Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today In Plus Ca Change

Plus C'est La Même Chose

This is now apparently an insightful revelation:

Even if it lost just 10% of its current level of support, it would be doomed to near-permanent minority status. 
It’s true that Republicans nominated some weak candidates in 2010 and 2012 and lost races that could have been won, but the harm done to the Republican “brand” predated those elections by many years and had nothing to do with the Palins and Cruzes. Republicans in 2008 were doomed by the Iraq war, the financial crisis, the extraordinary unpopularity of Bush, and a bad nominee of such poor judgment that he thought Palin was an acceptable running mate. For all the mistakes that Tea Partiers have made in the last few years, they weren’t the ones that drove the party into the ditch. Indeed, much of the party’s current toxicity with the public is the legacy of the last era of united Republican government. The Bush era was the political disaster from which Republicans have been recovering. Cruz isn’t helping to get the party out of the deep hole where the Bush administration put it, but driving his supporters out of the party would be even more politically self-destructive than the tactics that Cruz has been employing this year.
The GOP Can't Survive Without the Tea Party

BY NATE COHN @nate_cohn

Apparently, it’s become fashionable to wonder whether fissures in the GOP might eventually grow into a schism, with tea party candidates mounting independent challenges to the GOP in the 2014 elections. Last night, David Frum went a step farther, writing that a tea party exodus might actually help Republicans by freeing them of Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, allowing the GOP to slide back to the political center. It's a centrist fantasy.

If Republicans think they have a pathway to victory without the tea party, they’re sorely mistaken. The tea party is not some small, fringe element of the Republican coalition. It's not the Buchanan 2000 vote, or something. The tea party is the Republican Party, at least as much as any single constituency can claim, with the possible and overlapping exception of Evangelicals.

According to a July Pew Research survey, Tea Party Republicans make up nearly half (49 percent) of the Republican primary electorate and fully 37 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners.  So long as Democrats remain modestly unified, it is not conceivable that Republicans could compensate for the loss of anything near 37 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners with gains among moderates and independents. Once a Republican realized there aren’t enough opportunities to win without the tea party, the centrist fantasy would come to an end. Republicans would immediately tack back to their right, in an effort to consolidate the Republican coalition.
All brought to you courtesy of Andrew Sullivan.


Let us pause for a moment to remember that way back in, say, 2006 when only a handful of Dirty Fucking Hippies were standing in the middle of America's dark and hostile political wilderness futilely shouting exactly this assessment of Conservatism, sentiments like these were considered to be the absolute ne plus ultra in America-hating, surrender-money treason.

I know.

I wrote a lot of it.

And man, the shit we took...
... The GOP has been a party of almost unalloyed, aggressively ends-endlessly-justifying-the-means cozenage, blissfully unaware of their steep downward spiral because in the Republican Party consulting an ethical altimeter is considered disloyalty bordering on sedition.

They have been a Party that has courted and cultivated lies of every vintage and sown every seed of division it could lay its paws on. They have built a Mighty Hate Machine and, laughing all the way, bulldozed it to power over the broken bodies of those who are still damnedfool enough to pretend that you can compromise with beasts drunk on blood and power.

Note this if you note nothing else: while the “flames” were all coming from Right, while the Left continues to play by the Marquess of Queensberry, you never heard a fucking peep out of slouches like Brooks: It is only when the Left begins to counterfire – and do it effectively, targeting those who have been pouring poison into the well of public discourse year after year – that Bobo suddenly becomes hysterically concerned about the partisanship “on both sides” and then, with great, fake reluctance, pulls an imaginary 3rd party out his rectum and Pronounces It Good.

The day that the GOP stops kicking gays in the teeth, recruiting klansmen, demonizing muslims, lionizing monsters who blame 9/11 of feminists and the ACLU and calling people like me traitor for opposing my government...that’s the day I will be happy to beat my pronouns into plowshares and talk peace and compromise.

But of course, they can’t let the crazies go. First and foremost -- as Barry Goldwater prophetically warned -- because the crazies now run their fucking party, from crotch to crown. The gargoyles have taken the cathedral, and Falwell and Dobson sits upon the Throne, while the Hagels and the Grahams are now the “fringe”.

And second, if they ever did kick the freaks out, they wouldn't win another election. Ever. Anywhere. Seriously. As I've said before, without their Christopath Legions and assorted other reprogrammable golem shock troops, the GOP would be the Constitution Law Party, squatting impotently in the swamps of Mississippi, muttering angrily about Negroes...

In a genuinely open debate over these matters our "Pretend Real Liberals Do Not Exist" media prime directive would immediately run smack into the vexing problem of how one goes about mainstreaming one original Liberal critique of Conservatism after another while at the same time making sure no one pipes up at the wrong moment and asks, "Hey, doesn't this mean that Liberals were right about the Right all along?"  

Which is why we are not going to have a genuinely open debate over these matters.


Kathleen said...

Unfortunately if you're not in "The Club" your use of facts and opinion based on empiric evicence matters not. I highly recommend "This Town". It's one thing to "know" the game of the political/media axis of evil through observation but seeing it laid out so matter of factly with details has hit me on another level. There has to be a way to end this madness, which has contributed directly to the fake crisis engineered by the Tea Party
Zombies and enabled by Tan Man. I just don't know what it is.

Jack said...

I'm seriously starting to get scared of this shutdown. I work for a Fortune 50 company that is now bracing for the impact of the default. A note went out to the whole company last Friday informing the company that "due to the economic forecast," a large number of projects are being cancelled, employees must stop working overtime and travel, new hires are on hold, and it may be necessary to eliminate jobs if the company is to remain on track for its 2014 goals. I haven't seen this much anxiety-bordering-on-panic since the summer of 2008.

The next 2.5 months are going to be hell.

Jack said...

To be clear, by "going to be hell" what I mean is constant, non-stop anxiety about losing our jobs from now through Christmas, and beyond until this whole mess is sorted out. Our boss gave us The Talk on Monday morning that he may have to eliminate some members of our team, "but try not to think about it, just stay focused on your work, there's nothing you can do about it one way or the other."

The weird thing is that I live in a company town. The gigantic international corporation I work for hand-picked our district's Congressional Representative. Said Congressman is a powerful member of the US House leadership. He's not a teabagger, but he's marching in lockstep with them.

I cannot imagine that the company that picked him and got him elected is happy with the path he and his pals in Congress have put the nation on. But maybe they think it's worth it if they can destroy entitlements, Obamacare, the Democrats, and Obama himself.

These are truly scary times. I always imagined that the right's rebellion would come in the form of terrorism and murder (like Timothy McVeigh). It did not occur to me that they would crash the system from inside.

I remember there was some debate as recently as a few weeks ago about whether it was a "straw man" for driftglass to say that the extremists want to "crash the system."

We're totally past the point that anyone can doubt that, now, aren't we?

That's a link to Tom Coburn saying he wants to create a managed catastrophe -- sort of like you might stab someone in the chest so they can breath if their throat is blocked -- because the alternative to crashing the system will be even worse.

A few hours ago I saw a 'bagger on MSNBC saying the same thing: Obamacare will be so destructive that it would be better to crash the whole system than to let it go forward.

A couple of days ago, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) "suggested the House should reject an unfavorable agreement from the Senate, even if it resulted in a debt default that severely damaged the economy. 'We have to make a decision that’s right long-term for the United States, and what may be distasteful, unpleasant and not appropriate in the short run may be something that has to be done.'"

He went on to compare the actions of the House Republicans to the American Revolution: "I will remind you that this group of renegades that decided that they wanted to break from the crown in 1776 did great damage to the economy of the colonies,” Griffith said. “They created the greatest nation and the best form of government, but they did damage to the economy in the short run."

Kathleen said...

Jack: There was never any doubt in my mind that they want to destroy the system. I've felt that way for many years.