After all, wasn’t it the strength of the Republican party that helped give us Trump?
No. Kind of surprised anyone would view the morass of candidates the GOP have thrown up over the last two cycles and judge the condition of the GOP as anything other than chaotic.
Trump arose from a weakness in the party, a party which is unable to decide if it should be a small government (Rand Paul) or large government party (George Bush), a federalist (Tea Party) or central government party (Mitch McConnell), a socially conservative (Sarah Palin) or who-cares-about-social-issues party (John McCain), or a Hayakian (Paul Ryan) or Keynesian (Mitt Romney) party. It’s a fracking mess.
The least weak position when a party is in such turmoil will be the populists.
A Republican party that has spent decades calculating, stoking white supremacy and economic anxieties
using any means at their disposal .... elected to fight for.
You're confusing the power a party has AFTER it's been elected to a majority with the power a candidates platform has BEFORE being elected.
Pelosi is no great insightful leader, but she sees the obvious difference here. You don't.
I don’t think it can be stressed enough just how bizarre it is for one of the most powerful leaders of the theoretical “opposition” to be lamenting the lack of strength of a party as right wing, authoritarian, and cancerous as the Republican party.
It's not bizarre in the least. To wit:
First off, Pelosi has been around long enough to understand the ebbs and flows of political power. She knows that no party remains the more popular forever, and she also knows that events which may make it look like one party will be in power eternally (Watergate, Trump) don't even last a decade in their influence. Usually only 2–6 years.
Secondly, and more importantly, Pelosi knows that one-party rule doesn’t end well for the majority party. There needs to be a healthy exchange of ideas, along with disagreements, in order for a representative democracy to function. The fact that some of the operatives on one "side" (that would be you, for example) see the other party as bereft of value is irrelevant and inconsequential; the more important point is that a country where half the populace feels unrepresented becomes ungovernable. So, the Dems NEED a strong GOP party, such that existed in the 90's, where GOP leaders were congealed around a common positive purpose, to represent the half of America which she (nor Biden) CANNOT represent.
We watched people with flexi cuffs and confederate flags roaming the halls of the Capitol looking for lawmakers, compelled to go on the former President’s orders, and we’re supposed to wish the Republican party was stronger?
Yes. Because that was not a sign of strength, but weakness. The POTUS had lost an election, his supporters were disenfranchised and lied to simultaneously.
How can we listen to Nancy Pelosi without getting the sense that in the eyes of the political establishment across partisan lines, electoral politics is nothing more than a game?
Of course it's a game. :-)
We need actual opposition. Actual opposition that is going to do everything they can — both with the media and through the implementation of popular policy — to make the GOP obsolete.
Channel your inner dictator elsewhere, please. Authoritarianism is a losing proposition.