Ryan Zinke resigned/was fired yesterday as ethics investigations were bearing down on his corrupt reign as Secretary of the Interior–yet another crooked Trump cabinet member to leave in disgrace. Zinke’s grotesque perversion of the department he oversaw was chronicled recently by Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times, detailing how he violated the agency’s Science-based mission by turning it into a prostitute to the gas & oil industry.
The corruption rife in Trump’s cabinet also extends into the Republican party, especially on the edges of the Mueller probe. It’s easy to forget that Michael Cohen was Deputy Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Adulterer Elliott Broidy, a hush-money client of Michael Cohen, was Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Paul Manafort used to be a deputy political director of the Republican National Committee. And the Republican party received millions of dollars from the NRA–who received millions of dollars from Russia.
But beyond the crooked personalities and corrupt lobbying of the Republican National Committee, the GOP has a long history of a different kind of corruption–institutionalized corruption–that’s only now getting a lot of attention. An excellent and insightful analysis of the the corrupt GOP was published in The Atlantic by George Packer this weekend. He details the rot at the heart of one of our two major political parties, making great points about the nature of their corruption.
The fact that no plausible election outcome can check the abuse of power is what makes political corruption so dangerous. It strikes at the heart of democracy. It destroys the compact between the people and the government. In rendering voters voiceless, it pushes everyone closer to the use of undemocratic means.
And he points out the best way to see and characterize Republicans in contrast to Democrats.
Republicans have chosen contraction and authoritarianism because, unlike the Democrats, their party isn’t a coalition of interests in search of a majority. Its character is ideological. The Republican Party we know is a product of the modern conservative movement, and that movement is a series of insurgencies against the established order.
Packer’s is a concise and spot-on critique of the decades-long project that has arrived at its most extreme and warped iteration in Trumpism, a party that will do anything for power, including destroying our democracy:
Our task is to make sure Trumpism is the death rattle of the GOP’s malignant project–and not just the latest chapter–by stopping the GOP in 2020. Keep resisting…