Friday, February 17, 2012

The GOP death march

From The Hill:
To fully understand the magnitude of what could be a GOP death march in 2012, consider the column Wednesday, on this page, by my colleague Dick Morris, who appears to almost hunger for America to fail, and appears almost desperate that data have begun to show America is coming back.

Morris’s column is a calling card for what I call the “Hope America Fails” wing of the Republican Party. They’re betting their fortune that the American economy fails, which is a perilous place for a great party to be. These Hope America Fails Republicans look mournful after good economic news and gleeful after bad economic news.

The words “death march” occur to me when the GOP is reduced to attacking Clint Eastwood when Eastwood is talking up America.

Students of history know that my line of argument closely tracks the line of argument from conservative icon Jeanne Kirkpatrick when she supported Ronald Reagan.

The Hope America Fails Republicans are joined by the Blame Americans First Republicans, who say the jobless want to be jobless and the poor want to be poor, and the Help China Win Republicans, who attack the president’s support for new energy while the Chinese government is mobilizing investments to dominate this business.

There is a great common denominator to what could become the GOP death march of 2012:

The Republicans have become so consumed and blinded by the intensity of their obsession against the president and their pure lust for power that they stand for nothing, and offer nothing to voters, except the intensity of their obsessions, ideologies, hatreds and dislikes. [my emphasis]

Thanks to Jeff for the link.

I certainly agree with that last paragraph. And the GOP is on a death march, for sure. Whether or not it will happen this year depends, frankly, on their ability to sabotage our economic recovery.

It shouldn't be that way. In fact, it's really hard to imagine why anyone would consider voting for the Republicans anymore, considering what they did to our country when they last held power. And they haven't changed their policies one bit, just become crazier and crazier at how they present them.

It's a sad indictment of our democracy that Barack Obama's reelection probably depends on how our economy is doing next November. It doesn't make any difference who's at fault. If the Republicans continue to drag their feet, and even deliberately sabotage the recovery (as they did last summer, during that debt ceiling debacle), that probably won't matter at all.

It will only matter if they're successful with their sabotage. Hard to believe, isn't it? But most people just don't pay enough attention to these things.

Of course, Republicans seem to be doing their best to make the election all about those crazy culture war issues, like contraception and gay rights, where the vast majority of our country disagrees with them. But that's because they have to appeal to the loons in the Republican base before they can get nominated at all.

As the general election draws closer, we'll see the Republican Party desperately trying to make Americans forget all about that, trying to pretend that it's all about the economy, instead. Will it work? We Americans have horribly short memories, but are they that short? I guess we'll find out.


Jim Harris said...

What I'd like to know is how many Americans are represented by the Republicans? Are we talking 50% or 30% or 20%? It depresses me to think that a large percentage of the population actually thinks like what the Republicans appear to think like.

WCG said...

Jim, it depends on what you ask them. When you speak in labels or simplistic slogans, a lot of Americans support them. Twice as many Americans consider themselves to be "conservative," compared to self-described "liberals."

They're aghast at the very idea of "socialism." And asked about "Obamacare," you'll know their response from their political orientation.

But if you poll Americans about the issues, a large majority support the Democrats, although many of them won't realize that. They hate "Obamacare," but they really like what's in it.

Majorities are even supporting gay rights these days, let alone Social Security, Medicare, birth control, the separation of church and state, tax increases for the rich, etc.

On the issues - economic and social issues - a majority of Americans agree with Democratic positions. Often, it's an overwhelming majority, a majority even of registered Republicans!

But when you speak in labels, it's a different story. Republican leaders, from Fox News on down, just hammer away at labels. It's always Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare, not the actual provisions of the legislation (which were originally, of course, Republican positions).

They constantly call Barack Obama a "socialist," without saying what he's done that actually makes him a socialist. Well, that's because he's not a socialist, or no more than the average American who wants public schools, fire departments, and roads.

But labels work, especially on the fearful, the ignorant, and the gullible, and especially when you hammer away at them over and over and over again. We Americans don't support Republican positions. But all too many of us still support Republicans.

And remember, only a minority of Americans reliably vote. You don't need majority support in our democracy. You just need a majority of those who actually participate.