Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Republican Party Is Paying A Big Price For Giving Up Moral Principles

The Republican Party once offered a home to conservative intellectuals who had platforms on the Washington Post and the New York Times.  They tended to support Republican policies and they also provided criticisms of the Democratic Party.  Jennifer Rubin is one of many conservative intellectuals who have moved from providing intellectual cover for Republicans to being a critic of the party.  She can longer tolerate the moral depravity of her former political party.  By supporting Donald Trump and Roy Moore, who is a serial sex predator, in order to get a terrible tax bill passed, Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, and the authority to deregulate the government, they  have debased our democracy and the principles that have united our nation.  Even if Trump goes away the people who supported Trump and Moore will still be around.  That would be true even if Trump turned out to be more competent than he has demonstrated.  Her favorite political party has been corrupted.

She is not alone in her criticism of the Republican Party.  Two intellectuals from the conservative American Enterprise Institute wrote a book eleven years ago in which they criticized the performance of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in Congress.  They argued that the government was not functioning and they suggested how it might function properly.  They no longer believe that story. In this article they argue that the Republican Party rationalizes and enables Donald Trump.  However, the decline of the Republican Party began in the 1990's.  That is when the party began to demonize Congress and argue that government itself is the problem.  They refused to support their Republican President during the financial crisis by voting against his TARP plan that kept the financial system from collapsing and worsening the Great Recession.  After the election of Obama their sole purpose was to block every initiative that he proposed.  It became a mortal sin and a sign of weakness to compromise with Obama.  The birther movement took this a step further into racism and Trump began his career by exploiting that movement.

The News media also lined up to support the Republican Party's alliance with the far right.  Talk radio, Fox News and Steve Bannon's Breitbart News built its audience on hostility to the establishment and political correctness.  That is where the Republican Party is today with reliance on a far right group of donors and a political base built upon hostility.  We no longer have a system in which a responsible Republican Party can balance the ideology of the Democratic Party.  We have system in which the Republican Party no longer recognizes the legitimacy of the Democratic Party. It would prefer a one party system that requires an autocrat like Trump to provide its leadership.

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