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Republican Leadership whines “Look what you made us do!”

I just listened to Martha Radditz tearing into former Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, about Democrats funding ads for the MAGA extremists running in the primaries this year. I’ve actually seen the ad that Shapiro ran for Doug Mastriano prior to the primary in PA and it’s not like he was saying “vote for Doug!”. It was more of a recitation of all of Doug’s extremist positions on abortion, elections etc.

Republican voters apparently liked that stuff because Mastriano won the primary. It was close but he still won. All Shapiro did was state the obvious. He didn’t push Republicans into the voting locations and bribe them with fabulous riches to vote for an extremist.

Now Larry Hogan is whining that it is the bad, evil Democrats who are nominating all the poor quality candidates that Mitch McConnell is complaining about. But this is what they have failed to stop since 2015. Trumpism has taken over their party and they were complacent about doing anything about it when it was working for them.

You get what you vote for. This is what Bottoms should have pointed out. What Republicans needed last spring was leadership, not McConnell and Hogan cowering in fear, hoping against hope that moderates would prevail. MAGA candidates are nominees because the voters were not warned about the danger they posed anf because Republicans themselves turned on their own mainstream conservative candidates.

Remember, it was Matt Gaetz who went to Wyoming to campaign against Liz Cheney. Did anyone try to stop him? Did McCarthy help his mainstream conservatives when he pulled out of the January 6 committee agreements? Did he help any of the members of his caucus who voted for impeachment or did he cower in fear of the MAGA right? Did McConnell praise the Senators who voted for impeachment? Has he publicly condemned the actions of Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson and others who participated in January 6?

In the past year and nine months, has anyone in Republican leadership seriously challenged the dangerous and aggressive demands of a noisy minority?

We all know the answer to this. They normalized it.

Republican voters are not stupid. But they are extremely lazy thinkers. Just like any part of your body, if you don’t exercise your mind, then it becomes harder and harder to do the work expected of it. It’s so much easier to latch on to slogans and quick hits of rage like they are diet pills. And before you know it, you no longer remember what it was like to think on your own.

Hannah Arendt, a philosopher who recognized the importance of exercising language as a key to developing a conscience said:

“Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.”

Republicans have failed to make their voters engage in thought. That is why they are plagued with a surfeit of MAGA extremists. They encouraged emptiness. Without the rage and miracle cures that their media landscape promises them, there is nothing there. And no Republican in leadership has stepped up to fill that emptiness with an alternative.

Martha Radditz is indulging in her own lazy thinking when she holds Democrats responsible for telling the truth and sounding the alarm bell while leaving Republican leadership off the hook for their encouragement of banality.