Saturday, January 9, 2010

Editorials on the GOP from Charles Blow and Me

Amid all the wailing and gnashing of teeth coursing through the media and the blogosphere forecasting the imminent demise of the Democratic party, we need to recognize that the other side is worse off than we are.

The first editorial is from Charles Blow:

GOPsink The attack on the Republican establishment by the tea party folks grabs the gaze like a really bad horror flick — some version of “Hee Haw” meets “28 Days Later.” It’s fascinating. But it also raises a serious question: Are these the desperate thrashings of a dying movement or the labor pains of a new one?

My money is on the former. Anyone who says that this is the dawn of a new age of conservatism is engaging in wishful thinking on a delusional scale.

There is no doubt that the number of people who say that they are conservative has inched up. According to a report from Gallup on Thursday, conservatives finished 2009 as the No. 1 ideological group. But ideological identification is no predictor of electoral outcomes. According to polls by The New York Times, conservative identification was slightly higher on the verge of Bill Clinton’s first-term election and Barack Obama’s election than it was on the verge of George W. Bush’s first-term election.

It is likely that Republicans will pick up Congressional seats in November partly because of the enthusiasm of this conservative fringe, democratic apathy and historical trends. But make no mistake: This is not 1994.

This is a limited, emotional reaction. It’s a response to the trauma that is the Great Recession, the uncertainty and creeping suspicion about the risks being taken in Washington, a visceral reaction to Obama and an overwhelming sense of powerlessness and loss.

Simply put, it’s about fear-fueled anger. But anger is not an idea. It’s not a plan. And it’s not a vision for the future. It is, however, the second stage of grief, right after denial and before bargaining.

The right is on the wrong side of history. The demographics of the country are rapidly changing, young people are becoming increasingly liberal on social issues, and rigid, dogmatic religious stricture is loosening its grip on the throat of our culture.

The right has seen the enemy, and he is the future.

According to a Gallup report issued this week, Republicans were more than twice as likely as Democrats and a third more likely as independents to have a pessimistic outlook for the country over the next 20 years. That might be the fourth stage of grief: depression.

So what’s their battle plan to fight back from the precipice of irrelevance? Moderation? A stab at modernity? A slate of innovative ideas? No, their plan is to purge the party’s moderates and march farther down the road to oblivion... [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

The second editorial is from me:

Tom070108-2 I consider the retaking of America a two step process.  First get rid of the alligators.  Then drain the swamp.

Get rid of the alligators.  The alligators are the GOP.  They are divided into four segments:

Neocons: They believe that the US should rule the world by force.  They brought us wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  They also planned to conquer Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Iran, but could not proceed because the GOP botched the first two.  They also believe in ruling our nation by fear, and if that does not work, by force.  In the event of a civil disturbance in which US troops refused to fire on our citizens, Bush and the GOP had Blackwater storm troopers poised to cut us down.  The US public is tired of war.  The GOP has played the fear card so many times that only the most delusional Faux Noise sheeple believe it.  And we are reasonably safe from the threat of force from our government, as long as the GOP is never allowed back in power.  They cannot win over the public, unless a major terrorist attack, on the scale of 9/11, succeeds.

Theocons:  They believe in establishing a theocracy through which they can mandate observance of their piety codes on those who do not share their beliefs.  They would overturn a woman’s right to control her own body, muzzle science, criminalize the LGBT community, enforce abstinence only education, and require the teaching of the Genesis creation account in schools.  They cannot win over the public, because the majority opposes their repressive policies, and because the numerous scandals from Pastor Ted to John Ensign exposes them as the hypocrites they are.

Corporocons: They believe in No Millionaire Left Behind, the only successful Bush/GOP policy.  Because of them, the bottom 40% of Americans own only 0.2% of the wealth.  The banksters are a subset of the corporocons.  They cannot win over the public by themselves, although they have worked in close concert with the GOP, they are equally happy to buy Democrats.  They have been successful enough in that endeavor that eliminating them will have to wait until the second step of the process.

Insanocons:  This is the teabagger set.  They believe only what they see on Faux Noise.  Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, and Michelle Malkin are their demigods.  The think what they’re told, say what they’re told, go where they’re told and do what they’re told, happy to goose-step into insignificance.  They are dangerous because of their passion, but there are few enough in numbers, and so far off the deep end, that they cannot win over the public.

There is also a fifth segment of the GOP:  the authentic intellectual conservative.  I did not include them, because the other four segments have turned on them, marginalized them, and driven them out of the party to such an extent that they are virtually extinct.  That is a sad thing, because without them, the GOP has no redeeming value.

So this is what we’re up against.  The only way we can fail is to form a circular firing squad.  Though the Democrats are far from perfect, supporting them is a necessary step toward reclaiming our nation, and we need to be just as passionate in that support as the insanocans are in theirs.

Then drain the swamp.  The swamp is the Democratic Party.  But that’s another editorial.


Holte Ender said...

The authentic intellectual conservatives are still out there, and winning them over as an ally is key, they need to speak out against the hijacking of their party. Witnessing the behavior of the Republican party, and their media friends at Fox, makes me cringe, how does it make considerate conservatives feel. Agree with Mr. Blow that anger is not an idea and an angry party will find it difficult to win voters over, both concerned conservative and independents hold the 2010 elections in their hands.

Oso said...

IMO the Democratic party's triangulation has been successful.

Obama got more $ from Wall St than McCain and I believe this is a first, at least in recent history.
Obama is delivering legislation (which I think sucks but my opinion here isn't relevant)on HCR and F.I.R.E reform. He will be able to point to this in 2012 as an achievement and blame it's shortcomings on the Republicans.

The Republicans are reduced to just saying no, and the negativity will grow old.So I agree with your assessment,some Dem seats lost in 2010 as a "vote for the other side cause I'm pissed" reaction to the economy but in the long run with Wall St on the Dem side the Republicans will be marginalized.

Of course when my "medicine" wears off I may sing a different tune.

TomCat said...

I'm sorry Holte. When I talk about their extinction, I'm referring to the party leadershop and elected legislators, not the day-to-day folks that are authentic intellectual conservatives.

Good analysis, Oso. Have you had your head in the medicine bag again? ;-)

Leslie Parsley said...

I, for some odd reason, can't agree with anything that's been said. Except, we're talking about polls in the first part. Polls are made up, literally and figuratively, from the electorate, so I think Holte has a valid point.
And they vote, and in the end, it's the vote that count.

And there are some former supporters of the religious right who have switched their alleagence = Frank Schaeffer and Charles Johnson to name a couple. I think and hope that we will see more of this.

Pardon typos. My mouse batteries died and I have no patience with this stupid touch pad.

Jolly Roger said...

The hot-air set use that Gallup poll to "prove" that Americans are "conservative." But if you look at the stances the vast majority of Americans take on abortion, environmental issues, and universal healthcare, the "conservative" label doesn't hold up.

I don't think that it's true. I think, unfortunately, that most Americans don't understand what the word "conservative" actually means. I think what we're seeing is the leftover effect of 30 years of demonizing liberals.

Hill said...

Your editorial is awesome, TC.

"I consider the retaking of America a two step process. First get rid of the alligators. Then drain the swamp."

Afuckingmen, amigo.

Lisa G. said...

I agree with everyone but Leslie on this one. (Sorry Leslie!)

We can thank Raygun for the rise of the theocons. And TC, you forgot that their policies are not only repressive, they are regressive. Hey, if you wanna live in the 18th century, that's your business - I hear Iran is really nice this time of year. (Oops, sorry, wrong religion!)

The neo-cons have bankrupted the country. Their additional calls for war will go unheeded; I think even they are starting to see that.

I can't blast the corpocons too much; we have our fair share as well, aka DINOs. Publicly financed elections will take care of those. Good luck getting them to cut off their own gravy train though.

Teabaggers don't even know what they are pissed about unless some corporate funded douchebag tells them. This is why our education system needs improvement. :)

When Morning Joe occasionally sounds rational, you know the Repubs are on the express crazy train.

And please, someone stick a sock in that asshole Cheney's mouth! I liked him much better in his undisclosed location. Please, can't we send him back there?

otis said...

I think that we should revert to a Tribal society and be done with it. It solves a lot of problems.

If a leader of a tribe is an asshole, he/she is usually 'sacrificed'. I have no issue with that.

Money would no longer be an issue as we would go back to the barter system.

It would make Facebook MUCH more entertaining as tribes got into conflicts.

Lisa G. said...

Honey, that sounds like a bad "Survior - US" plot!

TomCat said...

Leslie, a lot of of people who identify themselves as 'conservative' will consider the current GOP as too reactionary to support.

JR, that's a good observation. The GOP might have been more successful to paint us with that brush than with the absurd labels in use today.

Thanks, Hill.

Lisa, I could have included Cheneycons, but that's a group of one.

Otis, your wifey beat me to what I was going to say, except for calling you 'Honey'. ;-)