In the 19th century, hunters put the passenger pigeon on the road to extinction, and here in the 21st century, zealous supporters of President Trump may have done much the same to honorable conservatives, suggested Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall on Sunday.
Marshall noted that some wonder "whether there may be some points of principle" common to right-wingers and left-wingers, but he thinks that right now, there aren't: "There may be a principled right that respects…foundational republican and democratic principles above more momentary ideological concerns. But they don’t exist in our current politics."
What exist in abundance, argued Marshall, are "hard right" types like the members of the House Freedom Caucus. Two of them, caucus chairman Mark Meadows and former chairman Jim Jordan, recently urged Jeff Sessions, in Marshall's words, "to step down as Attorney General because he hasn’t sufficiently defended Donald Trump or protected him from investigations into his Russia ties…This is of a piece with all their public statements on the Trump Russia probe: not just reflexive of President Trump but consistent attacks on judicial independence and the most basic elements of the rule of law."
"Partisanship compromises everyone to some degree," Marshall conceded, but the likes of Meadows and Jordan have been "the most consistent force backing all the President’s moves that push in the direction of authoritarian government."
Marshall continued: "In the event, this right -- which is the only meaningful American right today -- is consistently authoritarian and hostile to any checks on a rightwing President. It’s that simple. It’s not even really hypocrisy. It’s showing the true nature of what it is, which is authoritarian and anti-democratic."