Thursday, August 11, 2016

GOP: Not moderate yet

Josh Marshall gives us another warning about assuming that Trump is somehow and outlier and that once the Presidential election is past the GOP will somehow become more cooperative, less obstructionist and somehow even less fanatical: The Gathering Storm TPM 08/11/2016:

I've noted several times recently that for all that we've seen from Donald Trump - Curiel, Khan, wink wink calls for murdering political opponents - Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, the institutional apparatus of the RNC all remain as active endorsers of his candidacy and say they believe he should be the next President. That is an astounding fact. We can say that it shows a bracing lack of principle or political courage. And that may all be true. But again, it's not the most important point. What's really most important is that each of these people believe that the center of gravity in the GOP is pro-Trump and that their political futures would be damaged by turning against him. That is the big deal, far more important than this or that single person being admirable by bucking the tide.

Earlier this week I asked the question whether Trumpism would outlive Trump's campaign. What I've just described above tells us pretty clearly that it will and that the GOP is now a Trumpite party and will remain a Trumpite party. To get a little more specific, this means that the white ethno-nationalist party which Trump has brought out of the shadows and mobilized is now and will continue to be the Republican party. You can see that future in Stephen Miller, the Sessions staffer who was first seconded to the campaign and now appears the genuine ideologue articulating the policy agenda of white nationalism, apart from the occasional shopping list of GOP talking points that we heard in the most recent economic speech. Notably, it was Miller, working at Sessions' behest, who organized the defeat of immigration reform in 2013 - a critical harbinger of Trumpism. This is no aberration that will snap back into the pre-2016 place after November. [my emphasis in bold]
Dave Weigel writes about signs that Hillary Clinton is leaning Republican-lite, at least on foreign policy in Clinton’s Republican outreach a step too far for already suspicious liberals Washington Post 08/10/2016:

In 2015, when it appeared that Clinton would have a lazy stroll to the nomination, neoconservatives such as Robert Kagan suggested that she would be acceptable to Republicans and hawks. The Sanders campaign put a freeze on that talk, and of Clinton’s acceptance of it. At a February 2016 debate in Milwaukee, Sanders shamed Clinton for writing that Kissinger was a friend who “checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels.”

“I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger.”

Although Trump’s romp through the Republican primaries rattled some supporters loose, the Clinton team hesitated to publicize the endorsements until Sanders’s campaign was over.
Phyllis Bennis looks at the foreign policy concerns over Hillary neocon sympathies in Clinton Vs. Trump: Treacherous Foreign Policy The Real News 08/11/2016:

This, of course, does not mean that Trump would be better: John Feffer, The Myth of Trump’s Alternative Worldview Foreign Policy in Focus 08/03/2016.

Bill Black in this video describes the Establishment pressure that Hillary is also getting to embrace her inner neoliberal on economic policy, as well: Thomas Friedman’s Advice to Clinton: Shift Right The Real News 08/11/2016. Embedding on this video is not available for some reason.

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