Those characters stirring and steering the GOP

I try not to mock people, but there's a special, warm spot in my heart reserved just for Tea Party activists, and conservative Texans in particular. Yup, they sure prove how fucked up government can get, when TPers throw in their votes and slogans. (Now imagine rolls of toilet paper hanging from ceilings of a dysfunctional congress. Waahoo, TP wins!)

Short and sweet entries, please, sort of like a log that people can look back on and enjoy, after Hillary reaps the spoils of a the coming 2016 scorched earth GOP primaries. (I'll defer to someone else to run a TA blog that mocks dems. And by the way, yes, Hillary is a Chechnyan-born Muslim. So what?)

Meanwhile, HuffPo's 2016 National GOP Primary page, giving a summary of current polls on GOP frontrunners.

Views: 53

Tags: Bachman, Cruz, GOP, GOP 2016, Hillary, HuffPo, Nugent, Perry, Texas

Comment by _Robert_ on February 21, 2014 at 7:48am

Comment by Pope Beanie on February 21, 2014 at 1:27pm
Comment by Gallup's Mirror on February 21, 2014 at 5:03pm

The problem with the GOP is that the future always looks like the past. Consider the year 2000. Low unemployment. Balanced budget. Strong economy. The Republicans take over, look around, and say gosh, now is the perfect time for:

  • Sweeping deregulation and lax enforcement of regulatory controls.
  • Trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Billions of dollars in new spending (all unfunded because they can't raise taxes).
  • Slapping down the uppity women, immigrants, gays, and racial minorities.
  • Savage cuts in social programs that help children and the elderly.
  • Expansion of corporate welfare programs at taxpayer expense.

The result was the near-collapse of the commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance industries, a doubling of the national debt, and the destruction of the real estate market, 30,000 businesses, and 20 million American jobs.

Before the GOP's deregulation scheme, the super-rich CEOs who caused the financial crisis collectively would have received several thousand years in prison. Instead they received million-dollar bonuses and the $700 billion TARP bailout on top of the massive tax cuts they'd already been given.

Fast forward to 2008. The GOP crackpots look around and say gosh what a mess. So they produce the Tea Party, demand an injection of fresh ideas into conservative politics and come up with:

  • Sweeping deregulation and lax enforcement of regulatory controls.
  • Trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Billions of dollars in new spending (all unfunded because they can't raise taxes).
  • Slapping down the uppity women, immigrants, gays, and racial minorities.
  • Savage cuts in social programs that help children and the elderly.
  • Expansion of corporate welfare programs at taxpayer expense.

The GOP loses big and Obama is elected.

Move ahead to 2012. The GOP looks around and says gosh, Obama really isn't picking up this mess fast enough. We need change for America, something that'll really get this country back on track. So Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan produce a batch a new ideas they say will solve all of our problems:

  • Sweeping deregulation and lax enforcement of regulatory controls.
  • Trillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
  • Billions of dollars in new spending (all unfunded because they can't raise taxes).
  • Slapping down the uppity women, immigrants, gays, and racial minorities.
  • Savage cuts in social programs that help children and the elderly.
  • Expansion of corporate welfare programs at taxpayer expense.

The GOP loses big again and Obama is re-elected.

Look ahead to 2016. I'm sure Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and the other rising stars of the GOP will come up with a fresh, new platform to run on. Care to guess what those ideas will be?

That's the problem. The product is ideological dogma ("Norquist pledge!") so nothing changes but the euphemism for it ("compassionate conservative!").

Meanwhile the GOP has split. We have the marginalized 'traditional' GOP which was capable of occasional reason, competence and compromise. Then we have the mainstream 'crackpot' GOP-- the Tea Party-- which is incapable of reason, competence or compromise. As such the GOP ultimately faces a choice between running a 'smart liar' or an 'honest dingbat'.

Sarah Palin in 2008 was the 'honest dingbat' model. She sincerely believes the moronic things she says ("death panels!") so she comes across as genuine and honest. Thus the Tea Party crackpots adore her. But traditional Republicans, independents, and swing voters don't like stupidity, even when sincerely presented.

Mitt Romney in 2012 was the 'smart liar' model. He had the political record of a traditional moderate Republican. He didn't run with the Tea Party nutjobs, but he needed their votes. So he lied to them ("severely conservative!") and put a Tea Party crackpot in his stable ("Meet my good buddy, Paul Ryan!") and reverses course ("Sure I passed RomneyObamacare, but now I'm against it!")  Romney isn't 'one of them', so he must pretend he's one of them. This hurt him badly: he seemed wooden and insincere (moreso than usual) so GOP voters didn't trust him.

So the GOP is stuck. Smart liar that people don't trust (Chris Christie)? Or honest nincompoop that people like (Mike Huckabee)? How do they appeal to both groups within the split GOP without alienating the crucial swing voters?

The answer right now is: they don't. I think the GOP will keep trotting out the 'smart liar' models for the Presidential elections. A truly exceptional liar has a better chance of winning than a truly embarrassing honest dingbat.

Comment by Pope Beanie on February 21, 2014 at 6:17pm

Huckabee worries me the most because I think he's smart, and knows how to use ignorance to reel in his faithful. It's like Fox News itself is running as candidate.

Comment by Pope Beanie on March 1, 2014 at 4:26pm

Damn, maybe Rand Paul gets it, now:

Rand Paul warns Texas could turn blue

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