Over at The New York Times, Thomas Edsall asks:
Can Republicans Change Their Spots?Well, sure. And so what? Republican plutocrat money and rank-and-file Republican rage may not have won the GOP the presidency for a while, but Republicans are wreaking havoc at the state and local level -- undermining unions, restricting abortion, making tax codes more regressive, gutting local democracy in Michigan. Republicans also control Congress (the Senate, too -- thanks, Harry), which means they actually do pretty much run the federal government. And they've got schemes at advanced stages of development (vote suppression, Electoral College rigging, the inevitable Supreme Court overturn of the Voting Rights Act) that could give them the presidency in 2016 no matter how unpopular they are.
If the Republican Party were a profit-seeking corporation, the current management would be tossed.
A post-election study conducted Dec. 12 by Resurgent Republic, a conservative think tank, concluded that the market for right-wing ideologues is just not there anymore:
Republicans have run out of persuadable white voters. For the fifth time in the past six presidential elections, Republicans lost the popular vote. Trying to win a national election by gaining a larger and larger share of a smaller and smaller portion of the electorate is a losing political proposition.... The problem ... is not just the normal reluctance of a political party to change. Instead, it is the fact that much of the Republican electorate, as presently constructed, is profoundly committed -- morally and ideologically -- to "traditional values." You're asking groups of people to change who were brought together by their resistance to change. Their opposition to change is why they are Republicans....
And the press is desperate for a "resurgent, reasonable GOP" narrative, no matter what the party actually does, so the press will do its level best to elect a Republican president four years from now. The only question is which "reasonable" Republican the press will have the biggest crush on. This week, the leader, for no good reason, appears to be Bobby Jindal.
And don't get me started on Edsall's idea of a potential savior:
If the conservative movement continues on its downward trajectory, the American business community, which has the most to lose from Republican failure, will be the key force arguing for moderation.Oh, please. Republicans in the states are doing a great job of creating a race to the bottom by undermining labor and making taxes and regulations more plutocrat-friendly. At the federal level, the government is jailing no fat cats, while the debate on the safety net is over how much to eviscerate it. Business has no reason to complain about the modern GOP (or about the modern Democratic Party, which continues trying to be GOP Lite).
So shed no tears for the Republicans. They’re doing just fine exactly the way they are.
(Via Balloon Juice.)