Friday, February 06, 2015


The Washington Post's James Downi thinks Democrats should be pleased if Republicans nominate a movement conservative like Scott Walker in 2016:
As John Sides and Lynn Vavreck show in their must-read 2012 postmortem “The Gamble,” polls suggest that Obama, not Mitt Romney, was the candidate less ideologically similar to the average voter, and Obama’s liberalism may have cost him several percentage points with independent voters.... in what the fundamentals suggest will be a very close race, running a more moderate Democrat in Clinton against a stridently more conservative Republican in Walker could provide [the necessary] difference.

Furthermore, a losing Walker-led ticket would provide the best proof for the GOP base that the “our guy would have won if he was more conservative” argument is a myth. As much as outsiders rolled their eyes at post-election claims that Romney and John McCain “weren’t conservative,” it’s certainly true that they were on the more moderate side of their respective primary fields. It’d be impossible to claim that with Walker.... Maybe, just maybe, that will be enough to stop or at least stall the Republican Party’s sprint to the right and finally bring the GOP back to the bargaining table.
Nahhh. If Republicans lose with Walker (or Cruz, or Carson), they'll find all sorts of excuses to avoid blaming the candidate's strident conservatism. The evil Republican bosses made him pick a RINO as a running mate! Or if that doesn't happen: The evil Republican bosses deliberately threw the election because they felt threatened!

And, of course, all-powerful totalitarian liberalism will be at fault. The Clinton machine threatened people with death! Obama made his thug friends in ACORN and the New Black Panthers available to Hillary! The press had a slobbering love affair with Hillary! George Soros stole the election! Tom Steyer stole the election!

I used to think nothing but an LBJ-in-'64 shellacking would ever make Republicans see reason. Yes, that would help matters, but unless the GOP runs Cruz/Carson or a similarly fanatical ticket, it's unlikely to happen (and sorry, but it would be no more likely with Warren or Sanders as the nominee) -- and I don't think even that sort of blowout would matter much anymore. Republicans got shellacked in 2006 and 2008 congressional races and they just dug in their heels, working every lever they had available to them. They'd do the same thing after a presidential blowout in 2016, and they wouldn't modify their positions. They just can't bring themselves to do it. Republican Nation is a society within American society, and it's extremely averse to change. And Republicans have done too well in non-presidential elections to think they ever have to change.

And that's the key: Republicans have to suffer at the polls after 2016, and the suffering has to be sustained, in elections at every level of government. One presidential election isn't enough.


Raymond Smith said...

I support TP/GOP self deportation! How can it miss for the main idea was conceived by Mitt Romney!

Victor said...

The first rule of Conservatism, is that Conservatism cannot fail!
It can only be failed.

Democrats, for better or worse, over the last 40+ years, made some adjustments.
Republicans are not allowed the same luxury.

Their base is too crazy.
Too bigoted.
Too fearful.
Too hateful.
And too Christian.

Four Bs said...

"Republicans have to suffer at the polls after 2016, and the suffering has to be sustained, in elections at every level of government."

Sounds good to me!

mlbxxxxxx said...

Two thoughts:

1. Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

2. To the degree that wishing/hoping accomplishes anything, sensible progressives should hope for the most palatable option on the R side. We might see Walker as a can't-win, but he is probably among the worst case scenarios and there isn't any guarantee that the next GOP nominee is not going to be president.

I've been pretty vocal about how I think Jeb is all but a shoo-in for nominee, but I'm also, frankly, hoping for Jeb. He's probably our best option as a GOP nominee considering that that nominee may be the next president. I don't even want to have to think about a real-life Walker presidency. I'm really kind of scared of what would happen with an actual tbagger at the top of the GOP ticket. I imagine you would be able to see the tbagger energy level from space -- perhaps as a ghostly glowing tricorner hat. Fortunately, they are by nature splitters, so I don't think we'll see a bagger as GOP nominee anytime soon. And, for the record, I sincerely hope not.

Ten Bears said...

Which leaves us to again chose the lesser of evils.

Rand Careaga said...

The lesser of two evils can be a dispiriting prospect, to be sure, but it can be helpful to keep in mind that it is less evil and accordingly (unless you run with the "heighten the contradictions" crowd, whose approach to these things has not worked out well in living memory) preferable to more evil.

petrilli said...

Your list of predictable Republican pretzel-logic excuses, "Acorn!", "George Soros stole", "Tom Steyer stole", remind me a lot of, "Ralph Nader stole the election!" An equally delusional excuse 15 years ago.
On a more optimistic note, some good news for Democrats. Dick Morris has recently predicted a Scott Walker win in 2016.

Joey_Blau said...

Al Gore had a good chance to win. But he lost his home state. That was a sign that he was damaged and it was going to be close.

The media hounded Gore and made fun of him from the start.

If Nader had not been on the ticket in Florida, Gore would have won.

And no.. no one says "Nader stole.the election" Bush and the repub SCOtus did that.

Steve M. said...

"Ralph Nader stole the election!"

Nader didn't steal the election. His one and only goal was to defeat the Democrats, and he did that fair and square.

Ten Bears said...

Cut their nuts would be more accurate.

petrilli said...

"Ralph Nader stole the election!"An equally delusional excuse 15 years ago.

"Ralph Nader defeated the Democrats". An equally delusional excuse 15 years ago.

OK, fixed it.

Steve M. said...

Everything Joey_Blau says is correct.

Professor Chaos said...

No matter how right-wing the losing candidate is, the story will always be that he wasn't far-right enough.