American Political Hysteria, post January 6,2021: Bret Stephens, Andrew Sullivan, Rod Dreher. Political Cynic comments

Bret Stephens January 6, 2021  

These paragraphs of Mr. Stephens’ essay of January 6, 2021 exemplify his Anti-Trump polemic. Neo-Conservatism shares an equal toxic politics, but achieved by a stealth attack on American Institutions , by political actors, that cultivate a scrupulous, if utterly mendacious adherence, to the ‘norms‘ of bourgeoise political respectability.  The reader need only look the Fukuyama’s The Decay of American Political Institutions .

Headline: Impeach and Convict. Right Now. 

Sub-headline: Trump is too dangerous to leave in office for even another minute. 

It wasn’t hard to see, when it began, that it would end exactly the way it has. Donald Trump is America’s willful arsonist, the man who lit the match under the fabric of our constitutional republic. 

The duty of the House of Representatives and the Senate is to reconvene immediately to impeach the president and then remove him from office and bar him from ever holding office again. 

To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk, leaves our reputation as a democracy in tatters and evades the inescapable truth that the assault on Congress was an act of violent sedition aided and abetted by a lawless, immoral and terrifying president. 

From the moment Trump became the G.O.P. front-runner in 2015, it was obvious who he was and where, if given the chance, he would take America. He was a malignant narcissist in his person. A fraudster in his businesses. A bully in his relationships. And a demagogue in his politics. 

He did not have ideas. He had bigotries. He did not have a coalition. He had crowds. He did not have character. He had a quality of confident shamelessness, the kind that offered his followers permission to be shameless, too. 

Mr. Stephens’ essay begins with the self-serving assumption that Trump appeared out the unknown depths of American political irrationalism. Instead of being the monster, that forty years of the ascent and victory, of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, and its toxic effects on the Middle and Working Classes. Mr. Stephens being one of peddlers of that political/economic snake oil.Reading all of Mr. Stephens’ essay, or more appropriately a riff on The Bill of Attainder, as he adds to his cast of mendacious actors, and the politically virtuous, that veers into Political Melodrama. Tinged with echoes of Saints and Sinners: Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards, the precursors of American Moralizing. With the bit between his teeth, Stephens is at full gallop! 

Andrew Sullivan January 8, 2021 

Headline: This Is The Face Of The GOP Now 

Sub-headline: The descent from conservatism to nihilism is now complete. 

For anyone with eyes not blinded by tribalism or ears deafened by denial, what happened in Washington this week was always going to happen.  

Trump’s character and profound psychological deformation always, always meant he would not relinquish power without an almighty struggle. We elected an instinctual tyrant, preternaturally incapable of understanding the give and take of democratic politics, for whom losing in any contest threatens the core of his very being, and who has no effective control over the roiling emotions that course through his thickened arteries. 

Some of us were ridiculed for saying from the very beginning that there would have to be some kind of violence to remove him, if he were to lose the next election. We still are. We’re called victims of TDS, or Trump Derangement Syndrome, as if this were not the only sane position when a delusional, malignant, tyrant-wannabe has an entire political party in his grip, aided and abetted by tribal media tools. For myself, from the very beginning, having examined Trump’s past and observed his plain-as-day pathology, I just couldn’t envision how this figure could psychologically, voluntarily ever leave the Oval Office. Every single day of his presidency has confirmed this. He has blown through every guardrail against presidential abuse that exists. 

Trump is now and always has been delusional. He lives in an imaginary world. His insistence that he won the last election in a “landslide” is psychologically indistinguishable from his declaration on his first day that his Inaugural crowd was larger than his predecessor’s. For four years, the actual evidence did not matter. It still doesn’t. Any rumor that helps him, however ludicrous, is true; every cold fact that hurts him, however trivial or banal, doesn’t exist. For four years as president, any advisor who told him the truth, rather than perpetuating his delusions, had an immediate expiration date. For four years, an army of volunteer propagandists knowingly disseminated his insane, cascading torrent of lies. 


Unlike Mr. Stephens, Mr. Sullivan is at immediate full gallop,  as if the reader were a rider on a runaway horse, such is Sullivan’s polemical screech, at full celerity. Note that further on in his essay, he presents himself as the victim of doubters, it is, and has been a nearly formulaic rhetorical stance!  

The reader is presented with a mere 1830 words, for the subscriber to his blog. The succinct is utterly foreign territory to this writer.  I’ll just quote his two concluding paragraphs stepped, if not marinated in the moralizing rhetoric of Johnathan Edwards, as it has evolved in American political/religious discourse, carefully manicured for the political present. 

I can’t see this happening without a split, or an open internecine struggle. If the result is a deeper commitment to an ideology of stab-in-the-back neo-fascism inspired by a seditionist president-in-exile, then the GOP needs to be burned to the ground. But if someone can emerge who can marshal the ideas that helped the GOP make gains in the House last year, and excommunicate the seditionists and bigots and fanatics, then we have something to build on.

Joe Biden has a massive task ahead of him, but this week may help him find common ground with those Republican Senators who have begun to understand that the forces they have unleashed and enabled are deeply dangerous to the entire project of self-government in America. Since his election victory, Biden has struck the right note every time the country has needed him to. Steer us back toward a sane center, Mr President-elect. Save the soul of this teetering, torn remnant of a republic, before we lose it for good.

Rod Dreher January 8, 2021

Headline: The Left’s Reichstag Fire

In 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler took power, a Dutch communist allegedly started a fire in the German Reichstag building. Hitler used this act as a pretext to begin seizing dictatorial powers. The term “Reichstag fire” in popular culture refers to an event, possibly a false flag (historians can’t agree on whether or not the Reichstag fire was started by a lone communist, a communist acting with others, or was a false flag by the Nazis) that serves as a pretext for repression.

If you are only just now coming to this blog via social media, you should know that I have been a sharp critic of the Stop The Steal movement from the beginning — you can look it up on this site — and that I am disgusted and appalled by what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday. Yesterday, I predicted that the Left and the liberal Establishment would use the failed Beer Belly Putsch as an opportunity to begin to implement the rudiments of a social credit system, and to otherwise marginalize and suppress right-of-center discourse and people.

The Left’s Reichstag Fire

Mr. Dreher resorts to the Reichstag Fire, Oliver D’Arcy, BLM, Glenn Greenwald and other cast members, that swells into an even longer essay, than Sullivan’s with ‘updates’ that exhausts the hyperbolic, and the readers patience !

Political Cynic

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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