David Roberts @drvox Seattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for vox.com/ about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove. Not a doctor. Jun. 27, 2019 2 min read

1. All right, before I log off this hellsite to do some Real Work, a quick final thread on one episode from last night's debate. Both Maddow & Todd asked the candidates, basically, "what are you going to do about Mitch McConnell?" Let's ponder that a bit.

2. The question, rephrased, is effectively, "we know McConnell will use every conceivable bit of procedural fuckery to block you. He'll filibuster every bill, deny any cooperation, refuse to vote on nominees, literally anything he can think of. What will you do about it?"

3. But just think for a moment about the premise involved. The idea that McConnell will ratfuck anything & anyone, no matter the principle or norm involved, to maintain minority white rule -- that he will behave like a sociopath -- is just ... taken for granted.

4. It's as though the moderators were asking about a mountain range, or a desert, some challenging but fixed & immutable feature of the natural landscape. McConnell's sociopathic behavior just is. It's just there. It's for Democrats to deal with it.

5. This is how elite US media has treated escalating GOP lawlessness, radicalism, and destruction of norms, going all the way back to Reagan. Rs don't *care* about democratic norms, so they can't be held accountable for violating them. It's just what they do. It just is.

6. So Dems are treated as the only people with agency, with choices. They are asked, "how will you deal with Republican norm-fucking?" and then criticized when their responses are ineffective. Republicans will just lie ("death panels," etc.). It's for Dems to act, to respond.

7. I've seen a half-dozen stories in the last few months that amount to, "Donald Trump's reelection strategy will be to lie about everything & insult his opponents. How will Dems deal?" Not a single one raises the question of whether Trump *ought* to campaign that way.

8. Dems are the only ones who pay fealty to transpartisan norms. They are rewarded for it by being the only ones held accountable to them. Rs have been systematically degrading democracy for decades now and are never, ever held to account for it.

9. So that's how you end up with questions like last night's. "In office, you will face an opposition leader who doesn't give a F about democracy & will do everything in his power to make you fail at everything. What's yer plan?"

10. The honest answer is that there's NO good way to deal with a revanchist, ethnonationalist minority party that is willing to ruthlessly break rules & abandon norms to hang on to power. It's a shitty situation! But if you don't like the situation ...

11. ... the people to press about it are *the people responsible*, not the people struggling fitfully & fecklessly to deal with it. It is not Dems' responsibility to figure out how to keep things running while resentful GOP teens throw tantrums & break things.

12. Republicans are adults, making free choices. They could behave otherwise. McConnell could behave otherwise. He has chosen this course, chosen to break US government, and HE should answer for it. For f'ing once, media, Hold. Republicans. Accountable. </fin>


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