Rick Wilson is one of the disillusioned Republicans who founded the Lincoln Project, and he recently opined about the devolution of the Grand Old Party. The Lincoln Project, as most of you are aware, was created by a group of long-time, well-respected strategists and operatives who had repeatedly been tapped for significant roles in high-profile Republican campaigns. The Project wasn’t composed of ordinary Republican voters who’d become disillusioned; it was the product of respected and savvy political professionals.
Wilson describes himself as an American political strategist, media consultant, and author. He’s produced televised political commercials for governors, U.S. Senate candidates, Super PACs, and corporations. (He’s also the author of the book Everything Trump Touches Dies.)
Wilson’s basic point in the rant that follows was that the GOP–far from being the party of Lincoln–is now the party of Marjorie Taylor Green, she of the “California fires were started by Jewish space lasers” and more recently “Being made to wear masks to battle the pandemic is just like what happened to the Jews during the Holocaust.”
Wilson’s takedown was heated and comprehensive, and I decided it was worth sharing in its entirety– so with apologies for the length of the quotation, here it is:
This woman is not an outlier. She is the core of the Republican Party. She is the heart and soul of the Republican Party. She is more important in the Republican Party ecosystem than Kevin McCarthy. He issued a pusillanimous, limp-dicked statement today about her finally after getting beat up for hours and hours on end, and I gotta tell you something: He does that because he wants to stay [minority leader]. And he knows that she is the future of the GOP. She is the core, the heart, the soul of what the Republican Party now stands for. It is idiotic, it is violently stupid. It hates experts, it hates authority, it hates science, it hates culture. It hates everything except their reflexive trolling of the rest of the country. She is a monstrous person. She is a person who I would not piss on her if she was on fire. She is a person who deserves all the public … shame you could possibly imagine. But here’s the thing: Kevin McCarthy will not take a single step to expel her from Congress. She is the heart and soul of the Republican Party today. She is exactly the center of it, she is what they have become, and everybody in the Republican Party who goes, ‘Oh, no, that’s not me,’ they only do it quietly. They won’t go out in her face and say, ‘Shut the hell up.’ They won’t go in her face and say, ‘You are a crude, anti-Semite clown.’ They won’t do that because they understand she is their future. She is the party as it is written today, she is the party as it is comprised today. I find her so repulsive and so disgusting that it is all I can do not to get myself thrown off social media by saying what I really feel about her.
Before you dismiss this diatribe as an overheated and exaggerated description of Greene’s influence, let me tell you about a recent incident in Nashvillle, Tennessee.
Hatwrks, a hat shop in Nashville, advertised an anti-vaccine yellow star patterned after those forced on Jews by Nazi Germany. Needless to say, that product has been met with considerable backlash; as a local rabbi told Nashville TV station WSMV, “Using the yellow star, or any holocaust imagery for anything, is a disservice to the memory of the six million Jews who were systematically murdered during the Holocaust.”
It boggles the mind that proprietors of any retail establishment would hear the ludicrous anti-Semitic ramblings of someone like Greene, and then produce a product endorsing her odious comparison. But then, it boggles the mind that a significant percentage of self-identified Republicans believe Donald Trump won an election that he lost decisively.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is obviously mentally ill, and she’s far from the only elected Republican to routinely manifest delusions and mental disorders. What is truly terrifying, however, is not the presence of a few mental cases–it is the accuracy of Rick Wilson’s accusation, and the fact that clinical insanity is arguably the central characteristic of a once-respectable political party.
30 thoughts on “True…And Very Sad.”
And NOW the crazy sob’s are using the big lie to write – and pass – pervasive new voter restriction laws all over the country so that THEY will have more control. This crazy crap is FAR from over. So far, the push back from the left has been underwhelming.
Professor, I agree with your overall assessment and appreciate your analysis, but I disagree with your conclusion that she is mentally ill. She knows exactly what she is doing, and she is doing it deliberately. Every time she concocts an outlandish statement and it gets picked up and amplified through the use of media, she makes serious money. It may be that many of the people who support her rabid-dog whistles are suffering from social media-induced mental illness, but she is taking a page out of her Dear Leaders book, and rides that all the way to the bank.
It’s interesting how many “righteous” Republicans, who now look at the GOP with disgust, seem to overlook the road the party has been on for decades. It’s a short and well-defined path from the president that started his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi to the abomination we see today. Make no mistake, Marjorie Taylor Greene was incubated and abetted by the many Republican dog whistlers that came before her.
Greene is not so much mentally ill as has a profound personality disorder. It’s a matter of “soul” more than mind; she is an imperfectly formed human being. Accordingly, as she and her ilk are becoming central to the Republican Party, she must be countered at every turn.
I agree with James that MTG is not mentally ill. She knows exactly how to play to the Trump base; especially in her district. Hate is obviously within her being.
Rick Wilson owes all Americans a sincere apology for working as hard and effectively as he did for years to create the conditions for an amoral lowlife like Trump to become our 45th POTUS. Trump and his mentees like MTG did not ambush and take over the party. The party had already embraced mysoginist white Christian nationalism for decades – carefully groomed by people like Wilson. Without an apology I find his comments hollow and insincere. He’s little more than an opportunist.
I might suggest you read the article by Elie Mystal in The Nation for a better review of this disgusting attempt by non-Trump Republicans to “take back” the GOP from pirates like Gaetz, Greene and other Neanderthals who were welcomed to the front of the party with open arms.
It’s why have believed for 6 years now why there is absolutely no value in trying to reach across aisles or appeal to the sensibilities or conservative principles of a GOP politician – there simply aren’t any, unless destroying democracy to achieve and maintain power can be considered a governing principle.
The current sitting members of the Republican party at all levels; local, state and federal, are no longer a political party…unless you consider Nazis were a political party. Political parties, with all of their differences, were founded to build a nation and continually progress to improve conditions for all citizens. Matt Gaetz spoke his only truthful statement when he declared them to currently be the Trump Party; which is built on dictatorship and destruction with monetary profits for themselves as their goal.
A line from Rhett Butler in the movie “Gone With The Wind” has stuck with me for many years; “There is as much money to be made in the destruction of a civilization as there is in building one.” The perfect description of that entire bunch active in the GOP today.
The Lincoln Project is adorable. Comprised as it is by Republicans who are outraged only because other Republicans started saying the quiet part out loud.
I agree with the others about her not being mentally unstable — it’s the combo of hate and ignorance. The hate is all fear-based which doesn’t reconcile with their strict Evangelical faith in God.
I read Vice’s article about the first QAnon Festival in Texas, and the headliners and attendees are just off the bizarro scale. I mean, Flynn talked about a military coup, and Louie Gohmert was a headliner, which is all you need to know.
The billionaires exploiting these people are the ones I am concerned with. I went to a presentation of a local mental health org that wanted to build a new facility in South Muncie. A pack of people showed up at this Zoning meeting and started to share their concerns. I could not believe what I was hearing. One after another. It was jaw-dropping. Come to find out, they all attended the same church, which was right around the corner from the proposed facility, and met with their pastor as well.
You should have seen the faces of the committee members. These people are ripe for cult leaders to manipulate. They are ripe for any manipulation. The followers scare me, but the leaders who are knowingly manipulating these people are evil.
Many things can be true at once. She can be mentally ill AND fueled by hate (which one might argue is a kind of mental illness–lack of empathy, narcissism), self-promotion, and greed. She does not seem tightly tethered to this world or reality. And she is not alone.
The comments that stuck with me pertained to MTG knowing exactly what she is doing, and being an echo of Trump. If she keeps this up, if Trump decides to run again in 2024, he will probably want her as his VP candidate.
I don’t want to give time or attention to the MTGs of this world. The most important thing we have to talk about is the ending of the filibuster. It needs to be abolished. To those few Senate Democrats who believe otherwise, “WAKE UP! We are in danger of losing our Republic!”
Regardless of what MTG may represent, she also garnered more than 60% of the voters. Consider that 40,000,000 voters believe that the election was STOLEN from trump. The MTG’s of the Republican party are the results of the 40 million. The USA has a severe reality problem as identified by Patrick, JoAnn and Todd. Good luck for our Grandchildren.
Indiana’s two Republican Senators stand quietly by and say nothing hoping that nobody notices that saying nothing is really implicit support.
The Republican Congressmen are worse in that they actively share and re-tweet this idiocy on social media accounts.
I can see no hope for the Republican party at all, and worse yet, it seems a majority of Indiana residents agree with these idiots, at least agree with them enough to vote for them again and again.
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Marjorie Taylor Green is a reality entertainment media performer and celebrity who has signed up for the role of the female Donald Trump. Kevin McCarthy runs their fan club. It has nothing at all to do with governance.
Pete – it doesn’t until it does…the Senate vote on 1/6
MTG demonstrates the characteristics of a sociopath. What she wants is power. She’s a female version of Trump. The DSM IV ,the psychiatric manual that articulated criteria for mental health disorders included personality disorders ie narcissism, hystrionic. I don’t think the DSM V includes personality disorders anymore, but I could be wrong.
Is she mentally ill? No, I don’t think so. She is manipulating and conning people to gain power.
If the Republican party is going to return to reality instead of delusional conspiracies i.e. Q-Anon, someone will have to find a way to free them from the cult leaders.
Sadly, family members are now becoming estranged from one another due to all this perverted ideology.
Whatever happened to servant leadership? What happened to people who pumped the gas into my car and washed the windows? What happened to people who worked as grocery cashiers, bagged my groceries, and carried them out to my car? It seems that serving others has disappeared thanks to a free market system that does not value customer service.Instead, customers are doing the work for free. CEO’s no longer seem to be concerned for working for the greater good. Just like so many people in government, they are no longer servant leaders.
There is nothing I disagree with more than the nonsense that Trump is just a logical extension of the direction the Republican Party has been going in since Reagan starting in 1980. I became politically active in 1980. The GOP I joined was intellectual, hopeful, believed in American democracy and freedom. It respected election results. It wasn’t a racist party. Under Trump, the GOP has embraced racism and rejects democracy and yearns for autocracy. It cares not one bit about freedom and is willing to override an election that doesn’t go its way. It supported an insurrection and now many Trumpers advocate more violence for political change. There is no comparison to the Reagan-era GOP. None.
Those people who say it’s just “more of the same” with Trump are not only spouting a falsehood, they are undercutting the alarm many of us are trying to sound that the Trump-led Republican Party is a threat to our American democracy and freedoms. We need to be really worried about what is going on.
I have been blogging for some time that the Republican Party, a former political party that once stood for what they called conservative principles, is not a party as we know it (especially since Trump), and is headed for oblivion back to the Whigdom from which it arose in 1854. The “party” is now an aggregation of misfits, fruitcakes like Greene and opportunists like Cruz, Hawley and Cotton, greedhog narcissists like Trump et al. That “party” is not helping Democrats govern; its Senate leader has openly admitted that he is 100% focused on opposing any Democratic initiative. 100%! We are currently so afar from the small d concept of give and take in governing that we can’t even agree on what we are disagreeing about.
McConnell stalled a Supreme Court appointment by Democrats, sat on hundreds of House-passed bills etc., with the result that Trump has only one serious piece of legislation passed in four years – a gigantic tax cut for the rich and corporate class which our unborn great grandchildren may have to shoulder, speaking of taxation without representation. Governance has been replaced by insult, insurrection, and voter suppression bills by the hundreds among Republican state legislatures who, having no platform or guiding principles with which to command a majority among voters, are attempting to legitimize minority rule with post-election count-outs and thus destroy our democracy.
What to do? Apply to the courts for relief while winning elections at every level and waiting for the Republican Party to either become a political party again or dealing with its successor in interest in the hope that such new party has a platform and a governing set of principles that eschew the politics of insult and insurrection in favor of doing what its members elected their representatives to do – govern if in the majority or help govern if not.
I agree with James and others that Greene may not be mentally ill but on the contrary know exactly what she is doing, but I here note that those two concepts are not mutually exclusive. There are different degrees of mental illness and she could be both mentally ill and know “exactly what she’s doing” at one and the same time.
I think the real problem is not Greene but the gullibility of millions who buy into such nonsense. Such believers believe what they want to believe irrespective of evidence to the contrary and with any attempt to persuade them to the contrary dismissed as “fake” or grounded in “socialism” we have a problem beyond my pay grade to solve. Help!
I think what people mean when they point to Reagan as the exemplar for The Republican Fall would include things like his relentless efforts to discredit government, his shilling for every aspect of unbridled and unregulated capitalism, his opposition to unions, his many efforts to undermine education as an American value, his adoption of Nixon’s Southern strategy, his ignorance of what was happening under the management of Ollie North, Reaganomics (trickle down) complete failure, and his efforts to do with charm many of the same heinous things Trump attempted with brutality. But Trump knew he was screwing America and his fellow citizens. I’m not sure Reagan did.
In my mind, Reagan (and Nancy, of course) gets major credit for originating the dumbing down of America, the most successful Republican strategy ever, as any fool can now plainly see.
Great article today! Really great comments!
I think we all know someone that we wouldn’t waste a good urination on!
That being said, all Trump was, and all MTG is, a permission slip!
It digs into the real psyche of a huge portion of American society who really are hateful, but not just run-of-the-mill hate, they hate everyone and everything because everyone and everything has Aggrieved them. From folks of different ethnicities and creeds, to LGBTQ, emancipated women, intellectual stalwarts, scientists, educators, and basically everything that they are not for the most part.
Of course you find some that are listed in the groups above looking for a position of aggrandized superiority within the realm of the lunatic, but they are more the outlier or the exception to the rule. Some folks that have been commenting might not agree that it is a mental illness, but it definitely is a mental illness. It’s a self deluded belief in an alternate reality that allows them to be way more than they could ever wish to be in the real world.
Self entitlement, it’s a form of self-aggrandizement, and these are forms of self-delusion, which uses self-serving biases to create a bubble of control in their own mind which eventually leads to the destruction of government and society as a whole.
The United States for most of his existence was able to stave off what affected other countries in the modern age, and, was crippling to kingdoms of old. The drop in childbirth! The United States used immigration to keep industry churning in this country. But the birth rate is down 10% and growing. It’s worse in China, and, Italy seems to have found a way to slow down their demise by, wait for it, immigration!
So when you base your existence on hatred of the other, how can you possibly turn around and embrace those which you’ve used as the whipping boy to make your point! So, they continue down the same path getting progressively more unhinged, until, the undeniable collapse Occurs, of this government, and many others around the world.
Or, they can do what the Germans did and try baby factories to produce enough young ones to fill those slots provided by death of the previous generation, but then, you’re really getting into Orwellian territory worldwide. Even Germany knew that it was not sustainable. With technology as we have it today, who’s to say that they’re not going to start forcing people to have children of a certain type? The Romans had a problem with population and birthrates, they brought in the Huns, and they did the fighting and a lot of the work in the Roman Empire. But they turned on the Romans because the Romans Mistreated them, when they got strong enough, they definitely bit the hand that fed them. That was pretty much the end of the Roman Empire!
Yep, a lot of lessons in history, too bad, yep, too bad nobody knows how to interpret it, or cares to study it!
Terry @ 12:42 pm, I agree with your post. From Politico:
Bush pardons Iran-Contra felons, Dec. 24, 1992.
During President Ronald Reagan’s second term, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was under an arms embargo. The administration sought to use the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, an insurgent group engaged in a guerrilla war against the anti-American regime. Congress had precluded any further funding of the Contras by the administration.
On June 16, 1992, Weinberger was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. Bush pardoned him before his trial. Robert McFarlane, Reagan’s national security adviser, was convicted of withholding evidence, but after a plea bargain he faced two years of probation before Bush’s pardon came though.
Bush also pardoned Elliott Abrams, the assistant secretary of state, who was convicted of withholding evidence and received two years’ probation; Duane Clarridge, a former CIA senior official, who had been indicted on seven counts of perjury and false statements; Clair George, chief of CIA covert operations, who had been convicted on two charges of perjury and had yet to be sentenced; and Alan Fiers, chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force, who had been convicted of withholding evidence and sentenced to one year’s probation. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/24/bush-pardons-iran-contra-felons-dec-24-1992-1072042
Easy to love the diatribes and venom from the Lincoln Project and Rick Wilson. Harder to forget that Wilson was a part of the problem as the architect of the vicious campaign against former Senator and triple amputee Max Cleland.
The Trumpet did not turn the GOP from the Grand Old Party into Reactionary Right Wing -bible thumping Cult. It was already in existence.
Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger were able put forward a Wall Street look of polished accomplishments. This was not what the base valued with it’s bible thumping, Right Wing Radio and NRA allegiance. The fact that The Trumpet without any elected political experience could take by storm and sweep up the established GOP politicians in the 2016 primaries, proved his brand of bullying was acceptable.
The GOP elected officials fear the Sword of The Trumpet hanging over their collective heads. These elected GOP officials know that The Trumpet holds far more power over the GOP Voters than any ex-president ever had.
Nashville, TN is just a couple hours up the road from Greene’s district in NW Georgia. Oh, she’s mentally ill, alright, but she is just another reflection of Redneck Nation Republicans. You know, the voters who put these monsters in office.
Texas Republicans are trying their best every day to make Greene’s mindset manifest in their government, their constitution and their exhibition of abject corruption.
It’s the Republican way, circa 2020 and beyond.
I’ve read about the Holocaust and how it began and developed. When he first entered the political scene, Jews in Germany couldn’t believe that a loser like Hitler could possibly succeed. After all, he hadn’t succeeded at anything in his life up to that point–he had been a misfit–rejected twice for admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (the reason is interesting: while he had a “competent” level of skill in his painting and sketching, his works had no soul–they did not inspire), he had been homeless, sold postcards with sketches and watercolors of buildings for survival money and he had been imprisoned for a time. Surely, he must just be a flash in the pan–a passing fancy.
However, Hitler found something to latch onto: wounded German national pride after losing WWI and the famine and poverty that followed. He began spewing the message that Germany’s disgrace and all of the resulting problems could be traced to Jews. Amazingly, the message took hold. Gentile Germans stood by and allowed their Jewish doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, bankers, craftsmen, shop keepers, etc. to be forced to wear the Star, and then rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Although not every German agreed, at some point, attempting to object was futile.
There are parallels to Trump. He, too, never really succeeded at anything other than portraying himself as a self-made billionaire, a flashy, fabulously rich playboy, complete with airplanes and helicopters and lots of beautiful women. In truth, he was a terrible businessman with a bad reputation for cheating people, a racist, misogynist, and failure at business. His father propped him up financially well into his forties, and after he lost control of his finances due to dementia, the bankruptcies started happening–6 of them. Eventually, despite taking on partners, no US bank would loan him any more money, so he turned to Russia. Trump’s only success was with “The Apprentice”, based on his BS persona of being wealthy and successful. Yet, the disciples bought it.
It is easy to claim that hatred for Hillary Clinton was to blame for his fake “presidency”, but never forget that she won the popular vote. I personally remain amazed that anyone so phony and unaccomplished as Trump could ever succeed politically. You have to ask: are Americans really that gullible? He only “won” in 2016 by cheating, like he’s done all of his life. Like Hitler’s blaming of Jews for all of German’s problems, Trump blames illegal immigrants. They are easy prey: after all, they don’t respect our laws– they don’t belong here. They are disease-carrying murderers, rapists, gang members and criminals, according to Trump. Of course, if businesses, like big hotel chains, landscaping services, nanny services, housekeeper services, nonunion construction and other personal service companies didn’t hire them, they wouldn’t come here. Because these are campaign contributors, there is no criticism of them.
Building on the hatred of brown people, he adds Democrats: they welcome them, will “give” them citizenship, Medicaid and free this or that, all to curry their votes to “control” white people all of which are lies. Then, it’s the mainstream media, who, according to Trumpers, aid and abet the Democrats and their vile, anti-American agenda. Per Trump: “don’t trust them, they lie”.
Look what he’s done to the Republican Party. That, too, is amazing. That someone like Marjorie Taylor Green could even get elected dog catcher is shocking. “Jewish space lasers” caused the California wildfires? How nuts do you have to be to come up with sh^t like this? What the hell is wrong in Georgia? Don’t they see her for the rabble-rousing, lying, racist, unprofessional crackpot she is? No, they don’t. They love her. While I agree that she partly does this for attention, I also believe she has a serious personality disorder. Did you see the video, before she was elected, when she stormed AOC’s office? When they locked the door, she opened the mail slot and started yelling crazy stuff, telling AOC to “change her diaper” and come out and engage in a debate. Georgians elected her after this outburst.
Equally amazing is the devotion of Trumpsters: without any proof, and despite all proof to the contrary, the majority of Republicans believe that the election was stolen. They don’t even believe Republican Secretaries of State who certified the votes. Unlike all his predecessors, Trump won’t shut up or respect the will of the American people who voted him out.
Like Hitler, Trump will eventually go down in flames, but not before he does a massive amount of damage. Because, like the Jews in Germany in the 1930’s I already can’t believe what’s happened so far, and never could have imagined that the Republican Party would sell out to a loser like Trump, I am worried because I cannot imagine how far Republicans will go to keep power.
I want to echo Peggy’s comment.
Nonetheless, it is frightening to see where the GOP has gone.
Add to this, the ongoing popularity of the Q movement, and their recent QConvention, which people spent good money to attend, and the possibility that this idiocy is developing into a new religion, with MTG one of its spokespersons, and Mike Flynn as a possible first martyr, if he is found guilty of sedition, and we’ve got trouble, right here in River City.
I don’t know whether MTG is mentally ill (I doubt it), a sociopath (perhaps), or someone playing the game for money without regard for truth or morality (which differs from a sociopath how?)
It doesn’t matter.
As for Hatwrks, I have seen a few news items: (1) Stetson Hats will no longer sell to them nor Goorin Bros. nor Bailey Hats, (2) they put out another instagram post defending their position, (3) there have been various protests and a boycott, and (4) their last instagram post “apologized”
Richardallen – so true
Dirk_Gently – YES
Paul – Reagan won by building a broad coalition. It contained idealists, like yourself, but it also included racists. I know you like to look the other way and believe that his supporters were like you, but many weren’t. Reagan believed few things, but believed them fiercely. He hated communism, and wasn’t too keen on unions or the New Deal. He believed that everyone should pull themselves up by their bootstraps – but didn’t care if they had boots.
Reagan didn’t say “I think there is too much government and we should fix the public/private balance”, he said “Government is the problem.”
Remember, to prove his point, he appointed Samuel Pierce to be HUD Secretary. Eight years of corruption and cronyism. Pierce avoided conviction, but those around him didn’t.
During the Vietnam War, there was talk of slippery slopes and “dominoes”; well, I think that Reagan pushed the GOP and this country down the slippery slope, from tolerating and giving dog whistles to racists, to hatred becoming the central principle (beyond worship of Trump) of today’s GOP.
I don’t believe that Trumpism could have flourished if the ground wasn’t prepared for him. Remember, it was Karl Rove who spoke of the “permanent Republican majority”. He had no use for two parties; one was sufficient – his party, and he didn’t care how that was achieved.
I have always said, our politics will return to normalcy once they rename National Airport.
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