Are the Republicans Beyond Saving?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by FollowTheWay, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. FollowTheWay

    FollowTheWay
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    As the Republicans search for a new and more electable identity they have a fundamental problem. Ever since they took their first major right turn in 1964, they have made a series of bargains in order to strengthen their ranks: the Christian right, the Southern strategy, which validated racism as party policy, the Sagebrush Rebellion, which represented big ranching and farming interests as well as the mining industry, the Club for Growth, a highly conservative organization with a lot of money to pour into primaries to defeat more centrist incumbents. However successful momentarily, this series of deals ultimately cost the Republicans broad national appeal and flexibility.

    The emergence beginning in 2010 of the Tea Party as a force in Congress—part grass roots, part developed and exploited from Washington—pushed the Republican Party still further to the right. Conservatives took control of a large number of states and had a significant impact on national policy, and for the first time, there was a sizeable number of House members who despised government and had run on the explicit promise never to compromise.

    But politics is predicated on the idea that its practitioners will work out their differences. This was a revolutionary change—no president of either party had been confronted with such an obdurate opposition. “Compromise” had never before been a term of obloquy. Regularly frustrated by these absolutists and those too frightened of the movement to challenge them, Boehner has less control over his flock than any Republican Speaker in memory. It’s not that he’s lacking the political skills; the Tea Party members and the school of fish that follows them won’t vote with Boehner out of party loyalty because they simply don’t owe him anything. They got to Congress with strong financial support from powerful interests and they have their own constituencies.

    More than half the governors, including all but one of the nation’s Republican statehouses, have refused to set up state exchanges through which consumers are supposed to be able to shop for competing insurance plans. FreedomWorks, the most powerful national Tea Party organization, has waged a national crusade to “Block Obamacare” by rejecting the exchanges. The joke is that if a state refuses to set up an exchange the federal government will come in and do it. (Six Republican governors have accepted the Medicaid expansion in the health care law because the offer was too good to turn down.) Another tactic the Republicans have used to fight laws on the books is to block the appointments of the president’s nominees to administer them.

    One substantive matter on which leaders of the two parties agree is immigration reform—not just because it’s the right and urgent thing to do but because it’s in their interest. The Republicans panicked about the huge electoral advantage the president got in 2012 from Hispanic voters, whom he carried 71 percent to 29 percent, and who provided the margin of victory in some key states. In their debates in the primaries last year most of the Republican candidates played to the strong anti-immigrant streak that dwells within the party’s rank and file. And at election time—as in the case of other groups the Republicans had baldly tried to keep from the polls in order to depress the Democratic vote—these efforts backfired, and Hispanics turned out in unprecedented numbers.
    But while immigration reform may be seen as the next great civil rights advance the actual hammering out of a bipartisan bill is likely to prove extremely difficult. Such bills have foundered before on fierce regional and partisan differences. And as in the case of other minorities, more than one issue is at stake. As long as the Republicans push for “smaller government”—a euphemism for cutting domestic programs such as education at all levels as well as food stamps, unemployment benefits and Medicaid and of course the tax rates—their appeal to groups they’ve been losing will remain limited. The Republicans are in a deep hole and it’s not foregone that even if an immigration law is passed Hispanics will turn to them in droves.

    The Republican leaders are trying to avert the serial cataclysms they have done so much to bring on: the across-the-board cut in federal programs (the so-called sequester) that will be imposed on March 1 barring a compromise; a possible shutdown of the federal government at the end of March; and the return of the debt limit in mid-May. This government-by-crisis has threatened to define the Republicans in Washington as the party of green eyeshaded accountants with nary a thought for the well-being of the middle class, not to mention the poor. (The 2012 primaries were littered with jokes about food stamps.) That it was considered progress that House leaders persuaded the most radical members that shutting down the government was a more reasonable approach than risking another government default—and a second lowering of the US’s credit rating—was a sign of the extent to which the idea of governing has lost its moorings.

    The focus on the somewhat hoked-up drama of the serial crises about funding the government has tended to obscure the more fundamental point: the Republicans are succeeding in pushing the president toward precisely the wrong economic policy for a nation still coming out of a severe recession. The Washington debate is dominated by the argument—based more on ideology than on history and betraying ignorance of the fate of European nations that have blundered into ruinous austerity programs—that the most urgent thing to be done is to cut spending. That proposition has become such a truism that neither the president nor a significant number of elected Democrats are willing to publicly challenge it.

    Americans who long for a group of moderate Republicans with whom a Democratic president might deal—Bill Clinton enjoyed such help if he didn’t always use it wisely (and thus failed to pass a health care bill)—are in for a disappointment. That Republican Party is gone and the base of the party isn’t going to permit its return, at least not for the foreseeable future. If anything, the party lines are hardening. The Republican leaders are desperately trying to make sure that the kinds of nutcases that have received nominations for Senate seats in the last two elections, at the expense of more reasonable candidates, only to go on to lose what were likely Republican seats, will no longer jeopardize their party’s fortunes. Karl Rove, though his effort to boost the Republicans’ successes through milking donors of over $100 million failed miserably, is setting up an organization to try to prevent likely losers from getting nominated over more trustworthy conservatives. The trouble is it’s not always clear who is going to say something cripplingly stupid, and the whole idea, quietly supported by some party leaders, isn’t sitting well with the grass roots who will not take dictation from “the establishment” on whom they should nominate.

    Finally, underlying the rigidity that has characterized the Congress in the past few years is a structural formulation that does not bend with breezes. As Nate Silver of The New York Times has pointed out, there are fewer “swing” districts in the House than ever before. “This means,” he writes, “that most members of the House now come from hyperpartisan districts, where they face essentially no threat of losing their seat to the other party,” though Republicans are more at risk of primary challenges. The great shift toward the right on the Republican side occurred in 2010, when participation, as usual with off-year elections, was limited to the most zealous. The result was a dramatic increase in Republican control of entire state governments—from which have flowed the laws, backed by the Koch brothers and other conservative donors, to break up public employee unions and tighten restrictions on abortions to the point of effectively strangling Roe v. Wade, as well as the efforts to fix federal elections through restricting voting rights and perhaps even tinkering with the electoral college and, of course, the highly consequential power of reapportionment.

    The country is at a hard place: Is it going to be governable? The great challenge of returning to a workable government is to create parties that can sort out our differences without threat from extremes that weaken the democratic system. People in despair over politics in Washington might be well advised to start paying more attention to who gets elected to their state capitals.

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/feb/11/are-republicans-beyond-saving/
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    You can always tell when liberals are desperate they have to pull the race card. Which means they have lost the argument.



    BY the way if you want any semblance of credibility you should avoid historical revisionism. In 1964 it was the Democrats that were racist.
     
  3. church mouse guy

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    Ditto. The Democrats think that the GOP should compromise with them but no one has ever heard of how the Democrats ever compromised on anything. The truth is that the Democrats lost the House in 2010 and there President is now as unpopular as any President can be. There is a big fight inside the Democrat Party over why they have to give up the Senate in order to make Obama look good.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    Only those who are among the "non elect"!
     
  5. OldRegular

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    As Rep. Joe Wilson said: "You Lie" by repeating the nonsense in the link!
     
  6. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    As to the OP, what a needless irritation of electrons and waste of Internet space! Total, complete, utter foolishness from a total complete, utter ...

    ... ah, never mind, I'd get a demerit.
     
  7. OldRegular

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    All have sinned!
     
  8. saturneptune

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    Yes, the Republicans have one more chance to change IMO. If they nominate a person that mimics the position of Democrats and the originator of this thread, like a Romney or a McCain in 2016, they will cease to exist.

    As far as the first post of this thread goes, it has nothing to do with his own thread's questions. It is a series of untrue characterizations of the Republican Party. In the post, their problem is characterized as being too far right, when the problem is, they are too far left since 1988.
     
  9. church mouse guy

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    Exactly! It has long been evident that no one is going to sell you a pig in a poke, SN!
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    I see the DNC operatives are out today.
     
  11. Crabtownboy

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    Says the man who will not disavow White Supremacists.

    Yes the Solid South was Democratic. But with the passage of the Civil Rights act and the implementation of the Southern Strategy by the GOP the parties reversed with the GOP becoming racist. Fact of history.

    But back on topic, unless there is great change the GOP will continue to attract some folk but will be a chapter on a party destroying itself, like the Whigs did, in the history of the US.
     
  12. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I'm going to stop replying to CTB and FTW until they tell me how much they get paid, and by whom, to spew their spin.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. saturneptune

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    Tell you what, I grew up in Mississippi in the 50s and 60s. I saw African-Americans treated like trash my entire childhood. I knew one person who drove around with a passenger and their hobby was for the passenger to take a two by four and hit blacks walking along the side of the road in the back of the head and driving off.

    Once I got on a city bus to go downtown to buy my Mom some items. As I got on the bus, I was the only white person. There was a white line and all blacks had to sit behind it. In the front, all the seats were empty. It was crammed behind the white line. A black elderly woman was standing up in the aisle with a cane, and all those seats empty. Our eyes connected, and I never felt so ashamed in my life.

    I saw blacks having to sit in the balcony at movies, and three bathrooms, men, women and coloreds.

    With all that experience, that never once made me consider joining a party that promotes gay rights, abortion, and creating a population that is dumbed down with no accountability and unable to reach their potential. That is exactly what you are advocating. There is no connection with treating all Americans decent and the Democratic Party.

    I will go so far as to say the state and local governments in the South at the time were born in the pits of hell and those who ran them are there right now.

    What does the color of one's skin have to do with basic human respect and decency?

    It is like a lot of the posters who flap their jaws about issues involving the military on this board, they were never there and have no idea what they are talking about.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    CTB you are telling a "black lie" and you are a supporter of abortion. I am a Republican and I am not a racist. Further I am not an abortionist either. The biggest racist in the country is the one you helped put in office, the abortionist in chief, Obama. He is an equal opportunity racist though. Being half and half he hates both whites and blacks

    I suspect there is far less racism in the South than there is in the North. As I recall there were race riots in New York during the Civil War. The first race riots of the 20th century were in Detroit during WWII!

    I suspect that the abortionist in chief Barak Husein Obama has destroyed the democrat party. When people with company paid insurance get kicked offf their insurance next year or have to pay an additional few thousand to keep theirs I suspect a revolt against the democrats that may give Republicans two thirds of Congress.

    Then they can kill Obamacare and impeach and convict Obama and Holder and assorted others for high crimes against the country!

    Addendum:

    Some days ago I posted links showing how Abortion, the god of the democrat party, was decimating the African American community. CTB supports this party with its abortion policy and then has the gall to call Republicans racists. That is hypocrisy of the highest order CTB. Have you no shame, no sense of guilt. I know you will come back and try to say Republicans don't care for women, children, the poor, etc., etc. and so on ad infinitum; but you know that is false!
     
    #14 OldRegular, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2013
  15. OldRegular

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    I was in the Navy in the early 50's. While in the Navy on a ship out of Norfolk sailors took a bus from the Naval base to Norfolk. Now Virginia was not deep south but I never saw a sailor, whether from north or south, sitting while a black lady stood and there was no line showing where blacks could sit.
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    CNN/ORC poll: Democrats lose 2014 edge following Obamacare uproar
    [​IMG]

    " ... a party destroying itself ... "

    [​IMG]

    Who, CTB, the Democrats????

    [​IMG]
     
  17. saturneptune

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    There was in Mississippi.
     
  18. Crabtownboy

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    Old, but I bet there were separate rest rooms and water fountains. I was a teenager in the 50's in a part of Virginia much more tolerant than east of the mountains in Virginia and I can remember the races being separated. Also restaurants were segregated also, though my future father-in-law, who was from Georgia, would serve African-Americans and hobos in back of the restaurant. If a person were really down on their luck, he would serve them free a big stack of pancakes. He also insisted that all his employees, regardless of race call each other Mr. or Miss or Mrs.

    I don't know about the buses as I lived in the country and to go to town we had to drive. As a matter of fact, I am not sure the "big" town, all of 5000 people, had buses at that time.
     
  19. Don

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    If you look closely enough, there still is in Mississippi....
     
  20. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    There's a town in northwest Missouri that still has a sign on its train depot stating "N---, don't let the sun go down on you here."
     

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