I mean, it’s unbelievable. I think members of the Republican Party are in a coma right now, is what I think. And at some point they’ll wake up and say, What’s happened? [Laughs] And then we’re going to tell them, and they’re going to go, Really?
The interviewer: Is it a coma because of their allegiance to President Trump?
There’s a tribal instinct, and a willingness to only absorb that that supports what you currently think. Anything that is dissonant information should be rejected. And I think it’s true for both political parties, to be honest with you.
That’s John Kasich, former congressman and governor of Ohio, being interviewed in The Washington Post. He’s one of the few well-known Republican politicians willing to criticize the Abominable President.
To be honest, Kasich isn’t being honest at all.
We know that today’s Republicans are wide awake. They know they’re supporting a would-be dictator, because the evidence is so obvious. From Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian:
Put simply, the leader of the world’s most powerful nation is behaving like an authoritarian dictator, one who threatens democracy in his own country and far beyond.
Mr. Freedland admits that the president’s buffoonish behavior is a major distraction, but goes on to cite his demonization of a vulnerable minority, which has led to “breaking up families [and] caging children in hot, fetid, disease-ridden camps”; his blatant profiteering from the presidency; his desire to create “a hereditary dynasty” (as if his daughter truly belongs among the world’s leaders); his fawning over murderous, overseas “strongmen”; his obstruction of justice; his stunning dishonesty…. The list goes on and on and on. Yet professional journalists continue to treat him with respect.
I have no doubt that most Republicans would fall in line behind a competent would-be dictator, as long as they believed he would guarantee their hold on power and they wouldn’t face retribution if democracy were restored. They are quite comfortable with authoritarianism.
Secondly, it simply isn’t true that “both sides” are the same. Kasich’s knee-jerk “both sides do it” recklessly minimizes how extreme the Republican Party has become. It’s been shown that people on the left get their news from a wider variety of sources, including what is now called the “mainstream” or “reality-based” media. We are also less likely to follow a leader. In fact, one recent study places the Republican Party (the red circle) at the extreme right among the world’s political parties. The Democrats (the blue circle) are much closer to the middle.
John Kasich is sometimes asked about running for president in order to give Republicans an alternative to the incumbent. It’s unlikely he’ll do so because he doesn’t think he would win. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks the president should be in jail, but won’t start an impeachment inquiry because she doesn’t think the Republican Senate would convict him. Digby Parton of the Hullabaloo blog sums it up:
Our history is replete with ugliness. Progress has been made in fits and starts. But we are going backwards at warp speed at the moment. People with the worst impulses of the American psyche are in power and they are out of control.
We are quickly becoming a global pariah. And for good reason.
She then tells about a lawyer born in Iran who has lived in Germany for 40 years and is a German citizen, who was denied a visa to attend the funeral of his son, a student who died in a car crash in America, where his mother lives. The German lawyer was approved for a 10-year long visa when Obama was president. This month he was denied entry by U.S. officials, who decided, based on no evidence, that he was using his son’s death to immigrate to America. She continues:
Meanwhile, we are putting little children in cages and leaving them in dirty diapers without enough to eat.
The president says they should decide not to come to America and then this wouldn’t happen to them. Basically, he’s punishing babies and children for the actions of their parents.
And his followers — tens of millions of our fellow Americans — are applauding that sadistic policy.
Yet the leaders of the opposition appear to be completely impotent…. They’re coasting — while the country hurtles backwards.
Congress’s main phone number is (202) 224-3121.