Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dark Days for the Republi-CONs

UPDATE VIII:  The Republi-con dilemma, can't win elections with "the nutters at the base" but can't win elections without the "social issues that anger—nay, motivate—the base."

Read Slate, The GOP, Now With Less Crazy

UPDATE VII:  Have the Republi-cons finally realized that they've been deceiving themselves?

From their 2012 election 'autopsy', which is over 100 pages:

"The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue. . .

On messaging, we must change our tone — especially on certain social issues that are turning off young voters. In every session with young voters, social issues were at the forefront of the discussion; many see them as the civil rights issues of our time. We must be a party that is welcoming and inclusive for all voters. . .

The number of debates has become ridiculous, and they’re taking candidates away from other important campaign activities. It should be recognized that depending on a candidate’s standing in the polls, some candidates will want to participate in an unlimited number of debates, as early as they can and as often as they can. . .

To facilitate moving up primary elections to accommodate an earlier convention, the Party should strongly consider a regional primary system or some other form of a major reorganization instead of the current system. The current system is a long, winding, often random road that makes little sense. It stretches the primaries out too long, forces our candidates to run out of money, and because some states vote so late, voters in those states never seem to count."
Read the Washington Post, The 10 things you need to know from the “Growth and Opportunity Project” report.  

The Republi-cons forgot: "[t]he man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him."  -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov 

UPDATE VI:  "The sexy headline out of the new Pew Research Center poll is that more than six in ten Americans view the Republican party as 'out of touch with the American people' while a majority (52 percent) believe the party is 'too extreme.'

And, while those numbers are telling, a look deeper into the poll exposes the bigger problem for the GOP: The party is deeply divided (fractured?) — with many people who describe themselves as Republicans holding decidedly negative opinions about their side."
Read the Washington Post, The Republican party’s family feud, exposed.

UPDATE V:  BTW, Republi-cons do have a plan to avoid younger voters, women and minorities, and win elections with the angry old white man crowd, by changing election rules.

Read the Washington Post, GOP electoral vote-rigging schemes still alive and well.  

UPDATE IV:  If they want to be more than the party of angry old white men, it will be necessary "for more reality-based GOP officials and commentators to stop tolerating the daily diet of The Crazy that other GOPers feed to millions of national base voters on a regular basis. I’m talking about the stuff these officials say that keeps untold numbers of base voters in a state of perpetual delusion — the hints about creeping socialism, the suggestions that Dems are anti-American, the notion that Obama’s modest executive actions reveal him as an enemy of the Constitution, etc. This latest blast of unhinged nonsense from Cruz’s office fits neatly into that category."

Read the Washington Post, Ted Cruz’s neo-McCarthyism doesn’t bode well for GOP "makeover".

UPDATE III:  "The Tea Party isn't going to take Karl Rove's Stab-You-in-the-Back Super PAC lying down -- they need to charge ahead and take even more conservative positions."  Watch the Colbert Report, Conservative Victory Project:

UPDATE II:  "Republicans and Fox News are moving to purge the controversial political creatures they created.

Both were damaged badly in 2012 by loud, partisan voices that stoked the base — but that scared the hell out of many voters. Now, the GOP, with its dismal image, and Fox News, with its depressed ratings in January, are scrambling to dim those voices. . .

One high-profile Republican strategist, who refused to be named in order to avoid inflaming the very segments of the party he wants to silence, said there is a deliberate effort by party leaders to 'marginalize the cranks, haters and bigots — there’s a lot of underbrush that has to be cleaned out.'" (Editors note:  remind you of anyone locally?) . . .

Still, it’s a lot easier to talk about change — and shake up the cast of characters — than to authentically change. A number of conservatives think Rove and establishment bullying are the problem with the GOP — not bombastic personalities on Fox or in isolated campaigns. . .

So a political colonoscopy is going on before our eyes."

Read Politico, The GOP, Fox political purge, which notes that for Hedgehog News "it’s about credibility: The cable network, while still easily the top-ranked in news, has seen its ratings dip since the election, in part, conservatives tell us, because a lot of Republicans felt duped by the coverage."

Imagine that, Republi-cons being conned. You know what they say, what goes around comes around.

UPDATE:  "Something very interesting is happening in the Republican Party. It’s just not entirely clear what it is, or how far it can go.

Dick Morris and Sarah Palin are out at Fox News. Representative Paul Ryan is helping House Speaker John Boehner talk his caucus down from the debt-ceiling ledge. Senator Marco Rubio is going from one conservative talk-radio host to another to sell them on bipartisan immigration reform. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is telling Republicans to cease being “the stupid party.” Tea Party icon Jim DeMint left the Senate, while FreedomWorks, a Tea Party catalyst, went through a nasty, costly divorce with its figurehead, Dick Armey. Karl Rove’s super-PAC is turning its formidable financial artillery toward helping Republicans win primary elections against Tea Party insurgents.

The Republican establishment is reasserting control. It’s purging some of the hucksters who’d taken the party’s reins --or at least the airtime -- in recent years. It’s resisting much of the brinkmanship that marked the last Congress and trying to present a more fearsome, united front against counterproductive strategies favored by the right. All of the major 2016 presidential contenders have made the same political calculation: It’s better to build a reputation as one of the party’s adults than as one of its firebrands. . .

[But will there be any policy changes, shifting away from centering "their identity on the deficit"?]

There are, in corners of the Republican coalition, dissidents calling for a new approach. A surprising number of conservatives have, for instance, begun arguing that Republicans should break up big banks. A few indefatigable thinkers, including Bloomberg View’s Ramesh Ponnuru, continually argue that Republican tax policy should be helping families rather than lowering rates on the rich. A number of important voices in the party, including Ryan, have called for a focus on restoring social mobility, but the concerned rhetoric hasn’t been matched by serious policy. None of these strands of thinking appears close to blossoming into a new, or even slightly different, agenda.

That’s the problem with the Republican establishment reasserting control. They’re still the establishment."

Read Bloomberg, Ditching Palin, Talking Nice Won’t Revive Republicans

The Republi-cons are caving on a host of issues, including the debt ceiling, immigrations, and gay marriage.  Will we soon see a schism in the party? 

Read the Washington Post, Many big GOP voices changing their tune on immigration, Same-sex marriage can help save the institution, and The tea party is losing a few of its revelers