Monday, February 1, 2021

An Emboldened Extremist Wing Flexes Its Power in a Leaderless G.O.P.


It's the Old Gray Lady, back up to her stupid, hypocritical tricks.

Because, you know, there is no "extremist wing" in the Democrat Party; oh no, A.OC. and "the Squad" don't count, because they're on NYT's side. Ditto for the Bernie Sanders "wing" in the upper chamber of Congress, most of whom are to the left of the Castro regime in Cuba.

But FWIW, which admittedly, isn't much, except that the newspaper's "screeds" do give us a glimpse into how privileged and stunningly un-self-aware are the "journalists" who write up all this agitprop for the country-club-socialists who live and die by every word published in that rag, and the same folks can't wait to get their marriage announcements into the paper's society pages (hello Jessica Valenti!). 

I read this crap so you don't have to: Have a look and judge for yourself, because that's exactly what the stupid, hypocritical "editors" at the paper DON'T expect you to do, but would rather have just tune out and burn out by avoiding their "mainstream news" and instead "radicalize yourself" on Fox News (which contrary to the most feverish of progressive dreams, is the only cable outlet right now actually reporting real news; and don't get me going about the "balanced" coverage we see daily at the corporate-big-tech-controlled CNN).


As more far-right Republicans take office and exercise power, party officials are promoting unity and neutrality rather than confronting dangerous messages and disinformation.

WASHINGTON — Knute Buehler, who led Oregon’s Republican ticket as the candidate for governor in 2018, watched with growing alarm in recent weeks as Republicans around the nation challenged the reliability of the presidential election results.

Then he watched the Jan. 6 siege at the United States Capitol in horror. And then, to his astonishment, Republican Party officials in his own state embraced the conspiracy theory that the attack was actually a left-wing “false flag” plot to frame Trump supporters.

The night after his party’s leadership passed a formal resolution promoting the false flag theory, Mr. Buehler cracked open a local microbrew and filed to change his registration from Republican to independent. “It was very painful,” he said.

His unhappy exit highlighted one facet of the upheaval now underway in the G.O.P.: It has become a leaderless party, with veterans like Mr. Buehler stepping away, luminaries like Senator Rob Portman of Ohio retiring, far-right extremists like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia building a brand on a web of dangerous conspiracy theories, and pro-Trump Republicans at war with other conservatives who want to look beyond the former president to the future.

With no dominant leader other than the deplatformed one-term president, a radical right movement that became emboldened under Mr. Trump has been maneuvering for more power, and ascending in different states and congressional districts. More moderate Republicans feel increasingly under attack, but so far have made little progress in galvanizing voters, donors or new recruits for office to push back against extremism.

Instead, in Arizona, the state Republican Party has brazenly punished dissent, formally censuring three of its own: Gov. Doug Ducey, former Senator Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of former Senator John McCain. The party cited their criticisms of Mr. Trump and their defenses of the state’s election process.

In Wyoming, Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, headlined a rally on Thursday to denounce Representative Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach Mr. Trump. Joining Mr. Gaetz by phone hookup was Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, who has been working to unseat Ms. Cheney and replace her with someone he believes better represents the views of her constituents — in other words, fealty to his father.

In Kentucky, grass-roots Republicans tried to push the state party to pass a resolution urging Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, to fully support Mr. Trump in next month’s impeachment trial. The effort failed.

And in Michigan, Meshawn Maddock, a Trump supporter who pushed false claims about voter fraud and organized buses of Republicans from the state to attend the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, is running unopposed to become the new co-chairman of the state party. While marching from the Ellipse to the Capitol on Jan. 6, Ms. Maddock praised the “most incredible crowd and sea of people I’ve ever worked with.”

Nothing is defining and dividing the G.O.P. more than loyalty to Mr. Trump and his false claims about the election.

“You’ve got 41 percent of the country, including a lot of independents, who think the election was stolen,” said Scott Reed, the former political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a veteran Republican consultant. “That’s an amazing number. It takes months for a party that loses a national election to re-gel.”

There are still Republican officials who are responsible for the party’s political interests — but these people are under their own kinds of pressure, preaching unity to factions that have no desire to unite.

Perhaps the most prominent party official right now is Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and a close ally of Mr. Trump’s. In an interview on Friday, she condemned the “false flag” resolution passed by Oregon Republicans and sounded exasperated at the public brawling in her party.

“If you have a family dispute, don’t go on ‘Jerry Springer,’” Ms. McDaniel said. “Do it behind closed doors. It’s my role to call them and explain that if we don’t keep our party united and focused on 2022, we will lose. If we are attacking fellow Republicans and cancel culture within our own party, it is not helpful to winning majorities.”

At the same time, Ms. McDaniel made clear that she was not going to impose top-down decision making on the party, noting that the role of the R.N.C. was to stay neutral in primaries. She said she planned to do so in the 2022 midterm elections, barring more extreme behavior emerging...

Still more at that top link, if you stomach can it, sheesh.