By Tom Johnson ~
Once upon a time, Martin Longman didn’t think Republicans were so bad, but that was before the Tea Party, before the Iraq war, before Fox News became a major force. The Washington Monthly blogger detailed his decades of disillusionment in a Tuesday post.
According to Longman, events which eroded his belief that Republicans were “decent people” included the “excesses of the Gingrich Revolution”; the “giant looting exercise” that GOPers allegedly executed during George W. Bush’s administration; and John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin. “From there,” Longman opined, “it was a short hop to climate science denialism, Birtherism, rape-don’t-get-you-pregnantism, Benghazism, and all the rest.”
Longman also argued that “Donald Trump actually is an ideological match for the modern conservative movement” given that movement conservatives are motivated less by philosophical principle than by “1) fear 2) hatred 3) greed and 4) a need to be led…Trump encapsulates those almost perfectly.”
From Longman’s post (bolding added):
I take a holistic view, and I think it’s a bad thing when one of our two political parties goes so deeply batshit insane that their “safe” choices are opposed to rape victims having the right to an abortion…
…I started out thinking that the Republicans were decent people who had different priorities…The immediate excesses of the Gingrich Revolution began to make me wonder though…
Then they impeached President Clinton and published a salacious report about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. That’s when I knew that I’d misjudged these people. They were truly radicals…
I told anyone who would listen that George W. Bush was going to lead a radical revolution that would devastate this country. And that’s exactly what he did…9/11, weapons of mass destruction, Iraq occupation, Katrina, the Great Recession…politicization of the Justice Department…outing CIA officers for no higher purpose than to win a 24-hour news cycle.
The whole enterprise was indistinguishable from a giant looting exercise, and all they left us was a smoldering husk of a country that was on its economic knees.
…[T]he day John McCain nominated Sarah Palin as his running mate…was the last day that the Republican Party of old existed even on paper.
The moment the organs of the GOP had to shift over to defending her preparedness and suitability…was the moment that their brain was disconnected from the rest of their central nervous system. From there, it was a short hop to climate science denialism, Birtherism, rape-don’t-get-you-pregnantism, Benghazism, and all the rest.
This is all a long way of saying that Donald Trump actually is an ideological match for the modern conservative movement…
[Nate Silver] assumes that the key animators of the conservative movement are the familiar things like low taxes, a strong national defense, and a ban on abortion. Those aren’t the keys. The keys are 1) fear 2) hatred 3) greed and 4) a need to be led.
Trump encapsulates those almost perfectly…
…[I]f you start with the assumption that the base of the party likes a guy who spouts Birther nonsense more than a guy who is consistent on conservative issues and you understand that this is because he spouts Birther nonsense, you’ll do better predicting the outcome of these primaries. Hate trumps virtually everything with conservatives.
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.