30 Years of Moral Decay: A Short History of the Republican Party

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

As a sort of PS to my post yesterday about the decay that’s overtaken the Republican Party, I’d like to make clear just how long this has been brewing. I know this is hardly news to anyone who reads this blog, but as I approach my 60th birthday I can say that half my life has now been marked by Rush Limbaugh, the Drudge Report, Newt Gingrich, the Vince Foster suicide, Whitewater, the Rose law firm, Filegate, the Christmas card list scandal, Fox News, Monica Lewinsky, impeachment, the Florida recount, Swift boating, the GOP’s partywide effort to suppress black votes via photo ID laws, birtherism, the unanimous Republican rejection of the 2009 stimulus, Benghazi, Emailgate, Merrick Garland, and now the endless haze of racism, bigotry, and corruption surrounding Donald Trump.

This is very much a non-exhaustive list. But every one of these things is either a baseless “scandal,” an example of ethical rot, or part of a deliberate media effort to lie and mislead. These are the highlights of the Republican Party over the past three decades. No political party with a rap sheet like this deserves to be walking around free.

GOPus delendus est.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend