It really ended when Mitch McConnell refused to enable a Senate scrutiny of an Obama Supreme Court nominee. He blocked any hearings and stonewalled filling the vacancy until President Obama finished his term with the full consent of the Republican majority in the Senate. This was an extreme abuse of power and an authoritarian act from the office of the Senate Majority leader. He stifled any participation in Democracy by the minority Party. This was profoundly undemocratic.
But McConnell is and was not the only player in ending our great American experiment. The entirety of the Republican elected officialdom and Republican voters at all levels of government throughout America, by conscious policy conspired to restrict the rights of Americans to participate in their democracy. This was the cruel and very intentional goal of the Republican party for decades.
How you ask? First, by blatant gerrymandering of districts County commission seats, State legislative seats and Federal congressional seats. This was an outright reaction to Democratic Party efforts to create seats providing representation in government for minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics. This was nothing more than a continuation of restrictions on electoral participation following the Reconstruction era enabling such participation for only a brief period.
It followed by a systematic Republican Party policy of restricting voting rights of economically downscale Americans and minority Americans. How? Manipulation of voter registration rolls, creation of highly restrictive and difficult voter ID requirements, harassment at polling sites and removal of voting rights for convicted felons at the beginning of the war of drugs, mainly targeting minorities for incarceration.
Policies of restricting voting rights to only property owners and people of higher economic means has long been a practice of racists and elitists , but the modern Republican party in the post voting rights era has taken voting discrimination to a whole new level of outrageous policies. Voter suppression is at the core of Republican policy at all levels of governance.
Yet another conservative Republican policy has emerged in the past 25 years or so. That is the policy of the antidemocratic supremacy of the executive branch of government at both State and Federal levels. And, when Democrats win Executive offices, a converse policy of limiting and restricting executive powers is cleverly employed. This is a blatant desecration of the core Constitutional protection of democracy through the doctrine of equal, counter-balancing powers of the three branches of government.
Additionally, Republicans have advocated the power of money as speech. Thus our current bleak funding of campaigns with minimal transparency of the sources of such funding and the near unlimited power of wealth in guiding the outcome of elections.
Remember, historically, it is a core conservative dogma of anti-democratic ideology to favor powers of Kings since the founders began debating how to form a new democratic Republic. Thus the modern doctrine that our Federal Executive is immune to the rule of law in their conduct of office.
This brings us to the impending impeachment of President Trump. Mitch McConnell has publicly announced that as the Leader of the impeachment process in the Senate, functioning as a Jury under the Chief Justice, he is closely coordinating his Jury majority with the legal team of the President. This is a blatant abrogation of his duty and oath to provide for a fair and impartial process. He has openly declared his partiality.
It remains to be seen if this act will be challenged as unconstitutional . Further, it is clear that the Republicans McConnell leads are in full support of his authoritarian administration of this rarely exercised impeachment process.
Republicans have simply abandoned any pretext of democratic governance in order to maintain their majority, despite all the data suggesting that the overwhelming majority of Americans favor Democratic Party values and policies. This is a blatant initiative to maintain white rule in a nation whose demographics are quickly leading to the reality of their having to share power with people of non-white ethnicity if we are to maintain a democratic Republic.
How any thinking person of with any sense of goodwill toward their fellow citizens cannot see this history of suppression of non-white voters defies a rational understanding of the racist and elitist intent of the rank and file as well as leadership of the Republican Party. They have adopted a conscious policy of authoritarian Fascism.