If you give a Never-Trumper a cookie...
My friend @juleannaglover proposes a third party ticket for 2020 that would shake things up on both sides.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) December 11, 2018
...they'll try to fu*k up your party too.
And if you are asking yourself, "Haven't I heard this exact same shitty idea before?" the answer is, yes. Yes you have. Many times, actually, and virtually always from some temporarily out-of-favor Republican or parasitic Centrist trying to sell it as the all-purpose, all-occasion, Beltway Both Siderist snake oil tonic guaranteed to cure whatever is ailing American democracy.
For example, all the way back in 2006 when Mr. David Brooks' very good friend and fellow Iraq War Pimp, Holy Joe Lieberman, lost his primary to Ned Lamont over the issue of the Iraq War, Mr. Brooks went on an extended, NYT-funded tantrum about how the Democrats had lost their fu*king minds, civility was dead and the only hope of saving the republic from ruin was a McCain/Lieberman “Party No. 3":
There are two major parties on the ballot, but there are three major parties in America. There is the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the McCain-Lieberman Party.
All were on display Tuesday night.
The Democratic Party was represented by its rising force — Ned Lamont on a victory platform with the net roots exulting before him and Al Sharpton smiling just behind.
The Republican Party was represented by its collapsing old guard — scandal-tainted Tom DeLay trying to get his name removed from the November ballot. And the McCain-Lieberman Party was represented by Joe Lieberman himself, giving a concession speech that explained why polarized primary voters shouldn’t be allowed to define the choices in American politics.
The McCain-Lieberman Party begins with a rejection of the Sunni-Shiite style of politics itself. It rejects those whose emotional attachment to their party is so all-consuming it becomes a form of tribalism, and who believe the only way to get American voters to respond is through aggression and stridency.
The flamers in the established parties tell themselves that their enemies are so vicious they have to be vicious too. They rationalize their behavior by insisting that circumstances have forced them to shelve their integrity for the good of the country. They imagine that once they have achieved victory through pulverizing rhetoric they will return to the moderate and nuanced sensibilities they think they still possess.
But the experience of DeLay and the net-root DeLays in the Democratic Party amply demonstrates that means determine ends. Hyper-partisans may have started with subtle beliefs, but their beliefs led them to partisanship and their partisanship led to malice and malice made them extremist, and pretty soon they were no longer the same people.
The McCain-Lieberman Party counters with constant reminders that country comes before party, that in politics a little passion energizes but unmarshaled passion corrupts, and that more people want to vote for civility than for venom...
Remember that when Mr. Brooks wrote this column in 2006, his Republican party enjoyed unified control over the House, the Senate and the White House, just as they do now.
Between 2001 and 2007, Republicans controlled at certain points all three branches while President George W. Bush occupied the White House. GOP control was interrupted between 2001 and 2003, as the Senate majority flipped to the Democrats as one senator switched his party affiliation, one senator died, and when the 2002 midterm elections shifted control of the upper chamber.
Remember that Mr. Brooks' Republican party used their complete control of the government to ram policies that were so ruinous to the country that we still haven't recovered from them. Just as Trump and the Republican congress are doing now.
Remember that it was only once it became clear that a day of reckoning was at hand -- that Democrats were on track the wrest control of at least part of the government back from the Republicans and were going to start asking the kinds of questions Republicans did not want to answer -- that Mr. Brooks got up on his hind legs and start braying about how Both Sides Were Equally Terrible.
And finally, for you history buffs, this also marks the formal establishment of the modern High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It as the official state religion of the Beltway, and a shelter for various Republican bottom feeders and their media enablers who frequently need a place wait out disasters of their own making without A) being held responsible for the evil that they have done and, B) missing a paycheck.
Brother Charlie Pierce has thoughts:
Things in Politico That Make Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze: First-in-a-While Edition
Just as the publication sets a course for redemption, we are subjected to this.
This is such a perfect, unspoiled example of Beltway political wisdom that somebody should hang it on the wall at the Smithsonian. There is the appeal to Saint John McCain. There is the fundamentalist reliance on polling data—two years before anyone votes anywhere. There is the assumption that the nation was so grieving the passage of Saint John McCain that it noticed, to its sorrow, that there was a terrible rent in the country's moral fabric. (This, of course, was 18 years after we started torturing people.) And there is the author identification.
Juleanna Glover has worked as an adviser for several Republican politicians, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani and advised the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Jeb Bush. She is on the Biden Institute Policy Advisory Board.
crossposted from driftglass