Sunday, October 20, 2013


From an otherwise reasonably good New York Times story about the squabbling within the GOP:
Though the election and re-election of Mr. Obama may have radicalized many conservatives, the base's fury has its roots in the two terms of his predecessor, Mr. Bush, whose expansion of Medicare, proposed immigration overhaul and 2008 bank bailout left many conservatives distraught.

"People just saw a party that had wandered away from its soul," said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, an offshoot of the Heritage Foundation and perhaps now the most influential lobby group among Congressional Republicans.
This is the king of all zombie lies.

The base developed a sense of "fury" against establishment Republicanism during the Bush years? Really? Then why did establishmentarian John McCain and establishmentarian Mitt Romney each get 93% of the Republican vote in their election years? And if Bush profoundly alienated the GOP base, why did he leave office with a 75% approval rating among Republicans (as opposed to a 34% approval rating in the country as a whole)? If years of Tea Party/Ted Cruz/Sarah Palin/Heritage Foundation rhetoric have made the scales fall from Republican base voters' eyes about the big-government sins of Bush, why is his approval rating among Republicans even higher now than it was in January 2009 -- 84%, according to an ABC/Washington Post poll conducted this past April?

As I've said many times on this blog, the notion that voters rejected the GOP for big-spending policies was a lie Republicans started telling us -- and themselves -- shortly after they were blown out in the 2006 midterms, because they refused to admit that Bush's blunders -- Iraq, Katrina, Terri Schiavo, the attempted privatization of Social Security -- were the real reason Democratic voters turned out. Yes, since then Republicans have started to believe their own BS, telling themselves that they reject establishment-style Republicanism because it allows them to imagine that they had nothing to do with Bush's policy failures or -- and this is probably more important to them -- Republicans' losses at the polls in 2006 and 2008 (as well as 2012). But just watch them in 2014 if Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran and Lamar Alexander survive their primaries. They'll turn out to vote for these supposedly hated RINOs in November, because God knows that allowing Democrats to win would be like signing the country over to Satan.


Victor said...

Yes, because prior to W, nothing said "Fiscal Conservatism" better than Ol' Dutch Reagan, himself!

Ya gotta love how these self-proclaimed "Fiscal Conservatives" get us Republican Presidents who lower taxes, then spend money like drunken sailors on shore-leave!

"The Base" is pissed-off, because their beloved W turned out to be the worst President in our nation's history!!!

And, look at the recent history of the most recent Republican Presidents - the ones after Ike:

Nixon prolonged an already pointless and expensive war to win reelection - which Carter then had to pay for.

Reagan and Bush I left an unholy mess for Bill Clinton - who left us within sight of a surplus.

And then came the Republican's beloved "America's Churchill," W, who promptly shit the bed, and blew through more money than all 42 Presidents before him - including the ones who built the countries infrastructure, one who won a Civil War, ones who won two World Wars, ones who improved our infrastructure, and ones who brought about social safety-net programs like SS, Medicare, and Medicaid.

W outspent them all - COMBINED!!!

And all we as a nation got, is this t-shirt of his smirking face, saying "Miss me yet?"

And our first Black President has had to clean-up the shithole that W and Dickie left - and he's had to clean up this shithole with his limbs tied up behind him by the Republican Party, who then bitch that that Nigrah ain't doin' the rebuildin' right, and he ain't doin' it fast 'nough to suits them!

And now, they're clamoring for another Republican President in 2016 - cause that Nigrah something... something... something.

Jayzoos, there are a lot of people completely incapable of learning in this country!!!
And those are the ones who AREN'T part of the insane caucus!!!!!

White Hat said...

The popularity of Bush's policies and his personal popularity are different measures.

The GOP has successfully shifted much of the blame for Bush's worst programs onto Obama. "It's the Democrats who spendspendspend. We all know that," regardless of the facts. That kind of perception management is what GOP political campaigns are FOR, and it's the kind of perceptual shift that can be achieved when mountains of $$$ are applied. The bank bailout may "technically" have occurred under Bush, but Obama was responsible, dammit.

In fact, the article was kinda-sorta correct. The GOP has in fact successfully (in the minds of untold suckers) tagged Obama for many of Bush's sins, especially in matters associated with deficit spending. And as you say, even many GOPers who remain unfooled are fine with sliming Obama, so they have no reason to challenge the GOP's populist fantasy campaign.

As you say, facts don't matter to the faithful or those with a vested interest in the GOP. But they do matter to many, even many GOP voters. You may recall that Obama collected many "regretful" GOPer votes against McCain.

Registered Republicans are not all nuts and/or liars. To assume that is to concede that facts do not matter. They do, though. Not to all, but to enough.

aimai said...

The base will never admit that they are unprincipled lickspittles and lackies to power. They loved Bush because he was in power, and they put up with the little things he did that they didnt like (and they didn't like them) either because they thought it was one of the perks of power or because they thought that it pissed off liberals so it was ok. As soon as Bush was out of power and his legacy turned to shit they couldn't run fast enough to get away from the stink. Disingenous bastards. But they don't remember it that way because they aren't constituted to remember anything but their grievances.

White Hat said...

"...they aren't constituted to remember anything but their grievances."

Aimai, I think you nailed it. That single thought explains the popularity of "entertainers" like Limbaugh and Fox News.

It also explains why the GOP has made itself look like the party of No Solutions. If they did help facilitate good government, they'd reduce grievances - and possibly lose a good portion of their base.

Maybe the GOP simply conceded policy leadership to Limbaugh/Fox to tap into their mass market popularity. It would be easier than developing and promoting policies of their own, and the GOP never actually has to do anything for the masses anyway - it's even better if they don't - so it (until now) it hasn't interfered with the party's traditional Big Money agenda.

The price of that strategy is that merely "following the anger" leaves the GOP literally not in control of its own fate. That's a short-sighted and highly risky place to be. Would it even be possible for the GOP to retake leadership of its own agenda? Maybe not. I suspect we'll find out over the next 12 months or so.

Jonny G said...

Totally agree with this. Just this morning, on NPR of all places, some caller was saying how the Tea Party won't just go away after the debt ceiling mess because "there are many Americans who are concerned that nobody in Washington is willing to be fiscally responsible...". First of all, not true, but if the other party won't even discuss raising revenues, not a lot we can do, is there.
But really, I just wanted to scream at the radio, "where the hell were you when they were actually running up the debt??" And why, if your issue is really fiscal responsibility, were there Confederate flags in front of the WH last week? Please.