Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #23: Republican Collapse

 

The 2016 Republicans won everything at every level of American politics, from state legislatures and governorships to the Congress and presidency, and then started appointing federal judges in record numbers and a couple of justices. Victory complete! Some of us said at the time, this might just be the 1976 Democrats, driven by victory to suicide. Well, it’s happening–zombie Reaganism and the epidemic have made every formerly patriotic politician a coward and law and order is either nostalgia or a cynical hustle. What now? Now we’re looking forward to elections this November… It’s not going to be easy to stop the collapse. My friend Pete Spiliakos and I get to the insanity of our elites and how and why Republicans neither want to nor know how to stop it.

Pete and I have been doing our yearly account of the corruption of our elites for years now. Here’s 2017 and 2018, as well as the one we did earlier this year. I can’t remember why we skipped 2019, but we’ve made up for it now. We’ll talk again next year. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in our criticism of the madness and ideas about what we should be doing instead:

https://soundcloud.com/user-77539699/pomocon-one-the-gop-as-budding-oligarchy

https://soundcloud.com/user-77539699/pomocon-2-the-corruption-of-elites

https://soundcloud.com/user-77539699/acf-pomocon-12-plague-politics

Published in Podcasts
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 10 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Hence Repubican’ts. The cowardice, fed by lack of anything like actual Reagan convictions and a Bushie contempt for the essential social conservative and blue-collar leg of the Reagan coalition, of most established officeholders and party officials is hardly surprising. This is distinct from the [Trump/Tea] party that is emerging from the mess of the two old parties that have dominated in the United States since 1860. The Democratic Party is now firmly controlled by the socialists, becoming a much closer counterpart to British Labour, unabashedly socialist.

    The question to be answered in November is whether Trump’s voters can drag the Republicans across the finish line in victory.

    • #1
    • July 22, 2020, at 10:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  2. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Titus,

    Pete says that Trump alienates or alienated his natural constituency. I don’t know which voters he means, as far as support from his base, Trump’s support is very high. Either he means voters that he did not identify and I can not guess, or he is wrong. On the virus and mitigation, Pete is lacking an understanding of viruses and medicine. He seems to have a fuzzy affection for mitigation, as if that is a goal to beat the virus. He also appears to have no knowledge of our previous flus Swine Flu, Asian Flu and there total death numbers, which at that time were not combed over so obsessively. We had 2/3’s the population and did nothing to mitigate, that must shock Pete. Let us not become fragile, or talk about how deadly this virus is. For as long as we have known, the flu (of any kind) was a killer of the old, it brought pneumonia, and what was pneumonia called in the medical profession “the old man’s friend”.

    • #2
    • July 23, 2020, at 5:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Hence Repubican’ts. The cowardice, fed by lack of anything like actual Reagan convictions and a Bushie contempt for the essential social conservative and blue-collar leg of the Reagan coalition, of most established officeholders and party officials is hardly surprising. This is distinct from the [Trump/Tea] party that is emerging from the mess of the two old parties that have dominated in the United States since 1860. The Democratic Party is now firmly controlled by the socialists, becoming a much closer counterpart to British Labour, unabashedly socialist.

    The question to be answered in November is whether Trump’s voters can drag the Republicans across the finish line in victory.

    Without events being more helpful & without some leaders speaking out nationally, I’m skeptical that this gets better. Of course, there’s much we simply can’t see–it’s an opaque situation…

    • #3
    • July 23, 2020, at 7:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Morning Titus,

    Pete says that Trump alienates or alienated his natural constituency. I don’t know which voters he means, as far as support from his base, Trump’s support is very high. Either he means voters that he did not identify and I can not guess, or he is wrong.

    Hey, Jim. I think Pete’s talking about old people & some of the poor voters who switched from the Dems in 2016. The base support cannot win a presidential election. Even with his very unusual coalition, Trump won by small numbers in a few strategic places. His margin for victory is very, very small. “Very high support” loses. 100% base support + more votes wins.

    On the virus and mitigation, Pete is lacking an understanding of viruses and medicine. He seems to have a fuzzy affection for mitigation, as if that is a goal to beat the virus.

    Jim, these are good reasons to respect Pete–almost everyone else knows less than him. Worse for your ideas, most of the population is on his side, by whatever measures of popularity we can summon… 

    He also appears to have no knowledge of our previous flus Swine Flu, Asian Flu and there total death numbers, which at that time were not combed over so obsessively. We had 2/3’s the population and did nothing to mitigate, that must shock Pete.

    These things are of no concern now. Has your Senator or Representative talked about these things very much? Have other so called leaders? Because if not, what can Pete & I do about it? We cannot change what people care about–only see about dealing with it.

    Let us not become fragile, or talk about how deadly this virus is. For as long as we have known, the flu (of any kind) was a killer of the old, it brought pneumonia, and what was pneumonia called in the medical profession “the old man’s friend”.

    Too late, Jim. Pete & I are for dealing with the situation as it is now, including the public reaction to the crisis. Now, in regard to this situation, if it is your opinion that most Americans in fact agree with you, they don’t much care about the deadliness, they don’t wanna be fragile, then rest assured–political victory is inevitable. If, however, it is your opinion that most Americans have acted mighty fragile this spring & summer, you should applaud us for being politically serious. We cannot transform popular sentiment. Perhaps very rich people coming together with very popular people could. They’d have the resources & in a way the responsibility–if people look to them for guidance or advice. This is something FOX or talk radio could do, if they cared to. Pete & I are not millionaires, we do not have millions of listeners, & we’re of course not in office. We do the best we can to advice people to be politically serious…

    • #4
    • July 23, 2020, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  5. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    By the way, as in our previous podcast & every day on Twitter–Pete is very critical of Trump for failing at his policy, not for his policy choices–Pete’s for reopening schools & carefully, but firmly in favor of reopening, more so than polls suggests most people are. I, of course, agree with him; indeed, I’m even more insistent that Americans should figure out which places are in danger, which are not (most of them are not), & open far more in those ones. Different parts of the nation need different things, but America as a whole needs both that the catastrophe zones be very strictly considered & that the normal zones be very quickly brought back to normal. Whatever needs doing to make sure normal areas are going to stay normal is also necessary, of course. But most cities & towns & counties in America aren’t facing a catastrophe; a few metro areas are; a few other places…

    • #5
    • July 23, 2020, at 8:04 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Jim Beck Member

    Evening Titus,

    Concerning the virus, is it a catastrophe? The only way to tell is to compare it to other flus, and to compare death rates, and lastly to note that even if we get to 200K that would be a fraction of heart and cancer. Using the language of crisis, as has become the coin of the media does not lead to clear thinking. What do we know concerning the total picture of public health, pharmacies were over staffed and hours cut because folks did not come a pick up the Rx’s, easy to find out by asking your pharmacist, doc’s offices were running at 30%, hospitals were running at 50%, and scans and screenings were put off. We know that all these events cost lives. We are getting some info both here and from Europe that many of the older folks who died were likely to have died that year. We can compare death rates for these upper age groups and see how far off normal we are. The current infections are emerging in a younger population, and this is exactly what we want. It is beneficial for a large sector fo the population to get the virus in the age group where the health consequences are minimal.

    We are not expecting you to substitute for elected officials and we are delighted with your efforts, but speaking in the media’s language of chronic crisis erodes credibility. If Pete is hip to the public health implications of the virus, I did not hear it, maybe he speaks more fully on twitter. I am not there and I am to old to start now.

    • #6
    • July 23, 2020, at 3:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Jim, this is a crisis. America is in a catastrophe. If you think you can blame the reality on words the media uses, I advise you look at how real flesh & blood Americans are behaving across the nation. If you think they’re behaving normally because they believe this is a normal situation or just a minor problem–except for the pesky media, which of course, fewer & fewer people watch–then you’re seeing a different country than we are.

    • #7
    • July 24, 2020, at 3:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Titus,

    Are we in a health crisis, no. However we are acting as if it is an unprecedented health crisis. The crisis response in the beginning may have made sense but now we know the death rates, and we are now having leaders who are acting hysterically. The death rates are the only metric that counts. So when Pete squawks that Trump doesn’t know how deadly this is, Pete is speaking foolishly. The death rates in the new hot spots of California, Texas, Florida have not changed, the age of the infected population has. In the beginning, the govt asked folks to be very cautious, to be afraid of the breath of others, some folks have become fearful. Fear is an easy sell. The media thrives on hysteria. So the challenge for our leaders, for the mayors, and governors and Trump is to pull the fearful parts of the population out of their homes. Signal an end to the crisis, state the risk and call for maturity. We have seen with the anti-vaxers that fear of even a remote risk will cause folks to act hysterically and irresponsibly. So the real questions and tough challenges will be for leaders to act like the governor of South Dakota, Noem, and encourage and expect our citizens to return to work and life as adults.

    Concerning how folks perceive this time, we all know this is odd, some folks even think we have gone overboard, and some are still inside their homes. When you ask me to look at real Americans to note how they are behaving, perhaps you are forgetting that I am the one asking the pharmacist about work and how he is planning on cutting the hours of the staff because no one is coming for their Rx’, or that our neighbors work for the largest city hospitals and they tell us the current populations and the hospital asked him learn COVID protocols, but in the end he wasn’t needed, or that Mary used to work for the VA and her best friend who still works there keeps us up dated, or that my brother is a doc and that of the last 160 pts tested for COVID, they all came back negative. And given that I talk to the folks at the grocery, pouring concrete sidewalks across the street, and Cesar and his crew painting the house next door, so I think that I know the folks in this small part of the US and since we have kids in FLA and Texas, we get a little feel for the new hot spots. Our job is not to echo the hysteria of the media but to speak as wisely as we can. We need to encourage each other to use our clearest thinking; this is to counter the emotional fog of our times.

    • #8
    • July 24, 2020, at 6:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Jim, you don’t seem to be saying about your own experience whether people are behaving like they did last summer or different. I assume, different. I dunno what to say further. If your fellow Americans come around to agreeing with you about this is not a health crisis, I’m not going to complain. Fine by me. I just hope you don’t take your ideas seriously enough that the inevitable disappointment will break your heart…

    Political reality is a very important thing, especially in an election year. If you think we’re echoing hysteria on the podcast, well, not much I can do to help there. It should at least reassure you that talk radio is far more popular & keeps saying this is not a big deal, have been for months, as has to a significant extent Trump–so your views are in fact very well represented in terms of numbers or popularity among the GOP electorate. You should be expecting the inevitable victory of your position. Or I’m right, political reality counts & we’re headed for bad things. We’ll both get a chance to find out, God willing, & deal with it…

    • #9
    • July 24, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon Titus,

    Of course as I mentioned folks are acting different, one of my older friends told me he has only been out of the house three times since the lockdown. I also mentioned all of the behaviors involving other aspects of public health, so I am aware of and not turning a blind eye to the behavior of my fellow citizens. But I am reminded of the HIV panic, where all of the headlines said that HIV was spreading fastest in the heterosexual community. Recall that Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz did not want to be on the same court with Magic Johnson. That is an example of how fearful we can become. Of course, C Everett Koop later told us that we a family with an HIV member share the family toothbrush no one else gets the virus. So we can learn facts to calm our fears, but so many folks find fear a useful tool. Well if you are trying to get folks to pay attention to a new disease, you scare them. When they are scared, they will ask their congressman to push quickly for massive funding. It worked, money for research and allied treatments for HIV out stripped money for cancer reasearch. The fact that it worked is not good. It is bad both morally wrong selling a lie that HIV will spread deeply into the heterosexual population, and an example of using political muscle to torque public health choices in a way contrary to science. Cancer kills vastly more than HIV, and always will in the West.

    I suggest analysis consider the current weakness in our public health leadership. If you recall Mary and I have babysat a couple of twins for 6 years. There mother is a pediatrician, who besides being a mother of 10, works for Healthnet, a clinic targeted at the poor minority community, and her mother was a pediatrician who worked in the Indiana State Board of Health her entire career. They note the public health docs do not enter that field to deal with pandemics, they enter a field hoping to have a big influence on life habits, Std’s, breastfeeding, public health choices at the street level, not a response to a worldwide virus. This leaves us with leaders who are mismatched with the challenges we face when a novel, infectious disease hits the world. So our task is plain, speak clearly with caution, trying lower the emotional temperature. At a lower temperature we will think more clearly and we will encourage each other to resist a discouragement which saps our courage.

    • #10
    • July 24, 2020, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • Like