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Great idea… January 27, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I think we all can get behind Donald Trump’s idea of a new ‘third party’ to represent his politics in the US!

Trump spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, splitting rounds of golf with discussions about maintaining relevance and influence and how to unseat Republicans deemed to have crossed him, the Washington Post reported. Trump, the Post said, has said the threat of starting a Maga (Make America Great Again) or Patriot party, gives him leverage to prevent senators voting to convict, which could lead to him being prevented from seeking office again.

Split the conservative vote? I’m all for it.

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1. NFB - January 27, 2021

Chance would be a fine thing! I’m sure this prospect terrifies Republicans – what would it take, 3% of the national vote to sink a Presidential campaign? – but I don’t see it happening. More like we’ll get the usual split during primaries where we have Trump Republicans going against Everyone Else Republicans, and then uniting for actual elections.

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WorldbyStorm - January 27, 2021

Yeah, I’d imagine that is more likely. Of course a lot depends on Trump’s ego which is uncontained and quite some way adrift of reality.

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2. CL - January 27, 2021

It won’t happen. Trump already has his own party. Its called the Republican Party. And calling it ‘conservative’ is a bit of a stretch; it owes more ideologically to Joseph de Maistre than to Edmund Burke.

” Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, two freshman Republicans who have expressed sympathy for the QAnon cult….
Boebert live-tweeted about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location during the Capitol insurrection Jan. 6 as Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, was being rushed to a secure location. Greene, among other offenses, made comments in 2018 and 2019 suggesting that she supported executing prominent Democrats….
But they’ve helped to create a disaster much bigger than Trump. By giving in to him at every turn, Republicans helped create the epidemic of conspiracy theories and alternative facts rampant in the Republican Party….
Perhaps most consequentially, they endorsed his Big Lie about the election….
It was this penchant for conspiracy theories, fueled by the metastasis of QAnon and stoked by some Senate Republicans, that created the explosion at the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-impeachment-trial-vote-sees-too-many-gop-senators-dooming-ncna1255764

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WorldbyStorm - January 27, 2021

I am being kind re conservative!

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3. Klassenkampf Treehugger - January 27, 2021

But that’s not what right wing splits in first-past-the-post systems are for. Or the threat of them.

Look at the case of UKIP and the Tories. The threat of a split vote forced the Tories to adopt policies that resurected those of the British National Front in the 1970s and brought them to fruition. i.e. exit from the EU, clampdown on immigration, a general social xenophobie etc.

The function of the threat or existence of a Trumpist party will ensure that the Republican mainstream cleaves to his type of politics.

In non-first-past-the-post representative (slightly) democratic systems the effect can be different. The AfDs goal was either to replace the CDU/CSU of drag it over the AfDs political spectrum. It failed because that wing of the CDU/CSU that favoured such a rightist move lost in the person of Merz who narrowly lost the internal battle to become party chairman, and thus Chancellor-Candidate.

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CL - January 27, 2021

The American primary system makes a difference. If Trump formed a new party he could no longer ‘primary’ candidates he disagreed with. By remaining within the party Trump is a greater threat to anti-Trumpists.

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WorldbyStorm - January 27, 2021

Primary’s are a most interesting phenomenon. In your view CL being close in to them what do you think about them, good or bad.

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CL - January 27, 2021

The idea behind primaries is to take selection of candidates away from party bosses, smoke-filled rooms and all that.
So primaries are more democratic in that sense.
In NYC, because it is overwhelmingly Democratic, whoever wins the primary is usually a certainty to win in the general. But not always,- Giuliani, Bloomberg, etc. For lower offices it generally holds true.
The dilemma for the Republican party is that the base, the grass roots of the party, is conspiracist and nativist, and Trumpian. Right-wing media, think tanks etc sowed the seeds of this long before Trump.
The base votes in the primaries and so is key in candidate selection. But if the candidates are too far off the mainstream they are less likely to win in the general. This consideration is what prompted McConnell to try and distance himself from Trump. He has received some backlash and yesterday voted to deem the impeachment process unconstitutional.
So there is a conflict within the GOP. The more Burkean wing, ‘normal’ conservatives, against the nativist, MAGA base, – a base empowered by the primary system.

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WorldbyStorm - January 27, 2021

Yeah, so a mixed bag!

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Klassenkampf Treehugger - January 27, 2021

Ah – thanks for the clarification about the role of primaries.

So the Republicans resemble the Tories in that the party members/base are well to the right of the median that is required to win them elections. Except possibly in Brexity conditions, I guess.

A ‘registered’ Republican however is a much looser relationship with the party than a Tory party member, isn’t it?

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CL - January 27, 2021

True. Political parties in the U.S are loose political entities. Bloomberg and Trump have been registered Democrats and then later as Republicans, and in Bloomberg’s case then again as a Democrat. Parties function as vehicles for political campaigns and elections.

In Trump’s case it seems at this point that it is in his interest to remain Republican. He retains considerable influence although ousted from power and from Twitter.

Newsmax TV, owned by Trump’s friend, Christopher Ruddy, is now the main outlet for conspiracist nativism

Trump is unlikely to be convicted in the Senate impeachment trial, and when acquitted will declare exoneration and will claim, again, that he is the victim of a Democratic witch-hunt.
How it all plays out depends on how successful Biden is in dealing with the series of crises, – pandemic, economic deprivation, racism, climate change.
The 50 Republicans in the Senate represent 12 million fewer Americans than the 50 Democrats, -the red states for the most part being less populated. The Democrats hold on the House is also marginal. So a few defections could matter greatly.
And there are dozens of heavily-armed white-supremacist militias…..

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sonofstan - January 27, 2021

“Look at the case of UKIP and the Tories. The threat of a split vote forced the Tories to adopt policies that resurected those of the British National Front in the 1970s and brought them to fruition. i.e. exit from the EU, clampdown on immigration, a general social xenophobie etc.”

It’s odd the asymmetry : the far right pulls the centre right rightwards, for fear of being outflanked whereas on the left….

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WorldbyStorm - January 27, 2021

I wonder is it because there’s a normative psychological dynamic in terms of the hegemony of capitalism in the society – so that the right/far-right is seen to some extent as going with the grain whereas the left is regarded as going against it. And only rarely do events combine to allow this to dynamic to falter.

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sonofstan - January 27, 2021

Was it always thus?
Maybe ’45-75 in Britain the tories were pulled to the centre a bit more and, as you have noted more than once, Nixon would be to the left of some subsequent democratic presidents. And, as was noted here recently, FF pre- Lemass/ Whitaker, were not anti- industrialisation, but pro-state led rather FDI version.

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WorldbyStorm - January 27, 2021

I was thinking about 45. Who was it who said recently that there you had a situation where an enormous number of young men and women who had been in uniform were returning to Britain after being far-flung, where if there wasn’t something tangible to offer them the chances of there being some sort of dissent shading into something potentially much more pointed might have been huge – so that was something that probably played into even the Tories calculations? I’m not saying that was the LPs calculation but not difficult to see that being a factor, and that made me wonder was it very specific sorts of crises allow for progress on the left? So we get a patchwork response – of course before all that things are worse again – because there’s even greater hills to climb with women’s suffrage, the extension of the vote to all adults and not just those who own property…

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FergusD - January 28, 2021

Saw a short film on the WWW recently where a large audience of servicemen and women booed Churchill at a 45 hustings and chanted ‘We want Labour’. He was visibly shocked, a Ceausescu moment. You never see that on the BBC!

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Klassenkampf Treehugger - January 27, 2021

But in systems in which coalition is the norm, it can pull centrist parties leftwards.

For instance it is only the probability that they will have to coalesce with the Greens, or possibly the SPD again, that has induced the CDU to adopt a somewhat climate catastrophe aware green rhetoric, and to have quietly ditch the ‘debt break’ and the associated monetarist superstition.

The fact that the AfD continues to take the 10% of the most right-wing votes, and for however the CDU/CSU chooses not to do business with the AfD, means that they must move into ground to their left.

For now.

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