Asshattery or Nothing New

John Cole who happens to be an ex republican that I can respect put the following up:

I know for many of you, there has never been a time that the Republican party was not fully evil. With my current political feelings, I can look back and understand your perspective. At the same time, I still think that the Republican party has become demonstrably worse in the past decade to the point that I don’t even recognize them. People who were too fringe to be the fringe are now elected Senators, and the whole thing party is just a freak show.

It was at around that time that the scales fell from his eyes, and I say good for him. Another BJ front pager Anne Laurie follows up in the comments thusly:

Hate to break it to you, but: I’ve been keeping an eye on the Repubs for more than fifty years, Cole, and during that period they’ve always been more venal than not.

You & the rest of the Sane GOP Minority had the chance to take back “your” party during Watergate, but you chickened out & let the CREEPsters sacrifice Tricky Dick while scuttled into the darkness. (Hi, Cheney… Rumsfeld… Wolfowitz… ) “You” still could’ve carved out the rot when Reagan bumbled onto the stage, but noooo, Jimmy Carter was a wussy peacenik who wore cardigans. By the time Dubya’s handlers staged the Brooks Brothers riot and Poppy’s hand-picked SCOTUS decreed that the popular vote only mattered when the “right” people were popular, anyone with an IQ over room temperature and a soul not thoroughly corrupt was hunting for the exits.

We all did stupid shit when we were young & angry, and I’m glad you grew up and refudiated the whole GOP crime cartel. But saying that the rot started recently is like insisting that your friend didn’t die of AIDS, he died of Karposi’s sarcoma or pneumocystic pneumonia — those may have been the proximate causes, but they wouldn’t have gotten a foothold if the HIV virus hadn’t destroyed his immune system already.

The current batch of GOP office-holders and office-seekers are every one the political equivalent of an opportunistic infection.

I was happy to see this as I had showed up too late to the party to make any realtime contributions to the thread in question. And it sums up nicely my feelings on the matter.

I’ll have to admit that I find it a bit difficult to understand the willful disregard of the obvious among people like Cole, who finally came round on their personal “Road trip to Damascus.”

I was always predisposed to be a raging lefty. Getting chased around the playground, during every recess, by a group of rednecks calling me a nigger probably had something to do with my political persuasion. As a result, I can smell hate from a mile away, and the republicans have always had that reek about them.a quick and

I’ll posit my thesis; a quick and dirty short trip through about the last century. We should be approaching or have just passed the centennial of “Birth of a Nation.”

The KKK was rebranded in the ’50’s and became the John Birch Society, which rode Goldwater to crushing defeat in ’64, but by playing the long game they slowly took over the GOP. Now they are the GOP.

 

Comments: 28

 
 
 

All I’ll say is I was brainwashed by the parental units, & w/in three yrs. of this 1964 photo I was a different person entirely, growing hair, smoking dope, opposing the Vietnam War & listening to race music.

No excuse for anyone who believed that crap after puberty.

 
 

I was a small child in 1952 when Eisenhower was running for president. The campaign slogan was “I like Ike.” I asked my mother whether she “liked Ike.”

She told me that she didn’t mind Eisenhower, but that the VP candidate Nixon was a crook. In 1952, she was 20 years ahead of the political world.

My mom is now 95 and every day she celebrates another day she has outlived Nixon.

Reagan of course was as crooked as Nixon, but had an actual personality. Or at least people have told me that he did, I never saw one.

All current Social Security issues can be traced to Reagan. As originally set up, all funds paid into SS by workers were to be used only for payments when the workers became eligible to collect them.

Reagan TRIPLED the national debt, but even that wasn’t enough, so he took SS funds to use for a military buildup. I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be a loan, or was an outright theft, but either way, if the US government took the funds out, it is disingenuous to suggest that because SS had the money stolen, SS was a bad idea.

 
 

MB, forgot that picture of you. Think I saw it at Roy’s Place.

Happy that your turn to the better side did not take long.

Repack,
I love your mom, and occasionally wonder if I should dust off a crudely written piece from old blog and repost it here.

It was titled something like. “Reagan, Legacy of Shame”

I was 15 when that polished turd turned the white house brown.

 
 

Also in keeping with the multiple germain tangents, Goldwater did come around to see the madness of his party metasticise, and at 12 when i got my first ham radio license, i would have been overjoyed to establish contact with Goldwater, a famous and avid operator of the time.

So I cut him some slack as well. Repack should be proud of the presidential recognition.

Doubt he’s actually read it, but likes the pictures.
??

 
 

The shift away from the former Party of Lincoln to the shambling clown of Chthuhlhu we see today, I think was first visible after Teddy Roosevelt’s administration. A man of his times with all those faults and some more, he was nevertheless a progressive who did hold the notion that if you were wealthy you had some kind of obligation to that good fortune to help some who weren’t.

When the Republican party chose a candidate he didn’t feel was progressive enough, he formed the Bull Moose Party and split the vote rather than let that guy get in.

The next step down the chain I’m aware of was actually Herbert Hoover. He was the first to apply a Southern Strategy to woo over racist Democrats to vote GOP in the Federal, by firing loyal black Republicans in the party.

And from there to Eisenhower, probably the last somewhat sane and somewhat moderate Republican of any importance, and from there to today.

 
Pupienus Maximus
 

Stopped in albuquerque yesterday to get some new boots because NM hates me. Every time I get above 7000 ft. it fucking rains. My old boots were torn up so two nights in a row I had to set up camp with wet feet. Anyway, I did see Fenwick.

I have some things to say about this post but gotta hit the road now, heading through Los Alamos en route to Colorado and points north and west.

 
Pupienus Maximus
 

Gack! I did NOT see Fenwick. If I had I’d be telling tales.

 
Pupienus Maximus
 

I’ll just say this. Conservatism may have once been a political philosophy (though one that should be cast aside upon reaching adulthood) but long ago became a religion. And you know how crazy the megapastors are.

 
 

The thing is, John Cole is white. Also male and, I believe, straight. Which does a lot to explain why it took him some time to realize exactly what conservatism was. This is what all these discussions about “privilege” are all about – if you benefit from enough of it, you can afford to wander through life oblivious to and ignorant of this kind of oppression.

I say this as someone who shares all these identities and for whom being a liberal was a growing up/learning curve that’s still ongoing; my teenage self was perfectly happy to believe plenty of right wing bullshit. (I continue to think libertarianism is your basic adolescent worldview). It took a bit of prolonged exposure to the right wing to realize that no, everything the DFHs had been saying about them was true; they really are complete psychopaths and you’re one too if you keep drinking their kool aid.

 
Another Holocene Human
 

I didn’t read Cole in his Republican days so I don’t know how applicable this is to him, but I’m bothered by some Democrats bragging about being “yellow dogs” and so on. I’m pretty unyielding as a voter on racism, gay rights, and women’s reproductive freedom. I left downticket ballot boxes blank for years after moving to the South because I refused to vote for Dixiecrats. Now I can vote straight tickets because the Dixiecrats have been purged. But that wasn’t the case when I moved here.

Back in New England, I voted for sane Republicans a few times. That was a while back, and people like Charlie Baker show that it’s over for not-totally-evil Republicans in Mass. Heck, Chafee switched parties. Angus King quit the GOP.

I don’ t know if Cole knew or cared about any of this. But some people bragging about their Dem bonafides are being too cute. We are in such a polarized time now that you can vote by party almost anywhere in the US and be making a coherent ideological statement. But that’s a new thing.

 
 

I look back over my 60+ years on this planet and try to come up with just one single issue where the conservatives were right and the liberals were wrong.

I honestly can’t think of one.

From “states rights” to “you can’t legislate morality” to the Confederate Flag to the Vietnam War to the Iraq War to voodoo economics to gay rights to women’s rights to voting rights to gun fetishes to fetus fetishes to climate change to income inequality to military spending to even Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, fer crissakes…. they’ve been consistently WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

 
 

he was nevertheless a progressive who did hold the notion that if you were wealthy you had some kind of obligation to that good fortune to help some who weren’t.

I believe they used to refer to that sentiment as “Noblesse Oblige.”

Unfortunately no longer a going concern….

The thing is, John Cole is white. Also male and, I believe, straight. Which does a lot to explain why it took him some time to realize exactly what conservatism was.

I didn’t want to state this explicitly, but yeah. The rest of your comment is spot on, per usual.

Pup, hope the rest of your trip proceeds pleasantly. I have a camping adventure of my own coming up soon, can’t fucking wait.

We are in such a polarized time now that you can vote by party almost anywhere in the US and be making a coherent ideological statement. But that’s a new thing.

Well put Holocene. I may have written reams in response to the democrats are the real racists because Robert Byrd was a klansmen nonsense. Also many more pages attempting to explain the overton window…Which oddly seems to mystify most.

Some guy, right on!

I was thinking about the mother of an old friend (second grade) who had liberal bumper stickers literally plastered over the back end of her car. One in particular always stood out and still influences me though I have not seen one for years…”Question Authority.”

….

 
 

The shift away from the former Party of Lincoln to the shambling clown of Chthuhlhu we see today, I think was first visible after Teddy Roosevelt’s administration. A man of his times with all those faults and some more, he was nevertheless a progressive who did hold the notion that if you were wealthy you had some kind of obligation to that good fortune to help some who weren’t.

My impression is that the party’s been slowly and gradually deteriorating since not long after the Civil War. IIRC it was in the Grant administration that wealthy capitalists started to really take over the party, but Tilden-Hayes in 1877 was the big one, where Hayes agreed to end Reconstruction and allow Southern conservatives to basically recreate the pre-war order in all but name, if in exchange they allowed him to take the White House. Liberal Republicans didn’t *die* in the late nineteenth century, and at times they even managed to wrestle control of the party back from the hoi polloi for a while, but it was an uphill battle every time. (And then, like AHH says, they basically died out recently).

You just don’t notice because for a long period of time, as bad as the Republican Party got, the Democrats (at least in their stronghold the South) were so much worse that the Republicans still end up looking good by comparison.

It’s a shame because it was a pretty promising party when it started out with Lincoln. It’s not just the stand for slaves’ rights – on economics, Lincoln said some things about labor and capital that most Democrats today wouldn’t dare to, and on foreign policy, criticized the Mexican War as unnecessary and unjust and started on false pretenses, in ways reminiscent of what Vietnam and Iraq war critics would be saying later. He’s one of the few politicians from long ago of whom I have absolutely no doubt who he’d be voting for today. Pity his party had to go completely tits-up.

 
 

In the tradition of John Simon’s observation that “There is no point in saying less than your predecessors have said”, I present the start of NCSteve’s comment, which I may ask his permission to quote in a letter to my local fish-wrappers (Public Opinion and The Herald-Mail):

I remember the exact moment they began to go off the rails. I was working, at the time, for people who were rather high up in the world of state Republicanism. The kind of folks who were on a first name basis with with Republican governors and were old buddies with Republican senators and were generally knit into the fabric of the state GOP.

And I remember well how tepidly they supported the reelection of George H.W. Bush. How grudgingly they wrote the checks, how prone they were to skip the big fundraiser and just cut a check instead, how constantly they grumbled about his unreaganess. And thus it was nationwide, from the Republican members of Congress down to the blowhards in the bar.

And when Clinton beat the candidate they barely supported, their response was blind, blazing rage, shock and horror and, above all, deeply aggrieved outrage. And looking back, it’s clear what happened. In just the twelve years between Reagan’s inauguaration and Clinton’s election, they had truly come to believe that they, and they alone ruled by divine right, that elections were just tedious little civic rituals by which their divine right to rule was legitimated by the serfs and any election they lost had been stolen from them like a thief breaking in to your house at night and stealing your silver.

I can only add that some of them really believed, because of the D after the Big Dog’s name, that he was not the centrist Republican he would govern as, but a dedicated, conscious agent of the International Communist Conspiracy. The rest merely found that belief useful for keeping the rest of the pack howling behind them, and for clubbing their enemies into silence.

I am posting comments too quickly? Slow down? WILL I BOGROLL.

 
 

Republicans and southern Democrats were easily as psychotic during the Depression and New Deal as they are today. Nothing about them has changed, aside from the fact that they aren’t trying to hide their racism and nativist hatred anymore. They at least used to try, now they’re getting a big hateboner out of saying what they’ve always said but without the coded language.

 
 

It’s a shame because it was a pretty promising party when it started out with Lincoln. It’s not just the stand for slaves’ rights – on economics, Lincoln said some things about labor and capital that most Democrats today wouldn’t dare to, and on foreign policy, criticized the Mexican War as unnecessary and unjust and started on false pretenses, in ways reminiscent of what Vietnam and Iraq war critics would be saying later. He’s one of the few politicians from long ago of whom I have absolutely no doubt who he’d be voting for today. Pity his party had to go completely tits-up.

I think Lincoln was a bit of an anomaly to middle 19th Century politics in general. His death really just returned the status quo of chickenshit, racist vulture capitalists running the show until FDR came along.

 
 

tsam!

You folks in Spokane got hammered pretty hard by weather this weekend. You’re posting, so you obviously have power. Did you at least get any of the rain we got on the west side of the Cascades to help with the fires?

 
St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon
 

I drove through Pittsburgh and eastern WV and stopped in and spent some time with John Cole a few years ago. Really great guy. He’s a bit embarrassed about all the love he gets for being someone who switched over from the dark side. He had just lost his cat, Tunch, so he was pretty down about that. Was fun to sit and have a couple Iron City’s with him.

 
 

You folks in Spokane got hammered pretty hard by weather this weekend. You’re posting, so you obviously have power. Did you at least get any of the rain we got on the west side of the Cascades to help with the fires?

Actually, there was a couple of hours of nasty wind, but we never lost power. We did get some VERY welcome rain on Sunday–which we’re hoping gave the firefighters a hand–though we would really need much more to be very effective. It’s much cooler today than it has been for what seems like the last 10 months, though, which is nice.

Our weather hasn’t been so bad–it’s the smoke that’s been unbearable. Day after day of it.

 
 

You & the rest of the Sane GOP Minority had the chance to take back “your” party during Watergate, but you chickened out & let the CREEPsters sacrifice Tricky Dick while scuttled into the darkness. (Hi, Cheney… Rumsfeld… Wolfowitz… ) “You” still could’ve carved out the rot when Reagan bumbled onto the stage, but noooo

I don’t know much about Cole’s personal transformation or it’s timeline, but my dad used to be a Republican. He remained a Republican for some time after the party abandoned him* simply because he wanted to take back the party. After a while, however, voting in primaries for moderate Republicans (to take back the party) was so clearly futile, he gave up and switched parties. But do we know that Cole didn’t do anything to take back the GOP?

* for a while you would always hear neo-con types going on about “I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me”. However, you never heard so much in the mainstream discourse about the many people like my dad who feel “I didn’t leave the GOP, the GOP left me”. I guess the reason is the clear liberal bias of the media ( / snark )

 
 

Our weather hasn’t been so bad–it’s the smoke that’s been unbearable. Day after day of it.

That sucks. We had a couple really terrible “extremely unhealthy” smoke days recently. I’m glad they only lasted a couple of days.

The news here made it seem like Spokane was some sort of devastated war zone over the weekend. I’m glad it was just the normal level of barren wasteland ??

 
 

DAS, my own father is another of those moderate-by-today’s-standards Republicans who know their party has left them but retain the belief that they can take it back for sanity. (It’s one of several delusions that help him resist his occasional suicidal ideations.)

 
 

DAS,

Cole flipped about ten years ago. He very well may have tried to help from the inside, don’t know, only that he was considered to be a reasonable republican, like larrison.

The bit you were responding to was from Anne Laurie one of Balloon Juices’ most prolific front pagers, so she is likely to know more about the subject than either of us.

 
 

Judging by my e-mail, Dick Cheney wants to send me a signed copy of something – that thing plainly not being his notarized confession to criminal conspiracy, I am less than whelmed.

 
Big Bad Bald Bastard
 

I am not familiar with Cole’s oeuvre as a Republican, but I’m still not a regular at his site, though he doesn’t chap my ass. That being said, I absolutely refuse to forgive Charles Johnson, the Little Green Footballs guy who bequeathed Pammycakes to the world. He just hasn’t atoned nearly enough.

 
 

Ike is probably the only Republican in history that wasn’t a total asshole.

 
 

That being said, I absolutely refuse to forgive Charles Johnson, the Little Green Footballs guy who bequeathed Pammycakes to the world. He just hasn’t atoned nearly enough.

We as usual are on the same fucking page. And for similar reasons, Maher incurs my wrath for inflicting Coulter on us.

I look forward to sharing a few tales over a few beers, some good food and many laughs…One of these days….

??

 
 

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