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The Great Fracturing of the Republican Party


The Great Fracturing of the Republican Party

Eugene Robinson

It is no longer possible to think of “the Republican Party” as a coherent political force. It is nothing of the sort — and the Donald Trump insurgency should be seen as a symptom, not the cause, of the party’s disintegration.


I disagree that the Republicans are "factionalized and out of control". All of the candidates still agree on core values such as not taxing the wealthy, increasing military spending, avoid discussion of climate change at all costs, never increase social spending, never discuss universal healthcare, never discuss raising the minimum wage (unless it is an insignificant amount over a long period of time), never criticize endless growth, spread fear and reinforce the myth of a liberal MSM. If a single candidate here is different on any of these topics, please enlighten me!


While most Dems understand Global warming and Evolution, and few have a "calling" to quest after the holy grail of unborn fetuses, this statement misses a great deal:

"The only point of concord is the allegation that Obama has failed to “secure the border,” which is actually far more secure than it was under George W. Bush."

This only point manages to leave out or steer clear of ALL of the following that they surely DO agree upon:

  1. Odious trade policies that enrich the already bloated-upon-riches 1%... at the expense of ALL else
  2. Odious foreign wars that continue on at an insane pace
  3. Odious payoffs to the M.I.C. to continue #2
  4. Odious Homeland security/domestic surveillance/police brutality that largely shows to citizens that they reside in a heavily armed authoritarian state

How much do the leading Dem apologists for the MIC-state differ from their Repug. counterparts when it comes to going after truth tellers like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, etc.?

This idea of "the only point" is only true if one is gazing through a microscope in pursuit of minutiae.

And for a party coming apart at the seams, it sure wasn't hard for Paul Ryan--growing a beard to look like Abe Lincoln--to just pass new tax reductions for that same uber-rich. Not bad for a party in stages of dissolution...


Sorry! I wrote my comment before reading yours. I see that we're essentially saying something quite similar.


Oh yes, Kentucky just swore in its first Republican governor in quite a while. And the first thing he wants to do is dismantle the state health care exchange and push 400,000 people off of health care. And give big business more tax breaks, while somehow fixing our massively underfunded teacher and state employee pension systems. As usual with Republicans, the math doesn't add up.

Needless to say, I didn't vote for him. And anyone who did and then bleats about losing their health care or other benefits will get short shrift from me. Because he was very plain up front about what he intended to do.


The factionalization myth is just one of many strategies the GOP uses to move ever rightward.

The "Rockefeller Republican" faction vs.Reagan faction charade during the seventies for example ?

Unanimous agreement on defunding Planned Parenthood is another key topic to add to your list !


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The libertarian wing of the Republican Party does not, generally, wish to raise military spending. They are also, generally, not on board with the idea of the so-called "unitary executive," with imprisonment and execution without trial, They are, in at least that sense, concerned with civil liberties. So, for example, while many of us would or once would have considered civil rights or civil liberties more a Democratic than a Republican value, despite both parties' checkered history with it, it is Rand Paul who has filibustered against drone strikes and Rand Paul who has filibustered against the Patriot Act.

I do not agree with Rand Paul on much, for the record. But surely that is a separate point.


It is good to see some analysis by Democrats of internals within the Republican Party, since the latter move among us, perhaps inevitably.

However, it would also be interesting to see a similar analysis of the Democrats. For instance, the Bernie Sanders insurgency "can be seen as a symptom, not the cause, of the party's disintegration," if to far better ends.

Can Robinson's questions not as easily be asked of either party? He clearly misses the irony of Carly Fiorina's presumably theatrical exclamation to Trump that "'That is exactly what President Obama said.'" After all, the single person (of many) most central to spending that $4 trillion destabilizing much of the globe was President Obama himself.

Some Democrats have staunchly--and I would argue often blindly--defended Obama. Others seem clearly against spending to destabilize other countries, execution without trial, imprisonment without trial, massive domestic spying, massive spying on allies, massive spying, expansion of nuclear facilities, belligerent black ops in Honduras and the Ukraine and Syria, gifts of arms to corrupt and drug-dealing regimes, secrete corporatist trade deals, coal mining, fracking, tar sands malarkey, offshore drilling, and similar globalist and corporatist mayhem that Obama has persistently and aggressively supported.

That is quite a split.

Two of our two major political parties are factionalized and out of at least our control. Let's hope there's at least some opportunity in that.


All Republicans are in favor of limited government and low taxes (especially on the rich). Fundamentalist Christians want a theocracy and vote Republican because they don't want the government interfering with religious freedom by telling them they have to refrain from persecuting homosexuals. However, they do want the government to ban abortions and make Christianity the state religion. This causes problems for those Republicans who want the government out of their lives. The fracture is due to the cognitive dissonance of the fundamentalist Christians who want limited government except when they want the government to be a theocracy.


Please read the Constitution. It is Congress that spends, not the president. If you don't like the fact that $4 trillion has been spent destabilizing the globe, then blame Congress who voted to give Bush authorization to invade Iraq. You can also blame Congress for paying for invading Iraq and keeping troops there until Obama pulled them out of Iraq by borrowing money from the Chinese. This massively increased our debt.

Obama reduced our troop strength in Iraq, so he actually convinced Congress to cut the amount it was spending to destabilize the world. Obama has actually decreased the deficit and has proposed increasing taxes on the wealthy. George Bush cut taxes on the wealthy and increased spending (he fought two wars in the Middle East and gave us Medicare Part D that forces us geezers on Medicare to purchase private insurance to pay for prescription drugs--sound familiar?--this is exactly what is wrong with the ACA).

You have to go into debt to fight a war (our first debt was incurred fighting the Revolutionary War). But the Constitution is clear that Congress must tax us to pay the nation's debts (see Article 1, Section 8). Our first Congress was much brighter than the current Congress because they levied an excise tax on grain used to make whiskey to pay the debt. (The grain farmers were wealthy because everybody drank a lot of whiskey in the good old days and it is easier to transport whiskey made from grain to market than it is to transport the grain to market.) Does the current Congress raise taxes on the wealthy to pay our massive debt? NO, and Republicans compound the problem by calling for tax cuts for the wealthy.


interestingly enough, both parties have the same source of factionalism: between party elites and the rank and file. Robinson may figure this out one day, but as a loyal D partisan, I wouldn't hold my breath.


"But toppling even such a monster as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is
opposed by Trump, Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) — who combined have the
support of 51 percent of Republican voters, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. So apparently there isn’t a “Republican view” about foreign intervention anymore."
Monster? Why this guy and not multiple others who are far worse and are our allies instead? This is just nonsense. The rest of sentence is verbal slight of hand by joining the statement about Al-Assad to "foreign intervention, as if the candidates haven't all been champing at the bit to bomb almost everyone. Doesn't that count as 'foreign intervention.' And also the framing is that such deposing such dictators, which is just anybody the US government doesn't like, is a positive step worthy of support.
He says Carly was aghast, Frankly I am aghast that none of my fellow commenters felt that there was anything amiss in this article.


I have only one reply to your comment. Bernie Sanders 2016.
Send him $25.


Um, if you'll recall, Obama tried mightily to keep troops in Iraq, but, in the end, had to pull them out because of a prior agreement that GWB (of whom I am certainly no fan!) made with the government of Iraq. And what do we have now? US "military advisors" in Iraq--remind you of the beginning of the horrors in VietNam--that too started with "military advisors".