Friday, October 13, 2023


Amanda Marcotte writes:
... there's one historical claim made by fascists that gets accepted at face value by people who ought to know better: The idea that authoritarian regimes are models of order and discipline. Videos of goose-stepping soldiers and myths about full employment and the trains running on time have persisted in the cultural imagination. The belief that the far right is ruthlessly efficient and well organized terrifies its opponents and emboldens its supporters, then and now.

If you still buy any of that, consider the Republicans in Congress, who are behaving like a sackful of trapped weasels over what should be a simple task: Picking which one of the indistinguishable MAGA-monsters gets to be speaker of the House.
The problem with comparing the contemporary Republican Party to other fascist or fascist-leaning parties is that the Republican Party -- like much of the American public -- doesn't want the government to function efficiently. Remember Ronald Reagan's dictum: Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem. If you believe that, as nearly all Republicans do (as well as many non-Republicans), you might not believe that it's imperative to throw sand in the gears of government, but you certainly don't believe it's a bad thing when the gears become inoperably sandy.

Americans who believe Reagan's simple-minded pronouncements about government are rarely consistent -- they want the government to punish street criminals and immigrants, as well as women seeking abortions and sexual minorities -- but apart from that, they assume we'd all be better off if government weren't fuctioning at all ... or at least that's what they believe until they have problem getting VA healthcare or going to a national park. But even then they cling to the principle that government is bad (and government under a Democratic president is worse), so the current leadership struggles of the House GOP won't turn them against Republicans. The fact that Republicans can't run the government is a feature, not a bug, for much of the country.

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