New party quiz game: What more can the right do to shoot itself in the head? Horizons boundless.

A grim evolutionary comeuppance is well underway, presaging harder times for the unAmerican, unConstitutional, anti-democrats.

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Suicidal, blundering Rethugs rushing with Trump off the cliff – and all of their own making

“Good work, Tennessee Republicans: You didn’t silence these guys, they’re still in the legislature. You made them heroes of a movement and national political figures,” quipped Stephen Colbert this week. “I’m surprised you’re not in favor of gun reform because you just shot yourself in the nuts!” 

This Colbert mockery dumped on blithering Tennessee hotheads applies with equal force to witless House GOP goobers, Trump and his scatter-gun rioters, plus all the boomeranging state mayhem on total abortion bans, voting/election abuses, and guns. With not a word towards reform healthing care, unfair taxes, or education, even whether independent state prosecutors will retain their Constitutional integrity. 

Strange since the right says everything is broken. Good work, indeed and miserable polling numbers agree. But wait: there’s always more farce from menacing media mavens. How about shredding Medicare and Social Security – sure winners among non-voting toddlers. Why not use outrageous Congressional inquiries to stop DAs from raking their guilt-laden crime boss over the coals? 

Wherever you look are naked Rethuglican streaking at large, battling for every gold star in stupidly – and winning their fair share. Extremist paranoia sees death and destruction from high-tech companies, Artificial Intelligence, even black site defense spending that only fattens up deep state threats. No wonder fed-up voters spoke clearly in Kansas (on abortion bans), Georgia (really, two red-state Democratic Senate seats?), the farcical Wisconsin Supreme Court election (and bizarro talk of recalling a ten point winner). The absurdities across internal Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, and West Virginia party maneuvers, plus multiple state house folly leave one breathless. The unanimity of blunders is as starkling as its range and unpopularity.

Does this suicidal parade of knaves and fools, doubling down on losing after three lost election cycles, not expose a manifestly negative learning curve? Fine with the left for the right to invert all good political sense, promoting clear commandments, “If it ain’t working, keep doing it” or “Who said winning is everything?” Can the last Trump years match any others in unforced, historical losing streaks – and it’s not as if the Democrats are courageous heroes. Let every losing Rethug blame the voters, the machines, and election officials, even eviscerate the sanctity of majority rule. Go for it, bumbling blowhards!

All we’ve learned since 2016

And we haven’t even stirred in the fistful of serious Trump indictments in process – and the classy way this noxious destroyer attacks the prosecutors, wives, children, and non-existent Jewish donors. Next up from the right: asking why juries are necessary when so many nutcase Trump judges are salivating to make mind-blowing, reactionary decisions, like that Texas yokel on banning the abortion pill. Will even this Supreme Court so eviscerate federalism and legitimate regulators? Why, we may even imagine the dim right defending the arrested, dorky, treasonous Ukraine doc leaker?  Oh, Marjorie Taylor Cuckoo just did that. 

Behold the Professional Liars and Corruption Charade starring Trump, McCarthy, Jordan and DeSantis, the scandalous George Santos, and now the come-from-behind outlaw Clarence Thomas. Stir in the sustained humiliation from FOX media revelations – and the malice/punitive damage penalties looming. All in only a matter of months. Truly, the Faux/Fixed FOX sandbox has displaced the old William Randolph Heart record for the yellowist propaganda. What an astonishing concentration of blunders, all done without external pressures, like invasion, war, death of leaders, natural disasters, or legal setbacks. Of their own free (deluded) will, Rethugs openly practice thuggery, however the weapons blow up in their sneering faces. 

Aptly, the very “death and destruction” brimstone Trump wished on our justice system is looming over him and every elected rightwinger. If only half the litigation against Trump culminates in conviction, that confirms him as one bad dude, with nasty punishments fitting the crimes. It’s bad enough when a party loses election after election – then bitches about the rules they had to accept at the start. It’s much, much worse for losers to turn criminal and their jailed associates are punished without apparent political gain. It’s the stupidity, stupid! Fascist ideology revels in violence and lawbreaking and so today’s infected gang identifies completely with outlaws who shoot first and never think later. Sure, Trump gets publicity, but of late it’s all about transparent grift. And how will a few suckered million dollars (for an alleged billionaire) erase felony convictions, even sentences – or cover tens of millions in upcoming legal fees, fines, and penalties? 

Suicide isn’t painless

Suicide is self-destruction often done out of desperation. And for a political party, it is never invisible. A party suicide is among our rarest events. I recall no similar moment when a national party, driven wholly by its own internal misjudgments, willfully made itself a fringe, secondary party. The great joke is that two unshakeable minorities – benighted Trumpers and reactionary billionaires – are buying the ammo.

Amanda Marcotte quips that Republicans have become “an ostrich party.”  That image is far too passive: I imagine buffalos driven off cliffs or those (few) migrating leemings who don’t survive water obstacles (Disney fabricated the myth of mass suicide), or those failed Japanese (and Roman) warriors who chose death over living with dishonor or being captured. Only benighted deviance is forcing Republicans to turn against majority positions on abortions, election integrity, the criminal ex-president, gun control, banning books or expelling legitimate (instantly returned) TN representatives? 

No one can yet predict whether the rightwing party will disintegrate before they manage more damage, besides seriously undermining trust in elections and government. The right hates the administrative state and the majority rule that supports it. Behold the hot war between (and even among) Republicans that betrays functional, Constitutional governance. This isn’t just a Do-nothing GOP House: it’s a Do-everything House to undermine legitimate government. Radicals are carving out their own neo-Confederacy and it’s not winning them power. 

Bad times do not equal apocalypse

Of course party suicide is aided and abetted by the derangement of its racist, ill-informed, gun-loving, parochial white Christian nationalistic base. No longer about channeling masses of voters and donors, rightwing politics simply displays its manic obsession for media attention and scary headlines. No form, no substance – just the arm-waving politics of soundbites, however unpopular. The Rethug party has cut off its national head and is chasing its tail. Recall that rattlesnakes twitch after decapitation. 

Which all signals the beginning of some dead-end. After all, what issues can the right even martial to gain national leadership? What positive legislative proposals are even on the table? The worst on the right openly identify with the decade of Nazi success, even seek violence to cleanse the world of “inferior earthlings.” But as Trump is no Hitler, nor is America comparable to the overwhelmed, impoverished, disempowered Germany of the 1930’s.  Nor is America (or Europe) groaning under punitive duress, like the Germany routed in a world war. Only Ukraine is under siege and that’s been localized. Globally, across the most critical dimensions (affluence, commerce, international inter-connectedness, productivity, even greater relative tolerance), our core dynamics are far more stable than 70 years ago. No proxy war, among many, has exploded into WWIII in my lifetime.

American democracy, warts and all, is under siege but hardly without weighty offsets and counter moves. More often than not, the world in the last centuries has muddled through far more fragile tests. I see insufficient chaos to incite a truly national civil war (a great army against decentralized militants?), nor the massive world disruption that produced such unspeakable mortality in the past century. Bad times do not mandate a great apocalypse. 

Yes, the quality of world leadership (business, political, professorial or religious) has fallen off, and the cold-blooded ignorance on the right, here and elsewhere, boggles the mind. But a country that has survived 250 years of chronic, intensive, internal conflict is more than its mediocre leadership – and today’s blundering extremism that overplays every card it’s dealt. I count it a grim evolutionary advance that electoral comeuppance is well underway, presaging, if nothing alters, even harder times for the unAmerican, unConstitutional anti-democrats. Couldn’t happen to a more tawdry gang of clowns. 

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For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.

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