A Short Response to Ben Kleinerman on the Republican Party, Jeff Isaac

I appreciate the attention that both Jeff Tulis and Ben Kleinerman have given to my piece! The topic is an important one, and the discussion here is a good one. It is clear that Ben and I have a fundamental difference of opinion on a matter of political judgment: the nature of the current Republican party. We could argue about this for weeks. There is now a substantial body of commentary, by distinguished students of comparative politics, about how the Republican party has become for all intents and purposes an “anti-system party.” I could cite this literature, and explain why … Continue reading A Short Response to Ben Kleinerman on the Republican Party, Jeff Isaac

Partisanship, the Big Lie, and January 6th

Jeff claims that Jeff Isaac’s essay rebuts my arguments regarding Biden’s speech. It seems to me that his essay actually illustrates, rather than rebuts, my claims. Both Jeffs seem to appreciate and admire the speech. Jeff Isaac calls it “terrific” in that it “renew[ed] the fight to defend democracy.” As I said in my previous post, I too want to defend democracy. The question is, however, how we go about doing that. Isaac wants to fight for the Constitution, but, for him, continuing that fight apparently means fighting the entire Republican party. He writes: “The most important of aspect of … Continue reading Partisanship, the Big Lie, and January 6th

It’s About the Power, Stupid

After years of Rush Limbaugh and his media offspring deriding their opponents as whiners, sore losers and grievance-mongers, could proponents of secession—Limbaugh, paragon of courage, is only predicting it, not advocating it—do the rest of us the courtesy of at least stating their grievance and explaining its magnitude? Secession is largely a sideshow, or was, until the state chair of a major political party—Allen West, who heads the Republican Party in Texas—was for it before he was against it. The proximate cause of West’s suggestion that “law-abiding states” should consider “form[ing] a Union of states that will abide by the … Continue reading It’s About the Power, Stupid

Secessionist Chic

Intellectuals on the right have primed conservatives for secessionist thinking with their attacks on democratic processes, their attacks on liberals, and numerous ideas about the need for separate conservative communities and spaces. After four years of Trump, I find many things about the American political landscape disorienting, and this includes recent gestures towards secession on the right. When Rush Limbaugh suggests that he believes that “there can’t be peaceful coexistence between conservatives and liberals” and that “the US is trending towards secession,” is it something to take seriously?   On the one hand, the answer seems clear: no, not really. Limbaugh … Continue reading Secessionist Chic