Salon's Heather Digby Parton on the rise of a 'demagogue' and the fall of 'conservatism' after the GOP's 'dystopian hellscape convention'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2016, 4:45pm PT  

On today's BradCast, it's our Republican National Convention wrap up following Donald Trump's dark and dishonest acceptance speech at the end of a chaotic week for the GOP in Cleveland.

Salon's Heather Digby Parton --- who was with us on Day 1 of Trump's candidacy last year, when we largely predicted what has now happened (while most everyone else saw it as a joke) --- joins us to try and make sense of where things are now for the nation, for the nominee and for the future of the Republican Party's 'conservative movement', which she sees in its final death throes.

"This has been a sick and unhealthy party for a very long time," Parton (better known as just "Digby" of the Hullabaloo Blog ) tells me. "It finally succumbed to the illness. And the reason is not not because of bad leadership or they had terrible choices for President. It's really their ideology that they adopted --- starting back with Goldwater, reaching its zenith with Reagan --- [on which] this conservative movement was built. They called it 'the 3-legged stool'. There was social conservatism/family values, small government/free markets, and a strong national defense. All three of those collapsed within the last 15 years. They failed in spectacular fashion."

As I argue in turn today, as we dissect Trump's fear-mongering speech, his movement, the media coverage and everything else from the week in Cleveland, I am not quite as confident about the collapse of the Republican Party, whose imminent death, to paraphrase Twain, may still be greatly exaggerated. That, particularly given the continuing disservice to the electorate and the nation performed by our dreadful "both sides do it" corporate media, which, after decades, are still misleading and misinforming the country about the candidates, the parties, the facts and the dysfunctional state of American politics.

"The Republican Party isn't dead," she counters. "There will always be opposition. But the form that we're familiar with isn't operative any longer. I don't think it's ideological anymore at all. What's left is Trumpism. That's nationalism, xenophobia, nativism, and authoritarianism."

Okay. But mightn't that be enough to win another Presidential election given a dynamic, if sociopathic, TV-friendly GOP candidate, a not-terribly popular Democratic candidate, a misinformed electorate, and a divided nation? All of those questions asked, answered and debated on today's BradCast, including some listener e-mail and a few other odds, ends and thoughts on what Digby describes as this past week's "dystopian hellscape convention"...


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