Friday, August 10, 2018

The Only Way to Save the GOP is to Defeat It

I gave up on any hope of reforming the Republican Party from within years ago.  Rather, I came to believe that the only thing that might offer hope is to subject the GOP to crushing election defeats which, just maybe, would cause the party leadership to cast Christofascists and now white supremacists from the party and into the political wilderness.  In my view, these elements of the GOP base must become political untouchables who are unwelcome in polite and moral society.  Now, in a column in the Washington Post, former George W. Bush White House official Michael Gerson  is making pretty much the same argument as the one I have been making for over a decade.  If you believe in the GOP of old, go to the polls and vote Democrat in November.  Here are excerpts from Gerson's column in the Washington Post:
University of Chicago researchers — who clearly have a lot of time on their hands — have found that the use of certain brands and products is a good predictor of your level of affluence. This is an exercise in the obvious when it comes to a $1,000 iPhone. But the same proves true with Ziploc plastic bags, Kikkoman soy sauce and Cascade Complete dishwasher detergent.
By this measure, Democratic performance in Ohio’s 12th District special election might be called the Ziploc opening. Or maybe the Cascade cascade. The Democratic candidate, Danny O’Connor, appears, as of Thursday, to have lost by one point in a district that went for Donald Trump by 11 points in the 2016 presidential election. And most of O’Connor’s gains likely came in white-collar suburbs, among college-educated white voters who have been alienated by the president.
Democrats nearly secured a seat Republicans have held since 1982. . . . . if Democratic candidates make comparable gains across the country in November, they will win control of the House.
To win the House, Democrats need to secure gains in the suburbs of places such as Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. At least some of these voters are Baylor University-educated fathers or mothers packing Ziploc-bagged sandwiches to be eaten by children at Christian schools.
In November, many Republican leaners and independents will face a difficult decision. The national Democratic Party under Nancy Pelosi and Charles E. Schumer doesn’t share their views or values. But President Trump is a rolling disaster of mendacity, corruption and prejudice. What should they do?
They should vote Democratic in their House race, no matter who the Democrats put forward. And they should vote Republican in Senate races with mainstream candidates (unlike, say, Corey Stewart in Virginia).
American politics is in the midst of an emergency. . . . If Democrats gain control of the House but not the Senate, they will be a check on [Trump] the president without becoming a threat to his best policies (from a Republican perspective) or able to enact their worst policies. 
[T]he House will conduct real oversight hearings and expose both Russian influence and administration corruption. Under Republican control, important committees — such as Chairman Devin Nunes’s House Intelligence Committee — have become scraping, sniveling, panting and pathetic tools of the executive branch. Only Democratic control can drain this particular swamp.
Alternatively: If Republicans retain control of the House in November, Trump will (correctly) claim victory and vindication.  . . . Perhaps worst of all, a victorious Trump will complete his takeover of the Republican Party (which is already far along). Even murmured dissent will be silenced. The GOP will be fully committed to a 2020 presidential campaign conducted in the spirit of George C. Wallace — a campaign of racial division, of rural/urban division, of religious division, of party division that metastasizes into mutual contempt.
This would leave many Americans entirely abandoned in U.S. politics: . . . Traditional Republicans who miss a time — not so long ago — when leaders such as Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush modeled grace and led the West in defending freedom.
In a democracy, a vote is usually not a matter of good and evil. . . . . The only way to save the GOP is to defeat it in the House. In this case, a Republican vote for a Democratic representative will be an act of conscience.

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