I heard a heck of a fascinating interview on FreshAir this evening. To see it all laid out like that by Peters was a trip, I remember these characters and witnessing the steps to the GOP descent into hostility and class war mentality. It’s like we don’t even have a right to exist according to their rabid mentality. If you’re curious about the deeper background to what we are witnessing within the Republican drift to totalitarianism.
New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters says the religious right and social conservatives “got basically everything that they wanted” from Trump’s presidency. We also talk about how Sarah Palin pushed the Republican Party to the right. Peters’ new book is Insurgency .
The Trump era in American politics can feel uniquely disruptive, but Peters highlights earlier episodes that, put together, leave Trump looking like an inevitable outcome rather than an unlikely outlier. Palin’s selection for the Republican Party’s 2008 vice-presidential nomination was the “tip of the spear” for the emergence of voters obsessed with cultural resentments rather than the moral and economic issues that had supposedly animated the party.
At the time, Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, a recurring character of Peters’s, catalogued these voters as “Dennis Miller Republicans,” after the comedian and television personality, an early trigger-the-libber whom Peters calls the “ultimate aggrieved white alpha male.”
Years later, Fabrizio would serve as Trump’s 2016 pollster, and just weeks after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol he pinpointed a new demographic of party faithful — “the 'Infowars’ Republicans,” those who believe in at least four of the baseless theories spread by QAnon.
By his survey, such Republicans account for 10 percent of the GOP electorate. The journey from Dennis Miller Republicans to Infowars Republicans is, to a significant degree, the story of Peters’s book.
A kinder gentler perspective.