Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump drives a stake in the heart of the GOP while Blue states forge ahead

Joy-Ann Reid Has some grim things to say about Trump and the GOP in her op-ed in The Daily Beast, Forget It Paul. It’s Trumptown.

The blue states and cities are beginning to chart their own course, leaving the tarnished White House behind.. That’s good news for some but very bad news for the shape of America after Trump. Here are snippets.

Not even six months into his term, for all intents and purposes, Donald Trump’s presidency is dead.

Not dead in the sense that he will imminently be run out of office. Republicans have made it clear that there is literally nothing he could do, no matter how destructive, obscene or humiliating to the republic — that would make them remove him. But it is functionally dead, in the sense that the Trump presidency has any moral force at home or abroad …

If Trump’s presidency is dead, his party’s soul is buried in an unmarked grave. Their moral authority has withered with the Republican president who willfully disregards every American norm. Their base is rife with self-righteous evangelicals who stand with a crass serial adulterer and peeping Tom against the elderly and the poor; supposed followers of a loving Christ with their defiant demands that LGBT people, women and those of the Muslim faith be persecuted through the power of the Supreme Court, and working stiffs still standing by their man in hopes of getting their worthless wall.

Like Trump, the GOP may linger in power for years to come. Gerrymandering has locked them into majority rule for a time undetermined. But the party’s identity and character will forever be fused to the man they tolerated as their leader, come what may.

Meanwhile blue states and cities, led by the world’s sixth largest economy, California, have begun to drive past the circus, toward international climate pacts, expanded healthcare access and perhaps eventually, trade pacts as well, along with advances in education, civic opportunity and green technology that will leave red America behind as the White House begins to lose its position as the center of gravity in America. Sure, Trump will remain our primary spectacle — the 20-car pileup we can’t stop staring at. But functionally, it’s easy to foresee the next three and a half years as a time of backing away from Washington, for those determined to protect those within their state and city lines and the progress this country fought so hard to make on everything from education to civil and immigrant rights to climate change.

Many will continue to fight to unite the country in forward motion, but others will look in the rear view mirror and say, “let them choke on their oil and coal.” Such is the level of disgust felt by the horrified majority toward Trump’s America.

Blue America, as defined by the 500 counties won by Hillary Clinton, accounts for 64 percent of this country’s economic activity; while the 2,600 counties Trump won account for just 36 percent. Blue America has a per capita income $10,000 higher, and lower rates of poverty and violent crime. And Blue America hands Trump Country $300 billion more in tax revenues each year than they pay in. Blue state governors and mayors have a duty to defend their citizens against a sputtering president and his destructive party.

Many on the right have long desired the America that’s coming. The “tenthers” and extreme federalists have yearned for a country of 50 little nation states, acting in concert only when they must. They went to the Supreme Court to defend the principle that states should be able to condemn their own citizens to a life without healthcare. Perhaps Donald Trump, who has exposed this country’s chasms and warts like no other president before, has finally given them their way.

h/t commenter “Liza” on a post by AZBlueMeanie in today’s Blog for Arizona.

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