Politics – That’s Racist!

Part of the fun of the Obama administration has been watching the GOP, clowned in two successive elections, struggle to come to a philosophy that will connect with voters further to the left than, say, McCarthy, and watching in horror as all the parts of the party they’d rather not talk about erupt into the mainstream and ruin their efforts.

Just look at the current mess the “tea-baggers” are in.  Leaving aside for the moment that by now somebody should have either explained to them what the Boston Tea Party is about, or what tea-bagging actually IS, racist idiots have been showing up to their rallies with signs portraying the President as a witch doctor or waving around Confederate flags, something liberal bloggers have been rather pointedly asking about and something to which the tea-baggers just don’t have a good answer.

This isn’t to imply that all Republicans are racist, but rather that racists, if they want to be “mainstream” instead of living in a compound in Idaho selling meth, tend to identify themselves with the GOP, whether the GOP wants them or not.   Anybody remember Trent Lott’s problems with the Concerned Conservative Citizens (yes, the CCC)?  Or notice that who was going to run the party in 2008 boiled down to, literally, the winner Michael Steele or a man who advocated segregation?  When your party has to choose between a public racist and a black guy, that’s a pretty dramatic illustration of your problems as a party.

One of the millstones around the GOP’s neck has been their loons are more damaging and less socially acceptable than the Democratic loons.  Sure, Greenpeace can be annoying, but who would you rather have marching through town, them or neo-Nazis?  And now that the party’s identity is up for grabs, the loons are out in force.  But this doesn’t have to be, for them anyway, a bad thing.

The GOP has a moment here.  They’ve been sticking to the same tune for the thirty years or so, but around 1994, it stopped paying off.  After the “Republican Revolution”, they lost House seats in 1996, 1998, and 2000.  Clinton cruised to an easy win in 1996, despite the party basically focusing all their efforts on destroying him; he pretty smoothly turned that around on them, effectively ending a lot of political careers.  By 2000, the Senate was evenly split, and Jim Jeffords stopped Bush in his tracks by quitting the party (and losing a powerful moderate like that was a bad sign).  Also in 2000, Bush only won a heavily contested election because the Supreme Court called it for him.  If 9/11 hadn’t happened, the Democratic sweep in 2006 would have happened in 2002.  As it stands, 2004 featured Bush once again winning by less than one hundred thousand votes, and 2006 was a beating the GOP thought couldn’t happen to them.  Until 2008.

In short, anybody taking the long view could have told the GOP, point blank, that America was changing and it was becoming increasingly clear the voting public didn’t like their policies, as the Democrats, who are, let’s face it, not exactly masters of organization or presenting a united front, kept chipping away at them.  This isn’t to say America isn’t conservative.  Are you kidding?  America’s the most conservative country on the planet that’s still a democracy.

The basic problem is the party leadership is VERY far to the right, and Americans are fairly moderate.  Obama is not actually all that liberal, and neither was Clinton.  Steele’s first act, which was perfectly sensible, was to fire the shit out of every idiot in the RNC who’d guaranteed the party lost two elections in a row.  And the first thing half his party did was hire these people into different positions of power, and start working to sabotage Michael Steele.

But the truth is: the American people didn’t like this shit ten years ago, they’ve indicated recently that age has not made this shit smell any better, and there’s frankly no indication, Glenn Beck whining or not, that they like this shit anymore now. 

Add to this that the GOP is NOT in a position of strength.  For them to get anything resembling true power, they’d have to win a pretty large chunk of seats in the House, and cut down the Democrats in the Senate.  As they have no less than five Senators retiring (in a couple of cases in what amounts to disgust), it’s hard to see how they’re actually going to make any gains.

So how can the loons help them?  Simple: reject them.

Seriously.  Denounce them long, loud, and publicly.  Tell them explicitly “this isn’t what we stand for.”  Tell the American people.

Of course, that’ll leave open the question of what, exactly, the GOP stands for these days.  But, hell, you have to start somewhere.

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One Response to “Politics – That’s Racist!”

  1. Amanda K Says:

    I don’t always agree with your politics, but I gotta say, this post is SPOT ON. Well done, sir.

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