Such a tiresome response. Protip: "Crazies took over my party" does not mean "your party was always wrong about everything." Yes, we knew had a crazy fringe. Ours, for a lot of reasons (including monetizing the crazy) took control.
Spoiler: The left has a crazy fringe too. /1
Conservatism isn't crazy. It's a necessary part of a democracy, just as progressivism is. But when we work on what killed the GOP, progs looking over our shoulder and saying "Well, we told you in 1985" only serves to remind us why it's hard to talk to mindless progressives. /2
And trust me, when all this is over, we're all gonna have a talk about how the GOP managed, for a time, to become the dominant party - "the party of everyone else" - with the *help of progressives*. Dems did, and do, holistically stink at politics. It made it easy for us. /3
Today, the American left has plenty of kooks in it who - for now - have been thwarted in the attempt to capture the Democratic Party. Liberals might want to think more about the general question of how a major party falls to its fringe instead of retconning all of 1952-2016. /4
Think, too, about how crying wolf - also a form of paranoid politics - for 40 yrs didn't help progs sway people. You said "fascist" so often people tuned it out. Reagan, Bush 1/2, Dole, McCain, Romney - all demonized.

And then you ran HRC, against all logic and caution. /5
You warned us? Sure. And we warned you: Let the Clinton idea go. You had Bill for two terms. Don't resurrect the battles of the 90s. Yes, the GOP was spineless against Trump and it deserves to be flushed for that. But never think you didn't have a hand in all this. /6
And before you all talk about "30 years ago," it's important to remember how Dems ended up in this jam *forty* years ago. /7
It's easy for younger progressives to forget how much the US felt like a failed state at the end of the 1970s, as liberal ideas were exhausted, the USSR was in the ascent, and we were all told to just accept "decline" and "convergence" with the Soviet model. /8
As Mark Lilla - no conservative - wrote recently: “It is difficult to convey to anyone who wasn’t alive and politically aware at the time what a dreary place America seemed in the late 1970s, how lacking in direction and confidence." It was the peak of liberal dominance. /9
This was a result of the exhaustion of the 1960s and the curdling of noble crusades like civil rights into identity and racial spoils factionalism. Conservatives seized an opportunity. Yes, while dragging our crazies along with us. Perhaps we shouldn't have, but we did. /10
But this is a cautionary tale for Democrats: You're on the verge of saving the country. But you've got a nutball fringe coming right along with you. Don't think you're immune to our mistakes. /11
Apostate conservatives spend a lot of time thinking about how things went wrong. We don't always agree. We're working on it. But spare me the lectures about how we were always crazy. It's silly and tiresome. /12x

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More from @RadioFreeTom

18 Sep
Also interesting in that POLITICO piece is how Trump voters - I've seen this many times - do what they can to *avoid having to see Trump say things*.

Think of that. His own political base actively avoids him, so he won't mess up what they prefer to believe. /1
When Trump voters say to me: "But you look down on us," I am not sure how to respond to that when I know that they are *intentionally avoiding their own candidate* so that they can argue with me about stuff that isn't true. Yes, I'm disdainful of that. How can I not be? /2
And that's why, despite how much it enrages Trump's opponents, I want him on TV 24/7, wall-to-wall. I don't want a single Trump supporter to be able to say "oh, I didn't bother watching that, so I didn't hear it." Make it so they can't avoid knowing what they're supporting. /3
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep
On the anniversary of 9/11, a reminder of how we used to deal with odious conspiracy theories: Ridicule.
For years, there were attempts to portray 9/11 as an inside job led by shadowy U.S. elites. A lot of people believed it. But most people reacted with scorn. /1
Yes, it gained traction among the gullible. Still does. But a country that still knew the difference between reality and batshittery relegated it to the fringe. "9/11 Truther" was a synonym for "kook." Even remote association with it cost a WH aide his job. /2
Of course, many Republicans were eager enemies of a conspiracy theory aimed at a GOP President, but they opposed it nonetheless. Fine by me.
So where are they now? Why aren't they ridiculing QAnon, or Trump's many conspiracy theories? /3
Read 5 tweets
2 Sep
This, from @anneapplebaum's book (which I'm reading now) is important. It uses Laura Ingraham as an example of the split in conservatism in the 1990s. I want to make two comments on it aimed especially at "you Republicans were always like this" types. /1…
One is that we were not "always like this." Two is that the change on the right has a lot to do with a group of personalities who became central to the DC-based GOP. This is a really important thing to understand about what happened then, and what we're up against now. /2
Applebaum begins in 1995. I was 34, an avowed conservative. I'd already worked in DC and on the Hill. I was part of the optimistic, can-do, Reaganite wing. I thought, the left is terrible but mostly feckless, and I was confident in the GOP being the party with better ideas. /3
Read 15 tweets
29 Aug
Okay, so already people are misunderstanding what I pasted right from the USG website about "Less Restricted" govt employees.

People, this does not mean Trump and his minions can do what they want. You're misunderstanding me. *I* am a "less restricted* employee. /1
Government employees, amazingly enough, are U.S. citizens with our full range of freedoms and rights, unless we are on a particular list of more restricted positions at places like CIA or DOJ or others. You can find that list here at…

People like me can say what we want as long as we're not using government resources, pressuring our subordinates, politicking in the workplace, etc.

Trump as POTUS is not personally subject to the Hatch Act, but his people *are*, and they're doing all that.
Read 6 tweets
29 Aug
Friend calls just now: "You have the patience of Job." Well, no.
Before I move on from this to the Casey Kasem crapfest from this week in 1977, I will explain (once more) why I'm being hard-assed here. (Playing now: "It's Almost Like A Song." *shudder*) /1
If the new rule in DC is "any gathering is okay as long as you all look to be wearing masks," then the city should scrap *all* gathering restrictions, so long as those requirements are met. Personally, I wouldn't, but you can't have two sets of rules. /2
Science isn't cause-dependent. Either big gatherings are dangerous or they're not. If they're not, then institute a "we took a screenshot and you're all masked up, so it's okay" rule and apply it evenly. Again, I think that's crazy, but it would be consistent. /3
Read 7 tweets
28 Aug
The RNC is done; the home stretch begins. I always appreciate that so many people come here and read my stuff, listen to my bizarre grousing, and in general, put up with me.
But this is going to be a rough time, so let me suggest a few things for better social media life. /1
- Remember: Twitter is not real life. Conserve your energy; be judicious about whom you chose to engage.
- Check the profile of those you engage. There are easy ways to spot trolls. Super-new accounts with a bazillion tweets, or super-old accounts with ten followers, etc.
- Check TLs if in doubt. There easy ways to spot assholes, too. "I'm no Trump supporter, but..." with a TL full of Tucker Carlson clips explaining why it's society's fault that white kids drive to riots, etc, is, uh, a tipoff.
- Block fast and often. It's okay to do that.
Read 8 tweets

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