost credibility by supporting him so zealously. Trump is tearing down traditional conservative ideological positions - or perhaps more accurately, proving that many Republicans never believed in them to begin with – & revealing real motivations. That is his ‘value’: burning /24
away ideological chaff and revealing deeper drivers on the right: white racism, upper bracket tax cuts, originalist judges, ubiquitous guns, and military keynesianism. That’s a pretty creepy package that can already win the presidency only through the Electoral College. /25
3. A number of commenters pointed out or asked if I am right-leaning or a Republican. Yes. I have been a registered Republican my whole life – and still am in order to vote for the non-Trumpers in the primaries - and I worked with the Ohio GOP for awhile in the 1990s, /26
including for a congressman. I am hawkish on North Korea and China and support free trade and budget control.

4. More interesting though is that a center-right record is not enough for Trump commenters who routinely attack Never Trump Republicans as ‘cucks’ or whatever that /27
is. I think my experience is pretty similar to other center-right natsec analysts who oppose Trump. Trump loyalism is the litmus test. In my case, I am to RIGHT of Trump on North Korea, the policy issue I know best, and that still isn’t good enough. Good grief. This is one of /28
reasons the Trump movement seems to cultish to me. Even if you've got actual center-right credentials, that's not enough. Ugh. END

People keep asking how I vote as a disaffected Republican. So here’s my thinking on that which I bet is similar to other Never Trumpers:
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