It really is fascinating watching every Republican office holder ignore the fact that they personally and their party have uttelry failed their biggest test: 220,000 Americans and counting have died on their watch--and their actions have steadily made that toll worse.

2/ Most important; it's not just individuals who bear the blame, though FSM knows they do, from @realDonaldTrump on down. Republicanism itself has failed. Its core, default ideas have been tried and found wanting. No. Private enterprise didn't get PPE to hospitals in time...
3/ No: individual choice in the face of a collective emergency won't keep people safe. No: crony capitalism really does impede the response to a crisis. No: public health--socialized medical response--is vital to the security of the US. No: viruses don't care about your racism...
4/ and maybe first: No: your "opinion" is not better than science--which is, again, a socialized endeavor, performed in collaborations, funded by the taxpayer. No vaccines without government bio-medical funding. No new drugs. No research to see what actually works. etc...
5/ Some GOP articles of faith could once (though emphatically no longer can) form coherent, principled political philosophical framework: small, decentralized government etc. But society--and our habitat--in the 21st c. are not what they were in Lincoln's day...
6/ and the scope for such ideas/shibboleths has shrunk. And the malign barnacles that now encrust Lincoln's formerly great party--the racism, the metastasized "what's good for mega rich/megacorp is good enough for America" schtick etc. leave it wholly unfit for power now...
7/ So much so that the only reason someone like McConnell can offer as a reason to vote for him or the GOP is power itself. The GOP will hurt the people its voters want hurt, and divert public money and agency to its patrons; that's the role it now embraces.

8/ When we echo Cato (or at least, when I do) to say that The GOP must be destroyed and its fields salted this is why. We need an opposition party; but for such 2 party systems to work certain assumptions about governance and the governed need to be shared...
9/ The GOP does not see those who do not vote for it or bribe (excuse me, donate to) it as Americans. It does not, collectively, see many of them as fully human....
10/ And that means the simply cannot exercise power, ultimately, even on behalf of their supporters: the virus spreading from Sturgis and Trump rallies doesn't care that those it touches thought it would/should only target Democrats...
11. So, yeah...a center-right opposition party that actually thought about what it means to constrain government power in an irreducibly interconnected world would be a good thing...
12/ It cannot come to be until the existing GOP is stabbed through the heart, its corpse sundered into quarters, each buried at a crossroads where gallows once stood, and then dug up, burned, with the ashes scattered, N, E, S, and W at a location never to be revealed.


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More from @TomLevenson

21 Aug
Got an email from @nytimes, and I'm reminded that the problem w. elite coverage of US political life is systemic, not bad individual actors.
@llerer is ot a bad reporter. But when she says "“ I do think voters like to know what they’re getting with a candidate..."
2/ Lerer complains that "I’m not sure this convention answered that question”--what policies Biden would advance, beyond simply being not-Trump.

There are at least 2 problems with this. 1 is that she acknowledges that Warren, Bill Clinton and Biden addressed exactly that...
3/ I mean--when Biden himself tells you what he's going to do, echoing many others who talked about everything from child care to climate change (and pandemic response!) it seems like willed ignorance to say that the DNC audience doesn't know what they would get w. a Biden win...
Read 12 tweets
19 Jul
Just read an @radioopensource email on their "cancel culture" program in which Yale professor David Bromwich displayed a level of historical illiteracy that made me wonder if Clio herself appeared to whomp him upside the head.

Quote and exegesis to follow 1/
2/ Here's the quote: "Bromwich says...that universities are on the way to becoming much less free than they were 'let’s say from 1945 to 1995 or 2000 or so. Universities were the freest part of American life for all those years . . . places like U. of Chicago, Yale, UCLA, U MI."
3/ Lemme tell you (and Professor Bromwich) a story. In 1951, UC Berkeley wanted to hire my father, Joseph R. Levenson, w. his new Ph.D. in Chinese history. His name had to be hidden from the CA legislature. Why? Because he'd been one of John Fairbank's students...
Read 18 tweets
17 Jul
1/ More from this must read,…:

Unfortunately, the US political system, beginning with the Constitution, is not built to respond to, handle, and/or deal with an irregular, asymmetric, and unconventional insider threat...
2/ "that recognizes no authority other than that of their own power and sees every law, rule, norm, and tradition solely as a means to obtain power, maintain power, expand power, or direct power to reward allies and punish opponents....
3/ "The President’s actions; those of his two primary protectors Attorney General Barr and Senator McConnell; those of his other protectors like new DNI Ratcliffe, former Acting DNI Grennell, the Republican caucuses in the Senate and the House, the Republican governors...
Read 14 tweets
28 Jun
So, we may have reached peak @nytdavidbrooks. In another of his grand(iose) attempts at sweeping cultural pronouncements, he lists 5 crises we're facing now...and then decides that the critical one is the problem of social justice advocacy...1/
2/ Yup: He lists #COVID19; "a rapid education on the burdens African-Americans carry every day." (how is that a crisis?--ed.); political realignment as the public rejects Trump and his party (again-a crisis?); risk of economic depression, and, wait for it...
3/ "4th, a quasi-religion is seeking control of America’s cultural institutions. The acolytes of this quasi-religion, Social Justice, hew to a simplifying ideology: History is essentially a power struggle between groups, some of which R oppressors & others of which R oppressed...
Read 17 tweets
5 Jun
So @JBennet misled re his reasoning for running Cotton's piece. He's thrown @bariweiss--his hire & deputy--under a bus....1/
2/ He either didn't manage his dept., or is forcing a jr. editor to take the heat.

Worst: pitching TO Cotton highlights his click-bait provocateur approach to the page that has so wrecked @nytimes contribution to civic discourse.

The goal was to trigger readers.

3/ Given all that, the solution for @nytopinion's predicament doesn't end with running fewer op-eds.

(In fact, they should run more, with an emphasis on expanding beyond the usual-suspect rolodex.)

Last: Several new hires have made the page much better...
Read 4 tweets
8 May
1/ The single biggest story US media has missed is that Trump's and the GOP's actions, both in the last few days and stretching back over 40 years, have been in response to the increasing probability that Republicans are a permanent minority in US politics...
2/ The GOP has not won a majority of votes in a non-incumbent presidential election since 1992. Control of the Senate, and hence the judiciary, turns on GOP dominance of small states. The federal courts reflect the will of a shrinking minority of those whose lives they adjudicate
3/ GOP resilience in the House turns on state-level gerrymandering. If just Texas and North Carolina had neutral maps, it would be nearly impossible for Republicans to gain a majority there.

Much of the same stuff has been happening at state levels...
Read 16 tweets

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