Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Dec. 02, 2019 1 min read

Remember, as we head toward an impeachment trial, that the GOP has spent 50 years *rewarding* its scoundrels. Bork. Liddy. North. Harris. Blackwell. The list goes on and on. So GOP senators and Trump co-conspirators have every reason to believe their cowardice will be *honored*.

That is, when a high-profile Republican takes actions to destroy the federal government, undermine U.S. foreign policy, degrade the integrity of our elections, or spit in the eye of U.S. rule of law, the party establishment *celebrates* it—offers the scoundrel money, power, fame.

There are men—per usual, old, white, rich men—atop the Republican Party who can exhibit honor and patriotism now: Graham. McConnell. Johnson. Giuliani. Bolton. Mulvaney. But they won't. They won't because lying for the GOP brings with it a future gig on FNC and a major book deal.

The ethos of the GOP power structure since the 70s has been to seek the destruction of the *federal* government. GOP hero Grover Norquist: "I don't want to abolish government, I just want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

When Americans lose confidence in the federal government to do anything useful, right, or competent, they begin a drift—politically—to the right. Thus, the GOP gains power whether its politicians destroy the federal government *or* fail to do so in spectacularly *public* fashion.

The more contempt Trump and his minions show for the federal government, rule of law, our democratic institutions, national elections, and all else that makes this nation a *nation*, the more they're considered *heroes* by the Republican Party's key players. *Remember that*. /end

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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