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Why The GOP Deserves Trump As Much As Trump Deserves The GOP

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Why The GOP Deserves Trump As Much As Trump Deserves The GOP

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Republican National Convention winter meetings in San Diego, California January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

First Donald Trump came for President Obama’s birth certificate.

And most Republicans said nothing because they knew much of the GOP base had been waiting for a famous guy to demand papers from the first black president.

Sure, “mainstream” Republicans didn’t embrace his birtherism explicitly. But they stood on stage with him, accepted his endorsements and his foundation’s cash, even when they were supposed to be investigating him for fraud.

Then Trump came for the immigrants, the Muslim-Americans, the refugees, Ted Cruz’s birth certificate, Ted Cruz’s family, Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the Khan family, Alicia Machado…

Along the way he shook off his history of dehumanizing women — to the glee of the crowd at the first GOP debate — and inspired a flood of online racism, anti-semitism, and hate from his supporters that the candidate did just about nothing to contain.

It’s obvious that Trump deserves the impending electoral drubbing he’d already earned even before a leaked tape exposed the GOP nominee bragging about how his fame let him “do anything” to women. He was already headed to the bad end of an electoral college landslide, punctuated by what will likely be the worst performance with minority voters for any Republican since 1964.

But just as Trump deserves to be scarred with the filth of his words and conduct forever, the GOP deserves any damage the Trump does to its stature.

Just last week Paul Ryan promised he would use a Trump victory to “steamroll” huge tax breaks for the rich while revoking the health insurance of 20 million Americans before winter’s end.

As Trump goes up in flames, so does that dream of transferring trillions in dollars in wealth to the richest, who have never been richer. With it goes a once-in-a-generation chance to dominate all three branches of the government.

In exchange, the GOP gets two new swing states to defend — Arizona and Georgia — with the possibility of a third, Texas, which if and when it turns blue could end the GOP’s hopes of ever winning the White House again.

Yes, Texas is likely safe for the GOP, for now and the next decade. And the reason for this reveals why the GOP deserves Trump even more than the Trump deserves the GOP.

Today — in 2016 — it is more difficult to register voters in Texas than it was in Mississippi during 1964’s historic Freedom Summer.

Texas treats voter registration like a criminal offense and makes it as difficult as possible to do,” writes The Nation‘s Ari Berman.

The state’s laws make it costly and risky to launch the kind of voter registration drive necessary to get 2.2 million unregistered Latinos and 750,000 unregistered African-Americans on the voting rolls. And you can see why: Mitt Romney won the state in 2012 by about 1.3 million votes.

Texas’ investment in keeping likely Democratic voters away from ballots is decades old, but the GOP’s decision to make an assault on voting rights a national priority is more recent.

In 2000, the Bush Administration — which had lost the popular vote and only won the state of Florida thanks the Supreme Court and a voter purge that took place under Governor Jeb Bush — launched “a dramatic effort to restrict voting rights,” Berman reports.

A five-year effort found no significant evidence of voting fraud. But the real fraud was the idea that they were troubled by voting fraud. The plague the GOP was obviously determined to root out was the “wrong people” voting.

To stop “them,” the administration approved the first voter-ID law, an unnecessary burden meant to address a problem that doesn’t exist. Only 31 cases of voting impersonation were identified in over a billion votes while countless thousands, or maybe even millions by now, have been barred from the polls by laws designed to shrink the electorate.

The notion that black Americans voting is implicitly fraudulent is as old as black Americans voting. And the GOP hyped that trope up to eleven after President Obama was elected, laying the groundwork for a flurry of restrictions on voting in red states unlike anything we’d seen since the 1960s.

Most of the worst of these egregious attacks on voting were blocked in time for the 2012 election. Still, despite evidence we were in the midst of a coordinated effort to deny the vote to Americans who’d suffered historical discrimination, a conservative Congressional majority fulfilled a conservative dream of gutting the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

What followed was an explosion of new laws that barely bothered to hide their real purpose. North Carolina’s “monster” anti-voting law targeted black voters with “almost surgical precision,” a federal judge found.

Legislatively, the GOP’s assault on President Obama’s legitimacy was unlike anything America had ever seen before.

From the night of his inauguration, conservatives vowed to block anything he was for, even though the country was at the nadir of recession that the GOP had led us into and Obama made a historic effort to embrace Republican ideas, including Mitt Romney’s framework for health care reform.

Even before they’d built a historically large House majority out of districts that were 95 percent majority-white, Republican opposition was relentless. It nearly led us into debt default that would have crashed the global economy. And it actually led us into a government shutdown based on the premise that Obama, who had just been reelected, should give up the signature accomplishment of his first term.

By 2016, the contempt for Obama had become institutionalized as the GOP refused consider a president’s budget and the GOP would not even grant a hearing for the president’s appointment to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, leaving the seat open for the longest period of time in American history to be filled by… Donald Trump.

While the GOP toyed with ways of stopping Trump, the collective action problem of the primary became a full-on embrace of the nominee by fall, with RNC chairman Reince Priebus threatening to punish any Republican who didn’t back Trump.

Then came the “grab them by the p**sy” tape and Republicans were finally threatened with the loss of something they valued — the votes of white women voters.

Rats began to flee the sinking Trump ship, but the deck was already mostly underwater.

Evidence suggests that thanks to the party’s co-dependent relationship with Donald Trump, the GOP may be on the verge of permanently losing two of the fastest growing groups of new voters — Latinos and Asian-Americans. Support from these two groups is dipping toward a percentage in the single digits, suggesting that the GOP could lose their support in the way they’ve lost the African-American vote since the 1964 election, the point that marked the GOP’s surrender to — or willing embrace of — its fate as the party of white America.

In 1968, the GOP’s pivot to the white was incredibly well timed. Fueled by a historic corporate investment in moving the country to the right, Republicans rode a demographic wave to a conservative revolution that undermined many of the policies that built the middle class.

In 2016, betting on white may help you keep an immaculately gerrymandered House of Representatives.It’s a recipe for electoral disaster that may be buffered by a heartless restriction of voting rights as well shameless obstruction — but not for long.

IMAGE: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus speaks at the Republican National Convention winter meetings in San Diego, California January 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Blake

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15 Comments

  1. FireBaron October 10, 2016

    This downfall started with Newt Gingrich and his late night “speeches” before an empty House. He build a Republican Coalition that somehow managed to work with a centrist Democratic President. Then came the Dubya era when Congress effectively became little more than a rubber stamp for the President. Is it any wonder that the House and Senate reverted to the Democratic Party on the coattails of President Obama’s election? Even during that period, though, the GOP stood in full opposition to anything the President tried to get done. Ever since they regained the Majority, they have spent the entire eight years of Obama’s administration trying to make him a “one-term President”. Unfortunately they continued this tack even after he won reelection.
    Now they have a baboon called Teflon Donnie as their leader and want to know why no one takes them seriously as a political party anymore.

    Reply
    1. This baboon is scaling the Empire State Building, with Lady Liberty in his hairy palms.
      God Help Us All! If he wins. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c22677f66a7dcf7f25c5506752e9054b261f9c131a05118aeaf0eb248a2e988.png

    2. Mama Bear October 10, 2016

      I actually think it started when the GOP got in bed with the evil-gelicals. That far rightwingnut group started the downhill spiral then added the absolutely loony Teabaggers. Then it became a party of extremists. It used to work – this two party system – conservatives, liberals, thrashing it out on the house floor then ultimately compromising. Evil-gelicals and the other extremists believe compromise is a four-letter word.

      1. Sharonmbetts4 October 11, 2016

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    3. neeceoooo October 17, 2016

      My fear is that they have never worked with an African American will they work with a women.

  2. dbtheonly October 10, 2016

    With respect to FB, the Republicans won the 2010 and 2014 elections overwhelmingly. Dismiss them as you will, they can win.

    Next, a significant plurality of Republican voters voted for Trump in their primaries. Republican “elites” can talk about dumping Trump. It’s not clear where the votes lie. The Republicans got Trump because they voted for him.

    Reply
    1. Mama Bear October 10, 2016

      we have to face it – Trump is them. He says what they have been dog whistling for years.

      1. dbtheonly October 10, 2016

        Exactly.

        It not a question of whether the Republicans deserve a Trump. They’ve chosen him.

        1. Pamela Sue October 11, 2016

          Heck, they Created him!

          1. neeceoooo October 17, 2016

            You sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas. The GOP played into the religious group, the T party and the extreme views, they get what they deserve.

  3. yabbed October 10, 2016

    Trump has taken the GOP down to a place from which there is probably no recovery, at least not for decades to come.

    Reply
  4. SmilodonsRetreat October 10, 2016

    It should be pointed out that, while getting voters registered in Texas is difficult, it is also one of states with the lowest registered voter turnout. 34% of REGISTERED voters voted in 1012. Mobilizing them might put Texas into play.

    Reply
    1. dpaano October 11, 2016

      Maybe more of them would turn out if they were able to register…..ever think of that one?

      1. SmilodonsRetreat October 11, 2016

        Yes, but that’s not my point.

        My point is that we’ve been told “Texas is a Red state” for so long, everyone believes it. If the Democrats in the state actually came out and voted…

        For sake of argument, let’s say that of the 66% of registered, but non-voting people, 40% of them are Democrat. Now that’s about 3.5 million people. Considering that Obama lost Texas by 1.2 million votes… just getting people to vote could potentially put Texas into play. And if Texas turns blue, then the GOP can never get the White House again.

  5. Jon October 10, 2016

    Any party that would nominate such a gross and vulgar man as it’s presidential candidate deserves whatever the consequences of doing so may be. The issue of voter suppression is a constantly recurring problem in Republican controlled states. Until the forces hostile to American democracy are removed from office, voter suppression will always be attempted.

    Reply

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