Monday, September 25, 2017

Coming out party

This week the Republican Party, which has been genteelly racist since Nixon's time, came out as openly and proudly racist. I'll speculate as to timing in a moment, but the key event got little attention:

Nigel Farage will speak in Fairhope, Alabama on Monday night, in support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

The Guardian has learned that the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) will join former White House advisor Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty TV star Phil Robertson at an election eve rally.
(An aside: The Guardian has become a strange news outlet, an English paper that is trying to migrate itself to the United States, digitally. It is well worth reading, because it has stories about our politics that American papers overlook, and because it has an outsider perspective that expands the discussion.)

Farage is Britain's most prominent racist. American candidates seldom, almost never, invite foreigners to campaign for them. I've never heard of it during a primary election.

Moore has not been primarily known as a racist, since he's made his career as a theocrat, but it's Alabama, the vacated seat was held by the career racist Jeff Sessions, so ginning up the racist vote should pay dividends in the polling booth.

Nobody missed the other shoe dropping: Trump's Huntsville Decree. That was Trump in his brown shirt, pressing, pressing, always looking for openings to see how far Americans will accept Nazi policies.

His Huntsville Decree that football players who do not worship the flag should be dismissed mirrors Hitler's Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service, and his demand that citizens boycott the National Football League mirrors the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

I do not suggest that Trump consciously modeled his racist tirade on German precedent. It was instinctual, but there are only so many channels a politician can direct his discourse into. Trump is a natural nazi.

The invitation to Farage, reportedly engineered by the neonazi Breitbart News, looks much more consciously racist, especially since it is a step in an electoral strategy:

The Bannon ally said a win in Alabama would set the stage for primary fights in 2018 in states including Nevada, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arizona.

As for the timing, I suggest it was accidental. There are at least three factions in the Grand Old Party: the old-line regulars, who would not wave treason flags and are insulted to be called racists although they are; the Bannonites, who have no aloha for the party and are just using it to develop a new party; and the Trumpeters,  who are on board with only part of the old-line program but are yearning to let their racist feelings out.

I suspect that Trump didn't plan this kerfluffle; he was carried away by his crowd. But overnight, when he saw that knees pushed everything else off the news, he ramped up. Otherwise, this week the news would have been dominated by Trump and Republican disasters: no wall, no Obamacare repeal, no Muslim ban, no Middle East strategy, no Afghanistan strategy, failure at North Korea, rejection at the UN, no infrastructure stimulus, no trade renegotiations, no tax changes.

That's the most comprehensive failure of a party in our history and while some of it is beyond the control of any American politician (Afghanistan), the failure to write a tax policy or an infrastructure policy is mere incompetence.

The Farage invitation must have been in process before, so the near simultaneous, open appeal to racists was accidental.

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