Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How did we get Romney again?...



If your memory is really, really bad, and you're wondering how the Republicans ended up with a candidate as bad as Mitt Romney, maybe this video will remind you. :)

You know, if you're still a Republican, maybe you should ask yourself why all your party leaders are batshit crazy.

Actually, I should probably rephrase that. I'm sure there are still sane Republicans somewhere, even a few in leadership positions. But what does it tell you when the majority of Republicans are batshit crazy enough that only batshit crazy politicians can get any real support in your party?

Keep in mind that these people all led in Republican polls at some point. (And this video doesn't even include Donald Trump!) There are only two reasons why Mitt Romney ended up with the win: (1) He assured primary voters that he was just as batshit crazy as they were, and (2) the Republican base couldn't settle on which batshit crazy politician they really preferred, thus splitting the vote.

But no one who wasn't batshit crazy, or at least pretended to be (and at this point, I don't think even Romney knows what Mitt Romney really thinks), had the slightest chance at the nomination. If you're still a Republican, what does that tell you?

Republicans weren't always like this, although they've long supported the wealthy. But the crazy only happened because of their notorious 'Southern strategy,' where they saw an opportunity for political advantage and weren't too picky about what they had to do to get it.

Remember, the South had been solidly Democratic for more than a century. Democrats were the party of slavery and segregation. African Americans tended to vote GOP (when they were allowed to vote at all), the "party of Lincoln." And the Northeast had long been the big Republican stronghold.

But when northern Democrats decided to do the right thing and end segregation, Republicans saw their opportunity. By deliberately wooing white racists, they took the South from the Democrats. In strictly political terms, that was hugely successful. All those old Dixiecrats became Republicans - indeed, they're now the Republican base. (Today, no part of the country is as solidly Republican as the South.)

And at first, Republican leaders merely had to use racist codewords, maybe throw them a bone occasionally. After all, the Democrats had pretty well burned their bridges with these people. The 1964 Civil Rights Act did that!

But those old Dixiecrats became more and more important to the GOP, at least in part because the party started losing anyone who was uncomfortable with racist dog-whistles - African Americans, obviously, but also northeastern moderates. Republicans kept Wall Street, because of their single-minded focus on tax cuts for the wealthy, but lost most of their former stronghold in the Northeast.

Still, gaining the South was enough to dominate politically for most of four decades - despite such complete disasters as Richard Nixon and George W. Bush - and in that time, they've been able to move America strongly to the right.

Now, they didn't even try to bring back racial segregation, no more than reinstating slavery or ending women's suffrage. Our nation had moved on. And, after all, Republican leaders - and their financial backers - really only wanted tax cuts for the rich. The rest of it was just a cynical political calculation - a very successful cynical political calculation.

But when you fill your party with racists, when you fill your party with religious fundamentalists, when you fill your party with hysterical crazies of all kinds (and there were some crazies, like the John Birchers, already in the GOP), that has an effect, especially when you also start to lose the moderates who find such things distasteful. At first, Republican leaders just had to flatter the crazies a bit, but that changed.

Eventually, the crazies became the Republican base. The lunatics took control of the asylum. Today, all Republican leaders have to appeal to the crazies, I mean really appeal to them. Even Fox 'News' doesn't have complete control over the GOP base, although no Republican leader dares offend Fox, either. (And Fox has more influence over the crazies than anyone else.)

But if you're still a Republican after all this,... why? Are you simply as crazy as the rest of them? Are you easily frightened by the thought of black people, Hispanics, non-Christians, immigrants? Or are you just ignorant, believing what you see on Fox 'News' because you don't know any better?

A lot of sane Republicans have left the party. Indeed, sane Republicans continue to leave the party, which is why the GOP just gets crazier and crazier. But for those of you who stay, you've got to know that you're enabling the crazies. So why do you do it? Why stay?

After all, even if your local Republican congressman is relatively sane, you know he's going to vote with the party leadership. Republicans in Congress march in lockstep. And, unfortunately, the crazies are firmly in control of the GOP.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

WCG,

Drive past the Magellon oil depot on Saltillo Road and you'll see a sign that reads as follows:

"A Democrat can't be Christian
A Christian can't be Democrat"

Only a Sith deals in absolutes...

WCG said...

Neat, Jeff! As an atheist, I always like to see such idiocy, because I think it's driving more people away from Christianity than driving Christians from the Democratic Party. I really see little downside to that.

I assume that it's a private sign, not at a church? If it's associated with a church or other non-profit organization, it needs to be turned in to the IRS (or to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, at least).