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July 20, 2021 06:58 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

“Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes error a fault, and truth discourtesy.”

–George Herbert

Comments

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. As many have come to realize, today's Republican Party has become essentially a cult. 

    The Mechanisms of Cult Production” compares the behavior of political elites across a wide range of dictatorial regimes, from Caligula’s Rome to the Kim family’s North Korea, and finds striking similarities. Despite vast differences in culture and material circumstances, elites in all such regimes engage in pretty much the same behavior, especially what the paper dubs “loyalty signaling” and “flattery inflation.”

    In the context of dictatorial regimes, signaling typically involves making absurd claims on behalf of the Leader and his agenda, often including “nauseating displays of loyalty.” If the claims are obvious nonsense and destructive in their effects, if making those claims humiliates the person who makes them, these are features, not bugs. I mean, how does the Leader know if you’re truly loyal unless you’re willing to demonstrate your loyalty by inflicting harm both on others and on your own reputation?

    Does all of this sound familiar? Of course it does, at least to anyone who has been tracking Fox News or the utterances of political figures like Lindsey Graham or Kevin McCarthy.

    Many people, myself included, have declared for years that the G.O.P. is no longer a normal political party. It doesn’t look anything like, say, Dwight Eisenhower’s Republican Party or Germany’s Christian Democrats. But it bears a growing resemblance to the ruling parties of autocratic regimes.

    Paul Krugman concludes:

    How did lifesaving vaccines become politicized? As Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein suggests, today’s Republicans are always looking for ways to show that they’re more committed to the cause than their colleagues are — and given how far down the rabbit hole the party has already gone, the only way to do that is “nonsense and nihilism,” advocating crazy and destructive policies, like opposing vaccines.

    But the G.O.P. has become something different, with, as far as I know, no precedent in American history although with many precedents abroad. Republicans have created for themselves a political realm in which costly demonstrations of loyalty transcend considerations of good policy or even basic logic. And all of us may pay the price.

  2. Values First Colorado, a super PAC supporting Republican state House candidates in 2018 and 2020, shut down last week. It was engineered by former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, a Castle Rock Republican. The group transferred more than $35,000 to Take Back Colorado, another super PAC operated by Neville’s brother, Joe, a political consultant.

    Apparently, it provided No Value.  Might as well let Joe Neville squander what's left.

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