So, this is a small story about #RhodeIsland politics, and my position about voting out the GOP down to the grass roots - and how local actions have consequences for national parties. /1
A few years back, some folks on here thought I was pretty hard-assed for voting against a local GOP candidate for RI House. She should have been my ideal pick: A PhD in poli sci (I knew her work back in the day. It was good stuff.) Pro-choice, pro-business. /2
But she was a Trump delegate to the GOP convention - even though she said she wrote in Carly Fiorina. (Whatever.) I told her directly that I believed in starving the GOP for support until it cleaned house on Trumpism. A year later, she runs for GOP state chair. /3
Her backer for chair was a Trump-adjacent GOP senate challenger and former mayor named Fung. Also working the phones for her? Local guy named... Sean Spicer. As you can see, Fung elicited the standard Trump endorsement from her:…
Without any elected base to work from, the GOP chair ends up being a former town council president. Losing two elections helped keep someone who caved and went for Trump's support from becoming a state GOP official. This is how it works. This was the point. /5
The RI GOP, of course, is and will likely remain microscopic. The point is to early on to act to prevent a future GOP from looking like the current one: You oppose anyone who wasn't openly opposing Trump from the get-go, and especially if they bent the knee later. /6
"But what about my local GOP officials" isn't a thing in a party this is, from top to bottom, a cult of personality. Even if it seems pointless, making GOP candidates pay right at the grass roots level is how you clear the party for the entry of new people later on. /7x

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More from @RadioFreeTom

28 Oct
I have had this convo with Trump supporters a hundred times over the past 4 years, and it always ends with confused cognitive dissonance, or just anger.
Makes them even more confused when I say I'm a conservative, but I just them to be *consistent* in what they say they want. /1
They'll say: "You used to agree with me," or "But you want what I want!" And I say: Sometimes. But I've changed my mind on the ACA: people depend on it and it's here to stay - just like Medicaid. It helps people like *you* and your family, right?
Eventually, they'll concede that they are mostly getting what they want, and they mostly just want other people not to have what they have, and then they say: "Yeah, you make some good points, but... things have to change. You just don't get it."
And I say: Okay, explain it. /3
Read 7 tweets
25 Oct
I think for anyone open to reason, @Timodc offers a fine list of reasons to come to their senses. But I am more pessimistic than he is: I don't believe the people who are now still leaning to Trump are accessible to reason.
There is only one appeal to make, imo. /1
It is the appeal to your own innate moral sense. To ask yourself if you really believe that everyone else - Biden?! - is so evil that you must support Donald Trump. To examine your own heart and to ask yourself if you really are the kind of person who believes such a thing. /2
Of course, if you are the kind of person capable of even this much introspection, you've probably already decided and you long ago realized that your own moral sense gave you the answer about why you cannot support Trump, even if you're reluctant to actively fight him. /3
Read 6 tweets
24 Oct
Believe it or not, I don't disagree that strongly with @JayCaruso or @DavidAFrench about the right to vote for whomever you choose, or not vote at all. I just reject any notion that such an act can be divorced from its obvious consequences as some sort of higher principle. /1
If you are a person who says, and genuinely believes, that Joe Biden and Donald Trump are completely interchangeable or equivalently evil, well, okay. Don't pick either of them. I think these are morally obtuse positions, but okay, it's your right. /2
But to say "I do so because my vote must completely represent me and my values" is childish in a system *designed* to force you to aggregate your interests with others in a "close enough" solution. It's not just parties that do this; that's by constitutional design as well. /3
Read 8 tweets
23 Oct
I haven't written up why I think so, but I am a dissenter on this.
Main reason: Cults of personality don't transfer well.
Also: The antics driven by Trump's emotional illnesses were crucial to his appeal to a base that demographically gets smaller every year.
The GOP will get smaller and harder-edged and will move further right. They might still cobble together Electoral College wins (even now!) But "Trumpism" didn't mean anything but "Trump's TV show." You can't always just replace Darren with a new Darren. /2
And one more thing: Trump being a "kingmaker" means Trump accepting that he is not a king. His personality is not the type to step aside and start supporting someone younger and more accomplished. It's not how he's built. In fact...
Read 5 tweets
17 Oct
I get this question a lot, and will answer it as part of an additional comment about why I reproduce my craziest emails at all. The short answer is that - despite the current uproar - I do not want people harassing each other, I just want people to see the content. /1
The reason I want people to see the content is that I want Americans to see, up close, that this past four years has turned some of their fellow citizens nearly into lunatics, unable to grasp reality and filled with rage 24/7. This is the synergy of Fox, talk radio, and Trump. /2
I want people to see the kind of stuff that Trump's opponents get, and to ask themselves if this is really the America they love. This is McCarthyism - if McCarthy had been communicating at the level of a psychotic third grader or a rampaging talking ape. /3
Read 6 tweets
2 Oct
The @NavalWarCollege has a tenure-track job open in security affairs. Thread from our chair, @DerekSReveron. /1
National Security Affairs Department is hiring a tenure-track assistant professor to teach international security beginning July 2021.…
Teaching national security affairs is part of a 10-month professional MA program for US officers of all military services, federal employees, and officers from about 70 countries. /2
Read 6 tweets

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