Tuesday, January 05, 2021


[Note: This is part of an upcoming item in Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, the Substack for smart people with a sense of humor. Most items are paywalled but some, like today's lookback at the 2020 election, are open to the public.]

While low-rent rightwingers howl for a coup, most top-ranked conservative outlets are at this point slightly abashed, maybe even scared, at the unseemly spectacle of their hero trying mob boss tactics to overturn the election. At National Review the longtime utter fraud and heretofore reliable defender of Trump Andrew C. McCarthy was originally willing to go along with the gag in post-election stories like "Michigan Certification of Biden Win Is a Step Toward the End — But It’s Not the End" and "As Time Is Running Out, Trump Campaign Files Stronger Lawsuit in Georgia." 

But now McCarthy seems to caught nerves; In "The Risky Wager of Betting on Trump" he even begins "Were the anti-Trumpers right all along?" before deciding, like Principal Skinner, that no, it's the children who are wrong:

The Trump fanatics notwithstanding, the case for Trump, in 2020 as in 2016, was never based on the comparative merits and demerits of the man. It was Trump as opposed to whom? That’s still the most sensible way to look at it.

This is like the argument made by Russian and Polish Nazis who argued after the war that Hitler was, on balance, a better guy than Stalin and that's why they killed those Jews.

Even the damage now being done, the trail being blazed for the next Democratic administration to subvert future Republican electoral victories, has to be weighed against, say, what the Supreme Court would look like for the next 30 years if Mrs. Clinton had been president for the last four, and what that would portend for our constitutional republic.

Like other Republicans, when this is all over, whether they boldly defend their Trumpism or pretend they were in Switzerland for the entire war, McCarthy will comfort himself that he may have put American democracy at risk but oooooh those reactionary young judges! (And, of course, the traditional confidence of the hypocrite that his opponents would do just as badly in his shoes.) 

One imagines McCarthy wouldn't be too sad if Tubby actually did blow it all up, but apparently he expects that won't happen and he doesn't want to look too Trumpist when the smoke clears. So he talks about how the threat was never so bad because we were always bound to be saved by either the bureaucracy ("the quotidian details of governance are handled by an administration, now grown to thousands of bureaucrats") or the Constitution ("the real genius of the Framers was to plan for the inevitability of crises"). 

Also, ho ho, Trump himself isn't a real threat because he's too silly; "in reality, his lust is more for pomp than power... his fatal flaws have little to do with coveting power and everything to do with vanity..." He's just a clown, not a serious man like Hitler or Mussolini! 

Then McCarthy goes on to slag the just-as-bad Democrats and to hope, like many other conservatives-with-good-taste, that what he's heard about the ever-shrinking attention spans of our citizens is not a myth, and in a few weeks at most they can pretend to care once again about the deficit and "rule by pen and phone" and the dignity of the office without too many of them going Hey, wait a minute!  When do you suppose they'll accuse the absurdly moderate President Biden of posing a greater threat to the stability of the country than the much-maligned Donald Trump ever did? I give 'em two months. 

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