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The Sewer That Is The GOP: With All The White Supremacists, Conspiracy Nutters, And Other Malicious Whacko Subgroups, How Does It Get Fixed?


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Here’s What Happens to a Conspiracy-Driven Party

 

The rise of QAnon beliefs in Republican politics has been treated with a degree of shock: How could a fringe Internet conspiracy theory have worked its way into the heart of a major political party? The ideas behind the QAnon movement are lurid, about pedophilia and Satan worship and a coming violent “storm,” but the impact is real: Many of the pro-Trump Capitol insurrectionists were QAnon supporters, as is at least one elected Republican in Congress.

 

As tempting as it to take the rise of conspiracy theories as a singular mark of a partisan internet-fueled age, however, there’s nothing particularly modern or unique about what is happening now. To the contrary. Conspiracy theories as they say, are as American as apple pie — as are their entanglement with nativist politics.

 

Those currents have usually flowed beneath the surface, but for a time in the middle of the 19th century, they broke out into the open, powering a major political movement that dominated state governments, ensconced itself in the House of Representatives and became a credible force in presidential elections. The American Party, popularly referred to as the “Know Nothings,” may not have seized the White House, but its story bears an uncanny resemblance to what’s happening within today’s Republican Party.

 

There are lessons here for the Republican Party today. History doesn’t repeat itself. It does, as Mark Twain quipped, often rhyme, which means that its echoes resonate over subsequent generations in ways that can offer guidance, though never clear pathways. One lesson for 2021 Republicans is that being purely against something and someone can only take you so far. The Know Nothings needed that surge in immigration of the 1840s, and needed economic and political conditions to be perfectly aligned, to create an opening for a movement whose ideas were largely unidimensional, or at least monotonal.

 

In their policy goals, the Know Nothings were in part a reformist party representing working Americans against the elite; they ended up passing a variety of laws about working conditions that presaged the union and labor movements after the Civil War. But the movement was founded, and grew, purely on the strength of anger and resentment. And only because of instability in the political system — the collapse of the Whigs and the widening divisions between northern and southern Democrats — was there an opening for them in the first place.

 

Even then, populist outrage could only propel them to state houses and to the House of Representatives. Then, as now, those are the most fruitful avenues for grassroots and single-issue campaigns. Gaining larger blocs of support as a national movement is much more challenging and requires organization and coherence, and the ability to build and maintain some kind of coalition. Conspiracy theories, which were the core DNA of the Know Nothings, have coherence in their way, but they do best when they avoid the light of public scrutiny. As a local phenomenon, Know Nothingism thrived; as a national movement, it could only go so far before it splintered, fractured and collapsed.

 

That is one likely path for the Republican Party today, if the Trumpian-conspiracy wing keeps its vital place in the party. 

 

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GOP Heading Toward Extinction In Georgia As Voters Flee The Trump-Marjorie Taylor Greene Party

 

New data from Georgia shows that voters in the state are flocking away from Republicans as figures like Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tighten their grip on the party.

According to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, Republicans will head into 2022 “in a dire political position” as Democrats in Georgia are viewed much more favorably than their GOP counterparts.

 

AJC reported that the new poll “offered a glimpse at political challenges ahead as state Republicans grapple with former President Donald Trump’s enduring grip on the party’s base as statewide elections, including a fresh U.S. Senate race, loom in 2022.”

 

GOP Gov. Brian Kemp’s approval rating stands at a dismal 42 percent, with 51 percent disapproving of his job performance. Trump is even less popular in the state, with 57 percent viewing him unfavorably.

 

Meanwhile, top Democrats in the state – including Stacey Abrams and the two new Democratic senators she helped elect – are seeing positive approval ratings.

 

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Chris Wallace: There’s ‘More Visible Outrage Inside the GOP’ Over Liz Cheney Than Over Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Conspiracies

 

Chris Wallace covered some of the political tensions on Capitol Hill on Fox News Sunday, remarking on the difference in public response to two controversies concerning House Republicans.

 

There’s growing GOP anger at Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach Donald Trump. There has been an eruption of calls within the Republican party for her to be kicked out of House GOP leadership, and just last week Matt Gaetz went to Wyoming to openly campaign against her.

 

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of scrutiny on whether the GOP will do anything in response to recent reporting on staggering, insane conspiracy theories pushed for years, including incendiary comments about school shootings and posts about executing Democratic leaders.

 

Kevin McCarthy is apparently going to be talking to Greene this week, but as Wallace observed, “You’ve got a situation right now where there is more visible outrage inside the GOP over Liz Cheney, a member of leadership, voting to impeach the president, rather than some of these wild conspiracy theories being espoused by Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

 

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I think that people are missing the point, Greene is very studiously and precisely representing the mouth breather trailer trash that voted her in.

 

I've seen reporters in Joejaw talking to her constituents, they're loving it.

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McConnell says Taylor Greene's embrace of conspiracy theories a 'cancer' to GOP, country

 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday blasted Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.” 

 

“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said in a statement first shared with The Hill. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

 

McConnell didn't mention Greene by name in his three-sentence statement, but his rare, scathing remarks about a freshman GOP lawmaker from the other chamber suggests he recognizes the potential damage her violent rhetoric and bizarre conspiracy theories could inflict on congressional Republicans as they try to take back both the House and Senate in next year’s midterms.  

 

Greene responded on Twitter, writing that "the real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully." 

 

 

Democrats are threatening to force a floor vote this week to oust the controversial Georgia Republican from the Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) does not remove her first. 

 

McCarthy is set to meet with her in Washington as early as Tuesday. Some Republicans said they did not anticipate McCarthy booting her off the committees given that she has the backing of former President Trump, who still holds enormous sway within the GOP.

 

But McConnell’s comments will up the pressure on McCarthy to act.  

 

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25 minutes ago, spjunkies said:

She's getting very close to trump for my most disliked politician ever.

 

She is working hard to do so. In fact a lot of her constituents vote for her for that very reason. 

(It's because she's a lot like them)  

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2 hours ago, Larry said:

 

She is working hard to do so. In fact a lot of her constituents vote for her for that very reason. 

(It's because she's a lot like them)  

Yup, if you’ve ever spent any time in rural NW Georgia, the fact she got voted in would be no surprise at all.

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  • Jumbo changed the title to The Sewer That Is The GOP: With All The White Supremacists, Conspiracy Nutters, And Other Malicious Whacko Subgroups, How Does It Get Fixed?

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