The Monday Morning Teaser

Not much happened this week: The FBI caught the guy who leaked all those documents (and Trump supporters rallied around him). The abortion-pill injunction rose through the judicial system, but is still unresolved. The Fox News trial is about to start. Clarence Thomas is even more corrupt than we realized last week. The Justins made a triumphant return to the Tennessee legislature. Idaho outlawed “abortion trafficking”, while the Missouri House tried to defund all the state’s libraries. Alan Bragg sued Jim Jordan in an attempt to stop his interference in the Trump prosecution. Something something something Bud Light. Oh, and we had another mass shooting of teen-agers.

Hardly anything, in other words.

But I decided to take a step back and look at something longer term: Why is all this happening? Yes, it almost all revolves around the Republican Party’s continuing descent into fascism. But why is that happening? Why now? What global trend opened up opportunities for the likes of Trump, Modi, Orban, Netanyahu, et al?

I found two recent essays that look at this question from different directions, but coalesce around this framing: Fascism is an eternal temptation of modern politics. The mystery isn’t why we have to deal with it now, but why we didn’t have to deal with it for so many years after World War II. How did those lessons get lost?

That post still needs work, so it probably won’t show up until 10 or 11 EDT. (I’ve made it back as far as the central time zone, but I’m trying to run on my usual east-coast schedule today.) The weekly summary will cover the other stuff, and appear by about 1 or so.

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  • Cathy Strasser  On April 17, 2023 at 9:16 am

    My husband and I were debating this very topic last night. He feels it’s due to the infusion of unlimited funds starting with Citizens United. I agree but wonder if the loss of the WWII veterans – who have experienced and fought fascism first hand -from public life has contributed. Or a combination of the two.

  • paranoid  On April 17, 2023 at 9:40 am

    Are we in a uniquely bad time for fascism compared to the rest of the post WWII-era? Economically, the level of inequality is certainly different, creating instability and opportunities for demagogues. On the other hand McCarthyism, Massive Resistance, and the War on Drugs were all part of the “good ol’ days,” before the effects of Reaganomics really settled in and before 24-hour news and social media changed how we communicate.

    • weeklysift  On April 17, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      Yeah, I think this is an unusually bad time. Take McCarthyism for example: That was a movement within the GOP, which overall remained loyal to Eisenhower. When the far right briefly took control of the GOP in 1964, they lost in a landslide. Control shifted back to moderate Republicans for several cycles after that.

      Today, fascism (as I define it) is so dominant in the Republican Party that few are willing to speak out against it.

  • no19  On April 17, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Norm –

    Does this guy, Doug, make any sense?

    Let me know.


    • Schnark  On April 19, 2023 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve looked at your blog and I’m asking the same question. My guess is, your kid’s rooms are messy because they have too much stuff. The world outside is pretty much the same.
      Yes he does make sense. More than anyone else I can find.
      Beat wishes

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