“Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see.” — John Lennon
The time of death is fairly easy to report. The patient had been clinging to life on life support, but finally decided to pull its own plug when the RNC decided to censure Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. That by itself was horrific news for any fan of democracy.
Mind you, the simple act of censuring a politician is almost completely symbolic. It can be loosely defined as an expression of official disapproval. So, what exactly are they disapproving? Kinzinger and Cheney were the lone Republicans to participate in the House January 6th committee.
It wasn’t for lack of effort. One thing Democrats are always guilty of doing is reaching out in the interest of fairness. In a process that took nearly three months, they tried to get more Republicans on board. It was never going to happen. Republicans can only say no at this point. They’ve somehow regressed into the mind of a two year old.
Mind you, the commission itself is not the cause of death. There are dozens of plausible reasons for not participating. Often, these things become more political than useful. The death officially came when the RNC declared that January 6th was legitimate political discourse.
This is not one of those play on words. I’ve heard these before on the other side. I’ve had people tell me the Democrats are dead in terms of electoral politics. They said this back in the Bush administration. Ironically, Bush have been the only Republican politicians to win a popular vote in the presidential elections since 1988.
Yet, this isn’t some dramatic postmortem that will turn out the other way. Conservatism is not dead. It is alive and well. Patriotism certainly isn’t dead. There are still more than enough people that love their country. The zombie version of the party has managed to rig enough elections to send the undead in the halls of Congress for generations to come. The bodies will be there, but something will definitely be lacking.
Cities perform autopsies when the cause of death is undetermined or material to a criminal case. Countries should do the same when one of the major political parties dies. We should pour over all of the relevant information to determine if a homicide has occurred. It would either be a homicide or a suicide depending on your point of view.
The outlook on that largely depends on whether you believe the forces that took over the party were ever conservative in the first place. They said they were. They still insist they are. Yet, all of the available evidence suggests that they have abandoned every principle they held dear. That is ultimately the cause of death. It was essentially self immolation.
Believing things that are plainly untrue is a sign of mental illness or denial on a galactic level. When you force fealty to that delusion you cease to be a party. You become a cult. The Republican party isn’t a democratic party anymore. It’s a death cult dedicated to the rule of one man minus the law. Democracies don’t die in a blaze of glory. They atrophy when people honor the man over the mission.