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Old 03-25-2020, 06:56 AM
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The GOP, coronavirus, and doubling down. Help me understand.


I put this here since the quarantine zone rules specify no politics. Please move if appropriate. Some of us have heard the Texas Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick, has made regarding the pandemic. Now Glen Beck has joined him in expressing similar sentiments.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn...nes/index.html

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.med...e-country/amp/

Logically I suppose this is where the Republican strategy of doubling down leads to. The coronavirus is a media hoax? Maybe believable to someone in rural Louisiana when the only Americans who have it are in Seattle and New York. But then their neighbors start getting sick so that story gets to difficult to maintain. Next up? Try taking some chloroquine to prevent the illness. Oops, one of their own decided to take some without medical supervision and died. Next up? They have to face reality but on their terms. Let’s let the old people die as long as we can save the economy. And people still go along with them. The cluelessness of the Republican voters to keep falling for this never ceases to amaze me.

For anyone who would like to bust out the old “both sides do it” argument, imagine if Hillary was the current POTUS and making the same arguments. The Democratic base would be abandoning her like a hot potato. If Hillary was doing this she would be guaranteed to lose the 2020 election in a landslide. The red tsunami would be so huge it would make the 1994 and 2010 elections look like a ripple in a pond.

What is wrong with these people?

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 03-25-2020 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:19 AM
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Benghazi tho
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:29 AM
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My take is that they genuinely believe that the media are blowing the scale of the epidemic out of proportion. Yeah, people die, but people die every day. People die of the flu by the tens of thousands each year.

Technically, they're right.

What they legitimately don't understand is that the health system has not factored a deadly pandemic into their equation. They can't see that right now. Maybe they think that America's health system will somehow magically, through Divine Providence, figure it out. Apple will donate masks. Tesle will donate breathing machine parts. Capitalism wins.

Except that it's not that easy. Take a good look at what's happening in Italy and Spain. Take a look at the images of people having to lie on the floor, gasping for air because the ICUs and even the emergency room gurneys are all fully occupied. The health system wasn't prepared for this.

And Italy has socialized medicine, in which healthcare is much less rationed by the market than it is here. They have more beds per capita than we do. And they were completely overwhelmed within a matter of weeks.

"Okay but Italians are old and they smoke a lot."

True but we're not far behind, and we're mighty damn obese. We have obesity. We have diabetes. We have heart disease, high blood pressure, and all of that. The United States is a ticking time bomb for something like this.

If we rush people back to work before this is sufficiently controlled, this will be extremely difficult to control going forward. The virus could easily mutate, which would make a vaccine - even two vaccines - potentially useless. It would potentially break the entire medical system. Not to mention, the economy with it.

It's not an understatement to say that this could be a decision that is looked back on decades later as the beginning of the end of America as a modern global superpower. It's not hyperbole to say that at all. It's potentially that pivotal a decision.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:01 AM
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What is wrong with these people?
You mean the people who elected a malignant narcissistic sociopath to the highest elective office in the country and have supported his transparently infantile lies about everything from the size of his inaugural audience to the amount of legislation his administration has been able to get through Congress. These people live in a fantasy world of their own creation bolstered by propaganda from Fox News, Alex Jones, and Trump himself.

At this point the legitimate news media should do the responsible thing and stop giving Trump any coverage. It was a ratings-boosting shit-show in the first couple of years of his term but he has now become a threat to public health and national security. There is literally no point to covering him except to fact check his continuum of lies, disinformation, and strings of gibberish that comes as a stream-of-barely-consciousness in what passes for his thinking.

Just stop airing his statements, stop asking him questions to which he has no sensible answers, and stop giving him a platform to reach out to people beyond dedicated Fox News viewers. Cut him off the way you should cut off a bad investment or a telemarketer. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by publicizing anything he has to say, and continuing to “fluff” him in hopes that he won’t have a temper tantrum is like feeding a five year old candy to prevent a meltdown. This isn’t hyperbole; he literally talks, acts, and even holds himself like a petulant, spoilt child, and we collectively need to start treating him in the same fashion.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 03-25-2020 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:03 AM
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My take is that they genuinely believe that the media are blowing the scale of the epidemic out of proportion. Yeah, people die, but people die every day. People die of the flu by the tens of thousands each year.

Technically, they're right.

What they legitimately don't understand is that the health system has not factored a deadly pandemic into their equation. They can't see that right now. Maybe they think that America's health system will somehow magically, through Divine Providence, figure it out. Apple will donate masks. Tesle will donate breathing machine parts. Capitalism wins.

Except that it's not that easy. Take a good look at what's happening in Italy and Spain. Take a look at the images of people having to lie on the floor, gasping for air because the ICUs and even the emergency room gurneys are all fully occupied. The health system wasn't prepared for this.

And Italy has socialized medicine, in which healthcare is much less rationed by the market than it is here. They have more beds per capita than we do. And they were completely overwhelmed within a matter of weeks.

"Okay but Italians are old and they smoke a lot."

True but we're not far behind, and we're mighty damn obese. We have obesity. We have diabetes. We have heart disease, high blood pressure, and all of that. The United States is a ticking time bomb for something like this.

If we rush people back to work before this is sufficiently controlled, this will be extremely difficult to control going forward. The virus could easily mutate, which would make a vaccine - even two vaccines - potentially useless. It would potentially break the entire medical system. Not to mention, the economy with it.

It's not an understatement to say that this could be a decision that is looked back on decades later as the beginning of the end of America as a modern global superpower. It's not hyperbole to say that at all. It's potentially that pivotal a decision.
To the first point, the only reason that it's technically correct is because the flu has been at it for a lot longer. It would be like someone in the 15th century making the argument that guns are less deadly than knives because more people have been stabbed to death compared to those who have been killed by guns.

To the second point, it may be eve more pivotal than that. I fear it could be then end not only of our role as a global superpower, but as a free society. If the fall elections are postponed or if Trump wins, even in a fair election, I believe that the America we knew as of the end of Obama's presidency will be dead forever.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:20 AM
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To answer the OP: I see a lot of them posting memes on Facebook about how swine flu (H1N1) led to 60 million American infections and 12,000 American deaths during the Obama era, yet is almost entirely forgotten today, whereas the coronavirus has (so far) led to only far fewer American infections and deaths under the Trump era, but is hyped to the skies by the media.

The fact that H1N1 and Covid-19 are quite different diseases in terms of their ramifications doesn't matter to them so much as the fact that they perceive it as a blatantly unfair media double standard. That, and yes, the fact that tens of thousands of Americans die from "normal" flu every year.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:21 AM
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The GOP is a white nationalist party controlled by Evangelicals convinced these are the End Times and Trump was put forth by God to hasten the destruction of all they consider unpure.

Jared Yates Sexton has written quite a bit on this, his experiences in the white evangelical movement, and how the GOP has evolved into an apocalyptic party, ready to sacrifice millions to their vision. The link below is a tweet thread, one of many, which goes into how we got into this situation:

https://twitter.com/JYSexton/status/...341235202?s=20
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:30 AM
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For anyone who would like to bust out the old “both sides do it” argument, imagine if Hillary was the current POTUS and making the same arguments. The Democratic base would be abandoning her like a hot potato. If Hillary was doing this she would be guaranteed to lose the 2020 election in a landslide. The red tsunami would be so huge it would make the 1994 and 2010 elections look like a ripple in a pond.

What is wrong with these people?
If Hillary were saying anything similar to what these ass clowns are spouting, the right would be screaming about death panels.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:40 AM
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To answer the OP: I see a lot of them posting memes on Facebook about how swine flu (H1N1) led to 60 million American infections and 12,000 American deaths during the Obama era, yet is almost entirely forgotten today, whereas the coronavirus has (so far) led to only far fewer American infections and deaths under the Trump era, but is hyped to the skies by the media.

The fact that H1N1 and Covid-19 are quite different diseases in terms of their ramifications doesn't matter to them so much as the fact that they perceive it as a blatantly unfair media double standard. That, and yes, the fact that tens of thousands of Americans die from "normal" flu every year.
During any of those outbreaks, was the healthcare system of an entire country, as in today's Italy, overwhelmed to the point that retired gynecologists are being called in to manage ICU patients on ventilators? I just don't get how they can think them both equally worthy of not being worried about. They may perceive it to be a blatantly unfair media standard, but it isn't. The reality is that this illness is a lot worse. The coronavirus doesn't care about offending their precious little snowflake feelings, it's just going to keep doing it's thing unless we take steps to stop it.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 03-25-2020 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:04 AM
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The GOP, coronavirus, and doubling down. Help me understand.
It's quite simple; a few must die so that others may shop.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:08 AM
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"Haha! <cough> Su<cough cough>suck it, li<cough cough cough>libs!<cough cough COUGH HACK cough WHEEZE gasp CROAK>"
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:23 AM
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"Haha! <cough> Su<cough cough>suck it, li<cough cough cough>libs!<cough cough COUGH HACK cough WHEEZE gasp CROAK>"
This made me laugh, but it's not far from the truth. To the GOP faithful, anything good that happens gets accrued to Trump and the Party, while anything bad that happens is caused by Democrats and the Clintons. It's really that simple.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:31 AM
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It is in some sense the trolley problem, mixed with political optics.

On the one side of the track you have doing nothing, which results in hundreds of thousands of people dying. On the other side you have taking drastic action in which tens of thousands of people die, and hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs.

Now obviously objectively the second option is better. But in the first scenario all of the deaths can be blamed on the virus. The lord giveth and and lord taketh away. In the second scenario those hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs, lost their jobs as a direct result of the drastic actions, and even with those actions tens of thousands of people died, so the politician gets blamed for all of the bad things that happened.

So from the point of view of the "buck stops somewhere else crowd" its a no brainer, steady on full speed ahead.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:04 AM
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So from the point of view of the "buck stops somewhere else crowd" its a no brainer, steady on full speed ahead.
Once this is over, Trump, Pence, and everyone else responsible for delaying the public health response to the pandemic needs to be held liable for criminal negligence.

This isn’t an accident, or a simple miscalculation, and there aren’t experts “on both sides” debating back and forth about what action should be taken or what the consequences of inaction would be. Even if there was no way to stop an epidemic from spreading across the population (which I think we’ll find to be likely in a post hoc epidemiological analysis) there were practical things that the president and his Cabinet could have done in terms of educating the public, encouraging personal hygiene and social distancing, getting test kits out to local authorities promptly to track the spread, preparing to shore up businesses with loan guarantees, assure employment, food, and habitation security during the crisis, allow the NIAID to provide unfettered guidance to state and local officials, and drop the fucking tariffs with China so hospitals can get needed supplies of medical equipment and PPE!

Instead, this administration did worse than nothing; they literally blocked effective public health measures while Trump used an all-too-compliant media platform to tell the public that there was no crisis and that it would all be gone in a few weeks or summer at the latest in direct contradiction to the infectious disease and public health experts trying to advise him, and is still impeding federal assistance to state and local governments.

If a Republican Congress can spend millions of dollars for seven investigations of Hillary Clinton’s alleged responsibility for the Benghazi attack, then we can have an investigation of the criminal negligence of responding to a public health crisis with indifference, obstructionism, and misinformation.

Stranger
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:44 PM
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The GOP is a white nationalist party controlled by Evangelicals convinced these are the End Times and Trump was put forth by God to hasten the destruction of all they consider unpure.
...
No, not true- but the plutocrats and real Conservatives are letting the racists and Evangelicals run the party and speak for them.

There are still quite a few real Republicans. Look at Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach trump.

It's just that they are letting the assholes speak for them, because they want those asshole's votes.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:45 PM
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You mean the people who elected a malignant narcissistic sociopath to the highest elective office in the country and have supported his transparently infantile lies about everything from the size of his inaugural audience to the amount of legislation his administration has been able to get through Congress. These people live in a fantasy world of their own creation bolstered by propaganda from Fox News, Alex Jones, and Trump himself.
....
Harsh but basically true, sadly enough.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:47 PM
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No, not true- but the plutocrats and real Conservatives are letting the racists and Evangelicals run the party and speak for them.

There are still quite a few real Republicans. Look at Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach trump.

It's just that they are letting the assholes speak for them, because they want those asshole's votes.
How the GOP became a white nationalist death cult.

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Coming of age in the 1980’s, I was like many other children raised in this environment who spent each Sunday either in the pews of the church or else sitting on my grandma’s couch watching hours of televangelists warning of evil armies coalescing for the Apocalypse and begging for donations. The satanic forces were legion. They were in the culture. In the movies and television shows and music. There were enemies. Overseas. Amongst us. Literally everywhere. It sounds absurd now, but that was reality. You could turn any corner and find Satan waiting to take your soul. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse could ride at any moment and the Antichrist was more than likely alive and well and gathering converts in a foreign, wicked land.

While this paranoid, jumbled reality began well before the 1960’s, it was that decade in which the modern era of white-identity evangelicalism took shape. Jerry Falwell, Sr., a charismatic preacher in Lynchburg, led the charge as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum and speed. Falwell’s main antagonist was Martin Luther King, Jr., whom Falwell disparaged at every turn. Falwell’s particular problem with King was the way he used Christianity, and Jesus Christ’s sermons of social justice, to attack the institution of racism.

Falwell was firmly a segregationist. In his sermons he railed against the dismantling of segregated society, calling the racist system divine and bellowing, “When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.” Raised in the segregated south, he was steeped in the tradition of Confederate preachers who sermonized to their flocks in the CSA on the holiness of white supremacy and characterized the Christian god as inherently racist. The Christian faith was so integral to the Confederate cause that public ceremonies ran through with invocations of this racist god and military defeats led to days of religious atonement and humiliation.

The reaction to King’s usage of Christianity as a weapon against white supremacy was to abandon any notion of social justice and progressivism within the New Testament and reestablish the white supremacist notions of Confederate theology. Falwell opened private schools that were openly characterized as “for white students.” The faith focused on accrual of wealth and power, these markers of societal status becoming proof of God’s favor. Through this preaching, white dominance in political, judicial, and economic affairs became denotations of the will of the universe instead of means of racial control.

....

The religious awe with which Reagan bathed the country was a revival of sorts, and the Evangelical Right embraced him fully, merging his occult beliefs with their veneration of the institutions of wealth and power. Reaganomics radically altered our economy and emphasized top-down markets that prioritized obscene profits over the welfare of everyday Americans. The Religious Right, powered by Falwell’s preaching and the efforts of individuals like Norman Vincent Peale (the originator of The Power of Positive Thinking mindset that championed the prosperity gospel and inspired the likes of Donald Trump, whom Peale knew and officiated his first wedding) turned poverty into a symbol of godlessness.

Wealth and power, meanwhile, were seen as markers of God’s will. That had been the case since Adam Smith laid out our concept of capitalism being guided by “an invisible hand.” If someone was poor, if someone was destitute, it wasn’t the fault of the divine economy. It was their own personal, spiritual failing.


---

From the depths of this paranoid framing, Donald Trump has emerged as a religious figure, the embodiment of the fusion of contradictions upon which the Cult of the Shining City was founded. He is a poster child of conspicuous consumption; an aggressively wealthy man obsessed with defending the myths of America’s past that most Americans are growing more and more aware are only myths with each passing day. Exalted, sometimes jokingly, as “the Chosen One,” Trump is held by some Christians raised in these traditions as a faulty messiah, a Christ-like figure standing against the evil machinations of alleged antichrists such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom figure prominently in the online marketplace of internet conspiracy theories and email forwards with butchered quotes from the Book of Revelation.

Even now, as the coronavirus pandemic is growing, strange memes and messages are being posted in white-identity, evangelical circles, the roots of which can be traced back to Falwell and the Confederate Christian ideology. They see Trump as standing firm against dark, evil forces. They see the pandemic as a plague from God. A sign of the End Times.

And like other apocalyptic cults, these true believers are not afraid of mass death. They’re more than ready to reopen the doors and let come what may in the following days. When they watch the stock market tick upward, they see the hand of a racist, American God. The Dow Jones gaining points is proof of His favor. They’ll watch the numbers of infected and dying growing as well, and see testament of a world put right.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-25-2020 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:31 PM
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Just stop airing his statements, stop asking him questions to which he has no sensible answers, and stop giving him a platform to reach out to people beyond dedicated Fox News viewers. Cut him off the way you should cut off a bad investment or a telemarketer. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by publicizing anything he has to say, and continuing to “fluff” him in hopes that he won’t have a temper tantrum is like feeding a five year old candy to prevent a meltdown. This isn’t hyperbole; he literally talks, acts, and even holds himself like a petulant, spoilt child, and we collectively need to start treating him in the same fashion.
Well, at least someone is thinking. Washington Post: "NPR member station wisely bails on live coronavirus briefings"

Let's hope other news stations and networks follow suit. If no one can or will impeach or remove Trump, at least marginalize the daughter****er.

Stranger
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:31 AM
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Because regardless of what Trump does, or what happens, Foxnews watchers will rate Trump's response as, at the very least, "very good".
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:00 AM
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Because regardless of what Trump does, or what happens, Foxnews watchers will rate Trump's response as, at the very least, "very good".
Dobbs is an idiot toady, but real polls show Trump at his highest approval level ever and his daily briefings are ratings gold.

It's noteworthy that his highest approval level ever is still not over 50%. That's jaw-dropping to any political historian.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:05 AM
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@JohnT

I lived through the Reagan administration. He was the last president I didn't vote for, which is to say, I was 17 during his second election-- I missed voting against him by two months.

I said in an earlier thread that it is wrong to refer, still, to the Republicans as the GOP; they are a new party now, in name only the party nicknamed "this gallant old party" (later "Grand") in 1875 for its defense of the Union.

I originally said the Republicans lost the right to be the GOP with the election of Trump, but maybe it was the election of Reagan that knocked them off that pedestal, the Bushes and their old guard family notwithstanding.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:22 AM
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Dobbs is an idiot toady, but real polls show Trump at his highest approval level ever and his daily briefings are ratings gold.

It's noteworthy that his highest approval level ever is still not over 50%. That's jaw-dropping to any political historian.
It depends on how you ask the questions. If you asked me, for example, if I am watching Trump's press conferences and briefings compared to how much I have in the past with options A LOT LESS LESS THE SAME MORE A LOT MORE, I'd circle A LOT MORE, and if you even asked me something like "Do I think Trump should do more of what he is doing now, or do something completely different," I'd have to say "more of what he is doing now," because he is trying to procure more hospital equipment, and he said he will sign the stimulus bill when it hits his desk-- basically, since he stopped claiming the virus was a hoax, he has done useful things. They just have been a day late, a dollar short, and basically the car wash and bake sale of this crisis, as though he is some little guy just trying to help out, not THE ONE WHO SHOULD BE IN FUCKING CHARGE, and doing so much more, I could write a dissertation. But aside from prematurely announcing treatments, and sending dumbfucks off to buy fish medicine (which really, is not TOTALLY his fault), he's not doing a lot actually wrong.

OK, calling it the "Chinese Virus" is very wrong, but I expected this guy to be telling people to take lots of zinc and vitamin C, and hang garlic on their doors. I wouldn't have been shocked if he'd called people staying home from work "lazy," and said everybody ought to be able to find something to do for the economy. I wouldn't have been shocked if he'd referred to people dead from the virus as "the weak ones." I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd tried to declare the shut-down necessary beyond the second week of November, and therefore, he automatically gets a second term. I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd suggested bombing Italy & Wuhan.

So yeah, I can see people writing questions in such a way that my answers could be construed as "approval."
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:33 AM
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I said in an earlier thread that it is wrong to refer, still, to the Republicans as the GOP; they are a new party now, in name only the party nicknamed "this gallant old party" (later "Grand") in 1875 for its defense of the Union.
Although the party has skewed hard right under the tutelage of Newt Gingrich (who gave them the ironical dictionary of “Compassionate Conservatism”) , the origins of neoconservatism have its roots going back to Goldwater, the GOP “Southern Strategy”, and the conversion of Dixiecrats into Republican hardliners. Although it seems to be largely forgotten now the Reagan era was rife with corruption and malfeasance, and while Reagan was a better speaker than Trump is by leagues, he appealed in many of the same ways, warning about the dangers of government and the need to clearcut bureaucracies and remove regulation to improve the business environment. Trump is actually the logical conclusion of everything the GOP has been mouthing for the last thirty years. That he is incompetent, amoral, corrupt, and totally lacking in empathy is not an accident or oversight; it is the ideal Republican leader.

I can’t say too much good about the Democratic party, either, and in Hillary Clinton they expressed their own ideals (capitulate to financial interests, make a lot of talk about social welfare while doing the minimum or less) but at least they aren’t dedicated to deliberately exploiting the most vulnerable in the population.

Stranger
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:10 PM
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@JohnT

I lived through the Reagan administration. He was the last president I didn't vote for, which is to say, I was 17 during his second election-- I missed voting against him by two months.

I said in an earlier thread that it is wrong to refer, still, to the Republicans as the GOP; they are a new party now, in name only the party nicknamed "this gallant old party" (later "Grand") in 1875 for its defense of the Union.

I originally said the Republicans lost the right to be the GOP with the election of Trump, but maybe it was the election of Reagan that knocked them off that pedestal, the Bushes and their old guard family notwithstanding.
Richard Nixon, youngster. Richard M. (for motherfucking) Nixon.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:42 PM
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It was the Republican congress elected in 1946 that repealed the Wagner labor act and replaced it with the Taft-Hartley act that led eventually to the destruction of the labor unions which led eventually to the current situation. Since it was passed over Truman's veto, I assume a lot of Dixiecrats must also have been responsible, but they were all DINOs, a heritage going all the way back to the civil war era when the Republicans opposed and the Democrats supported slavery.

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Old 03-27-2020, 07:39 PM
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Although the party has skewed hard right under the tutelage of Newt Gingrich (who gave them the ironical dictionary of “Compassionate Conservatism”) , the origins of neoconservatism have its roots going back to Goldwater, the GOP “Southern Strategy”, and the conversion of Dixiecrats into Republican hardliners. Although it seems to be largely forgotten now the Reagan era was rife with corruption and malfeasance, and while Reagan was a better speaker than Trump is by leagues, he appealed in many of the same ways, warning about the dangers of government and the need to clearcut bureaucracies and remove regulation to improve the business environment. Trump is actually the logical conclusion of everything the GOP has been mouthing for the last thirty years. That he is incompetent, amoral, corrupt, and totally lacking in empathy is not an accident or oversight; it is the ideal Republican leader.

I can’t say too much good about the Democratic party, either, and in Hillary Clinton they expressed their own ideals (capitulate to financial interests, make a lot of talk about social welfare while doing the minimum or less) but at least they aren’t dedicated to deliberately exploiting the most vulnerable in the population.

Stranger
I have my issues with Democrats, as well, but not NEARLY as much as I do with the Republican Party for the very reasons that you mention, above.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:07 PM
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All the Republicans need to do is blame somebody else for the problems they're causing. After that, the problems themselves don't matter to them. So if two million Americans die, it's not a problem - as long as they can deflect the blame.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:56 AM
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2005 GOP: “Terri Schiavo must have a ventilator!!”

2020 GOP: “No ventilators Grandma ... and maybe none for your whole state.”

Last edited by JohnT; 03-28-2020 at 07:56 AM.
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