Loading...
Bless your heart to the state legislature for your allowing college Id's for voter identification. Likely 99% of all...

GOP bets its future on scorched-earth megalomania

Eugene Robinson

Eugene Robinson

Loading…

Friday, August 10, 2018

Everything you need to know about today's Republican Party is summed up by a photo from President Trump's political rally in Ohio on Saturday. Two men in the crowd look defiantly at the camera, proudly displaying the slogan on their matching T-shirts: "I'd Rather Be A Russian Than A Democrat."

The sound you hear is the GOP presidents of the Cold War era — Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and Reagan — whirring like turbines in their graves.

This is the state of derangement to which Trump has brought a once-great political party. Anyone tempted to dismiss these cult-of-personality rallies as freakish sideshows should keep in mind one sobering fact: An astounding 89 percent of Republicans approve of Trump's performance as president, according to Gallup. 

The Republican Party used to believe in fiscal discipline and worry about the mounting national debt; Trump has blown a trillion-dollar hole in the budget. The party used to believe in free trade; Trump is imposing tariffs left and right, including on our closest allies. The party used to believe in free markets; Trump clumsily tries to pick winners and losers, hectors the independent Federal Reserve board and uses his Twitter feed to attack individual companies for political reasons.

The GOP used to champion American ideals of freedom and justice throughout the world. Trump gives the back of his hand to the post-war alliance of Western democracies, and has nothing but praise for autocratic rulers who abuse human rights in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Philippines — and, of course, Russia.

Previous Republican presidents have complained about press coverage. Trump calls the news media "the Enemy of the People," a phrase that blood-soaked totalitarian regimes have used to justify assassinations and purges.

On Friday, a C-SPAN caller who identified himself as "Don from State College, Pennsylvania" threatened that "I'm going to shoot" CNN hosts Brian Stelter and Don Lemon. Words have consequences: Trump's unhinged rhetoric is going to get somebody killed.

If you ask House Speaker Paul Ryan or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they will of course disavow such sentiments. And then, la-di-da, they'll go back to pretending this is a normal presidency rather than a runaway train.

Brace yourselves, because it's all going to get worse.

It doesn't take a degree in psychology to see that Trump is increasingly frantic about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. On Sunday, shortly after another "Enemy of the People" tweet, Trump added this:

"Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!"

How much lying can you pack into one tweet? It was a meeting to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from emissaries of the Russian government. It is not at all clear that it was legal. It is not the sort of thing ever done in politics. We don't know whether it "went anywhere." And it sure seems unlikely that Trump's son, son-in-law and campaign chairman would have such a meeting without ever mentioning it to Trump — who, when the meeting was revealed, personally dictated a false statement designed to obscure its real purpose.

It is safe to surmise that Trump feels the walls closing in. And if Democrats seize control of the House in November, he will face a lineup of committee chairmen, armed with subpoena power, who are determined to do their constitutional duty of holding the administration accountable.

So Trump reportedly plans to spend as much time as possible on the campaign trail, desperately trying to stoke enough fear, resentment and anger among the GOP base to produce a big turnout that saves the House majority. What a surprise: Trump intends to make the election all about Trump.

It worked for those guys in the photo, the ones who'd rather be Russians than Democrats. The Republican Party has betrayed all of its history, all of its hallowed ideals, and bet its future on the corrosive power of Trump's scorched-earth megalomania. GOP candidates richly deserve to lose.

Eugene Robinson's email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

March 21, 2019

The state treasurer and the N.C. Healthcare Association can't reach consensus over how to pay for health insurance for state employees. The governor and some legislative leaders are advocating Medicaid expansion to cover an additional 600,000 people.

The debate, proposals, and arguments have…

BeckyGray

March 20, 2019

According to CNN Business, "Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struggle to deal with New Zealand shooting video."

"Deal with" is code for "censor on demand by governments and activist organizations who oppose public access to information that hasn't first been thoroughly vetted for conformity to their…

Knapp

March 19, 2019

It was one of the deadliest years in the history of North Carolina’s prison system. Five prison employees were killed in two incidents at state prisons in 2017. Given the way our prisons were staffed and the guards were trained and equipped, we should have seen it coming.

The two incidents…

March 19, 2019

"America is addicted to political contempt."

I'm not sure I've ever read a more accurate diagnosis of what we're looking at in the United States right now.

I'm quoting from a new book by Arthur C. Brooks, "Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt." I had…

kathrynlopez

March 19, 2019

The N.C. House has taken a long overdue step toward transparency, voting unanimously to add online video streaming of its sessions — so North Carolinians across the state can watch their government in action without driving to Raleigh.

The legislature currently offers online audio streams of…

Colin Campbell

March 18, 2019

American states and localities are, on the whole, administered more responsibly than the federal government is. Their superiority has nothing to do with the qualities of individuals involved. Indeed, many federal politicians were once state or local politicians.

The difference is institutional.…

john hood.jpg

March 17, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., announcement that she is "not for impeachment" has caused resistance on the left. Pelosi is not trying to protect President Trump. She is trying to protect the Democratic Party from its lunatic fringe. It's an increasingly difficult challenge.

Pelosi is the…

Marc_Thiessen.jpg

March 17, 2019

On Feb. 12, Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka "El Chapo," was convicted of multiple crimes related to running the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico's largest. Thirteen days before his conviction, authorities seized enough of the synthetic opioid called fentanyl for 100 million lethal doses. It was hidden in a…

George Will

March 17, 2019

When President Trump signed the tax cut bill around the end of 2017, the most significant pro-growth legislation since the 1980s, the U.S. economy took off like an Atlas rocket.

Employment rose, unemployment sank, consumer spending surged, the stock market shot up, and the U.S. economy was back in…

lambro2

March 16, 2019

The Washington Post

The best that can be said for President Trump’s $4.75 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2020 is that it has no chance of becoming law. This is almost always true of presidential budgets, because ultimately Congress does the nitty-gritty work on spending legislation. Even by…

288 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 29
        Next Page»   Last Page»