"Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II." nytimes.com/interactive/20…
Trump is a classic leader of a reactionary movement. He was elected to stomp in & piss all over the elites, their institutions, their norms, their precious procedures & habits. Yes, GOP elites want the judges & the tax cuts, but the base wants the cruelty & crudeness.
The problem is that reactionary movements are purely destructive. Once they piss all over everything, they have nothing to do but ... find other things to piss on, other enemies. There's nothing TO them but organized resentment. There's no generative project.
That, I think, explains why the Trump coalition is shrinking on the margins. It was a thrill to watch him desecrating everything, making elites 😵, but now what? There's nothing else. Just 4 more years of destroying more stuff, more cruelty & contempt? The show is getting old.
This is the core challenge for the GOP: a party that is purely reactionary, purely destructive, cannot maintain majority support. It must eventually have some positive program, something it wants to *build*. But insofar as the GOP has a positive program, it is wildly unpopular.
So it's facing a choice between doubling down on irrational, illiberal reactionary fury, which has no electoral future, or pivoting to soft plutocracy, which also has no electoral future. Contemporary conservatism is simply ill-suited to the 21st century. Can't hide it forever.
The party's answer to the dilemma, so far, seems to be to rig democracy so they can rule with a shrinking minority. That's what this election is about: foreclosing that option. (Or not.) </fin>

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More from @drvox

18 Oct
So, last night I watched Fargo (the original movie, not the show) with the kids. It's been over 20 years since I last saw it and DAMN did it hit me different/harder this time. It is profound about humanity, about good & evil, in ways I didn't really appreciate before.
I think when I first saw it, I took the "bad guy" to be the anomaly in need of explanation -- a red streak of pure evil against the bland white background of upper midwest Normal. I thought that contrast was the center of the movie. This time around, though ...
... a different contrast struck me, namely the simple kindness & decency of Marge & Norm against the backdrop of a Normal mostly populated by people like Jerry Lundegaard -- not evil, really, just petty & shortsighted, an unwitting enabler of evil.
Read 7 tweets
18 Oct
I honestly think most Republicans don't have any problem with Russia helping Trump get elected. Not sure if any of them have come out & said so plainly, but there's no other way to explain the party's reaction to confirmation that Russia is spreading disinformation through them.
After all, "telling lies to help Trump get elected" is what everyone in the party has devoted themselves to for going on five years now. Why would they turn down help? Why would it bother them?
I know I keep saying this, but: the whole point of spending decades painting Democrats not as political opponents but as killers & monsters determined to destroy the country ... is to soften the audience up so they will accept crimes & atrocities on behalf of "their side."
Read 4 tweets
17 Oct
In the name of copping to mistakes, I will say, I assumed at the beginning of this race that the right would be able to do to ANY candidate what it did to Hillary. But it has really failed to touch Biden. I don't fully get it. washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
So is the explanation:
A) Hillary had unique vulnerabilities.
B) It was misogyny -- they woulda slimed Warren too.
C) Biden has unique strengths.
D) The RW slime machine is losing its touch.

Or some mix?
Obviously one can't run such experiments, but it would sure be interesting to re-run the campaign w/ Warren (to see whether they could Hillary her or whether the 20yr headstart on Hillary was crucial) or a different old white man (to see how much teflon is unique to Biden).
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct
Everyone is accurately calling this projection but I dunno that it's widely appreciated how *fundamental* projection is to the reactionary mindset -- it's an engine of moral self-justification that is common to reactionaries across times & cultures.
Want to see some raw projection & how it works? Read this piece about what conservatives say when there's no media or libs around. "This is a spiritual battle we are in. This is good versus evil. We have to do everything we can to win."

They are getting together & psyching one another up to suppress votes. How? By telling each other scary campfire tales about what the dread Dems are doing. They activate one another's fears until being racist & suppressing votes feels like something they simply *must* do.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Don't wanna be grumpy old guy but: ACB's views on climate change really don't matter. Her legal opinion is that the vast bulk of the administrative state is unconstitutional, including the parts devoted to mitigating climate change. That's what matters.
If she "believed" climate change but still held that view, it wouldn't be any better. Conversely, if she was a hardcore skeptic but viewed the administrative state as legitimate, it would be a vast improvement. We need to start judging public figures based on their roles/powers.
I guess I just wish Dems -- both commenters & legislators -- spent more time explicitly defending a progressive view of LAW. They should be bashing originalism & defending a more sane approach. That's what is bad about ACB; that's the disagreement that functionally matters.
Read 4 tweets

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