Abbreviated pundit roundup: A destructive legacy

Abbreviated pundit roundup: A destructive legacy

We begin today’s roundup with an excellent piece by Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times on false equivalence and the different standards applied to Democrats and Republicans  :

The radically different way the media treats boundary-pushing on the left and on the right is about more than hypocrisy or double standards. It is, rather, an outgrowth of the crisis of democracy that shields the Republican Party from popular rebuke. There’s no point asking if the G.O.P. can control its right. It has no reason to.

Democrats have just won the popular vote in the seventh out of the last eight presidential elections. In the aftermath, analysts have overwhelmingly focused on what Democrats, not Republicans, must do to broaden their appeal. Partly, this stems from knee-jerk assumptions about the authenticity of the so-called heartland. But it’s also just math — only one of our political parties needs to win an overwhelming national majority in order to govern.

This double standard is in light of the fact that, as Paul Krugman points out, according to recent polls, most Republicans don’t acknowledge facts, like Biden’s victory, climate change, etc.:

[Y]ou really shouldn’t be surprised by this willingness to indulge malicious, democracy-endangering lies. After all, when was the last time Republicans accepted a politically inconvenient fact? It has been clear for years that the modern G.O.P. is a party that can’t handle the truth. […]

The thing is, Republican rejection of reality didn’t start in 2020, or even with the Trump era. Climate change denial — including claims that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by an international cabal of scientists — has been a badge of partisan identity for many years. Crazy conspiracy theories about the Clintons were mainstream on the right through much of the 1990s.

And one half-forgotten episode in particular seems to me to have foreshadowed much of what we’re seeing right now: Republican reactions to the mostly successful introduction of Obamacare.

Eugene Robinson writes about a “crisis of faith” in our democracy:

They are vandalizing our democracy, and we will all have to live with the damage. […]

a substantial portion of Trump voters will see Biden and Harris as illegitimate — maybe not all those who now question whether the election was fair, but a sizable core of true believers. More damagingly, the Republican Party is being conditioned to lose faith in the fundamental act of any successful democracy: voting in a free and fair election.

More on the Trumpian legacy from Peter Wehner at The Atlantic:

This may be Donald Trump’s most enduring legacy—a nihilistic political culture, one that is tribalistic, distrustful, and sometimes delusional, swimming in conspiracy theories. The result is that Americans are disoriented and frustrated, fearful of and often enraged at one another. 

Donald Trump didn’t invent misinformation and disinformation; they have been around for much of human history. But Trump—by virtue of his considerable skills in this area, aided by social media and capitalizing on “truth decay” and diminishing trust in sources of factual information—exploited them more effectively than anyone else has in American history.

Ona  final note, James Downie argues in favor of a national popular vote:

In a sane world, Republicans would agree that the electoral college — already amended once before — has become almost the exact opposite of what the Founders intended, facilitating political factions’ ability to hold onto power. Less nobly, Republicans could also look at the way Texas is trending: If by midcentury, Democrats enter the starting gate with about 225 safe electoral votes — adding the Lone Star State to the West Coast, Hawaii, the Beltway, Illinois, and New York and most of its neighbors — maybe now is the time for Republicans to bail on the electoral college.

But the sad truth is Republicans want the status quo. Why? It’s the same reason that congressional Republicans are laying the groundwork to use the deficit and other excuses to hamper efforts by President-elect Joe Biden to advance an economic recovery. It’s the same reason Pennsylvania Republicans refused to allow ballots to be counted before Election Day, which created the lead change later election week that fueled the president’s ramblings. It’s the same reason that Republicans have blocked a new Voting Rights Act while cementing various vote-suppression schemes around the country.

The status quo may endanger democracy, but it helps Republicans politically. And in the Grand Old Party, the party is what matters — more than the country.

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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