Power, Politics, and Our Political Press Corps

Over the weekend, this tweet came trundling across the Twitter transom:


To which some asshole with a blog Twitter feed replied:


Alter’s question is really telling about how the political press corps views politics. Many GOP senators like Trump’s policies. Maybe not all of them, but from their perspective, he’s far better than any Democrat, even Biden. Democrats would appoint non-conservative judges, roll back a bunch of Republican executive orders, reinvigorate regulators (some, anyway), and so on. Democrats might even be able to pass some legislation depending on how the elections turn out.

The Republican response is only surprising if you don’t view the entire fucking point of winning elections as the chance to use power to achieve your preferred policy goals. This is a point Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog made recently in a slightly different context (boldface mine):

Republicans use every bit of power they have. Twice in the past two decades they’ve placed a candidate in the White House who didn’t win the popular vote. Did either of those Republicans cede power? Not at all — no “governing from the center,” no nothing. Four of the nine justices on the Supreme Court were appointed by these two Republicans, and if Trump is reelected, that number will rise to a majority of the High Court. So in the unlikely event that Democrats are in a position to force both the president and the vice president from office — if the public regards both as clearly guilty of high crimes, and Republicans feel that their immediate electoral prospects are doomed unless they acknowledge the criminality of the two men — why shouldn’t Democrats grab whatever power is in reach? Why should we be chumps?

Too many in the Democratic political class and our punditocracy don’t get this, that they are ultimately supposed to use the power voters give them to make those voters’ lives better.

Is Trump personally frustrating for Republican senators? I’m certain he is. But they like most of the policies, and why would they want to give Democrats the opportunity to check, or even reverse, those policies?

Update: Commandante Atrios notes the following related point:

…you can’t prod authoritarian conservatives with your view of “consistency” because they are perfectly consistent, just in a different way than you imagine. Hypocrisy is a hilarious concept to them, and they laugh when you invoke it. They aren’t hypocrites. They are perfectly consistent in their view that they have the right to rule in any way they choose and Democrats don’t.

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4 Responses to Power, Politics, and Our Political Press Corps

  1. Ron Zoscak says:

    I have to laugh every time I hear a democrat say we can’t pack the court or eliminate the filibuster because of the precedent it would set, because my natural reaction to such gutlessness would result in my incarceration.

  2. Scottie says:

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Hello Mike. I love that people are beginning to understand who the Republicans feel about power. Republicans prefer power over democracy , which explains the voter suppression and gerrymandering they engage in. Republicans would love to have a one party rule like China has , as long as it is their party. The Republicans are trying hard to install a minority rule over the majority as demographics show their membership falling and their party can not win elections with out cheating. Hugs

  3. Minstrel Michael says:

    I can’t entirely agree. Trump did deliver yet another budget busting tax cut and Bret Kavanaugh, but that seems to have exhausted his political capital. And he’s damaging the home and hearth platitudes of Republicans’ self-image, like it’s got to be hard to justify the party of “family values” taking kids away from their parents even if they aren’t white. The point where it could have worked would have been right after the midterm elections, where the Republicans lost the House bigly, despite holding the Senate. At that point a foresighted Republican from a purplish state could have stood up to Trump and reaped metric tons of great press– we might have been looking at a Susan Collins presidential run. And the only thing that makes it too late now, besides Pelosi now being on board, is that Pence looks implicated enough in Ukrainegate that he may no longer be secure in his job either.

  4. rawgod says:

    Repugs seek power to rule. Dems seek power to govern. If you cannot see the difference, just think about the American Revolution. The colonies did not want to be ruled, they wanted to govern themselves. Now along comes Trump, who not only wants to be King of the USA, but Emperor of Earth (maybe even Supreme Ruler of the Solar System).If that is what your life to be, ruled, vote Trump in 2020, if you have the chance. If you want to be governed, vote Democracy.

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