Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The GOP's Coming Wildreness Years

One would think that losing the White House, suffering losses in the U.S. Senate and holding on to the House with a diminished majority solely because of the shameless gerrymandering of districts, the Republican Party would be quickly getting the message that staying on the same course that led to the fiasco might not be a good idea for the future prospects of the party.  But such a conclusion would ignore the virulent insanity that now grips the party base, particularly in the form of the Christofascists and their incestuous Tea Party siblings.  Rather than see objective reality, these people continue to live in the Fox News and "family values organization " news (e.g., Bryan Fischer at AFA) bubble that claim that Barack Obama "stole the election" and other batshitery.  As I've noted before, I do not see the GOP recovering from its deep form of mental illness - something that is worrisome given the impending "fiscal cliff."  A piece in The Daily Beast looks at where this form of fetid swamp of insanity may lead the GOP.  Here are some excerpts:

So here is the Republican Party reinventing itself. The GOP majority in the Ohio legislature rushes to defund Planned Parenthood in its post-election session. The orange-tinted speaker of the House proposes to undo Obamacare through “oversight” in the name of “solving our debt and restoring prosperity.” Never mind that health-care reform doesn’t raise the deficit but reduces it. Or that “a new low,” 33 percent of Americans, the anti-Obama bitter-enders, still favor repealing the law (PDF). And a rising star in the GOP future, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, offers a dim view out of the pre-Darwinian past that maybe the Earth was created in seven days—and that since “theologians” disagree, we should teach “multiple theories.”

This doesn’t sound like rethinking, or thinking at all, but like the reflex and revanchism of a party that doesn’t comprehend or simply can’t respond to the dimensions of its 2012 defeat. There’s not just the delicious irony that maladroit Mitt Romney, the 47 percent man, will end up with 47 percent of the vote. Outside the South, President Obama defeated his opponent 55 to 45 percent, winning a landslide there as well as in the Electoral College. The bottom line: Romney got elected president of the old confederacy.

The aggrieved and deluded suggest secession—a question that was definitively settled four score and seven years ago. The fantasist who founded UnSkewedPolls.com conjures up a new website, BarackOFraudo.com, “proving” that the president stole Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. Sensible Republicans—perhaps even Boehner, who has to fear the Tea Party and a coup from Eric Cantor, his House majority leader—know this is self-defeating nonsense.

[T]he reactions from Rubio to Rush point toward slapping a new façade on a fundamentally unchanged, increasingly self-marginalizing GOP. One of Limbaugh’s targets, Steve Schmidt  .  .  .  .  Schmidt was blunt. The GOP had to abandon the ceaseless pursuit of the last white guy in Mississippi at the expense of alienating the mainstream. He argued a case in point: Republicans should be “a pro-life party,” but not “the anti-contraception” party .  .  .  . 

Obama pollster Joel Benenson responded that such shifts may require two or three more cycles of presidential loss. .  .  .  . hat’s not where realistic Republican strategists want their party to be. But four overriding realities militate against a GOP return to the White House in 2016 and perhaps for several campaigns beyond.

First, the economy, the issue Romney ran on, the issue that in a time of distress can elect an otherwise unacceptably hard conservative candidate like Ronald Reagan, is now likely to turn decisively in the Democratic direction.  .  .  .  .   .  This scenario could be undermined or undone if the White House and Congress don’t come to an agreement on the fiscal cliff and the nation falls back into recession .  .  .  .A new Pew poll finds that by nearly 2-to-1, voters would blame congressional Republicans rather than Obama for a failure here.
Second, the nature of the Republican primary electorate hamstrings the party’s capacity to adapt. The religious right and the true believers who dominate the nominating process have their own explanations or rationalizations for 2012. Romney wasn’t conservative enough.  .  .  .  .  Schmidt recommended that Republicans dispense with the Iowa caucuses, where the litmus test is who’s most for Jesus, according to the narrow measures of right-wing fundamentalists. That change won’t happen, not yet; religious and movement forces on the far right won’t yield their hold on the primary process and their veto power over the nominee.

[T]he GOP is simply on the wrong side of the emerging majority in the country. In the exit polls, 59 percent of voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases. By 49 to 46 percent, they supported gay marriage; the tide has swiftly turned on the question that carried George W. Bush to a narrow win in 2004 on a wave of evangelical turnout. And 65 percent in the exit polls favored immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
All this leaves Republicans out there on a demographic cliff with women, Hispanics, and young people. And for the most part, their own primary voters won’t let them retreat.

The GOP used to take comfort in the cliché that Hispanics were cultural conservatives, Catholics who agree with them on social issues. Wrong again. In the exit polls, they are more progressive than the electorate as a whole on questions of marriage equality and the role of government. For Hispanics, the passage here has probably already been made with the politics of insult driving them toward the Democrats. And to add injury to that insult, Asian-Americans also are voting Democratic by a wide margin.

Young people may be another lost cause. As Professor Tucker said at La Pietra, party ID tends to be set by age 30, and those under and approaching 30 are decisively Democratic. So are unmarried women, a growing segment of the population, alienated from the GOP on concerns ranging from reproductive rights to equal pay. 

Economic conservatives and wealthy Republicans have formed an unholy alliance with a religious right whose views they don’t share but whose votes they covet. Now they’re saddled with a base that could leave them with increasingly unelectable nominees—for president, for the Senate, and for the House, which this year was largely saved for the GOP by partisan redistricting.

There is more to the piece that deserves a read.  You get the drift, however: the GOP made a pact with the Devil - the Christofascists -  and now the Devil is collecting his due.  The soul of the GOP.

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