No No No No No No No

I really hope that this is the stupidest shit I read today, because I don't have the energy for something even stupider: "There's a Bigger Prize Than Impeachment: Keeping Trump in Office Will Destroy the Republican Party" by former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart at the New York Times.

One doesn't even need to get into the actual text of the piece before encountering major problems. Often, I warn against trusting headlines to be fair representations of the text, because writers for publications they don't manage usually don't write their own headlines. But, in this instance, both the head and subhead are accurate summations of arguments Lockhart makes.

Impeachment is not a "prize," and talking about politics like it's a game has always been gross, but it is especially so in this particular moment of relentless political malice and resurgent fascism.

And, no, for all that is decent, keeping Trump in office will not "destroy the Republican Party," which has spent the last two years almost uninterruptedly consolidating power behind Donald Trump.

As one might expect, getting into the body of the piece we encounter even more contemptible assertions:
For Democrats, leaving Donald Trump in office is not only good politics — it is the best chance for fundamental realignment of American politics in more than a generation. Mr. Trump is three years into destroying what we know as the Republican Party. Another two years just might finish it off. Trumpism has become Republicanism, and that spells electoral doom for the party.
Donald Trump is not three years into destroying the Republican Party; he is three years into destroying U.S. democracy. The Republican Party is doing just fine — holding the Oval Office, the Senate, the Supreme Court, a rapidly increasing number of federal court seats, and the majority of state legislatures.

Anyone who can take a look at those facts and imagine that the Republican Party is in danger of being "finished off" doesn't even understand basic math, no less modern politics.

Lockhart continues:
Mr. Trump has abandoned most of the core principles that have defined Republicans for the past century. Free trade abandoned for protectionism. Challenging our adversaries and promoting democracy replaced by coddling Russia and cozying up to dictators near and far. Fiscal conservatism replaced by reckless spending and exploding deficits.

What's left of the party is a rigid adherence to tax cuts, a social agenda that repels most younger Americans, and rampant xenophobia and race-based politics that regularly interfere with the basic functioning of the federal government.

Republicans today are the party of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson — a coalition that, in the face of every demographic trend in America, will mean the long-term realignment of the federal government behind the Democrats.

We're not quite there yet — but keeping [Donald] Trump in office is the best way to cement Trumpism's hold on the Republican Party.
There is a lot wrong in those four paragraphs, but I'll just briefly note two of the most consternating problems.

First, Donald Trump is not even remotely an anomaly of Republican politics (which abandoned principle many decades ago): He is instead its inevitable endgame. He did not emerge from a vacuum, but from the well-marked path that the GOP has been laying for decades. Trump ascended as the uncensored id of a carefully cultivated Republican base. He is not a betrayer of Republican values, but their most shameless promoter.

Secondly, this ubiquitous notion that the Republican Party, especially its most extreme elements, is soon to die with the aged is just flatly wrong. It wasn't pensioners who marched through Charlottesville with tiki torches.

The unfortunate truth is that the most reactionary and violent parts of the conservative movement are comprised of many, many angry young white men.

Lockhart then declares:
For Democrats, it's the dream scenario — as long as he completes his term.
I can't even wrap my head around being so privileged that you can assert giving Trump two more years in office is a "dream scenario," knowing that those two years could very well see, just for a start, the construction of military-run concentration camps at the border, the re-criminalization of abortion, the death of the Affordable Care Act, the rollback of LGBTQ rights, continued empowerment of white supremacy from the Oval Office, and possibly two more Supreme Court seats transferred to conservatives with loyalty to an authoritarian president.

Lockhart concludes thus:
Allowing Mr. Trump to lead the Republican Party, filled with sycophants and weak-willed leaders, into the next election is the greater prize. Democrats have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realign American politics along progressive lines, very much like Ronald Reagan did for Republicans in the 1980s.

Trumpism equals Republicanism as long as Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket. And a real shift to progressivism in America will be delivered by a devastating rebuke of the president and his party, a rebuke that will return control of the Senate and state houses across the nation. Politics is always a gamble — and this is the best bet we've had in a long time.
The best bet we had, possibly in the nation's history, was Hillary Clinton, who was the last person standing between the preservation of our democracy and the Russian nesting doll of character defects who now inhabits the White House and leverages the power of the presidency to destroy our democracy as swiftly and irreparably as he can, with the assistance of the rest of the Republican Party, who are neither ashamed of him nor on the precipice of being consigned to the dustbin of history.

We gambled on her and rolled a winning shot and still lost, because of election meddling — for which the meddlers, foreign and domestic, have not been held accountable. And that almost certainly means that they will be back again with a vengeance in 2020.

Counting on free and fair elections to solve the problem of Donald Trump and the Republican Party is a bullshit proposition. I wish desperately that were not the case.

There may yet be time to ensure that it isn't, but if there is any hope of restoring the basic tenet of our democracy, the integrity of our elections, it starts with impeachment hearings.

It certainly does not start with fucking trash about how great the remainder of Donald Trump's presidency will be for progressives.

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