Monday, September 28, 2015

Get Ready For a Republi-CON Rumble

UPDATE V:  "John Boehner was brought down by the same conservative forces he once courted."

Read Slate, The Revolution Devours Its Own.  

UPDATE IV:  "Meet the new leader, same as the old leader. Rep. Eric Cantor’s defeat last week was a message from grass-roots conservatives to Washington’s Republican leaders: No more business as usual. But on the eve of the election to replace Cantor as majority leader—the second most powerful person in the House of Representatives—it doesn’t look like there’s been much of a change in how the House will function. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was in the No. 3 position, is now going to be elevated to Cantor’s old post. McCarthy is not an agent of change. On the issue of immigration, for example, which helped inflame opposition to Cantor, McCarthy is even more moderate. (He has in the past expressed support for giving undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.) House Speaker John Boehner, whom grass-roots activists criticize as a capitulator and dealmaker, is more powerful than ever, because without Cantor waiting in the wings, there is less threat that another member of the House could harness his grass-roots critics."

Read Slate, Under Old Management.  

UPDATE III: "How big a deal is the surprise primary defeat of Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader? Very. Movement conservatism, which dominated American politics from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Barack Obama — and which many pundits thought could make a comeback this year — is unraveling before our eyes.

I don’t mean that conservatism in general is dying. But what I and others mean by “movement conservatism,” a term I think I learned from the historian Rick Perlstein, is something more specific: an interlocking set of institutions and alliances that won elections by stoking cultural and racial anxiety but used these victories mainly to push an elitist economic agenda, meanwhile providing a support network for political and ideological loyalists.

By rejecting Mr. Cantor, the Republican base showed that it has gotten wise to the electoral bait and switch, and, by his fall, Mr. Cantor showed that the support network can no longer guarantee job security. For around three decades, the conservative fix was in; but no more. . .

So whither movement conservatism? Before the Virginia upset, there was a widespread media narrative to the effect that the Republican establishment was regaining control from the Tea Party, which was really a claim that good old-fashioned movement conservatism was on its way back. In reality, however, establishment figures who won primaries did so only by reinventing themselves as extremists. And Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.

In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier.
Read The New York Times, The Fix Isn’t In

UPDATE II:  "Republicans simply don’t trust bipartisan deals.

It’s an ideological trait that goes beyond mere hatred for Obama, which is considerable. . .

Opposing Cantor because he’s too lovey-dovey with Obama is insane. But that, more than any ideology, is the reason Cantor lost, and the reason Republicans have been reportedly forced into legislative strategies — default threats, shutdowns, killing immigration reform — they see as contrary to their own best interest. Even Cantor’s totalistic obstruction is not enough. Conservative Republicans want them to fight, and fight, and fight."

Read New York Magazine, Conservatives Don’t Hate the Immigration Deal. They Hate All Deals.

UPDATE:  "The Republican primary for a Senate seat in North Carolina Tuesday offers the most desperate political prognosticators a chance to read the tobacco leaves heading into 2016."

Read the Wall Street Journal, N.C. GOP Primary Offers Preview of Sorts for 2016.

"Any Republican donor who thought that the shutdown would 'break the fever' of the Tea Party, or that it would prove the pesky base wrong about its strategy, clearly didn’t know enough conservatives. . . The immediate political legacy of the #StandWithCruz moment is a surge of primary challenges, mostly in states or districts that Democrats won’t even try to win. The goal: replace the graybeard Republicans who 'caved' with Cruz/Lee doppelgangers who won’t."

Read Slate, The Next Ted Cruz

This might even continue through the 2016 election cycle.