Open Thread Feb. 6: Boycott All Republicans

Filed in National by on February 6, 2018

This article calling for voters to boycott the Republican Party at all levels and for all offices is notable because of who wrote it: A pair of Brookings Institution eggheads with plenty of conservative views. It concludes with this:

We understand, too, the many imperfections of the Democratic Party. Its left is extreme, its center is confused, and it has its share of bad apples. But the Democratic Party is not a threat to our democratic order. That is why we are rising above our independent predilections and behaving like dumb-ass partisans. It’s why we hope many smart people will do the same.

I don’t mean to put too much emphasis on it, because ultimately they’re just a couple of beltway-bound analysts who can’t see things clearly — the Democratic center is “confused”? No, the phrase you’re looking for is “morally bankrupt sellouts” — but if guys like this are saying things like this, the lunatic fringe cannot hold until November.

The frantic flailing from the White House and Trump’s enablers in Congress is getting absurd — Devin Nunes now claims he has proof that Hillary Clinton colluded with the Russians, presumably to ensure her own defeat — but it all boils down to the same thing: Trump is guilty, he knows it and he’ll do anything to obscure it. It’s why his lawyers don’t want him talking to Robert Mueller, though as Josh Marshall points out, the law is clear: He has to talk, even though he’s president.

Journalist Kurt Andersen has traced the source of Republicans’ refusal to “believe in” science to its twisted roots: evangelical Christianity. It’s not that Republicans don’t believe in science, he says — it’s that their voters don’t, so they can’t admit otherwise.

I don’t think all of them disbelieve in evolution – some of them – but they were all obliged to say yes to falsehood and magical thinking of this religious kind, and that’s where it becomes problematic. America has always been a Christian nation. That had always meant a different thing one hundred years ago or even 50 years ago than it means today. … Christian Protestant religion became extreme. It became more magical and supernatural in its beliefs in America than it has for hundreds of years or for any other place in the world.”

Here’s a shocker: Handing out FEMA contracts to people with no experience in disaster relief is — please, sit down for this — a gigantic waste of money. Naturally, not a peep from conservatives who wail almost non-stop about “crony capitalism” when anyone but their buddies get one of these sweetheart contracts.

Here’s another shocker: Casino boss Steve Wynn’s sexual predation was known in 1998, but the Las Vegas Review-Journal spiked the story. This is not all that different from the El Foldo the News Journal pulled when its reporters found that Tom Gordon’s first administration was a hotbed of crookedness, and it demonstrates perfectly why all the lamentations about the death of journalism always ignore the real culprit — the publishers of the advertising circulars who like to pretend they’re part of the “free press.” If it were free, they wouldn’t charge you for it. Since they do, they guard their revenue sources at the expense of the public. Always have, always will.

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  1. jason330 says:


    We understand, too, the many imperfections of the Democratic Party. Its left is extreme, its center is confused, and it has its share of bad apples. But the Democratic Party is not a threat to our democratic order.

    Huzzah!! Democrats aren’t a “threat to our democratic order” at least!!!

    That’s how low the bar has been set. If it was any lower it would emerge from the dirt on the other side of the Earth in Guangdong China.

  2. Alby says:

    Bob Menendez of New Jersey is one of the bad apples. After having his corruption case closed, he’s now running around telling people about his Catholic faith. This is the kind of crooked fuck we’re told we have to vote for because otherwise, the Republicans. Like there’s a motherfucking difference. And yeah, Cory Booker, you fraud, this includes you.

  3. RE Vanella says:

    With regards to organized political parties this is what I’m focusing on.

  4. jason330 says:

    REV – Thanks for that link. I’ve been queasy about that Kennedy episode for a while now.

    No, the designation of a third-generation scion of an insular dynastic clan as a “rising star” of the opposition party represents a deeper structural disorder—one that’s disfigured the Democrats’ anemic national strategizing for the better part of a generation.

  5. Alby says:

    Bam! That nails it:

    [T]he misguided selection of Kennedy as the future-of-the-party respondent to President Trump’s State of the Union speech [represents] a full-blown social philosophy, one that carelessly assigns power on the basis of socio-economic networking, and imagines its lead exponents as the only body of gatekeepers who can channel populist discontent into reasoned social deference. …. Democrats have increasingly come to envision a political system that delivers power on the basis of professional status, which in turn all but guarantees that ardent neoliberals tend overwhelmingly to come into their own political convictions much as Joseph Kennedy III has: as a matter of class inheritance.

    Ironically, Jonathan Rauch, one of the people taken to task by Chris Lehmann in that piece, also authored the “boycott Republicans” piece I posted the link to. AS I said, for basically conservative “centrists” to take this position is noteworthy, even if they are powerless to do anything about it.

  6. bamboozer says:

    The more I know about Kennedy the more I realize that many in the party still don’t get it, that being Republican Lite is a guaranteed loser for the party. As for the Evangelicals they remain our version of the Taliban, eager to make us all bow before them and submit to their evil perversion of Christianity. Hell, I yearn to beat them with an assortment of bibles. While screaming “HEAL!!!” of course.

  7. RE Vanella says:

    Let’s not fixate on JK3 specifically. This is a symptom of gross dysfunction.

    “One might reasonably counter that, for a party locked out of the meaningful exercise of power in virtually every level of government, a sudden onrush of inexperienced and ideological candidates with a shot at actually gaining power is a rather good problem to have. It’s particularly so, in view of the stubborn obstacles to activist fundraising and participation that the Democratic Party’s leadership caste has deliberately erected to discourage non-establishment candidacies that threaten the party’s dominant, bought-out business model. But that is to suppose that, for this cohort of D.C. apparatchik, ideology and substantive governance might, you know, matter. For La Raja and Rauch, though, the most consequential thing about the idea of government is the exercise of the gatekeeping prerogatives of a permanent political class.”

  8. Alby says:

    I fixated on him as soon as he was announced, for exactly the reason Lehmann cites. It was precisely the wrong messenger.

  9. RE Vanella says:

    Very true. No doubt. But they could have selected any number of mediocre middle managers, pragmatic policy wonks and/or elites who can raise big money.

    That’s the real cancer that need to be ripped out. And I get the feeling that it has rooted itself so deep the act of extracting this philosophy is going to be pretty violent (figuratively not literally).

    The people who’ve lost race after race, have little control of governorships and statehouses across the country and have ceded power at every level of government still want to tell you how it needs to be done. They still want to vet candidate by how many high-priced fundraisers they can hold and what their credentials are.

    I’m interested in a candidate’s ideas and courage and skill at explaining to the broadest and most diverse possible cohort that a better way is possible and it doesn’t rely on enriching the rich.

    Proud Class Traitor

  10. mouse says:

    I just wish there was a political party that advocated putting bullets into the heads of anyone getting the carried interest dedication?

  11. Albert Jackson says:

    Look what the GOP are doing national =

    We have to fight them just to survive.

  12. Dana Garrett says:

    The Kennedy selection was a desperate selection. It was as if the Democratic Party was trying to make centrist politics palatable again by spicing it with nostalgia. Looking backward. How tragically sad. And those that would talk exclusively for the poor and middle class get marginalized once more. It’s as if the Dems didn’t get the presidential race. That old centrist song couldn’t even beat a fiasco like Donald Trump. That’s how much the American public loathes it. Progressivism is now the pragamaric course and yet the Democratic leadership is too thick to get it. I will say this for the Republicans. Their idiocy is less hypocritical.

  13. nathan arizona says:

    I think they mostly just hated Hillary.

  14. TonyDem says:

    Does this also include boycotting Kathy Utah by default?

  15. Alby says:

    @Tony: Are you suggesting that most folks won’t be able to relate to someone who can relocate to Utah because her kids are into skiing?

  16. Gerry W says:

    When more and more voters switch their registration to Independent you would think the Democrats would let Independents vote in their Primary . No, No, No – the purpose of a Democratic Primary is to showcase the anointed Candidate. Therefore the only reason to enter a Democratic primary is to extract gifts, promises of a position, or possibly a cash buyout from Party elites. Since all Democrats declare themselves Progressives the what exactly is a Democrat Centrist” Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Jeff Flake? Can there be a Centrist Wing to a Party? No because the wings have to be on the outside right or left which means the Centrists are the Breast, or maybe the tail. A Delaware Democratic Primary in which Independents could vote, what an awful thought.

  17. Dana Garrett says:

    The Democratic Party doesn’t have a centrist wing. Rather, the Democratic Party has a centrist inertia: a centrist assumption that only now is being fundamentally questioned–a question that, not incidentally, the public largely indulges now in varying degrees. We might be at the onset of a real outburst of progressivism–that is, if the Democrats don’t screw it up.