Shoot-Out with a Wild-Eyed Moderate

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Pay for the tax cuts to corporations and to the one-per-cent wealthy, and cut my benefits that I paid into the system for out of my wages?

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You are inhumane, other than being a fucking idiot. At the ballpark, a gunman opened fire from behind the third-base dugout, critically wounding the Majority Whip, Representative Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, and several others. The shooter, who was killed by police officers, was a Bernie Sanders supporter who had become enraged with Trump and wanted to target Republican politicians. If Costello had made the practice, he would have been standing in the line of fire, at shortstop.

The incident shook him deeply. He had long ago stopped seeing politics as a Rockwell painting, but now the anger and the violence seemed inescapable—even on a baseball diamond. But what you hear and what you get is just ugliness toward you. There was a limit to what Costello would say—or even think.

He never implicated his own party in this corruption, either as passive supporters or as active participants. He insisted on viewing Trump as a short-term tactical problem. If the Democrats swung too far to the left, driving suburban voters back to moderate Republicans like him, the Party could return to its center-right traditions and leave behind the freak show of the Trump Presidency. He never talked about the judgment of history. This willfully narrow perspective made him typical of Republican politicians.

Mitch McConnell says nothing and accumulates power with his cobra stare. Ted Cruz veers from insulting Trump to hugging him. Bob Corker makes statesmanlike speeches on the Senate floor—David against President Goliath—and then votes against his principles. I asked Costello whether the House leadership strong-armed members into voting with the President. The President, ill-informed and unengaged, paid little attention when Costello talked about the danger that the bill posed to essential health benefits.

This is an important vote. He received complaints from large donors, and other members of Energy and Commerce were upset with him, but no leaders threatened or punished him. He was given a pass—with the understanding that few passes were allowed. Dent, who would have faced a difficult campaign this year, retired in May, during his seventh term. These days, the Republican leadership has to placate the three dozen members of the far-right Freedom Caucus, who vote as a bloc and are perpetually spoiling to overthrow the Speaker if he deviates from a highly partisan orthodoxy.

During the government shutdown in the fall of , Dent begged John Boehner , then the Speaker of the House, to allow a vote on whether to end the shutdown, which was hurting Dent in his district. The Tuesday Group is about the same size as the Freedom Caucus, but it is far less cohesive, which allows the Republican leadership to isolate each of its members. Some might be more pro-environment, some are more pro-labor.

Voting discipline, once imposed by whips and committee chairmen, is now enforced by the most extreme conservatives in the House, and by the activist base and the right-wing media, which can intimidate members of Congress with primary challenges and orchestrated attacks. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. This atmosphere contributed to the early retirement of not only Flake but also Bob Corker and a host of House members. He had a point—but there are other ways to hold Trump accountable.

Synonyms and antonyms of wild-eyed in the English dictionary of synonyms

No Republican in Congress has moved to censure the President, or subpoena his tax returns, or investigate his conflicts of interest. A lone member of the House has little power, but in the Senate, which is almost evenly divided between the parties, the opposite is true. Norman Ornstein, the political scientist and congressional analyst, pointed out that individuals like Flake, Corker, Susan Collins , and Lisa Murkowski hold immense clout.

I am not fit for office! I am not fit for any place of honor or trust!

Expel me, not that boy! Costello refused to quote Republican colleagues by name to me, or to say a bad word about any of them. Although he was appalled by right-wing attacks on the intelligence agencies and on the Mueller investigation, when I asked him about the chief conspiracy-monger— Devin Nunes , the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has lobbed wild accusations about an F. A long time ago, there was a certain honor in taking a tough stand against your party. In the late seventies, when Senator Howard Baker, the Republican Minority Leader, supported the Panama Canal treaty and thereby doomed his Presidential hopes for , even his bitterest opponents respected him.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was admired as a figure of intellectual integrity even though he defied Democratic orthodoxy by treating the rise of single parenthood in black families as a social ill. Only a handful of congressional Republicans have dared to go as far as Costello has in criticizing Trump. Politicians operating under the constraints of ambition and ideology have limited room to take on their own party, short of committing some ritual act of career suicide.

No group has been more scathing about Trump and the Republican Party than the conservative columnists known as Never Trumpers. They write with the fury of the betrayed and with a clarity that goes beyond issue debates to the heart of the matter: the corruption of democracy. Many of them have called for a crushing Republican defeat in the midterms as the beginning of any path back to decency.

He could have kept a distance. Will despises Trump and his Republican enablers for not being truly conservative—for exploding deficits, imposing tariffs, and betraying the separation of powers. As a mandarin, he was appalled when Trump declared that judges sign bills. This past June, Will wrote a column calling for the defeat of congressional Republicans in November.

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Will takes an Olympian view of contemporary politics. From his remove, the issues that roil Americans today—immigration, abortion, police brutality, global warming—appear to be minor disputes whipped up by citizens addicted to a state of chronic political unhappiness. He believes that there is an inverse relation between intensity and substance. Politics was dangerous. They have differences about how the government should be involved in health care.

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If you take a few steps toward ground level, the Republic starts to look a lot scarier. Thune and Klobuchar may have a technocratic disagreement over Obamacare, but the President is an ally of racists and authoritarians and thugs. I asked Will why the Republican Party had descended into a hateful form of populism. The right has long considered itself a movement of ideas rather than of special interests, with its own thinkers and media figures, and for most of my adult life conservative leaders have dominated politics and business, where real power lies.

Many of these people are now fellow-travellers of Trump. An evangelical who has worked for many years in the vineyards of Washington conservatism, he watched in dismay as other conservative Christians took Trump as a hero. Politicians always end up demanding something—a compromise of principle, a blessing of expediency or a pardon for wrong. Access and privilege in politics are not free. The point is demonstrated when a pastor praises a president during the same week that thousands of detained migrant children are moved, under cover of night, to a remote detention facility.

Like Costello, he describes its descent as a recent phenomenon that could soon be reversed. I wondered if the Party could truly be healed by outpatient laser surgery rather than by amputation. Flake sees the collapse in terms of failures of character on the part of Republican leaders: in the nineties, Gingrich brought the politics of total war to Washington, while Tom DeLay, of Texas, infected the Party with partisan corruption. Flake wants to rescue conservatism from Trumpism and purify it.

Shoot-Out with a Wild-Eyed Moderate: Riding Herd on the Bible, Rust, and Sun Belts and the Beltway

Apocalyptic thinking, conspiracy theories, and bigotry haunted the movement from the start. The right came to political power under Richard Nixon and Reagan in part by using coded language to appeal to white prejudices. As President, Reagan subdued his own extremism, but, no matter how Republicans governed, every four years they found new ways—from the Southern strategy to welfare queens to Willie Horton—to divide the right kind of Americans from the wrong kind. When Reagan left office and the Cold War ended, conservatism lost its best spokesman and its organizing principle.

They pushed conspiracy theories into the mainstream. They kept raising the bar of viciousness. As Republican moderates disappeared, the Party moved farther rightward and farther downward. Its attacks on institutions nourished violent resentments. Its electoral strategy relied on increasingly open bigotry. The agenda of power at any price gave conservatism a cynical, even nihilistic strain—Goldwater and Reagan were honest zealots by comparison—but the essential ingredients had been there all along. Even those who were not guilty of these sins too often ignored them in the name of unity on the right.

These are aberrant beholders, of which there are numerous different types. Beholders are especially prominent in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting , where they infiltrate and seek to control many sectors of society—many beholders are allied to the Zhentarim , some work with the Red Wizards of Thay , and a particularly powerful beholder, known as "The Evil Eye" or "The Xanathar" controls Skullport 's influential Thieves Guild.

Beholders also compete to control the Underdark from where most of them originate, with their base of power in the City of the Eye Tyrants, Ootul. Known for shooting beams from their medusa-like eye tentacles and petrifying would-be adventurers. According to Ken Rolston , the beholder and the mind flayer "win starring roles as intergalactic menaces" in Spelljammer, and notes that the beholders, "with their abundant magical powers, are perhaps the most formidable warrior race of the universe, but fortunately they are too busy slaughtering one another to present a big threat to other spacefaring races".

Beholders in the Spelljammer campaign are common antagonists, like the deadly neogi and sadistic illithids. However, one thing prevents them from being the most dangerous faction in wildspace: the beholders are engaged in a xenophobic civil war of genetic purity. There are a large number of variations in the beholder race with some sub-races having smooth hides and others chitinous plates.

Other noticeable differences include snakelike eyestalks or crustacean like eyestalk joints. Some variations seem minor such as variations in the size of the central eye or differences in skin colour. Each beholder nation believes itself to be the true beholder race and sees other beholders as ugly copies that must be destroyed. Lone beholders in wildspace are often refugees who have survived an attack that exterminated the rest of their nest or are outcasts who were expelled for having some form of mutation. The most famous lone beholder is Large Luigi, who works as a barkeeper on the Rock of Bral.

Beholders use a large number of different ship designs.

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