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Friday, May 19, 2017

Paul Krugman: What’s the Matter With Republicans?

"even if Trump goes, one way or another, the threat to the Republic will be far from over":

What’s the Matter With Republicans?, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: ...It has become painfully clear ... that Republicans have no intention of exercising any real oversight over a president who is obviously emotionally unstable, seems to have cognitive issues and is doing a very good imitation of being an agent of a hostile foreign power..., there is not a hint that any important figures in the party care enough about the Constitution or the national interest to take a stand. ...
What’s the matter with Republicans?
Obviously I can’t offer a full theory here, but there’s a lot we do know...
First, ... the ... G.O.P. ... is one branch of a monolithic structure, movement conservatism, with a rigid ideology — tax cuts for the rich above all else. Other branches of the structure include a captive media that parrots the party line every step of the way. ...
And this monolithic structure — lavishly supported by a small number of very, very wealthy families — rewards, indeed insists on, absolute fealty. Furthermore, the structure has been in place for a long time... What this means is that nearly all Republicans in today’s Congress are apparatchiks, political creatures with no higher principle beyond party loyalty. ... Republicans ... went all in behind Trump, knowing full well that he was totally unqualified, strongly suspecting that he was corrupt..., and even ... now, with the Trump/Flynn/Comey story getting worse by the hour, there has been no significant breaking of ranks. ...
Does this mean that Trump will be able to hold on despite his multiple scandals and abuses of power? Actually, yes, he might. ...Republicans won’t turn on Trump unless he has become such a political liability that he must be dumped.
And even if Trump goes, one way or another, the threat to the Republic will be far from over.
In a perverse way, we should count ourselves lucky that Trump is as terrible as he is. Think of what it has taken to get us to this point — his Twitter addiction, his bizarre loyalty to Flynn and affection for Putin, the raw exploitation of his office to enrich his family, the business dealings ... he’s evidently trying to cover up by refusing to release his taxes.
The point is that given the character of the Republican Party, we’d be well on the way to autocracy if the man in the White House had even slightly more self-control. Trump may have done himself in; but it can still happen here.

    Posted by on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 01:44 AM in Economics, Policy | Permalink  Comments (232)


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