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Why will the G.O.P. become more, not less, extreme?

 
 
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 08:46 am
For one thing, projections suggest that this election will drive many of the remaining Republican moderates out of Congress, while leaving the hard right in place.

For example, Larry Sabato, the election forecaster, predicts that seven Senate seats currently held by Republicans will go Democratic on Tuesday. According to the liberal-conservative rankings of the political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, five of the soon-to-be-gone senators are more moderate than the median Republican senator " so the rump, the G.O.P. caucus that remains, will have shifted further to the right. The same thing seems set to happen in the House.

Also, the Republican base already seems to be gearing up to regard defeat not as a verdict on conservative policies, but as the result of an evil conspiracy. A recent Democracy Corps poll found that Republicans, by a margin of more than two to one, believe that Mr. McCain is losing “because the mainstream media is biased” rather than “because Americans are tired of George Bush.”
But the G.O.P.’s long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.

This will pose a dilemma for moderate conservatives. Many of them spent the Bush years in denial, closing their eyes to the administration’s dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law. Some of them have tried to maintain that denial through this year’s election season, even as the McCain-Palin campaign’s tactics have grown ever uglier. But one of these days they’re going to have to realize that the G.O.P. has become the party of intolerance.
Paul Krugman http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/03/opinion/03krugman.html?th&emc=th
paul krugman---
 
Woiyo9
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 08:52 am
Extreme? That is in the eye of the beholder.

If the republican party wants to be effective, they need better organizations and candidates. I do not think a change in thier platform is necessary as the democrats have not lately been a "majority party" and I doubt they will receive 51% of the popular vote tomorrow in the presidential election.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 08:55 am
@Woiyo9,
Care to bet on that Woiyo?
0 Replies
 
okie
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 09:00 am
@dyslexia,
"We have a righteous wind at our back and in these last two days, if you will knock on some doors, make some phone calls for me . . . if you will stand with me," Obama said. "I promise you that you and I will win this election and change the world."

Barack Obama quote.
http://www.chieftain.com/articles/2008/11/02/news/local/doc490cff920e9c3343447502.txt

Nice thread, dys, but where the word, "G.O.P." was, you made a typo, it should read "Democrats."
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 09:22 am
@dyslexia,
Hard to know how this is going to play out, dys. There's another relevant piece at national review this morning http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZDU3ZDM5ZDVlYzg0NzdhMmZiYzRkZGE3NGY5ZjhiMTA=

Noonan makes a too seldom addressed point in there about the element of careerism. That element (income/profit, maintenance of a comfortable status quo) will work towards continuing the successful business model of extremist conservative media forms. Making conservatives more thoughtful or smarter will not be the result.

Gerson said a couple of days ago that the 'circular firing squad' would be quite unpleasant and had already begun. We knew that but nice to see he does too.

I'm involved in a couple of other boards talking with conservatives on this question and Krugman's cynicism is well-founded.

The movement cannot have electoral success if it remains as it is and that's even moreso the case if they move to toss moderates out (small tent). But lots of them are going to go exactly that way (listening to Limbaugh or Bozell right now is revelatory). But the electoral realities, and the smarter people who understand this, will work to patch things together again.

The chamber of commerce element and other big business entities will...well, I'm not sure here. They'll certainly move to seduce those in power (the Dems, obviously) If it is perceived that the old movement machinery can no longer provide a means to power and legislative control, they'll turn elsewhere, further decreasing the clout of the social conservative crowd.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  3  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 09:41 am
@blatham,
Nothing will change until the majority of Religious Right Republicans realise that they are only used as a means for the corporate elite to gain and retain power to support their economic interests and that they could care less about their religious morality goals.

I wouldn't be surprised to one day see them leave the Republican Party and create their own religious party.

BBB
Woiyo9
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 09:53 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
LOL...the religious right??????? You are the fool.

Sort of like saying how the Baptist Churches, Baptist Preachers, Muslims have now flocked to the Democratic Party.

The "religious right" represent a small percentage of Republicans that them leaving will have minimal real impact in my view..
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:01 am
My prediction.

The right wing splits from the GOP and becomes politically meaningless (albeit still loud).

The GOP becomes much more moderate and makes a play for conservative Democrats. Conservatives will be quite noisy in their unhappiness for a while, but will settle down in the next 10-12 years.

You will probably see a quite moderate Republican nominee in 2012.

Conservative Christians will be cast out in the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:02 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
A breakaway party is a real possibility. It's going to be a real bitch for the movement now, and for the RNC, various options and none of them looking good.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:04 am
@ebrown p,
Do you think Newt Gingrich plans to run for president in 2012? Interesting to see what happens between him and Sarah Palin at that time.

BBB
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:08 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I don't think Sarah Palin has any real political future. She may try a primary run, but she won't be taken any more seriously than Huckabee was.

Newt Gingrich is an interesting idea. He would have to play moderate... which I don't know if he is up to.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:09 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Gingrich is definitely a guy to watch now. He is a completely amoral **** and has serious designs on accumulated power.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:12 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

Do you think Newt Gingrich plans to run for president in 2012? Interesting to see what happens between him and Sarah Palin at that time.

BBB

Newt has always been a political animal and can run where he needs to. It wouldn't surprise me to see a moderate Newt over the next few years. I don't think Newt will take on a strong Obama like Dole did. If Obama's running strong in late 2010, Newt will hold off. If Obama's having issues, Newt might be right there.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:16 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
My prediction.

The right wing splits from the GOP and becomes politically meaningless (albeit still loud).

I'm afraid that's wishful thinking. The Religious Right may be crazy, but it isn't stupid. That's an important difference, which will prevent them from marginalizing themselves in that way.
H2O MAN
 
  0  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:26 am


The right will continue to be less extreme and less radical than the left.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:32 am
@H2O MAN,
H2O MAN wrote:



The right will continue to be less extreme and less radical than the left.



Well, actually quite easy since you don't have a 'left' in the USA. At least none which has any importance.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:40 am
I agree with Thomas that the reactionary wing of the Republicans is unlikely to fragment into a separate party. In the years since the end of the Civil War, the two parties which survived the war (there were four viable candidates in 1860) have enshrined their power. They agree on little, but they agree on the necessity to exclude competition. State primary systems and even voter registration in many states recognize the two parties as the only continuously established parties. No matter how reactionary (until you get to the true fringe with white supremacists and delusional types like the John Birchers ), the extreme right of the Republican party is not so stupid as to marginalize itself by abandoning the organization which has the only real means to exercise true power.

I also agree that it is moderate Republicans who will usually attain high office and govern. Very few truly conservative Republicans have attained and held high office. Those in Congress who are extremely conservative, to the extent that they genuinely represent such a constituency, have nevertheless been obliged to compromise with the moderate aspirations of much of the party, or risk marginalizing themselves. Baby Bush is the only true extreme right-wing Republican who has held the office of President; if you exclude Reagan and Pappy Bush, both of whom, for however much they might be despised by many (i certainly despise the empty suit and the Republican apparatchik) were far more moderate than Baby Bush has proven to be. Eisenhower and Nixon were both true moderate Republicans.

The same thing applies to the Democrats. Although the conservatives are certainly indulging a Chicken Little hysteria to rant about the left wing extremism of the Democratic party, it is true that there is an extreme left wing to that party. When they are perceived to be in the driver's seat, the Democrats suffer at the polls. Thanks to Baby Bush and the PNAC cronies of his administration, Americans have come to focus the same distrust on the extreme right wing of the Republican party. Conservatives like to claim that the American people are fundamentally conservative. I'm sure it consoles them as to the rectitude of their position. But that is only true in comparison to the rest of the world. In terms of American politics, Americans are moderate--the majority don't like extremism in defense of anything.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:43 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
I'm afraid that's wishful thinking. The Religious Right may be crazy, but it isn't stupid. That's an important difference, which will prevent them from marginalizing themselves in that way.


thomas
I suspect you are probably correct here but it is now far less certain than it was 3 years ago. There are serious moves afoot now, by organizational seniors, to push Palin forward as the new figurehead of the movement/party. That looks as risky to movement solidarity (and notions of electoral success) or rebuilding as it was for McCain to accede to movement seniors' demands he choose her as VP. The smarter, more moderate republicans will not be on board unless they can be convinced she can fill this role.

Certainly, there is going to be a period now of serious infighting for control of the party/movement.
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:48 am
set

I see a difference in the present situation. The religious/social conservative component within the party has, over the last twenty years, gained significant power and influence. With the strategic assistance of people like Rove and Norquist and others, of course. In the process, they've created something of a beast not so easily managed. I don't think it is at all a given who is going to come out on top here.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2008 10:55 am
@blatham,
So? So what? I wasn't talking about who would come out on top, i was just pointing out the the most conservative Republicans are still not so stupid as to marginalize themselves by breaking from the Party; and that it is unlikely that at any time in the near future, the far right of the Party could field a far right presidential candidate with a hope in Hell of taking the White House.

Who "comes out on top" at this stage of things has little to do with the reality of electoral politics. Even if McCain wins, the religious extremists of the Republican Party have shot themselves in the collective foot; they have alienated the majority of the elctorate.
 

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