This morning, Dinesh D’Souza, whose intellect is significant if not quite sufficient to penetrate his partisanry, talks about “Section 230,” the fabled protection of “common carriers” against liability for what’s said over them:
D’Souza’s comments irritated me for the reason expressed in the title of this piece. Specifically, he noted that when the Republicans had the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress, they did nothing about Section 230. Oh, they passed a few comments about it, but actual legislative action? Naah. Too much like work!
That was the story of the Trump years generally. It’s why so much of what Trump achieved is crumbling: he did nearly all of it through executive orders, and what one executive orders, the next can disorder. He got nearly no legislative support from “his” party.
Come on, Gentle Reader! You know the answer. It’s the two endlessly interconvertible assets of American politics:
It is in the nature of the power-seeker to want as much power as he can amass. The ambiguity of Section 230 makes it possible to harness Big Tech for political purposes, just as the Democrats are currently doing. Moreover, there’s gold in them thar hills: campaign contributions, free publicity, favors and deals for family members, and other goodies. Establishment Republicans are as avid for those bennies as any Democrat. They just haven’t figured out how to act “above it all:” i.e., how to get the swag without being seen to do so, which would spoil their claim to being a genuine alternative to the Democrats.
In contrast, the Democrats, whose corruption and totalitarian inclinations have been blatantly on display since the beginning of the Clinton Administration, are willing to be seen with their fingers in the cookie jar. They believe they can cement themselves into permanent power, such that public opinion will cease to matter even as much as it does today. The Deep State and Big Tech are already in their camp, which gives them confidence that their aims are within reach.
Draw the moral!
Each party is “on its own side.” The Democrats are willing to accommodate the Republican Establishment, to maintain the fiction of two opposed parties with contrasting philosophies and agendas. The GOP is willing to cooperate. When it’s in the majority, it tacitly accepts Democrat legislative gains, so that when it’s in the minority, the Democrats will allow it “a piece of the pie.” There is no practical difference between them, as is evidenced by the Republicans’ inaction when in power.
Did you really think there was a sound Constitutional reason the supposedly conservative majority on the Supreme Court casually dismissed all those well-founded challenges to the 2020 elections?
Americans must cease to hope for salvation from partisan alignment and electoral politics. There are no longer two major parties, despite appearances and the maintenance of two separate conventions. There is only one. George Orwell has already named it, and it needs no other:
That is the enemy. That is what we must defeat. And there is only one way to do so. For the answer, ponder the “Off the Mishnory Road” essays:
And put not your trust in princes.