Monday, March 18, 2013


I had a hard time coming up with anything to say about this GOP "autopsy." I can see that the Republican Party is struggling to connect with voters who aren't old, white, and cranky. I know that parts of the GOP coalition really hate the Reince Priebus recommendations. I ought to heat up a big batch o' popcorn and sit back to watch Republicans tear apart what's left of their party. Right?

Except that's not how it works. Republicans may change or may not (my guess is they won't); they may learn to live with one another or may keep fighting (my guess is arrested-development cases like Sarah Palin will still want to fight with other Republicans, but most of these squabbles won't amount to much).

But it doesn't matter: the GOP can screw up forever and the press will still treat the party as a respectable organization that's serious about governing. Voters may recoil in horror at certain Republicans, but the GOP will still dominate in heartland America -- non-coastal whites will still overwhelmingly vote for Republican governors and state legislators and members of Congress, because the party label still doesn't inspire revulsion.

Oh, and the 2016 presidential election? The country is hardly averse to voting Republican again. (In a recent Quinnipiac poll of the blue-but-swingy state of Pennsylvania, Chris Christie crushed Joe Biden and Andrew Cuomo, and Paul Ryan beats Biden, while Marco Rubio is competitive with Biden and Cuomo, and only Hillary Clinton beats Rubio, Ryan, and Christie.) And the press is just itching to write the GOP comeback story. (The press has never like the Democratic Party very much and is so over Obama.) And while I expect self-sabotage on the party's part -- once again, crazy fellow candidates will probably drive the semi-sane, electable winner too far to the right -- it's not guaranteed to happen.

Republicans control the majority of our states, one House of Congress overtly and one through the filibuster, and our Supreme Court. I'll say what I said over the weekend: why so glum?


Victor said...

Yup, until the MSM wakes up, if it ever does, and acknowleges that the Republican Parties base is a collection of looney-tunes who are Fascists, racists, misogynists, xenophobes, and/or homophobes, the party won't change - and they'll still have decent shots at winning national elections.

And, since the 6 or so corporations that own 90% of the MSM prefer Republican policies towards regulations, taxes, monopoly, etc., they're not inclined to make sure that reporting done by their employees is accurate.

And the reporters, steeped in decades of David Broder's, "Both side do it! (But the Democrats are worse)" tea, aren't inclined to look too closely - lest they lose their highly-paid jobs.

My hope is that, despite this reports conclusions, they still have whackaloons like Bachmann, and others, running in their primaries.

Anonymous said...

I kinda suspect that Americans' obsession with winning the White House - to the exclusion of all other races - might actually help here. The presidency is the only race about which a lot of people care. If the GOP loses the White House two more elections in a row, I think it will be perceived as - and described as - the Losing Party.

When that happens, it won't make a lot of difference whether Republicans are successful at state or local levels to a lot of people. My sense is that a lot of the low-information people who end up voting Republican do so because they think the Republicans are the party of winners, and they want to be one the winning team.

(Mary Carey, the porn star who ran for California's governorship after the recall, once explained this by saying that she was a Republican because the GOP was the party of the rich winners, and she wanted to be a rich winner too.)

I think the proximate cause of Republican implosion will not be their terrible and deeply unpopular policies (although those will be the ultimate cause). The proximate cause will be getting labeled "Losers" after losing too many presidential elections in a row. The Republican party may very well die of ridicule.

Ten Bears said...

Steve, while I've long the demise both eminent and inevitable I have to hang with you here: it's not gonna' happen overnight. This is media hysteria hype.

No fear...