Memo question for March 9: Introduction to Economic History
Monday Smackdown: Rumpublicans Shirking Responsibility

Monday Smackdown: David Remnick on How the Rumpublicans Created the Trumpublicans

In their eagerness to fall victim to the twin curses of Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, the Rumpublicans danced up to and over the line--and now are watching as Donald Trump takes their entire organizational base away from them...

David Remnick: American Demagogue: "Trump is... the beneficiary of a long process of Republican intellectual decadence...

...Paul Ryan denounces Trump but not the Tea Party rhetoric that propelled his own political ascent. John McCain holds Trump in contempt, but selected as his running mate Sarah Palin, the Know-Nothing of Wasilla, one of Trump’s most vivid forerunners and supporters. Mitt Romney last week righteously slammed Trump as a ‘phony’ and a misogynist, and yet in 2012 he embraced Trump’s endorsement and praised his ‘extraordinary’ understanding of economics....

This process of exploiting the darkest American undercurrents began with Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy and, more lately, has included the birther movement and the Obama Derangement Syndrome. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who compete hard for the most extreme positions in conservatism, decry the viciousness and the vacuousness of Trump, but they started out by deferring to him––and now they ape his vulgarity in a last-ditch effort to keep pace. Insults. Bigotry. Nationally televised assurances of adequate genital dimensions. This is the political moment in which we live.

The Republican Party, having spent years courting the basest impulses in American political culture, now sees the writing on the wall. It reads ‘Donald Trump,’ in very big letters.

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