Summary: The Republican convention has served us well by showing us what we will get if we pull the level for GOP candidates on November 8. Here are some of the highlights.
(1) GOP plans to build a New America
“50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party Platform” by Steven Rosenfeld / AlterNet, 18 July 2016 — “What Trump, a GOP Congress and GOP-appointed Supreme Court would do to America.” A cornucopia for corporations and the 1%; a horror show for the rest of us. Here is the full platform.
- Tax cuts for the rich. Cut government salaries and benefits.
- Dramatically increase Pentagon budget. Cancel Iran nuclear treaty and expand nuclear arsenal.
- Deregulate the banks. Stop consumer protection. Start repealing environmental laws. Start shrinking unions and union labor. No change in federal minimum wage. Give internet service providers monopolies. Privatize government services to “fight poverty”. Replace traditional public schools with privatized options. Privatize student loans instead of lowering interest rates.
- Appoint anti-choice, anti-LGBT, and anti-Obamacare justices.
Make Christianity a national religion. Loosen gun controls nationwide. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment. Allow states to shut down abortion Clinics. Oppose stem cell scientific research. Replace sex education with abstinence-only approaches.
- Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money. Repeal Obamacare. Privatize Medicare. Turn Medicaid, the poor’s health plan, over to states. No increasing Social Security benefits by taxing the rich. …
(2) Trump plans a purge if he wins
Governor Christie, who leads Trump’s transition team, told dozens of donors at the GOP convention that they were drawing up a list of federal government employees appointed by Obama to fire if Trump wins. Christie also said that “One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people”. Reuters reported this on the basis of a recording and accounts from two attendees.
(3) My favorite speech: Chris Christie’s
“Over the convention’s first two nights, a growing number of Republicans called for Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned. …The unprecedented tenor for a national political convention has prompted dismay in some corners of the GOP and even launched a Secret Service investigation into a New Hampshire state representative who said Clinton should be shot by a firing squad.
“At least three speakers called for the presumptive Democratic nominee’s imprisonment. “Lock her up!” the convention crowd shouted repeatedly on both nights, a chant not heard before at nominee Donald Trump’s rallies.
“…the recurring chant has made clear how much Trump has changed his party’s tone and direction. ‘Lock her up!’ Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi, her state’s top law enforcement official, said. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recited a series of Clinton’s alleged misdeeds and led the crowd in shouts of “Guilty!” after each.
“…She should be “swinging from the rafters” said Susan Reneau, an alternate delegate from Montana, in an interview in Cleveland. Reneau said she blamed Clinton and her handling of government emails for Islamic State attacks in Paris, Belgium and Istanbul.”
Michelle Goldberg at Slate gives us more color about the speech than the WaPo does.
“At one point, Christie faulted Clinton’s response to the mass kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, which happened after she left office. After each accusation, he asked, “Is she guilty or not guilty?” Each time, the crowd roared, ‘Guilty!’
“…American presidential campaigns are not typically built around the dream of jailing the opposing candidate. Prime-time convention speakers usually pay lip service to the cliché of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Convention planners have not, in the past, staged their events like fantasy show trials. They have not sought to work their crowds into ecstasies of hatred.
“…Christie’s speech was logically incoherent. Even if you buy his damning interpretation of Clinton’s foreign policy errors, it doesn’t make sense to discuss them as matters of criminal malfeasance. Emotionally, though, that’s in keeping with how Clinton’s bitterest foes talk about her: as a person of absolute corruption, who, through some sort of occult trick, moves through the world with intolerable impunity. As many people pointed out on Twitter, the way that Christie punctuated his inquisitorial brief with the crowd’s cries of ‘Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!’ made him sound less like a contemporary politician than a magistrate condemning a witch.”
(4) How the GOP got here
Eliot Weinberger reviews the field of oddities that Republican voters had to choose among. The GOP convention was destined to be weird no matter who won. It’s a fun read, if you pretend it is fiction — not the candidates that one of our two major parties put forth to be the next president of the United States. In fact Campaign 2016 provides the clearest possible evidence that the US political system has become dysfunctional.
What matters is what we do about. We should begin preparing in December 2016 to have candidates in 2020 who deserve the office.
(5) Planning for the future
If Trump bombs in November, the Right has already begun planning to complete the GOP’s destruction in 2020: “Cruz in Control” by Brian Goldsmith at The Atlantic — “No potential 2020 candidate has as much going for him as Senator Ted Cruz.”
The likely result: the Democratic Party becomes the overwhelmingly powerful party; it then splits into Left and neoliberal parties.
For More Information
- The key to modern American politics: the Right-Wing Id Unzipped.
- Ron Paul’s exotic past tells us much about him, the GOP, libertarians – and about us.
- A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind.
- The GOP budget shows us the New America that lies ahead.
- Mike Lofgren: Republicans Are Revolutionaries, Not Conservatives.
- See how the Republican Party’s history brought forth Trump2016.