My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump

Interesting excerpt from a new book, reprising the title of Sen. Barry Goldwater’s, by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

… we conservatives mocked Barack Obama’s failure to deliver on his pledge to change the tone in Washington even as we worked to assist with that failure. It was we conservatives who, upon Obama’s election, stated that our No. 1 priority was not advancing a conservative policy agenda but making Obama a one-term president—the corollary to this binary thinking being that his failure would be our success and the fortunes of the citizenry would presumably be sorted out in the meantime. It was we conservatives who were largely silent when the most egregious and sustained attacks on Obama’s legitimacy were leveled by marginal figures who would later be embraced and legitimized by far too many of us. It was we conservatives who rightly and robustly asserted our constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government when a Democrat was in the White House but who, despite solemn vows to do the same in the event of a Trump presidency, have maintained an unnerving silence as instability has ensued. To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial.

… “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” and conservative institutions “with the blessings of a president … have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion.”

… So, where should Republicans go from here? First, we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president “plays to the base” in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience. Second, Republicans need to take the long view when it comes to issues like free trade: Populist and protectionist policies might play well in the short term, but they handicap the country in the long term. Third, Republicans need to stand up for institutions and prerogatives, like the Senate filibuster, that have served us well for more than two centuries.

I saw him interviewed this morning. He seems like a sincere guy. What happened to all the reasonable Republicans?

Looks like Flake is engaging in a little “concern trolling”. Like many Republicans, he is a lot more comfortable talking about enacting conservative legislation when he doesn’t have the power to do so.

‘The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.’ – G. K. Chesterton

Perfect Chesterton quote for the occasion.

I’ve never quite understood how Chesterton could make such an assertion; isn’t it effectively declaring oneself a fence-sitter?

Time for congressional term limits.

:confused: Flake has been a senator since 2013, elected by the people of his state.
How is the idea of term limits relevant to his book?

No, it is not. It is fairly asking why the fearful desire for a fence has to be allowed to keep a sane conversation from happening.

This nation used to have something called moderates. They were free to look for solutions to problems without worrying that they couldn’t go about legislative or administrative work without a “cheat sheet” of people who ought to be fought tooth and nail on every front and no matter what they said because they are on the “enemies” list.

Left to their own devices and freed of the political pressure to never give an inch to the other side, Congress gets a lot more done and reaches policies that are much more widely palatable. I think it is time they get some chances to do that again without having to face campaign attack ads that accuse them of “collaborating with the enemy.”

We need a big dollop of Dolly Madison in our nation’s capital, and I think the wiser lawmakers are beginning to long for the day when they can have it.

Why is putting amateurs in charge of writing national law going to solve anything?

It’s one thing to say your against rank partisanship - I think it’s safe to say that that is my position. But to reject both dominant political philosophies seems like fence-sitting to me. And I’m pretty sure he fell towards one or the other sides of the spectrum in real life.

Right on:thumbsup:…it really p****s me off the term RINO…I thought politicians of BOTH parties were supposed to be representing “we the people” in formulating policies in the best interests of our country…not all this partisan c**p…and that applies to posters here on CAF…

You are asserting there are only two choices when there are not. It is perfectly reasonable that both dominant philosophies could be wrong. But the quote is more ablout the practical nature of politics. Name one thing the Republican Party has repealed in their long history of promising to rollback the federal government. Obamacare? PP funding? The EPA? The NEA?

Anyone reasonable doesn’t last long in politics anymore. They either quit out of disgust, become unreasonable, or are crushed by the party system. American politics is a carnival of idiotic whores. Anyone who thinks that there is any hope for good in American politics is deluded.

A friend recently sent me a summary of the major party positions on a wide variety of issues–in the Canadian 2008 federal election. It was published in a major Canadian paper as a summary of the party positions on these issues. But the the forwarded summary deleted the party supporting each position. The point is that you had to guess which party supported which position.

For almost all issues, you couldn’t tell which party supported which position. In other words, for example, all the parties supported pre-school child care. There were only two issues where they differed: how soon would this child care begin and how was it going to be paid for. All the parties agreed on general principles; they differed only in the technical details. And of course this is exactly what the US should be doing: all the parties should be agreed on the general principle that health care is a human right; then they could differ over what or how much health care and how it was to be paid for.

The Trump administration is a huge problem for the Republican Party, but it is not the biggest problem - that would be all the Trump supporters who the RNC has misinformed, mislead, and manipulated.

When they sow the wind,
they will reap the whirlwind
The stalk of grain that forms no head
can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
strangers would swallow it.

Hosea 8:7

That is such a scary statement to me. The POINT of our American experiment is to put “amature” people in office to represent the public. It should be as diverse as a jury pool and with turnover just as common. “Ability” to write law should be one of the last considerations…that’s what the judicial branch is for!

The title, when read in light of the OP makes me chuckle. I doubt the op would claim the GOP as “my party”…

I don’t know much about Flake. Will possibly read up on him. But he seems to embody one of the things that paralyzes the Repub party and tends to cause conservatives to become disaffected with that party.

If he’s against “populist” and “protectionist” measures, then what, exactly is he for that most people would find attractive? I realize lots of people have their own views of what those terms mean, but “populist” generally means “favoring the interests of working people” and “protectionist” (except in its most extreme forms) means “protecting American jobs from overseas competition to the extent reasonably possible”.

If he laments those who opposed Obama at nearly every turn, then what does Flake oppose? Obama had an ultra-progressive agenda; some of which he accomplished and some of which he didn’t accomplish. If everything the man did just took the country deeper into that agenda, why shouldn’t people have opposed it?

Flake reminds me of one of those “American Spectator” or “National Review” sort of Repubs who sit in ivory towers and express lofty sentiments but end up actually doing nothing the people who support them want.

Populism is appealing to ‘the people’ or doing things in the name of ‘the people’ under false pretenses with a view towards consolidating power in the hands of a person or a small clique.

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