The GOP is like Gorilla Glue: Dangerous, Tacky and Really Difficult to Get Out of Our Hair
This week, democracy-ish hosts Danielle and Toure come to you as the Senate convenes for Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
The U.S. Senate trial to determine Trump’s culpability for the events of January 6 is unprecedented not just because it’s the first time a president has been impeached twice. It’s also because the House managers and the senators themselves were both witnesses and victims to the insurrection.
Trump is the symptom, not the cause, of “a decades-old pattern of gaslighting among the GOP,” says Toure, while Danielle argues they’re “America’s abusive partner.”
While they control two branches of government, what can Democrats do to prevent Republicans from doing more damage to our country?
While the ex-president, now safely away from Washington but still an existential threat to America, watches his fate unravel in the Senate, “the case against him is fairly airtight,” says Toure.
“The defense defending him is pathetic. And yet, as we've seen so often throughout Black history, the jury is ready to deliver the white man to justice –– or rather, injustice. It's a sham trial, y'all.”
All signs point to Trump’s acquittal even after the House impeachment managers delivered a damning, multimedia presentation of the facts: The former president incited a violent insurrection against the government of the United States.
In a ZORA post this week titled “The GOP Is America’s Abusive Partner,” Danielle wrote:
“If we want the abuse to end, we have to be the ones to make it stop. We make it stop by telling the truth — the entire truth—about America.”
That’s why Danielle doesn’t mince words.
“I fucking hate Republicans. I really do … They have spent the last several years gaslighting us. And what we are left with a broken economy, close to 500,000 Americans dead, a ravaged Capitol Building, five dead from an insurrection and hundreds more maimed –– from the party that talks about blue lives.”
The GOP is the party of the domestic terrorists who wielded “the fucking flag as a weapon of torture” on January 6, she adds.
“As a student of Black history, we've seen that move before,” says Toure.
And as history continues to unfold at the Capitol, our hosts unpack the madness of the not-so Grand, definitely Old Party –– and where TF America goes from here.
Episode Highlights –– We Hate the GOP
Our gaslit nation
The last few years have seemed like a sharp descent into madness on the right wing of American politics. But Trump is the symptom, not the cause, says Toure.
“He is the worst manifestation of it. This is a decades-old pattern of gaslighting among the GOP –– of using the legislative process in a weaponized way to attack government, rather than create solutions.”
Those weapons include “the politics of personal destruction,” “outright lies” and “conspiracy theories,” he adds.
The gaslighting is amplified by a “right-wing media circus that is large and wild,” and a rabid base of extremists like the ones we saw at the Capitol. But Republican elected officials go along with the lies perpetuated by that circus –– and those monkeys.
If they don’t, they'll be primaried by candidates even further to the right, Toure argues.
“They will never do anything that could possibly cause them to lose their job. So the party is adrift. It’s completely broken. I just wonder if they can come back.”
The unique dysfunction of the Republican party
Danielle vehemently doesn’t give a fuck if they come back at all. She thinks the GOP has “turned into a cult” and it “imploded” long before the Capitol insurrection.
But because the Republican party is essentially one of two in our electoral system, Toure argues, their dysfunction “is damaging to the entirety of America. They are fighting against democracy. This does hurt our attempt to try to move the country forward.”
Danielle thinks we have to reimagine our political system entirely. In the absence of sanity on the right, it is “incumbent upon those of us who still have our wits about us, and still believe in truth and facts and science and all of these things, to say: What comes next?”
We need to think bigger instead of “offering olive branches to people who do not want them or trying to negotiate and collaborate on legislation,” she adds.
Toure doesn’t “want unity with these maniacs” either.
“But I do see that it's like we are trapped in a safe room with a person who’s losing their mind and acting more and more crazy as time goes on. And we need to work with them. It's difficult to live with them. But we can’t just ignore them.”
In the line of… jury duty
If only we could ignore the Republicans. Unfortunately, they make up roughly one-half of the deliberative body responsible for deciding whether Trump can run for president again.
“The fact we are not going to hold an insurrectionist accountable for his actions means we are giving the green light to more violence against our political officials,” says Danielle. “Which means good people will decide it’s not the job that they want, because it's become dangerous.”
Impeachment 2.0 has also exposed how woefully inadequate our system of government is to meet the challenges of this era. In the current Senate trial, “the jurors are also the judges, the accomplices, and the victims of the crime,” she argues.
“That would never happen in a court of law. The rules we have are antiquated. They were not made for this moment.”
It doesn’t make practical sense either, says Toure.
“You would think, from a political standpoint, that the GOP would want to get rid of Trump, because he has the power, and perhaps the will to, if not form his own party, to form a consistent faction within the party.”
Breaking up the GOP (and ‘Liz Cheney isn't not crazy’)
Even if Trump isn’t the nominee in 2024, there will be a significant number of people looking to him to weigh in.
“The GOP is just barely holding onto power,” Toure adds. “If even 10% of the GOP sliced off to align with Trump, it would have no chance nationally. They should want to cut him off.”
Instead, it looks like the Republicans may split into two parties, “and the never-Trump side is far smaller than anyone imagined.”
How do they function in a world in which Trump urges his followers to ditch the GOP?
Traditional conservatives like Tom Cotton would have a hard time competing for the QAnon crowd. Republicans who exhibit any semblance of a spine risk alienating their base (and their colleagues).
But we shouldn’t celebrate them for merely demonstrating logic, says Danielle, citing a recent article in The Nation that warns us not to “make a hero” of Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach.
Her career has been in lockstep with every bit of “fuckery” the Republican party has foisted on America, including “locking children in cages, taking away people's health care and limiting the ability for people to vote,” Danielle adds.
There is definitely a fissure in the party, but the two factions are just varying degrees of crazy, she adds.
“Because Liz Cheney isn't not crazy.”
‘Q’ tips and tricks
What a world we live in: Not not crazy is markedly more palatable than the “bizarro world” of the fringiest right-wingers, particularly fans of QAnon.
“They keep calling everything a hoax,” says Toure. “I saw one of them the other day who said 1/6 was all crisis actors. They were all Antifa. So it's a hoax to explain the hoax.”
Danielle wonders: “Are that many actors? Should we ask the Screen Actors Guild? How many of these people do you employ?”
“Ask George Soros,” Toure says.
“Maybe we should also consult with the Jewish lasers in space. Because they also seem to be incredibly knowing.”
She points out that Marjorie Taylor Greene, the #GQP Congresswoman who told us about the aforementioned lasers, got a standing ovation for an incoherent House floor speech in which she tried to defend her “beliefs” (which also include 9/11 “trutherism” and her right to harass victims and survivors of school shootings).
“There's no analog on the left whatsoever to QAnon –– or to the big lie about the election,” says Toure.
The far (left) side of the world
As a lefty, Toure isn’t even sure what the far left even means.
“You believe people should have quality, clean water; that kids should go to school, not into debt; that people should have health care. That the food we eat shouldn't kill us,” says Danielle.
“I guess that is far left. So fucking crazy.”
So uber-leftism is … socialism, maybe?
“Even still, that's not a lie. It's not a conspiracy theory,” says Toure. “You can disagree with it as an idea, but it's not like, Jews have space lasers and Democrats are pedophiles who eat babies.”
There just aren’t any nutty subgroups on the left that are getting elected. So any arguments about government dysfunction on both sides are a false equivocation perpetuated by the media, Danielle says.
“When you put up the Marjorie Taylor Greenes against the AOCs and the Ayanna Pressleys, it's like, these two things are not like the other. Both sides started an insurrection ... Yeah, because I felt the need, when Nancy Pelosi ripped up that motherfucker's stupid speech, to go to the Capitol and shit in Statuary Hall.”
Collins: ‘The Karen of Senatorial Karens’
It seems inevitable that before the next -ish drops next week that we’ll see reports of Susan Collins’ deep concern, disappointment, consternation or “something that indicates she is considering voting for conviction,” says Toure.
“Because she's always thinking out loud. I don't know what I'm going to do! It's, like, her brand.”
But at the end of the day (or the trial, as the case may be) she will “come home and vote with the rest of Republicans, no matter what,” he adds.
“She is the Karen of all senatorial Karens,” says Danielle.
Toure thinks “Monstery” Taylor Greene is much more Karen-ish: “She's like, I'm happy they kept me from the committees. Now I have more time to tell you how great I am. But Susan Collins is the worst –– mealy-mouthed, pretends to be on the fence about issues, but never really is.”
Overall, the hyper-partisanship in the Senate means “nobody needs to hear the arguments to figure out what they really think,” Toure says. “They all know what they're gonna do. So the trial is largely a sham. It's kind of pathetic that nobody in the GOP has an independent mind to say, no, this is bullshit. They wanted to kill you, too.”
Fascism is still a threat
For Danielle, the most pressing issue is what Democrats do when they control the levers of power.
“If we don’t create legislation guardrails, and the kind of policies we need to prevent Republicans from getting power again, we are going to be in trouble,” she says.
She said it last week: in spite of the historic, decisive Biden-Harris victory, we’ve merely “hit pause on Amer