After an initial report that he had been fired from his post at the White House, Mike Flynn resigned the next day. He is just the latest in a long line of people to have failed to fully report their contacts with the Russians.
Flynn resigned after he misled Vice President Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador before the inauguration.
What do you think?
What do you think the Russians got out of that information?
There are, in fact, two ways to look at the state of the Republican Party today. On one hand, the GOP is a party in decline, in many ways driven underground and increasingly irrelevant among its base. It has no ideas, no identity, no values, no vision. Most importantly for a party that has always been so dependent on winning elections, it is not interested in making the sort of major policy changes that would be needed. On the other hand, the party is a party where, with only a handful of exceptions, most of the people who live under its umbrella are not only happy to see the party’s status as a political power in decline, but are in many cases actively happy to see the party go the way of the British Labour Party.
I’ve been thinking a great deal about both of these perspectives over the past few days. As an outsider, it’s been hard to take in all this on an aesthetic or conceptual level. But as a party member and active voice of the activist left, I find myself feeling the pain with increasing frequency. What happens when a party loses its heart?
A lot of people are upset that the Republican Party is in this state: they think the party is being controlled by the conservative establishment, that its leaders are too far to the right for their own good and that it no longer has the capacity to change the direction it is going. As if this weren’t so obviously the case, it’s not just the Republicans that are losing power; it’s the whole Republican Party. In a recent column titled “Why I’m Afraid of a Republican Party in Decline”, Vox’s Matthew Yglesias wrote:
There is a party in Congress that is about as far right as any political party currently, and that holds no office of any consequence. There are a few moderate Republicans. Then there are the actual, actual Republican members of Congress that, as their name reminds them, are actually running for president in 2016. They’re all the same people you see in primaries.
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