Note to Conservatives: You Can't Run Away From Your Responsibility for Trump and the Racist Right

As Donald Trump bumblefucks his way around the bottom of the historical shitpile, as he degrades the country every day by doing dumb shit like pimping overpriced caps while visiting Texas and not hugging even a wet child, as the racist right (fuck "alt-right") asserts itself online through jabbering conspiracies and laughable threats, as the racist right marches for its idiot causes, a genre of editorial has emerged among Republicans. Call it the "Not Me and My Friends" rhetorical gambit.

In it, some random Republican attempts to distance him or herself (although, to be honest, it's mostly "him" because we're talking about Republicans) by listing the parade of horribles committed by Trump and/or the racist right. Often, it takes the form of a denial of Trump's Republicanism or an accusation that vulgar Trumpism will destroy the beautiful Republican Party. Or it might say how the racist right doesn't represent real conservatism, which would never be seen canoodling with such ruffians, or some such shit. The writers try to present themselves as the rational Republicans, the ones who have far more complex ideologies than these loathsome trolls.

For instance, here's former Senator John Danforth, a putative model of moderation, in the Washington Post last week, decrying Trump and making the GOP seem like the greatest bunch of open-minded, loving statesmen and women you could ever hope to lead us: "The Republican Party has a long history of standing for a united country," Danforth writes, citing, as Republicans will, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.

Of more recent vintage, Danforth says, "George H.W. Bush signed the most important civil rights legislation in more than a quarter-century, a bill authored by Republican senators." That would be the same George H.W. Bush who vetoed the original Civil Rights Act of 1991 despite Danforth's pleading because Bush thought it was too expansive, so a watered-down, less effective version was passed. Then Danforth says of the president whose illegal war resulted in the deaths of millions of Muslims, "George W. Bush stood before Congress and the nation and defended Muslims after 9/11."

Danforth continues, "Our record hasn’t been perfect. When we have pushed the agenda of the Christian right, we have seemed to exclude people who don’t share our religious beliefs. We have seemed unfriendly to gay Americans. But our long history has been to uphold the dignity of all of God’s people and to build a country welcoming to all." This would be the same anti-abortion senator who thought the federal government might be wasting money on drugs for AIDS patients and who was one of Clarence Thomas's biggest advocates. For sure, Danforth was more compassionate on some issues (like starvation in Africa), but let's not give him or his mythical version of the GOP a fuckin' parade.

In the New York Times on Tuesday, reliable bellwether of sniveling "not-me"-ism, David Brooks, wrote that even in the last few years "it was still possible to be a Republican without feeling like you were violating basic decency on matters of race. Most of the Republican establishment, from the Bushes to McCain and Romney, fought bigotry, and racism was not a common feature in the conservative moment."

And one can only ask, "What fucking Republican Party are you talking about?" Because, see, while the Bushes, McCain, and Romney were speaking their racism softly, they let Jesse Helms, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, and a fuckload of racist, bigoted assholes scream madly and run rampant. It doesn't matter that Brooks "never heard blatantly racist comments at dinner parties" because their actions were blatantly goddamned racist, from campaigning on racial issues to the war on drugs to welfare reform (and yes, Democrats did go along with some of this, but often just to try to mitigate the barbarity) to the years of attacks on Barack Obama.

This goes across the board, from your Michael Gersons to your Jennifer Rubins, all of those Republicans who are newly endeared to Democrats under the enemy-of-my-enemy dictum. They all share complicity in the rise of Trump and the racist right because, see, for every wonky policy Republican who can bullshit about, say, being against affirmative action or immigration reform because of budgetary or constitutional complaints, there are a dozen opportunistic Hannitys or Ingrahams or Breitbarts who are going to dumb it down to appeal to stupid people.

You have to ask yourself about your beliefs: How will stupid people understand it? Even more importantly, who will tell stupid people how to understand it? This has been Democrats' worst failing: the inability to get stupid people to comprehend how liberal policies help them. So right-wingers swoop in and grab the stupid people by appealing to their stupidity. You can't explain to stupid people that expanded Medicaid and health insurance end up lowering costs for everyone. It won't work because they're stupid. Stupid people just need to be told, "Here is health care. You got your cancer treated? Government did that." And if you don't hammer that with them, conservative fuckbags will swoop in and say, "You don't want the black president to fondle your pure, white titties, do you?" Stupid people get to vote. You lose the stupid people, you have a hell of a deficit to make up.

But the problem isn't stupid people. It's the conservative policies that are so easily identifiable as racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc. supported by what are pathetically called "mainstream" Republicans. Jeb fuckin' Bush, about as establishment a Republican as there ever was, ran for president on repealing the Affordable Care Act, reversing DACA, withholding funds from sanctuary cities, opposing renewal of the Voting Rights Act, keeping Gitmo open, allowing in primarily Christian refugees from Syria, and more, including denying climate change.

It's fucking rich to see people like, say, GOP consultant Rick Wilson, who is hilariously relentless in his attacks on Trump and the racist right, get to pretend like he wasn't responsible for fostering racism in the campaigns he worked on. Motherfucker worked for Rudy Giuliani, wrote ads for Saxby Chambliss associating Vietnam war vet Max Cleland with Osama bin Laden, and was responsible for the ads that tied Obama to Reverend Jeremiah Wright. In other words, someone who is decrying the racism and hatred of one strain of conservatism is one of the fucking reasons that racism and hatred is ongoing. He wanted the stupid people to be racist. Own that shit, man. That's how the fuck you get to Trump.

Brooks says, "[T]he Republican Party has changed since 2005. It has become the vehicle for white identity politics." That is delusional magical thinking. Ask John McCain if the 2000 Republican primary was devoid of white identity politics. Ask Michael Dukakis if the 1988 election didn't involve the GOP appealing to white identity politics. Ask Reagan. Ask Nixon. And then ask Hillary Clinton. Your sad "Never Trump" whining never stood a chance against the decades of priming the racist pump you did.

You don't get off the hook just because you don't have a Confederate flag bumper sticker or a Nazi tattoo or a Pepe the Frog pin or a MAGA hat. A grown man who only fucks 13 year-old girls doesn't get to say he's not a pedophile. No, man. You go in the same cell with the guy who fucked toddlers.