So, with all the talk of Orwell, I want to point out that this is not "1984" level un-personing, but it's Soviet style denunciation. It's not even ambitious or interesting enough to be Stalinism; it's more like moldy Brezhnevism. This is the "Sovietizing" of the GOP. /1
In the post-Stalin, post-Khrushchev USSR, the Party had lost all ideological conviction and was completely exhausted and bereft of any dynamism. (Sound familiar?) The only thing left was Party solidarity and loyalty to the leader. (Sound familiar?) /2
This was a party that relied on stale formulations and buzzwords and formulations, enforced by "leading comrades" in the Party journals and outlets. (Sound familiar?) Falls from grace could come fast for suspected disloyalty or any kind of creative thinking. /3
If you toed the line, kissed the leader's ass, and repeated the Party's formulations, you had a good life: Awards, money, living quarters. (Sound familiar?) If you questioned things or became unorthodox in any sense, you were denounced and sent into a career dead end. /4
This is the Sovietized GOP: Vicious party cadres enforcing loyalty, sheltering under bullshit ideological formulas that no one believes, especially in the senior ranks of the party. Crossing the party is career (and even physical) death, but it's easy to avoid that. Until... /5
This all holds true until The Leader, whoever it is, starts to lose a grip on power through ill health or major fuck-ups or both. Then the rats start making plans and forging new alliances. But ideas, concepts, the national interest? No one cares about that. It's survival. /6
So, way to go, @GOP. You've become the Brezhnev-era Communist Party, only led by careerist non-entities who are less adept at policy, more prone to drama, and who hate American democracy more than Brezhnev did. Take a bow, comrades. /7x

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More from @RadioFreeTom

14 Jan
Watching footage of the Loser Sturm overrunning the Capitol during the Beer Belly Putsch, I am struck again by how much of what plagues us is an addiction to the narcissistic idea that everyone is the most important person ever, that everyone should be the boss of everything. /1
The raging narcissism, particularly of the cosplaying men who now deny that they wanted no part of any of the seditious stuff, is striking. Men who have a huge reserve of self regard that does not extend to shaving or wearing a clean shirt or other basic signs of adulthood. /2
These are people - again, especially the men - trapped in the eternal drama of adolescence. They are creatures of a leisure society, bored by the ordinariness of life, angry that the world is not more interesting and that others refuse to pay them their heroic due. /3
Read 16 tweets
11 Jan
This WSJ story is a must read, like a script that wrote itself. /1

"a solitary existence"

"lives alone in a worn, wood-heated house: for 40 years he has pieced together a living" out of odd jobs

"on Medicaid but says he doesn’t use it"

“I checked with the Lord,” he says
"a couple of run-ins with the law"

"Friends from Arkansas told him Mr. Clinton was one of the biggest cocaine smugglers in the U.S."

'soon concluded Mr. Obama was actively trying to destroy the country, citing infrastructure spending and the cash-for-clunkers program." 🤷‍♂️ /2
"liked was Mr. Trump’s defense of Confederate war memorials"

"went to Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally"

(broke and living alone, but gets around)

"gets his news from the internet and the pro-Trump news stations, Newsmax and One America News"

Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
@RameshPonnuru @McCormackJohn @Timodc @Peggynoonannyc Until this moment, I did not know how you voted. All I can say is that this was a time that seemed to me full of moral clarity, and I do not fully grasp how anyone else didn't see it that way. /1
@RameshPonnuru @McCormackJohn @Timodc @Peggynoonannyc As for for an approach to politics, I think fudging moral differences is how we got here. I thought one of the things we used to agree on as conservatives was this kind of moral clarity about people like, say, Bill Clinton. I thought that notion united us, once upon a time. /2
@RameshPonnuru @McCormackJohn @Timodc @Peggynoonannyc I also thought we were the people who had the courage to say "yes, 47 percent of the public can be totally wrong and I don't need to go figure out how to split the difference with them so that they don't feel bad about being wrong." /3
Read 4 tweets
7 Jan
A thread on how much you should be worried.

You guys always tease me about not letting you panic. Don't panic. Panic is a useless emotion. But after yesterday, you should be very, very alarmed right now. /1
I have said for a while that we're at the political version of DEFCON 1. Trump is doing what a lot of us knew he would do, attacking our institutions while leaving us nearly defenseless: The Capitol was breached last night, with the VP and Congress having to run for safety. /2
To protect the Capitol itself, the VP and the Acting SecDef had to go around the President - who, by many reports, has now become completely detached from reality. This is a government breakdown of the kind we usually only think of happening in other countries. /3
Read 8 tweets
29 Dec 20
I realize I am starting generational warfare by criticizing this piece today in @TheAtlantic about how the "Simpsons" life is no longer attainable, but the writer just didn't watch enough of The Simpsons and this is shoehorning some nostalgia about 1990 into a *cartoon* /1
@TheAtlantic When I say that younger people are whining about a life that didn't exist, this is what I mean. The writer is (by my math) about 39? The Simpsons *wasn't real and it was predicated on being a 1950s life and that was the joke, you see*

@TheAtlantic Yes, Homer had a good job with a high school diploma. That was the joke. In a 1993 episode, it's revealed that he was SUPPOSED to have a college degree. He was a fake. He was incompetent. He shouldn't have had that job. /3
Read 6 tweets
16 Dec 20
I *do* like Pete! That's the point! I think he's a talented man who should, you know, win a statewide seat, or at least a seat in Congress, or run something bigger than a city before heading to the Cabinet. That's my only position on it but I forgot that Pete has a nutty cult. /1
The reason, apparently, that no one came at me nearly this hard about my objection to Lloyd Austin - a far more consequential pick and far more worrisome than Pete - is because Lloyd Austin doesn't have a cult of TV-addicted celebrity worship out there plumping for him. /2
But in the end, what I'm really pleading for here with a subset of Twitter Democrats is to *be consistent and hold your party to the standards that matter, not the shitty standard of the Trump era.* Don't engage in lazy "but he won Iowa" or "Elaine Chao was awful arguments. /3
Read 4 tweets

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