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The Speaker of the House debacle is part of the death phase of the MAGA GOP, and years in the making.
It is also... a most severe national security threat.
At risk of overdoing the proverbial Dakota expression of, “the uselessness of riding a dead horse” I would suggest that those that still consider themselves loyal Republicans, do what the Dakota advised centuries ago, “get off the horse.” It’s not just for your sake and that of your reputation, but US and allied national security, among other critical US needs, are suffering from your insistence that you belong to a functioning political party. The current version of the GOP is the most acute national security threat facing us at this moment in our history.
The nexus of the threats which I term: extremist activities, foreign influence, purchase of congressional influence by American and foreign oligarchy, and the willingness of the MAGA version of the GOP to cast off American values, while replacing them with conspiracy theory based un-American ideology, is the overall threat.
As of this week, Congress has gone home and is now impotent to address anything that they were “hired” to do. The GOP in its current version is now on the downslope towards its end but the threat during this phase of its life cycle, is in some ways, more acute. Principled conservatives are voiceless and the “inmates are now running the asylum.” Will they burn down American democracy during this phase, or will Americans of all political persuasions unite to minimize the predictable damage to our republic and its national security?
Your Friday or weekend read this week, is a summary of the threat and a partial overview of the potential impacts of the party’s implosion. A word of caution though… the party in its current form is the threat. If the GOP survives, it will require a massive reconstruction, as well as a full disconnect from the forces that drive the current extremism cycle. Among these forces are American and foreign oligarchy that funds it and the foreign adversaries that benefit and supply support regarding tactics, strategy and influence operations support.
There is a lot in today’s TAT, including a long list of links to source material. If I may be so bold, I recommend either saving or filing this piece for later reference, due to its narrative and source materials. When threats are as complex as this one, creating a meaningful narrative to help readers understand, is the challenge. I most certainly hope that today’s work, will be beneficial in this respect.
Ever since the now infamous, 2015 Trump escalator-ride announcement of his candidacy, the GOP has been the destructive type of chaos we see in war, and devoid of any trappings of a normal political party. Like a poorly led, trained and equipped Russian army, they stumble towards their goals, obliterating American democracy in their path. Their increasingly extremist agenda has always been an acute national security threat but now, the combination of chaos and a far-right agenda, inclusive of a party front-runner, devoid of any moral compass, the threat is significantly amplified.
The modern GOP had begun this path, with Newt Gingrich’s scorched earth political strategy that essentially said, “no bipartisanship,” but in the Trump era, this blossomed into full-blown chaos, based on overt dishonesty, conspiracy theories and an extremist ideology, based largely on, hateful Christian nationalism. Part of the conspiracy theory-based ideology, as I expressed two days ago in another TAT article, stated that anyone who has studied the life cycles of terrorism and extremist movements, could have predicted the implosion of the party, on a grand scale. That implosion’s fuse is lit and burning. The only remaining question is just how much damage this implosion will do to US democracy and our national security in the process.
"How have terrorist groups ended in the past? Observers have tended to stress four general causes: external repression, internal collapse, public rejection and success. With the exception of the latter, these causes are not mutually exclusive. One cause may, in reality, reinforce the other." - How Terrorist Groups end, by - ARIE PERLIGER, LEONARD WEINBERG - Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point - FEBRUARY 2010, VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2
During this period, the maturation of Gingrich’s un-American approach to politics and Trump’s, pied piper leadership, financed by Russian and American oligarchs and sporting support from Russian influence operations, converted the GOP into what is called, a “fifth column,” hellbent on destroying our nation’s democratic foundation. The puppet-master wasn’t just Putin, but Trump, partially aligned with Putin, was and still is pursuing his own oligarchical control over his own empire. He calls this empire, America.
President George Washington, precisely predicted what would occur to our republic, should political parties become so corrupt and focused on power rather than our constitutional principles. Washington foresaw the potential threat of a Trump-like person, supported by a corrupt, powerful political party, being elected to our highest office. In his Farewell Address, published by Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser, on September 19, 1796, he included his warnings over this issue and two others he felt capable of destroying our brand-new republic. The other two were foreign influence and regionalism. He was spot on, regarding the severity of these threats. We have not listened and now, even SCOTUS flouts the warnings as they undermine our founding principles.
There is ample evidence of the Trump/ MAGA threats that Washington foresaw, in a wide spectrum of the most credible sources. For example:
Under the category hyper partisanship:
No matter how many ways pollsters measure partisanship, it is on the increase and at a level that echoes Washington’s warning about it, at a severe, threatening level.
The US is experiencing political violence in percentages not seen since the 1960s and 70s. I lived through the sixties, watching the violence in Vietnam and here in the US on the evening news. Most of that violence pertained to dissent over the Vietnam War with other movements like the violence surrounding the Civil Rights movement, the most common. Today, it’s “culture wars” with mostly those on the right, adopting beliefs, brainwashed is more like it, to find a political argument in the most ridiculous and truly ignorant issues. This pertains more to the influence operations against Republican voters over that past 30 years of so via FOX News, with support from the GOP and yes, Russia as well.
The following graphics from a study done by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace are quite telling:
Under the category regionalism:
These days, the regionalism issue still exists and has grown progressively more entrenched. Also, the regions in many red states are better defined as rural vs urban. Still, what we term as flyover states or the deep south are often increasingly deep red, most often living on a steady diet of rural Christian Nationalism and insanely conspiratorial AM radio hosts like Alex Jones and his local affiliates.
Even in deeply red states like my home state of Texas or my hometown state of Ohio, it is urban vs. rural. Here in TX, the TX GOP has begun over the past 6 or 7 years to legislate nuanced restrictions on the influence of typically blue large cities. Just this year, they took over the state’s largest school district, Houston ISD, in order to better control curriculum and other nuanced areas of school experiences.
The TX GOP is nearly the definition of MAGA or worse, legislating Jim Crow, 2.0 voting laws which is now being challenged by DOJ, The Department of Justice. They have already legislated curriculum changes that severely downplays slavery and the Holocaust, while concurrently forcing CN/ Christian Nationalism back into schools. Now, Gov. Greg Abbott is flaunting the US and TX constitutions by demanding vouchers and the Bible back into public schools. Texans are being literally, denied our constitutional rights.
However, we define regionalism, Washington was right… again
Under the category of foreign influence:
Putin benefitted from Trump’s assaults on NATO and had he retained the Oval Office, would have taken the US out of this successful treaty designed to keep Russian aggression contained.
Trump’s bromances with some of Putin’s allies, like the BRICS nations (now expanding) and N. Korea. To this day, India still keeps large parts of Putin’s economy afloat via commerce and assistance in helping Putin evade sanctions, despite their claimed allegiance to the US and nations attempting to corral Xi’s ambitions.
Trump’s advocacy for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the GOP’s push to defund and minimize support to our allies under genocidal assault by Putin. Yes, this includes former Speaker, Kevin McCarthy and those who deposed him.
Russia, like the Soviets before them have long attempted to create so much havoc within the US political system that it would undermine US leadership in thwarting their aggression. This effort was called Active Measures under the Soviets and the Gerasimov doctrine under Putin.
Even the 72 Republican members of Congress refuse to protect our nation and its constitution, a grievous violation of both their military and Congressional oaths.
The reason that I raise all of these Trump/ Russia issues, is that today’s MAGA-dominated GOP, has fallen, hook, line and sinker for Trump’s lies about why he supported all of these efforts that empowered a Russian aggressor. As Putin began his genocidal invasion of Ukraine, Trump was his biggest western cheerleader and even very recently, former Speaker McCarthy has declared our support to Ukraine at risk of disappearing or being reduced to a point that leaves our allies at acute risk and in fact, all of NATO, the same.
The sad truth is that today’s GOP has rubberstamped, nearly all of the MAGA/GOP agenda items, held so rigidly. I will remind you here that none of the MAGA ideology relate to true American values. Their ideology is a combination of Global Far-Right ideology, often centered in Russia and which Putin uses to maintain control of his domestic population and undermine global democracies, and organic US extremism. For a glaring example of the official MAGA agenda, look no further than the TX GOP 2022 Midterm platform. It not only codifies that TX believes that the 2020 election was “stolen” but embraces a long wish list of unconstitutional items, some already in law, here in the once proud state of Texas. Sadly, the national MAGA movement, is even a bit worse.
Some of the worst, un-American issues that highlight the MAGA movement are:
The embrace of global authoritarianism rather than democracy
The abandonment of allies
Grotesque misinterpretations of American values
Unfettered access to guns
Avoidance of and undermining of social safety nets
Equal access to voting
Strict theocratic controls over our constitutional rights
This also, is the short list but also the dangerous agenda of the extremists who have now tossed the US House of Representatives into impotency. Without a functioning House, the required budget cannot be passed. This deprives the neediest and most deserving of their guaranteed benefits. There is no funding for those that keep our nation functioning, those who protect it, those who provide health care, including to Veterans and the list goes on and on and on.
The aid for Ukraine, promised by McCarthy is now gone from the short term, CR/ Continuing Resolution. In 45 days, even that funding disappears. GOP political antics, including shutdowns, are quoted by credit rating entities, as part of the reasons that they downgraded the US credit rating. Again, you can point your finger at Newt Gingrich for this. Who will provide the visas for that trip you planned for? Who will keep you safe at airports, the border, overseas and in your hometown? Federal law enforcement will be defunded as well. How about those drugs coming into the country, or human trafficking? Yes, I could go on but what’s the point? The MAGA version of the GOP could care less, so long as they can maintain some sort of political power.
How does the minority GOP, maintain a stranglehold on the levers of US political power?
There are a lot of answers to this question but at the core of each answer lies a long-term, powerfully persuasive series of influences campaigns. Since influence of this sort is my primary specialty, I have written on this topic often. For this reason, I will offer a one paragraph summation and a serious of links to previous articles that go into great depth.
The summary paragraph
When professional influencers employ their skills for evil rather than good, you get results like the MAGA GOP, the Nazism of WW II Germany, Maoism, Iranian theocracy or any number of largescale extremist movements. Marketers call this success. I call it treason in this case, due to people and entities like FOX News, Breitbart, OAN, NewsMax, Brad Parscale, Zuckerberg, Cambridge Analytica and now, the party apparatus itself. FOX began the trend and in the runup to the 2016 election until this very day, Russia has contributed their state influence operations to undermine US and NATO democracy. What we have now are brainwashed, Republican sheep that with a number, color combination, three-word chant or a series of reinforcing false/ conspiratorial narratives will subconsciously follow, dutifully, the orders or “suggestions” of their adopted narrators or media.
Further reading on this topic:
If you prefer listening, the following two podcasts are at the following links:
Finally, the overall summary
Well, my friends, I’ve run this piece into an exhaustive, book-like production. Frankly, I intended to. As I noted in this week’s earlier post, I am in the process of writing a book to help people understand the narrative of today, better and in a more fluid format. I hope that you will find today’s overview valuable and that it may inspire you to read an actual book instead of jumping back and forth between links.
Near the beginning, I posed the question, “how much damage will they do on the way out?” This remains to be seen, but if Terrorism life-cycle analysis tells us anything, there will be plenty of bumps in this road. The key to our resilience during times of national emergencies is our national identity, based on our true national values, which in turn, are based on those laid out so brilliantly by our founders. That’s who Americans are, not the forced fake patriotism of the MAGA hordes.
I frankly don’t care if someone is a liberal, conservative or otherwise. I care very much that they are honest and stay within the guardrails of our founding values, most of which are well ensconced in our constitution. In order to stay within those guardrails, facts, reality and personal responsibility are the keystones to maintaining our national identity.
Us Americans may be a contentious lot, but those of us who embrace our founding values in our daily lives, are the core of our nation’s strength. It’s not our weapons, economy or strength in times of crisis. We are precisely what are actions have been and in support of all along. It is literally, our national identity. I may be flawed, but I’m a true believer in what our founders bequeathed all of us, from our Declaration of Independence on. If we all work together towards the goals of our prestigious founders, we can recover what MAGA has stolen from all of us. That my friends is true patriotism
I prefer to see today’s overview as a full-scale warning about what comes next, from the rapidly disintegrating structure of the former GOP and why this information matters. As always, the links and those within previous articles will justify the reality of what I put “my pen to,” today. I wish everyone a fabulous Friday and weekend.