The Real Reason the GOP Supports a Lying, Corrupt, Narcissistic, Failed Real Estate Hustler and Reality TV Star

Thom plus logo Will support for an unrepentant traitor be the final straw?

In the last half of the 1700s and early half of the 1800s, American conservatives promoted and clung to slavery; they even fought a Civil War to preserve it.

Throughout the second half of the 1800s and into the first half of the 20th century, American conservatives fought to keep racial segregation and to stop the rise of labor unions, all on behalf of the "billionaires" of their era, popularly called the Robber Barons.

From the 1960s to today, American conservatives have fought to let modern billionaires and big corporations run our economy and our political system, further cementing their power over America's working class.

"Lower taxes and deregulation," racially specific "law and order," and "small government" were their singular mantras, all in service of the uber-rich and giant, monopolistic corporations.

Now, with Trump's impeachment trial, Americas conservatives have turned their efforts from protecting their rich patrons to protecting the dynasty of a lying, corrupt, narcissistic, failed real estate hustler and reality TV star.

Some suggest that the GOP "has lost their soul," but conservatives in America, having called themselves by various political names over the years, never really had a soul.

They promoted slavery because they believed in white supremacy and free labor to help elite whites become wealthy oligarchs.

They fought labor unions and corporate taxes because gutting both would help elite whites remain wealthy oligarchs.

And today they are fighting like their lives depend on it to defend the right of a criminal billionaire oligarch to tear America apart and try, again, to turn us over to fascist strongman rule.

Ultimately, none of these conservative positions through the history of our country have served average people in anyway whatsoever; instead, from the beginning, conservatives have exclusively served great wealth and helped it to achieve and hold political power.

Trump and Trumpism represents the culmination of a century-long crisis for American conservatives.

I recently read Fritz Thyssen's book I Paid Hitler. As a wealthy man and the leader of Germany's largest steel operation, he tells the story of how he thought he and other industrialists, the conservatives of Germany in that era, could work with and moderate Hitler and his party who were bent on fascist strongman rule.

We know how that worked out.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that without the support of corporate America and a very politically active group of rightwing American billionaires, most Republicans in the United States Senate would not today hold their seats.

Like Thyssen, they've abandoned principles and exclusively thrown in with self interest. They've convinced themselves that what's good for rightwing billionaires and America's biggest monopolies is also good for America, and thus fight any attempts to improve the lives of average working Americans or the poor.

Their billionaire overlords demand that the conservative politicians they own block programs with well over 50% support among the American public like ending school debt and free college, giving all Americans access to our single payer Medicare system, and rebuilding America in a way that doesn't further depend on and enrich the coal, oil and natural gas barons.

The result is widespread political confusion, cynicism and polarization as Republican politicians use regionalism, racism, and religious factionalism to win elections so they can continue to serve their billionaire overlords.

They're well compensated for this, of course. A Republican politician who faithfully serves big corporations and billionaires can safely expect to have at least a $1 million a year job waiting for them when they retire or get voted out of office, and many make far more. At the personal level, the risks are so tiny as to be meaningless.

But the danger to America, and thus to democracies all around the world, grows every day that Americas' Republicans continue to embrace fascist oligarchs like Donald Trump and the right wing billionaires who bankroll their think tanks, media, and their own political careers.

Fascism is often defined as "the merger of corporate and state interests, combined with belligerent nationalism." While the modern Republican Party dislikes the label, it's a perfect description of where they have been at since the beginning of the Reagan Revolution.

Now there's discussion among anti-Trump Republicans about creating a new "conservative" party. So far, however, that appears to mean trading in extremist fascist billionaire funders for more moderate fascist billionaire funders. Every indication is that it'll just be the same old same old; more kowtowing to the rich and a further abandonment of America's working class people.

As we can see right now with the behavior of Republican senators in this impeachment trial, the GOP has deeply betrayed American values. They bear no resemblance to the early conservative Federalist Party (aside, perhaps, from their affection for cheap-labor slavery), and offer average Americans nothing but hatred of racial and gender identity minorities, a cult-like worshiping of great wealth, and a bizarre rejection of science and expertise that would've made 16th century Popes proud.

There are many events and issues over the past decades that have exposed the corruption and rot within the modern Republican Party.

But, today, their unwillingness to hold an unrepentant traitor to account in the Senate impeachment trial should be the final straw for Americans.

-Thom

Originally posted on thomhartmann.medium.com.

Comments

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 31 weeks 1 day ago
#1

If voted members of government do not or can not claim to represent "we the people" then that should be a crime with viscious consequence for malfaesence

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 31 weeks 1 day ago
#2

What do we do when they claim to represent "we the people," and they don't?

napaeric's picture
napaeric 31 weeks 1 day ago
#3

If the cowards in the gop senate could vote to impeach anonomously. Trump could be toast. They have their own reasons for Trump to be gone. If Trump is gone they stand a better chance to promote themselves.

If Trump remains democracy is still on the edge. Who trained this guy? How could he possibly know what buttons to push? It is like he was somehow trained like Pavlov's dog's.

Legend 31 weeks 1 day ago
#4

Vote them out!

After todays obviously condemning evidence. My guess is, the defense will have minor, if any, defense and will take it to a vote knowing that the Republicans will vote against impeachment, no matter what evidence is presented.

nohomeworkink-6's picture
nohomeworkink-6 31 weeks 1 day ago
#5

This was supposed to be a reply to Hephaetrus so don't know why it's #5 and the second attempt is #6 and neither can be deleted. Go figure.

I've always ignored politics until very, very recently. Would that be like when the Democrats in Congress spent an obscene amount of time and (our) money in their multi-year obsessive effort to annihilate Trump rather than conduct the people's business. Is it when Pelosi held up last summer's stimulus bill for several months just because, as she later said, she didn't want Trump to get any credit? Or is it Pelosi insisting on impeachment of Trump sans due process because the President is "unhinged" and had to be removed immediately, then refusing to follow through until he was out of office 12 days later?

It's a bit confusing. Is that what you mean by malfeasance? Or is it malfeasance only when the other guy does it. Speaking of that, what did the other guy(s) do? People throw around all these claims as if fact, but I never hear about anything specific that supports said claims or proves the truth of the matters asserted. Like I said, very confusing for a novice, especially an objective one whose standards wouldn't permit voting for either candidate.

nohomeworkink-6's picture
nohomeworkink-6 31 weeks 1 day ago
#6

I've always ignored politics until very, very recently. Would that be like when the Democrats in Congress spent an obscene amount of time and (our) money in their multi-year obsessive effort to annihilate Trump rather than conduct the people's business. Is it when Pelosi held up last summer's stimulus bill for several months just because, as she later said, she didn't want Trump to get any credit? Or is it Pelosi insisting on impeachment of Trump sans due process because the President is "unhinged" and had to be removed immediately, then refusing to follow through until he was out of office 12 days later?

It's a bit confusing. Is that what you mean by malfeasance? Or is it malfeasance only when the other guy does it. Speaking of that, what did the other guy(s) do? People throw around all these claims as if fact, but I never hear about anything specific that supports said claims or proves the truth of the matters asserted. Like I said, very confusing for a novice, especially an objective one whose standards wouldn't permit voting for either candidate.

nohomeworkink-6's picture
nohomeworkink-6 31 weeks 1 day ago
#7

STOP --- if you're one of the 83% who changes the facts or ignores them so you can keep believing what you want to believe, don't bother reading further. It's a waste of your time 'cause its objectivity is not what you're looking for.

As to ". . . trading in extremist fascist billionaire funders for more moderate fascist billionaire funders," who are those billionaire funders?

I know the tech industry, oil and gas industry, academia, the sports/athletic industry and franchises with their obscene salaries, at least 90% of the news industry, the entire entertainment industry, and apparently our judiciary (federal, anyway) are all Democrats who fund only Democrat candidates, right? That's how the two Democrat candidates in Georgia were able to raise $100M each while the Rep. candidates raised only $60M each.

I, too, thought the Republic Party was about corporate America, but which billionaires are left? Corporate America has wanted Trump out presumably because they want a "global" economy so they can keep their operations out of the US and in countries that offer cheap labor. I mean, isn't Trump the one who wanted companies back in the U.S. hiring American workers?

How does "[a] Republican politician who faithfully serves big corporations and billionaires [who] can safely expect to have at least a $1 million a year job waiting for them when they retire or get voted out of office, and many make far more" compare with the gross or net worth of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama? Aren't both couples worth in the neighborhood of $20 million to $50 million?

How does that compare with the newest NFL contract for Patrick whatshisname for $500 million? I know it's common for former politicians to become professors. Is that what universities are paying these days? Others return to practicing law. But, compared to people like the Clintons, Obamas, and Joe and Hunter Biden (Hunter pd. an obscene $50,000/mo. with no knowledge and no experience and J. allegedly received a huge cut of some foreign deal), isn't $1M a year chicken feed as they say?

As to "rebuilding America in a way that doesn't further depend on and enrich the coal, oil and natural gas barons," shouldn't we do some rebuilding before cutting off access to gas and oil? Just a thought. Without Keystone, don't we have to pay more to foreign entities for gas and oil until that "rebuilding" is completed? How does that make sense?

When Obama Care went into effect, young independent contractors and entrepreneurs in Upstate NY were forced to pay thousands more for their insurance. Why is that? And why is that a good thing? Still can't find anyone who knows how we benefit from that plan. I do know it's cruel to require 85- and 90-year-old citizens to re-evaluate and possibly change their health ins. every year.

This article and the statement that "{s}ome suggest that the GOP 'has lost their soul,' but conservatives in America . . . never really had a soul" are oozing hate. How does that unify? How does continually blaming the last President for everything unify? These are sincere questions. Democrats continually assert their desire to unify, but how do they plan to do that when their actions and attitude of blaming and criticizing are so divisive?

What has always made the experiment called America work is its commitment to free speech, unequivocal due process, objective and impartial news investigating and reporting, and only the censoring of certain speech that rises to a very strict and limited standard. That is all gone now.

Speech that incites violence or dangerous behavior has to meet a certain standard. How do the words "fight" and "wild" rise to the level of yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater when there is no fire? They don't. Saying they do is saying every thinking American is an ignorant idiot for having never learned that you can't believe nor take seriously most of what Trump says or has ever said. Democrats have been demanding for four yrs. that we "fight" like hell to obliterate Trump. Anyone with violent tendencies could have easily taken that to mean the guy should be assassinated.

Everyone knows Trump is a lying buffoon. It's just that roughly half the voting public is apparently able to separate the man's boatload of flaws and offensive personality from his policies that work and are beneficial while the other half cannot.

Identifying and describing millions of people as being one way or another denies all of us the freedom and right to be individuals. Some of those millions actually switched from Independent to Democrat or Republican just so they can vote in the primaries. And some are apparently white supremicists. Every group has its bad element. Any voter able to think beyond the superficial --- an ability that is now in very short supply --- knows no political party has all the answers and there is no perfection, so the best we can do is to choose the most reasonable and beneficial policies offered by each political party.

This nonsense of wiping out everything the previous administration did just because it was done by "them" is beyond stupid. Childish is what it is. Governing like a roller-coaster merry-go-round makes life too difficult for everyone. One minute it's this; next minute it's that. How do you start and run a business when ya never know what's around the corner and cannot depend on anything?

Who is censoring speech? Corporations. YouTube actually removed videos of two Senate hearings about Covid-19 'cause they didn't meet their standards. Really? Senate hearings? Some corporation is deciding we can't hear what goes on in the Senate? Others are deciding who is allowed to say what? Why are Democrats so afraid of opposing ideas or, in my case, a question on Instagram? If you can't withstand an opposing idea or answer a valid question about your own, maybe you're standing on quicksand. After all, it's only the best, most reasonable and most substantiated ideas that can survive questions and opposition.

Who is canceling people, firing them or vilifying them for a word or a thought? Corporations. And what and who do corporations in every industry support? The Democrat Party. So, where should one look for resolution to all the "racial injustice" in the workplace? Corporations, which are predominantly what? Democrat. Those who feel they champion civil rights the most are also the biggest offenders/violators of those rights, or so the facts one can substantiate seem to indicate. This is why all this superficial thinking gets us nowhere and is so dangerous. It can't handle questions and criticism.

Dehumanizing one of us dehumanizes all of us. Denying due process to one denies due process to all. Not ordering discovery in accordance with FRCP 12(b)(6) on behalf of the election complaints filed --- or not telling us why 12(b)(6) (which doesn't require evidence) doesn't apply --- denies judicial due process to us all and leaves unsettled the issue of election integrity that concerned at least a few elected Democrats as recently as Sept., 2020.

In the end, those who mistreat and disrespect someone so the world knows that person is terrible aren't telling the world that at all. Instead, they're telling the world they are.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 31 weeks 1 day ago
#8

WOW-I wish I had listened and stopped reading #7, but not for the reason mentioned. Bizarre conclusion. Trump wrote the book on dehumanizing, mistreatment, and disrespect of others. That is exactly why we are discussing how sad the condition of the Republican party is at this point in history. It is reasonable to come to the conclusion the worship of money is soul-less. The utter disrespect for the democratic process and voting rights by Republicans is stunning.

We had a defense team up at the podium trying to talk about how august the Senators are considered to be; they're "the world's most deliberative body". How sad we now hear the reports of the actual posture of some of the Republican senators who took an oath to act as an impartial juror. They won't even look at the evidence of an insurrection where people died and others were terrorized!

I know plenty of good Republicans and thank goodness right now for the ones in the Senate; they bring a small measure of unity around common decency. I wish there were more of them.

cuz's picture
cuz 31 weeks 1 day ago
#9

Please Thom, let it go. It's over. Your obsession with Trump is beyond comical. OCD is not a healthy condition.

The mark of a normal mature individual is their ability to be resilient and push through things that bother them.

White House, House, and Senate, time to focus on what should and can be done in the next 100 days.

Worn out door knobs's picture
Worn out door knobs 31 weeks 1 day ago
#11

Nohomeworkink-6:

Thank you for an excellent essay. You've put into words what I fell, but don't have the ability to express. I hope you become a regular contributor.

SueN's picture
SueN 31 weeks 1 day ago
#12

Cuz, you seem to be obsessed yourself.

Biden is focusing on what can be done in the next 100 days.

But for American deomocracy to have a chance of surviving, Trump has to be made accountable for what he did so that his successors are not emboldened.

Xfilerose 31 weeks 1 day ago
#13

I just find it so hard to believe at the onset of this 3rd day of Impeachment proceedings that it's being touted as "the Democrats will complete their case". At no point has there or will their be acknowledgement on a Republican level that this was a planned insurection or of the higher level 4 years of gross behavioral and competency issues with the ex-president. The obvious reason being that the Republicans are, and always have been behind the Trump "MOVEMENT". As we hear Republican senators profess their continued support against any Democratic action over the next 4 years, you realize the depth of Trump's call for loyalty in his insurection was not isolated to January 6th, and continues to infect areas that pose a clear and present danger to national security and require further attention. As such, most of these issues could likely be dealt with through the Partiot Act as a mounting assult against the country, which it obviously is. Are they really ready to distroy a country over an aliance to one man?

cuz's picture
cuz 31 weeks 1 day ago
#14

Sue, is it an obsession or just being tired of hearing orange man bad every day for the last 4-3/4 years?

I understand some of Thoms rants but my God all three hours nearly every day with little if anything promoting the new regime in DC. Thom is a very smart man and he has the power to do good, instead, all we get is Trump, Trump, and more Trump.

I keep waiting and hoping but I suspect this will continue throughout the Biden administration. Very disappointing to say the least.

Legend 31 weeks 23 hours ago
#15

Cuz, there is a very simple solution. Go somewhere else. Most of us like Thom's show and listen to it because of that. I do not listen to Rush Limbaugh because I do not like it. I do not write to Rush every day trying to tell him how to do his show. Move on.

vincentperillo's picture
vincentperillo 31 weeks 23 hours ago
#16

Seventy million plus North Americans are set for a forceful push to remove anyone who they consider communists from any say in this countries policy making. Incited by talk show hosts from the anti-communist corner, each one of these sub-intelligent insurrectionists "over-the-air bad mouths" have incited the vulnerable citizens to violence by spreading lies. The president clearly shows all the attributes of a would be dictator, rising himself to power, with money and wrong thinking of the extremes political right.

The right wing is composed of those Christians who Jesus condemned doing his lifetime. Those right wingers seek money, power and to hold on to power by red-baiting all those interested in equal opportunity which in their minds might take away the superior position they maintain in our country through economic monopoly of the earth's resources.

I am a Christian, but a Christian in the sense that I learned right and wrong from those like Moses and Christ. I do not believe in the myths of any stories, in the Bible or in other books. I do not like, like many other's, to be led down the wrong path of social and political power through divide and conquer or as the invaders of our seat of democracy did the other day. I hope for a return to normalcy and a return to a learned and shared experience of the pursuit of happiness for all.

Those very same communists which the right uses to defame the liberals thinking people are the one's that saved our solders lives by giving over 20 million lives during WWII, How do you like the current, non-communist, state of affairs in Russia. The communists' were the right people in thought and action, in those historical times. The current practices in Russia have left the Satellite Countries in that area of the world in worse shape than under communism.

It is my firm hope that all the world realizes that bickering over ideologies is futile and will lead to the extinction of the world's people by either Nuclear Winter or permanent winter after climate change has both warm us up to the edge of extinction or then, as nature attempts to recover by freezing us out of our habitat. And, hope, all people feel safe under which ever government they choose is in power at the time.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 31 weeks 22 hours ago
#17

#14. Disappointing indeed. And tiring ...I understand, I wait, I hope, I suspect, I complain obsessively, yet I keep coming back for more...

Republicans don't want to hold Trump responsible for his criminality because that would mean holding themselves responsible for enabling a liar, a cheat, and a traitor. Rather than face themselves, OF COOOURSE, they want to change the subject.

So can't we all just pretend the last 4 years never happened? Let's just go back to normal again -- like pretending Democrats are evil socialists so that Republicans can climb back in the saddle, clinging to phony patriotism and false religion, on their final march to fascism. Onward, Christian soldier!

deepspace's picture
deepspace 31 weeks 18 hours ago
#18

#10. The irony is almost embarrassing if not so hilarious. Who needs to bother with homework when you can just throw out worthless opinions?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 31 weeks 17 hours ago
#19

#16. You are making valid and important points. And to be clear, ninety-nine-point-ninety-nine percent of Democrats are not communists nor do they play ones on TV. };--))

Bickering over ideologies is futile. Rejecting them altogether is much more productive, especially when group-think leads to perpetual war for profit and irreversible climate destruction/extinction, which it does. Shared ideologies not rooted in facts and science, that hurt rather than help humanity, should be summarily rejected by each and every member of the Homo sapien species ...in a perfect world.

In the real world, curse the gods, some humanoid flying monkeys are so far to the right that even Attila the Hun looks like a radical leftist do-gooder. And they can't even see Jesus way down there at the other end of the table let alone ask him what he would do.

With the climate-destruction tipping point fast approaching, we have one party immobilized with fear and stupidity, stitched together with wing-nut fringe conspiracy theories-cum-mainstream nutball politics, bursting at the seams with the indignity of losing white privilege, as always, but now with a wave of juiced-up anger and hatred for anything and anybody with even a whiff of that, oh-the-horror, "far-left" party.

Right, be afraid, very afraid, of the party that actually knows how to legislate and to make the economy prosper by primarily helping American workers and their families as opposed to primarily helping Wall Street tycoons and their bank accounts. Whatever you do, do not trust the "other" one that is not the "far-far-far-right" party of anti-democracy and autocratic plutocracy. Add a dash of guns-n-god for flavor, drink the Kool-Aid, and enjoy.

enemy_of_authoritarianism's picture
enemy_of_author... 30 weeks 1 day ago
#20

It is easier to project problems on others than to take responsibility for our own actions.

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