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Why are Republicans in Congress so terrified of Trump and his base?
Old 01-26-2020, 05:13 PM
mjr mjr is offline
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Default Why are Republicans in Congress so terrified of Trump and his base?

I don't recall Congressional Republicans being this terrified of Bush and his base.

I don't recall Congressional Democrats being this terrified of Obama and his base.

What's going on, in your opinion?
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:22 AM
D_Yeti_Esquire's Avatar
D_Yeti_Esquire D_Yeti_Esquire is offline
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Short Version: The GOP can't survive an election if his base sits out or protests.

Long Version: Trump is sort of the culmination of a process started in the 80's by Newt Gingrich which was heavily based on "whatever it takes for the party to win." The Republicans of the 80's were approximately the same mix - wealthy and small business owners and evangelicals.

Part of his process was talk radio which then over time became Fox News. That mouthpiece, while effective, often would stake fringish positions because that activated the combination of stupid/ignorant/conspiracy minded electorate and helped drive them to the polls. Think Moral Majority, etc. It's not a mistake that really since the 80's, there hasn't been a Democratic president that didn't deal with some conspiracy theory. Vernon Jordan, most of White Water, birtherism, fascination with Bernie Sanders in the Dem primary with Clinton etc.

The difference was, at the beginning it didn't matter - they went to the polls and your conservative politicians could skip the fringish stuff and just work on their policy. If they needed to compromise they could but they were competitive and could keep the ball rolling. Over time though, those fringish views, having been OK'd as a short term thing began to surface in their electorate as full time mainstream positions. No one in 1980 thought the solution to gun violence in schools was arming teachers. No one.

Fast forward to 2016 and there's a problem: conservative policy has been American policy since largely 2000. Whether it be military, globalization, not addressing wage stagnation, etc. With the exception of certain social topics, we're no where near as liberal as we were even in the 60's and 70's.

Now you have a problem - you can't run on balanced budgets (you haven't been balancing them) or globalization (that's why people are mad) or the economy (which was increasing at the time) or immigration (by far the largest importers of that labor is Trump's electorate). That left wedge social issues/paranoia and those issues are largely playing to the base I spoke of earlier. What they didn't plan on, was a candidate that rather than "use" the wedge issues, actually "believed" the wedge issues. In that split second, the control the Republicans had over their platform left.

Because in the end Small/large business owners and Evangelicals/crackpots(not tying Evangelicals to crackpots - simply non-platform focused people) are not the same voting block. And the Republican apparatus had spent so much time and money making Evangelicals hate democrats or RINOs (even though most couldn't actually describe conservative values if asked) via identity, the fact someone else could simply coopt that apparatus never occurred to them.

So much of the fear is, the Republican party doesn't want to "lose" the voting block even if it has no idea how to do what it wants to do at this point. When in reality both parties are going to have to shuffle, the cost of dealing with Trump for the Republicans is the next election which is everything Gingrich politics says you can't do. This is the same contingent that has Evangelical preachers talk about civil war if anyone dare invoke the constitution against their leader. It's why Ryan and Flake left - I think they see the writing on the wall and why ruin your name in that political moment.

It's why John Roberts and people like Alito have appealed to civility. Eventhough organizations like the Federalist Society arguably CREATE the with us/ against us mentality and is a part of that Gingrich apparatus, seeing it play out like this has been a shock to the senses. Because any scholar or learned person realizes, there's certain lines you don't cross and having stepped over those lines people now are just looking for a way to step back that ISN'T saying Democrat2020. As Schiff stated quite bluntly - checks and balances don't matter IF the people in charge have no intention of enforcing them. No document will save us.

The Dems are actually starting down that path with AOC/Bernie who both litmus test candidates, but it's not so baked into the sauce yet that Democratic legislators haven't been able to vote their concscience - see non unanimity in the Impeachment articles. This isn't a "both sides" thing. The Democrats havegot another 10-20 years before they'll come close to the kind of platform-agnostic/blind allegiance the GOP has going. For now, piss off enough liberals or moderates and they won't show up for the election. No one cares about Republican moderates anymore.

Last edited by D_Yeti_Esquire; 01-29-2020 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 02-04-2020, 04:59 PM
Daskinor Daskinor is offline
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D_Yeti_Esquire that is the best summery of the problem I have ever read, thank you.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:23 AM
Gravekeeper Gravekeeper is offline
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Clinging to power > party > country.

Even if it means gargling the balls of an elderly toddler on network television.
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