217 Comments

"This is how you deal with big corporations that try to throw around their weight and force woke policies on voters and families."

Something tells me that if big corporations tried to throw around their weight and force GOP policies on voters and families, they would be happily accepted into the fold.

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So well written. Thank you!

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Apr 25, 2022·edited Apr 25, 2022

The common trend from Trump's GOP seems to be "If ______ (free markets, democracy, etc.) don't work out for people like us, then what good is ________ (free markets, democracy, etc.)?"

In a world that they see as increasingly rigged for certain types of citizens while everyone else gets an impossible uphill climb where the meritocracy is gone and their kids stand no chance at competing against the kids of parents who the system is rigged toward, then burning the system down doesn't seem like a bad alternative. Why cooperate with people who are rigging the system against you economically-speaking? That's like volunteering to be exploited.

If the top rungs of society don't do more to make things fair--particularly inside of the deep-blue cities that are responsible for driving these insane levels of economic inequality--then I wouldn't expect any of these "burn it all down" political trends to go away anytime soon. If the meritocracy is already broken and gone, then democracy can go right along with it for all these people care. What good is a democracy if it cant fix a rigged economy? What good is democracy if it can't fix a broken meritocracy? If you can't fix the biggest problems in a society with democracy then people start looking for other solutions--mostly in the form of authoritarianism.

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Glad I had something to contribute! We are all in this together.

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founding

Thanks for the link to the Vanity Fair article. I saw the title and skipped over it because of the reference to Thiel. but your discussion caused me to read it--an important piece of journalism. I appreciate your references and links.

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We are WAY past the time to expect Republicans to even try to act like conservatives. Expect Orban's policies as the new blueprint. Why are you, Bulwarkians, still acting as if the Authoritarian Party is shocking? Secondly, if the dopey Dems don't start throwing this proto-Fascist demagoguery back in the faces of the Authoritarian Party, as hard and fast as possible, we're forked. Why are we still playing music on the effing Titanic? For example, there should be massive ad campaigns quoting Hillbilly Elegy Man on his anti-American plan for the future.

It's time to fight back

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I consider myself a left-of-center moderate. I have zero respect for Desantis. What he's advocating and successfully doing is wrong. What we have now will be a license by state governments to extort businesses that don't bend to their will. Talk about the administrative state! It now has a whole new meaning. America stands at the precipice. I'm 70 yr old, and the great beacon on the hill, may soon become a dim flickering light. Sad.

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Charlie, don't refer to these guys as "The New Right." First of all, Republicans have found a reason to be calling themselves "The New Right" every generation since WWII. Second of all, a guy who says: “And when the courts stop you,” he went on, “stand before the country, and say—” he quoted Andrew Jackson, giving a challenge to the entire constitutional order—“the chief justice has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.” . . . this is not someone from the "Right." The Right is a perspective on the *Liberal* political spectrum. A guy like this is not *on* that spectrum, he is an *Authoritarian.* Or better, he is a Fascist, since it is the Fascist play to not have rule OF law, but rule BY law. It is definitely Fascist to either co-opt private industry actors for the regime, or knuckle them under (this is the Corporatism which is such a standard feature of Fascism, whether it's 1930's Germany or today's China).

The threat the GOP poses to the country today is unique. The old party of Lincoln and Reagan has devolved into a party-before-country Faction. It has become a Fascist party, which is the true and actual opponent of Liberalism (whether of the Right or the Left). We need to call things by their true names. Trumpists are Fascists, and we should not mince words about it.

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founding

With all due respect to you Charlie, it’s because your friend Matt Lewis is an anti-anti NR Junior wannabe who’s thirsty for anti-anti clicks as his wife works the donor class down the hall in the family home to seat a flamboyantly authoritarian GOP House in ‘22. Matt may be a friend but he’s a bit of a grift, who is careful to always dance both sides of the fence. He’s disingenuous editorial mush.

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Apr 25, 2022·edited Apr 25, 2022

I may be jumping the gun a little, but I think every elite Republican knows the endgame here:

A resurrected President Trump with DeSantis as his right-hand man and enforcer.

Vice President under Trump is the job DeSantis was born to apply for. He would purge, punish, corrupt, and instill autocracy across the federal government, destroying the rule of law and permanently Trumpifying the military, law enforcement and intelligence.

Meanwhile, Trump would take all the credit, be the "charismatic" face in the White House, and meantime loot the Treasury, enriching himself and his friends (while pardoning himself). That is the plan.

And to those who would counter with "Nah, Trump fears competition from DeSantis"--Nonsense. Trump fears nothing from DeSantis. He has the personality cult of a cardboard box.

He would be, however, very useful as a competent builder of dictatorship--and smart enough to stay out of the limelight, while permanently establishing his reputation as a thug politician to be feared across America.

Presumably, after Trump was done with his second term (assuming the global order still stands), DeSantis would be the heir apparent.

This is the endgame, and anyone paying attention at least suspects it. Ignore any presumption that Trump and DeSantis are on a "collision course" of any substance. They aren't rivals in any permanent sense. They were made for each other. :/

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Actually your scenario is a real possibility.

One caveat I would add is that Trump may be quite satisfied calling the shots from Maralago especially if he can continue to rake in cash through his grifts.

In other words anointing DeSantis as his successor may suffice to meet his needs without having to waste his time having to pretend he is trying to govern.

I think the Banana Republicans would nominate Trump ONLY if they are convinced that some other Republican can't win. If that happens then your DeSantis scenario is strengthened. Trump would have to legally move back to New York to do that as he can't afford to have the Florida Electoral College votes set aside as required by the 12th Amendment.

Right now I am seeing President DeSantis and Vice President Nikki Haley or some other woman or person of color being sworn in in 2025.

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founding

I don't think DeSantis can be Trump's VP. I might be wrong but I believe the President and the VP cannot be from the same state.

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founding

What, like suddenly there is a rule or something that matters? And this one isn't actually applicable, it having been somewhat mooted by the 12th amendment. It still kind of exists. In principle, if Trump and DeSantis are both from Florida, the Florida electors could only vote for one of them, not both. Of course it wouldn't matter because this is America now.

There are also rules against doing things like overthrowing the government, but those don't count any more either.

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founding

I was mistaken. Apparently an EC elector cannot vote for both if they are from the elector's own state. No prohibition on both from the same state otherwise.

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That would actually put Florida out of the EC math.

All Trump has to do, though, is "temporarily" move back to New York. Problem solved. :/

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founding

Or their electors could vote for him and someone other than DeSantis as VP. Then Trump could wind up with a Democratic VP. That would be fun.

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In regards to the apocryphal Andrew Jackson quite used by JD Vance, I had the pages with it bookmarked in my grandmother’s college history text (“Political and Social History of the United States: 1829-1925,” by Arthur Schlesinger, pp. 26-27).

The quote was attributed as Jackson’s response to the SCOTUS’ decision in Worcester v. Georgia, about which Chief Justice Marshall declared that the Cherokees possessed the status of a “nation” under protection of the federal government. Georgia was attempting to establish jurisdiction over Cherokee lands but this decision was handed down to stop it.

At this point in the story, insert Jackson’s reported quote, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” according to this textbook. It is completely in line with Jackson’s subsequent actions, the surrender of Cherokee lands through a treaty and removal of Cherokees and other southeastern tribes to Oklahoma via the Trail of Tears.

How fitting that a candidate championing white supremacy would use a quote by a president who did not regard Native people as human.

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This is EXACTLY why I love the Bulwark. Thanks for the details, nuances and facts that are indispensable to our understanding of our heritage wrt our nation's future.

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Apr 24, 2022·edited Apr 24, 2022

Almost 60 years ago, the historian Richard Hofstadter described what he saw as the true goal of McCarthyism. “The real function of the Great Inquisition of the 1950s was not anything so simply rational as to turn up spies or prevent espionage,” he wrote, “or even to expose actual Communists, but to discharge resentments and frustrations, to punish, to satisfy enmities whose roots lay elsewhere than in the Communist issue itself.” - From Jamelle Bouie's NYT column

Those who don't remember the past . . . . .

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And those who DO remember history--- are doomed to repeat it anyway!

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Apr 25, 2022·edited Apr 25, 2022

Great post, but I would add that I think the truth is somewhere in between...just like today. Unscrupulous politicians using fear as a way to sway voters/citizens....but I think the citizens truly think they are doing what's right. That's a very key aspect if we want to get out of this...don't just assume they are "bad" people. Easy to do, but that's not what will save our nation.

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And that is why we will not ever get out of this. We will not be able to save our country. Citizens don't want what is right--- they want what will make them feel safe and secure. But democracy is unstable by nature. Democracy requires hard work, compromise, understanding and agreeing on facts, and the desire to see a politics where the greatest good for the greatest number of fellow citizens is held as an ideal.

Americans are tired of all the work democracy requires and so are ready to run to right wing or left wing authoritarians of one sort of another.

Right now it looks like the right wing authoritarians are winning because of the structural imbalances built into the Constitution. When the Constitution can no longer hold the country together because it has become the instrument of dividing the country then there is no way the "United States" can remain united.

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There needs to be a rule that tough talkers like Shapiro, Rufo, Tucker, Kirk, and Trump must agree to a fistfight when challenged. If you want to have the swagger, you should be forced to back it up

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Watching dRump take a swing at someone would indeed be well worth the price of admission.

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founding

I kind of like this idea.

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I saw Tucker Carlson debate someone from the Young Turks about 5 years ago. LOL...he COMPLETELY lost his swagger and cockiness...and was WAY more humble when he wasn't in front of his "home boys".

It was very obvious how drastic the change was in his demeanor...very telling.

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I think if trump were to run and win he would go after term limits for presidency, so possible he would have more than 4 years to trump-splain all his plotting, thievery, and lies. So, on the 4 year thing, I think you are incorrect.

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The GOP constituency has NO IDEA what a 2nd term for Trump would mean to this county. They would be cheering all the way until they realized that Trump never did care for them...but it will be too late to do anything about it.

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Precisely. Like Trump, they don't give two shits about the welfare of our republic. And the evangelical wing is even worse!

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Why can't people just boycott Florida and take their tourist dollars someplace else? That's what happened here in AZ when a former governor refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day thirty some years ago. The NFL punished the state by taking away the Super Bowl and holding it someplace else. The only way to hurt Florida is through the wallet. It seems stepping on their dicks is endemic to Republican governors.

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Citizinery boycott.

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So anytime A business disagrees with a republican position they will be punished and be labeled woke. The Republican Party has become arrogant and full of itself. They must think the American people are stupid. But like their loser president trump they will learn the the American people are boss.

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