Friday, March 15, 2013


I guess I'm puzzled by the gloom of the Republicans. Yeah, they lost another presidential election. Yeah, they didn't regain full control of the Senate. But for a party that's supposed to be demographically on its last legs and wandering out looking for a new direction, the GOP is really doing all right.

Dick Morris was gloomy in his CPAC speech yesterday, on one issue in particular:
The harder sell came in his next prescription: Give up on Roe v. Wade.

In order to win back young women, Morris argued that Republicans should stop trying to make abortion illegal and instead focus on a bipartisan effort to reduce the instances of abortion.

"Single white women run screaming from the Republican Party, largely because of our pro-life position," Morris said....

Overturning Roe v. Wade, he said, was "a case we're never going to win."
But in the states the GOP's governors and legislators control, they are winning. In many of those states, they effectively have overturned Roe v. Wade. Elsewhere, they throw up as many roadblocks to abortion as the populace and the courts can stand.

And does it hurt the party? Yes, maybe in presidential and Senate races. But there's not much of a ripple effect beyond that. In the purple state of Virginia, for instance, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is unswervingly opposed to abortion; last fall he cerified clinic standards that will greatly curtail abortion access in the state. So how's this affecting his race for governor this year, in a State Barack Obama won twice? He's running even with Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Anti-abortion Chris Christie, also running this year, is going to win in a blowout.

Morris also says Republicans are overly fixated on balanced budgets:
Moving on to the budget wars, Morris explained that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was wrong to focus on balancing the budget by 2023, the main selling point of his latest budget released this week.

"Only about 5 to 7 percent of his total cuts come from the Medicare program," Morris said. "Why mess with those programs? Why lose 10 years of elections because of those programs."

"So we don't get to zero," Morris continued. "So we don't balance the budget. Who cares if we have $100 billion deficit? Or $120 [billion]. The important point is what's the ratio between the deficit and our economy." ...

"Let's get away from the hypnotic phrase 'balanced budget,' and stop being accountants and start being politicians," Morris said....
But the media's new golden boy, Rand Paul, said in his CPAC speech that he's about to propose a budget that balances in five years.

Yes, I know that Democrats were effective in raising public alarm about the nature of the cuts in the last Paul Ryan budget, and in the Romney/Ryan proposal -- but the president's victory in November had absolutely no effect on the Beltway establishment's deficit obsession. It's clear that the president continues to respond to this: he's willing to make real cuts to social programs. The only reason for hope is that Obama's line in the sand is a demand for tax increases in return (which, fortunately, the Republicans probably will never give him). So the harping on the deficit is working for the GOP. It's keeping the goalposts very, very far to the right.

Rand Paul thinks the party has to back away from its bellicose foreign policy stance. But does it matter? Liberals and Democrats critiqued the Iraq War during the Bush presidency, but the establishment, until near the end, was on Bush's side; now Obama is bellicose and, thanks to Paul, the media wants to know what's up with all these damn drones. Oh, but any day now there'll be a foreign policy crisis that allows Republicans to attack Obama from the right again, and Lindsey Graham and John McCain will be on TV on Sunday, and attention must be paid. Whatever the critique of Obama is, it's taken seriously -- even if it comes from two directions at once.

So really, Republicans, lighten up. You're doing fine.


Victor said...

Maybe Dick Morris sees that his path back to big FOX bucks, is to go the 'Alan Colmes Ugly Liberal Clown' route.
Even for the FOX audience, Bull Orally beating-up on Alan last week, had to be like going to watch the Globetrotters beat the Generals for the 10,000th time. There's only so many times that bucket of confetti routine's funny.

Now, Dick Morris can play the good pro-wrestler, the one you used to root for, now gone bad!

And yeah, while they're losing on the national stage lately, the Republicans success at state levels means that the body politic still has many and growing malignant tumours, eating away at it from within.

A nation divided, between rational and willfully stupid, can not stand.

So, again, I say, split the country up.
We really are, already, two countries - Red and Blue.
Let the Purple ones decide which camp they want to go to.
And then, over the next decade, we can figure out some plan of exchange of "hostages."

Philo Vaihinger said...

Don't be surprised if they win the White House in 2016.

The Left said...

Abortion and budgets are just two issues. The Left needs to make this very clear: today's Republican Party is intent on dismantling the progress this country has made from the New Deal through the rest of the 20th century, and it will stop at nothing to do it.

Ten Bears said...

They can only "win" by cheating. But yeah, no surprise.

No fear...

Steve M. said...

Don't be surprised if they win the White House in 2016.

Hillary will probably win if she runs, but Republicans are the odds-on favorites if she doesn't.