Friday, January 25, 2013


Over at The New York Times, Thomas Edsall asks:
Can Republicans Change Their Spots?

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....
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.

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.)


Victor said...


VA is looking to change how their Electoral College votes are cast. So are PA, OH, MI, and WI - all have GOP Governors, and enough Republican state legislators to make this possible.

And, like Jindall in LA, Kansas's Governor, he of of the 'back' that's 'brown,' is looking to restructure his states taxes, to be more regressive for the poor.
He's looking to up the sales tax, and lower or eliminate income and business/corporate taxes.

Unless there's a national movement to either eliminate the Electoral College, and go with a national vote total, or shame state legistatures (yeah - THAT'LL happen!) enough that they stop monkeying with their states EC votes, in all likelihood, we very well could have a Republican President - even though the Democratic candidate wins the national vote by 4-7 percent.

And FSM help this country, if Republicans, in their present state of de-evolution, grab hold of power again.

Victor said...

Oh, not to get too 'hopey' about 'changey,' but, having a white Democratic Presidential candidate, male or female, might make a difference, swinging some white anti-Obama voters, into the "D" side of the aisle.

Unless, of course, they continue to associate the Democratic Party as the Nigra-lovers, which has pretty much been the Republican meme for almost 50 years.

The Democratic Party needs to spend the next 2-3+ years telling people in rural areas, that we're not just the folks who are working to make things better for blacks, hispanics, women, and gays - BUT FOR YOU, BUBBA AND BUBBETTE, YA SCHMUCKS, YA!!!

Oh, shoot!
Wrong term.
What's Appalachian, rural and/or "Heartland 'Murkin," for "schmuck?"

It ain't "putz" - I know that.

And, you can't call people suckers, fools, marks, rubes, morons, or idiots, so I need a good 'heartland' word for "schmuck."


Bulworth said...

Yeah, elected teabaggers are doing whatever they can in the states, rigging the electoral college vote, restricing the vote overall, changing from income tax to sales tax revenue streams, etc.

At the federal level, they can continue to block stuff. But the stuff we mostly wanted was done in Obama's first two years (Healthcare, financial regulation including consumer watchdong group, etc). I know Obama wants an immigration bill, or says he wants one. and that's not likely to happen. and we're probably in for some fun times over the budget and debt ceiling in the Spring. but the states are where true wingnuttery is alive and well.

Steve M. said...

the stuff we mostly wanted was done in Obama's first two years

I wanted more than that.

Jon Gallagher said...


the American business community, which has the most to lose from Republican failure, will be the key force arguing for moderation

I don't think Thomas Edsall has spent any time listening to the business media. Anyone remember Rick Santelli's (CNBC) rant that named the Tea Partiers? Everyone I meet that is truly steely-eyed, hardcore, anti-Obama is either in the finance industry, nouveau riche, and/or gets all their news from CNBC.