Sunday, September 30, 2012


At the Mahablog, Barbara O'Brien considers the state of the GOP and the right -- in their current insane form, as well as in their recent past:
I've been more or less saying movement conservatism is a cult of crazy since I started this blog more than ten years ago. However, I have only recently appreciated how much the Bush regime was able to control Teh Crazy even as they fed it and grew it. Back when the Bush cult of personality was at its peak, Dubya, Turd Blossom et al. were able make the GOP appear to be a normal political party, at least enough so that the media establishment politely looked the other way when Teh Crazy was showing, the way you do when your elderly uncle forgets to zip his fly....

Dubya can't, or won't, play the role of Respected Elder Statesman, a role that Big Bill fills so very well. And nobody has taken his place as the Big Giant Head of the cult.
I'm not sure how much Bush really damped down the craziness -- Swiftboating was the birtherism of its time, and there was, of course, that Saddam = 9/11 business -- but if he did so at all, it's because he and his crew were the people running things in America. The crazies' champion was in charge, and was thwarting liberals and Democrats at every turn, plus killing and wounding and torturing a lot of melanin-rich non-Europeans. The crazy base will tolerate rising deficits or Eid celebrations in the White House as long as their guy is kicking various Antichrists' asses.

It's when the crazies don't have a Republican in the White House that they up the ante of crazy -- see the years 1992-2000, when even the things Bill Clinton actually did weren't a big enough target for the base's free-floating rage, so they entertained wild fantasies that Clinton was not merely a philanderer and a Lincoln Bedroom donor-coddler, but a drug dealer and murderer whose lesbian wife killed her male lover and hung sex toys on the White House Christmas tree.

What these means, of course, is that if President Obama wins reelection, it's going to do terrible things to the already fragile mental health of the right. The crazies will get that much crazier.


Barbara quotes Jonathan Bernstein:
Many of us argue that there's something really wrong with the current GOP. It'’s not that it's conservative; it's that, well, to be blunt, it's nuts. Or, to put it more gently, it's that there are strong incentives for being dysfunctional, such as the profit motive for those who stand to make a lot of money from the party being out of office (when talk show ratings go up and wacky conspiracy theory books about Democratic presidents sell like hotcakes).
Is Bernstein implying that many on the right don't really want the GOP to win? I don't buy that. I go back to this May 2011 New York magazine article about Fox News, written by Gabriel Sherman:
[Roger Ailes] wanted to elect a president. All he had to do was watch Fox's May 5 debate in South Carolina to see what a mess the field was -- a mess partly created by the loudmouths he'd given airtime to and a tea party he’d nurtured....

All the 2012 candidates know that Ailes is a crucial constituency. "You can't run for the Republican nomination without talking to Roger," one GOPer told me. "Every single candidate has consulted with Roger." But he hasn't found any of them, including the adults in the room -- Jon Huntsman, Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney -- compelling. "He finds flaws in every one," says a person familiar with his thinking.
Ailes gave a megaphone to the tea party, and to Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, and to every crazy who saw ACORN or the New Black Panthers or a "Ground Zero mosque" under the bed -- then he was upset when his party couldn't pick a clearly electable presidential nominee. I think that's how all the right-wing media elitists and billionaire financiers feel: they want to rouse the rabble with the maximum amount of blood-boiling boob bait, then they want a genial-seeming candidate to win the presidency carrying their banner (and intending to impose their agenda).

I guess you can't blame them for thinking that's possible, because that's more or less what happened the last time Democrats held the White House: the right was off-the-wall insane all through the Clinton years, then the public got amnesia about the GOP, and George W. Bush managed to win office as a "compassionate conservative."

The problem for Republicans is that the crazier they get, the less likely it is that they can find a candidate with the winning formula: right-wing but seemingly genial. You could be sort of genial and win the primaries in 2000, and even in 2008; you couldn't in 2012.

And if the crazy has four more years to fester, you really won't be able to pull that off in 2016.


Victor said...

I wrote a long comment about who their next Presidential candidate may be on maha's, so I'll spare everyone here.

But basically, if the Republicans had any brain cells left that aren't permenently scarred by bourbon, dementia, and syphillis, they would blend in some of the more conservative Hispanics into their base of angry white males, and at the same time, fall back on the 'safe, legal, and rare' part of the choice debate - though, THAT ain't gonna happen - but at least make the life of the mother their default position.

And if they were sane, they would look at Marco Rubio running for President in 2016, with a woman VP - one NOT named Palin.
But they've raised so much anti-Hispanic hysteria, that even 4 years of bending over backwards won't, can't, overcome that - and as I said before - THAT ain't gonna happen.

Their older politicians are getting too old - with the exception of Jeb. And any relatively sane ones have had to kowtow to the KKKrazies in the past two years, and won't be allowed to repivot back - at least not in solidly Red States.
And the younger politicians have been steeped in Reagan, Rush, FOX, Ryan, and their echo-chamber for so long, that it'll be tough for them to break out in a general election. Hell, even Ryan, their patron Randian saint, had an epic fail when exposed to the sunshine of sanely asked questions.

I don't know how it happened, but I think the public's finally starting to catch onto their grifting schemes. The "grok" that the Republicans are talking 'out-their-asses.'

Without drastic changes, like a take-over by the few remaining moderates in their party, I think they're doomed on a national scale, and will be relegated to Red State Senate and House seats, doing more irreparable damage there, and on a local and state level, too.

So, the only ones who really scare me in 2016, 2020, and 2024, are Rubio, and the soon-to-be TX Senator, Ted Cruz. And maybe NM governor Martinez. And as I said, they're not likely to be frontrunners - not with Obama gone, and their blind hatred for him to spur on some sort of pro-Hispanic change.
Rubio, who ain't as sharp as Cruz, but is more likeable, is the one who might be able to be sold to the public as "Compassionate Conservatism II - But This Time We Really Mean It!"

Having said that, if the economy goes even further into the sh*tter, which is certainly possible, if not likely, then even the craziest of their Fascists might win in 2016,
So let's not pop any chamgagne just yet - and keep a sharp eye out for the guy or gal who's gonna come carring the Bible and waving the flag. Americans haven't gone TOTALLY sane yet.

Ten Bears said...

Bush didn't "win". 'Nuff said?

Ten Bears said...

Bush didn't "win". 'Nuff said?

Ten Bears said...

Bush didn't "win". 'Nuff said?

Rand Careaga said...

Bruni's lame, and this is a particularly feeble sample of his work, but Brooks plumbs depths of dumbth thrice a weeks, and Douthat matches him inanity for inanity over the course of most months. Dowd has her patented toxic pool of spite and stupidity, but were we to mix up a witches' brew of the most toxic NYT columns, it would be a thin and tepid gruel without the poisonous stupidity that Bill Kristol once provided.

I hate the guy because David Brooks will never seem as imbecilic as he is while BK holds the Lead Standard so far south.