August 18, 2022

The more I think about this book, the more I like it.

It's called "The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of The Republican Party," written by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. I'll give it the highest compliment: It's as if it were written by a blogger! (It's not a coincidence that it reminds me of "Over The Cliff: How Obama's Election Drove The Right Insane," the book written by John Amato and Dave Neiwert.)

And by that, I mean that he has the big-picture understanding of the historical forces that got us where we are today, and puts it all in the political context.

He makes clear that Trump is the symptom, not the problem, and proceeds to build the geneology chart of who led us to the Q-addled version of today's Republican party.

Milbank spells out exactly when the Republicans took a turn for the worse (he blames Newt, as any sensible person would), and goes into great detail about their personalities, or lack thereof. (I especially enjoyed his skewing of the young, slimy Brett Kavanaugh and his determination to get the most lascivious tidbits into the record of Ken Starr's investigation into Bill Clinton.

In 1990, Newt gave Republicans a manual with words they should use against Democrats: “traitors,” “sick,” “corrupt,” “betray,” “bizarre,” “pathetic,” “abuse of power,” “anti-flag,” “anti-family,” “anti-child." You will not be surprised to learn that Newt thought one of the biggest problems the Republican Party has "is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty.”

(Don't worry, Milbank also gives plenty of the credit for today's GOP to Fox TV.)

He misses a few things, but not much. It's a great read, check it out.

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