From “Year One: The Mad King,” an 11.10 New York Review of Books piece by Charles Sykes: “Less than a year into his presidency, we hear the same question again and again: What will it take? What has to happen for Republicans to break with their Mad King?
“The honest answer is: Who knows? Whatever people have said has to happen has, in fact, already happened, over and over again, and the GOP has swallowed it anyway. A year ago, Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump’s attacks on a Mexican-American judge a ‘textbook definition’ of racism, but today Ryan is one of Trump’s most reliable and chirpy cheerleaders. Every line has already been crossed, every norm broken, every standard of decency shattered and yet four out of five GOP voters still back him.
“Even as Robert Mueller’s investigation accelerates, there are few signs that the party has any will to resist him. In the last year and a half, Trump has succeeded in moving the window of acceptability in our politics, especially on the right. The collaborators rationalize their response thus: if they did not go along, then power would shift to even worse actors. As the former presidential aide Steve Bannon plots a populist revanchist rebellion, some Republicans tell themselves that it is better to be a Vichy Republican, a quiescent enabler, than one of the denizens of Bannon’s Crazytown.
“Even the Trumpists, though, sense that they cannot control the forces they have unleashed. They nurtured an alligator in the bathtub; now it is grown and loose and still quite angry. Republicans are now competing with one another for who is to be eaten last.”
“This isn’t a political problem. This is a societal issue — a major, major existential problem with who we are and how we view the world. This is no longer about Democrats and Republicans, even though the latter fostered this group and gave it power and influence. This is something larger. We have a substantial group in this country who are okay with a president who would stamp out free speech, free press, and are comfortable with foreign influence and collusion. They didn’t blink when a woman was murdered by white supremacists. They don’t worry about mass shootings. They support fascism in totality.”
Here’s the whole thread.