Sunday, September 29, 2013


The conventional wisdom is that the Republican Party is going to pay a significant penalty for shutting down the government and/or driving America to the brink of default (or beyond).

I'd love to think that's true, but I don't believe it.

The reason is that the mainstream political world is heavily invested in the notion that the GOP is a sane, rational, responsible party. We know this because every time the GOP has utterly failed as a party in the past few decades, it's gotten a do-over almost immediately. Everyone in the political mainstream agrees that the GOP should get a mulligan every time it fails.

This goes back to Nixon -- two years after he resigned in disgrace, and his successor horrified many Americans by pardoning him, that successor nearly won the presidency. Two years after that, a disgraced right wing came roaring back in California by getting Proposition 13 passed; two years after that, Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide.

In 1992, a sitting Republican president was so unpopular that he failed to win even 40% of the popular vote in his reelection bid. Two years later, the GOP was rebranded as the party of Newt Gingrich and swept the midterm elections. A failed effort to drive Bill Clinton from office sent Gingrich to an early retirement, but not to worry: despite peace and prosperity, the Democratic candidate for president in 2000 was subjected to endless mockery and couldn't secure enough votes to win the White House. The GOP was successfully rebranded again.

George W. Bush disgraced himself in office; his party lost Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. Again, not to worry: almost instantly, the GOP was rebranded, first as the party of "pizza summit" moderation (led by the digraced ex-president's brother), then as the home of the tea party, which swept congressional, state, and local elections in 2010.

And after Barack Obama won reelection in 2012, new GOPs were spotted on a regular basis. Marco Rubio is going to lead Republicans to an embrace of immigration reform! Rob Portman will lead them to an embrace of gay marriage! Rand Paul will lead them to a new skepticism about military adventurism! Peter King will lead them away from a dangerous Rand Paul-style isolationism!

So even if Republicans get all the blame for what's about to happen, and plummet in the polls, it doesn't matter: the political establishment will desperately cast about for some "new" GOP, at least until the stench of the shutdown/default moment has lifted. Mainstream journalists will develop a fascination with Chris Christie (he's not a Washington Republican!) or Jeb Bush (he's so reasonable!) or Peter King (he doesn't like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, and he didn't vote for Bill Clinton's impeachment!) They'll do anything not to admit that that the Republican Party is rotten to the core.


Luigi said...

Having lived through all of the history you wrote about, I believe you are absolutely correct. The media has a stake in the two-party horse race and will never let it die. And, the electorate is too fucking dumb to vote against electing such crap.

Examinator said...

Steve rotten to the core is a subjective term.
Despite my hissy fits of frustration of late I still am not comfortable to brand every Republican as a waste of O2, space and unnecessary pollution we could do with out.
The world to me is far more complex and if N have any criticism of people in general it is that they tend to see things way too simplistically
e.g. A glass of water is just a glass of water but it can hold amazing life, as yet unknown cures in the DNA of them microbes conversely it may include DEATH( you pick the water born disease or toxin)
Yes that's part of my post stucturalist underpinning.

Hence As I've said before ALL PARTIES ARE FATALLY FLAWED in that they (for their own advantage try to limit the choices).
Not to make too big a meal of it any survey (election) that has limited (simplified) choices is flawed by definition of the sampling.

One common Test by psychiatrists is to ask 'which do you find more appealing a side arm or a book of folk fables?' there is no correct answer it's the context that defines the problem if their is one.

My point is that often after elections the party that wins claims to have a mandate(?) to do X, Y and Z . Logically this is BS ...because their platform has many planks Who knows which Plank(s) the individual voters voted for.
In reality the only real mandate is to hold the majority in the houses and or supply the Pres (PERIOD).

Ask yourself did you vote for a war with Syria or Obama's response wall st after the GFC. I know I didn't.

By that token not ALL REPUBLICAN IDEAS ARE DUDS, many of the self serving rabid dog politicians are though.
I'm not seeing any saviors in the DNC either.. as you pointed out.
But when I was there I tried my best to change/moderate the SYSTEM.

Ergo any congress or prez will be a (horrible) compromise ( one size fits no one. except the owners of power.
I wonder when the US as a business comes in will it start with a hostile predatory Leveraged buy out by a Bain and Company vulture capital, asset strip it and sell it off to new owners?
If it is based on real logic the TBers Republicans ( too old world, under educated) will be first to be retrenched ... no social security or food stamps.Pivatised slave camps?

Victor said...

"And if it's Sunday, it's 'Time To Fellate the Republicans.'"

I'd prefer to filet the MFers, and feed them to the fishies in the warming deep blue sea.