Archive for December, 2019|Monthly archive page

Donald Trump and the Democratic Plot to Destroy the GOP

In Politics, Uncategorized on December 4, 2019 at 11:40 am


(Satire . . . or is it?)
The Premise:
We have always assumed that it is the GOP who know how to take the long view, to play the long game. The Democrats are always looking to solve some specific social “problem” or other, but don’t know how to plan for what comes next. The roots of the rise of the right that put Trump in office can be seen in Dick Cheney’s choice of himself as Vice-President, and in Karl Rove’s pledge to create a permanent GOP majority, and in Gingrich’s “revolution,” and Reagan’s trickle-down economics and Nixon’s war on drugs. The failure of the left to make lasting, systemic progress on civil rights, women’s rights, abortion access, universal health care, LGBTQ+ rights, separation of church and state, and so on can be seen in how easily those things have been to dismantle, sideline and cripple since 2017.
But what if the so-called “centrist” Democrats who have systematically moved the party further and further to the right since the 1970s have actually developed a long game of their own that is so clever and so subtle, though hiding in plain sight, that it may destroy the GOP as early as 2020 and leave the Democratic establishment, with its oligarchy and pandering to the poor, the middle class, and minorities of every stripe?
Now stay with me here. I don’t have a whiteboard behind me, so you’ll have to follow along without charts or illustrations. I promise it will make sense in the end.
The Plot:
The Democrats had assumed all along that Hillary Clinton would be President from 2009 to 2016. But when Barack Obama took the nomination, they saw, instead of disappointment and defeat, opportunity. This was a black man who had presented himself as an agent of enormous social change, while actually being only barely left of the new center that had been crafted by the Dems during the Reagan years and solidified by Bill Clinton. The idea was to promote modest tax increases as radical departures from the Republicans’ corporate and oligarch friendly economic policies; and to promote small, cautious, baby steps on social issues as radical left-of-center progressive change. This would allow them to continue to attract the backing (and money) of corporations and wealthy donors while simultaneously creating the illusion of enormous political and philosophical distance between themselves and the GOP.
Perhaps Hillary had lost to Obama this time, but there was no one else who could stop her in 2016. Obama would give them liberal street cred and Hillary would keep solidify the right-of-center centrist control for decades to come.
The Gift That Was Donald Trump:
When the 2016 election got under way, the Dems assumed that Clinton would be their nominee and Jeb Bush would be the Republican candidate. So, they began to plan for that. But when Donald Trump, who had always claimed to be a Democrat, entered the race as a Republican and began to do surprisingly well, despite being a crude, proudly ignorant, arrogant, misogynistic, racist narcissist, they saw an opportunity to not only win the election, but destroy the GOP. Let Trump be Trump, make him the face of the Republican party, and put Clinton in the White House for eight years so they could build a middle-of-the-road political legacy they could paint as both populist and highly progressive – compared to the extreme right-wing brush with which they would paint the entire GOP.
When Republican resistance to Trump began to collapse, the plan got an added boost. Fusion GPS came to the DNC and said, “The GOP had us dig up all this dirt on Trump, but now they don’t want it anymore. How about you?” Corruption, playing footsie with Putin, the pee tape . . . it seemed as if the gods were on the side of the Dems. This stuff would give them decades of dirt to throw at the GOP for the mistake of choosing Donald Trump.
The Big Gamble:
Putting Clinton in the Presidency seemed almost too easy. And that wasn’t good. If she won too easily it would seem as if it was just politics as usual. People would assume she had won it because it was simply her turn. It would allow the GOP to use Trump’s loss as a reason to repudiate him and his extremism in public while recognizing privately that they could use his ideas to solidify their hold on the very policies of oligarchy, racism, xenophobia and misogyny that had helped them turn the South and Center of America red. Clinton was certainly a flawed candidate. She and her husband both had a long political history full of potential problems. If they played them carefully enough, they could keep the race close, proclaim victory, then begin the process of showing how the nation had just barely escaped the evils that would surely have descended on us all if Trump had been elected. And the closeness of the race would be evidence that the GOP was, in fact, the party of Trump. This would have the added benefit of showing the party that if a centrist like Clinton had just barely survived, then the wisdom of not going with a socialist like Bernie Sanders would be obvious.
So, when Mitch McConnell blocked the Garland SCOTUS nomination and refused to join Obama in making the Russian election interference public, all they Dems needed was something to keep their electorate from getting too complacent about Clinton’s election. They needed something that they could allow to seem troubling, but also connected to something so obviously ridiculous that it wouldn’t actually make a difference. The answer was right in front of them. The disgraced, then rehabilitated, then re-disgraced Anthony Weiner had a laptop. If someone leaked out that it might have some files of Huma Abedeen’s that might be, somehow, related to Clinton’s e-mails, or Benghazi, or something, then they would have a “scandal” far enough removed from Clinton to be safe, and easily debunked and ridiculed if it got too close. All they needed was for the head of the FBI to make the discovery public and announce the re-opening of an investigation. Nothing in particular would be alleged, no crimes would be uncovered, no Clinton misdeeds revealed. It would look like just more GOP dirty tricks. It seemed perfect.
Loss and Turning Lemons Into Lemonade:
But the risk was misjudged, Michigan and Wisconsin were missed, and there was more discontent among the progressives in the party than had been anticipated. Clinton lost. And the Republicans still controlled Congress. Things were looking grim. And then they got worse. Trump and the GOP began dismantling decades of progress on voting rights, women’s rights, health care, LGBTQ rights, minority rights and climate action; and they began to reshape the judiciary in ways that further threatened those rights.
And the centrist Dems saw an opening. The GOP was calling Nancy Pelosi a socialist and anyone even a step to her left was suddenly a communist. The establishment Dems could finally say that, with the far right, fundamentalist swing of the GOP base in full view, they were the center after all. But how to capitalize on it?
Bernie Sanders was still running for President, and a full roster of left-of-center candidates, minority non-white candidates, gay candidates, and self-proclaimed Democratic Socialists were gearing up to run for Congress, governorships, and state legislatures all over the country. Ocasio-Cortez showed that they could win even against establishment, big-money Dems in places like New York and the Midwest and even in the South. If enough of them could win, not too many, just enough, then the Dems could bring home the left wing of the party that had abandoned them in 2016.
2018 became the year to show that the Democratic party had truly become the party of diversity, of change, of progress – and Donald Trump was giving them room on the right to also be the party of populism, patriotism, and the average American.
The End Game:
2020 was now set up to be the year the centrist Dems could lower the boom on the GOP for a generation or more. All they needed was a good, business-friendly, non-controversial, establishment candidate for President. Anyone who said the right things about minorities and gays and women and saving the ACA and doing something, anything, about guns could beat Donald Trump. And it would leave the GOP as essentially little more than a fringe group in the electorate. The Dems would own the middle.
It would have an additional benefit. The left would have only two choices. They could stay with the Dems and accept whatever they got, or they could form a new party and get less. With the Dems controlling the broad center and the GOP stuck far right, the Democratic Socialists would simply mirror them on the left. America would have a three-party system with one major party, the Dems. And all the centrists would have to do is begin a careful, step-by-step restoration of what had been the progressive status quo before Trump and they’d be seen as hugely progressive by comparison. Meanwhile, they could continue to court big money and big business, offer token tax increases, and token social progress while continuing to support the oligarchy, the military, and the churches.
The Conspiracy Theory:
Now just suppose that it was all a set-up from the beginning. What if Trump has been part of it all along? Trump wasn’t going anywhere near the White House until Barack Obama made fun of him. If you’re a Trump supporter who thinks Trump is a genius, doesn’t this make a whole lot more sense than the idea that a billionaire business man would exhibit so many crude, stupid, irrational, and dangerous tendencies, still win big, openly flout constitutionality and convention, have so many corrupt and crazy associates in his administration, send Rudy Giuliani onto the major news networks to undermine him at every turn, be allowed to make a fortune off of the Presidency, and risk impeachment? You’ve been played. Trump is a Manchurian candidate, all right; but not for Putin – for the Democrats, the party he belonged to before deciding to run as a Republican – something he said would he could do because he thought Republican voters were stupid enough to support him.
Will It Work?:
Who knows, really. But the centrist Dems are having some unexpected difficulties. Joe Biden, their preferred candidate, is unlikely to be nominated. Same with booker and Steyer. Pete Buttigieg may hang on for a while, but he’s no shoo-in. Kamala Harris is gone. They’ve thrown Bloomberg and Patrick at the wall, but it’s not clear either one will stick. Meanwhile, Bernie is still very much in the fight, and it’s the social democrats who are creating the most excitement in the electorate. They might be able to work out something with Warren, but she’s a loose cannon as a centrist and the oligarchs don’t like her. The wealthy would almost rather have Bernie if they could get a fairly centrist congress.
But for the Republican electorate the bottom line is this. Do you want your party to survive? Then you have only one course of action. Abandon Trump, send Pence home to mother, and let someone like Bill Weld run for President. He practically looks like a centrist Dem already, but a Republican Congress could keep him in line.

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