From TPM Reader PH …
If you would like to see how the future will look at this present, I would recommend David Halberstam’s last book, The Coldest Winter. Although the centerpiece is the Korean War, the real story is the politics in the US (and China and Soviet Union) that made the war possible. Particularly striking — and nauseating — is how the American Right became unhinged after Roosevelt died and WWII ended, and how closely that derangement matches what has happened in the last two years. Republicans had no policies to advocate that the American public would embrace, so they embarked on what became McCarthyism long before McCarthy came on the scene. It’s virtually the only contribution conservatives have made to American politics in the last 65 years.
There are several points I don’t agree with in PH’s email. But I think he is on to something in the mix of general absence of a Republican policy agenda and the hard toward xenophobia as a way to galvanize core supporters.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.