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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's the ideology, stupid.

The Republicans are getting nervous.

“If the Republican Party cannot win in this environment,” George Will told his fellow panelists on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, “it has to get out of politics and find another business.”

He was echoed by the popular radio host Laura Ingraham: “If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record,” she told her listeners, “then shut down the party.”

Likewise the historian and prominent Romney backer Niall Ferguson, who told Newsweek’s readers that Obama’s robust poll numbers proved that “the law of political gravity has been suspended.”

Conservative Republican journalist, Ross Douthat, has an article in this morning's NY Times. You remember Ross Douthat, right? He's the guy who said that the more progressive The Episcopal Church becomes, the more it shrinks and essentially "blamed teh gayz" for the downfall of The Episcopal Church.  

The guy is in the "blame and shame" business and he's at it again. This time, he's blaming former POTUS George W. Bush for the looming diminishing electoral returns of the Republican Ticket.  

But, not before taking a swipe at liberals and progressives via sociology and pol-sci.
In their quest to explain the president’s resilience, conservatives haven’t just done the obvious thing and piled all the blame on Romney himself. They’ve started reaching for structural explanations for Romney’s underperformance, from “the left-controlled education system that has profoundly shaped the Millennials” (in the words of National Review’s Stanley Kurtz) to liberalism’s success at making the “government economy” of “federal welfare benefits” seem more important than the real economy of job creation (to quote the influential conservative blogger John Hinderaker).
Why can't conservatives just 'man up' and take responsibility for what's really wrong here?

It's not Dubya and it's not Romney. They are just the mouth pieces for the "new Republican" thinking. It's a mutually beneficial situation. Duby and Romney both have, shall we say, "father issues". Dubya had to be a two-term President to redeem his father's second-term loss. Mitt had to be nominated to redeem his father's defeat to Barry Goldwater's nomination.

Of course, Obama has his "father issues" as well, but both Dubya and Romney will do - have done and said - anything to get nominated and/or elected.  For Dubya it was buying into the whole "weapons of mass destruction" lie that got us into not one but two wars. For Romney, it means that he has become known as "Mr. Etch-A-Sketch", sometimes - even twice in the same day - change his position on issues which range from the Affordable Care Act to Reproductive Justice.

James Carville coined the Clinton strategy phrase, "It's the economy, stupid."

Well, Ross Douthat, it's not Dubya. It's the ideology.

John Gast - Manifest Destiny
The Republican Party Platform is so narcissistic, so anti-community and pro-individualism, as to be antithetical to everything I know about America.

It's all "pull-your-self-up-by-your-bootstraps" and "Manifest Destiny" which is completely devoid of the fundamental principle a government, "of the people, by the people, for the people."

Personal, individual progress while sacrificing the personal, individual freedoms of others.

Smaller government with fewer regulations on businesses and corporations while injecting government into the private lives of people.

Winning is the thing - by any means necessary: fear-mongering, redistricting, voter suppression, lies, stonewalling - whatever it takes.

That's not the Republican Party I grew up knowing. It's not the Republican Party my Republican friends grew up knowing. 

Here's the thing: It's not good for this country not to have two strong political parties. While I grow more and more confident of a Democratic victory in the White House as well as some significant victories in the Senate, I lament what will happen to the Republican Party after November 15th.

The Democrats have finally had a month of successful fundraising - raising more money last month than the Republicans.

The polls indicate that the Republicans did not get the "boost" they hoped for after their Convention.

Michele Bachmann seems to be in trouble in her home state of Minnesota, in a virtual tie with Democrat Jim Graves for that congressional seat.

Voter suppression efforts are being overturned in the courts, even as local community groups are making certain that every registered voter has the recently required picture ID anyway.

All of these are harbingers of a Democratic victory. People are not as stupid as some people would like them to be, thanks to that "left-controlled educational system".

The Republicans have admitted that their last tenure in the White House was an unmitigated disaster. Indeed, their last Republican President was quite noticeably absent from the RNC.

And yet, they want us to return to the same policies - domestic and foreign - that brought us to this disaster in the first place.  It's not just the educational system, folks. People have brains and eyes and ears and they function quite well, despite what we hear on Faux News.

A former great Republican President once said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Time for some Republicans to pay attention to their own wisdom.

Add these two events.....
Televangelist Pat Robertson (yes, he's still alive and well and living in the same time warp he's always maintained on television) - fresh from spending the weekend with the Romneys -  encouraged a man on his TV program to become a Muslim so he can beat his "rebellious" wife who was making him "lose his confidence" in himself as a man.

And, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Idaho overturned the charges of illegal abortion against Jennie McCormack for using the drug RU-486, which she procured online. This ruling now calls the validity of Idaho's anti-abortion law - and many like it in many other states - into question.
...... and you begin to see the unraveling of a well-planned, carefully orchestrated, highly financed ideology.

What concerns me is that, as the election date draws closer, we just may see a few dirty political tricks being played to sway the election.

These are desperate people in desperate times and they will do desperate things. It's happened before. It will happen again.

Think: Chad, as in hanging, dimpled and/or pregnant.

Meanwhile, I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but let's leave old Dubya alone. God knows, he's got amlot to answer for, but it's not just his fault.

It's the ideology, stupid.


Bex said...

I love that Will and Ingraham actually think the R party might go out of business if Romney craters. The loons that actually run the party will screech that Romney/Ryan weren't conservative ENOUGH. As the saying goes, conservatism can't fail, it can only be failed.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Bex - I am, of course, suspicious. It very possibly could be more fear-mongering on their part, to scare their troops into action. It's been effective in the past.

Marthe said...

It's not just ideology - it's a raging addiction to adrenaline & testosterone ... I'll leave "W" alone when he's in prison, where he and Rumsfeld & Cheney belong for crimes against humanity. You've correctly identified that it wasn't "just" Bush's fault, but then none of those go-it-alone rugged individualists stood up and took responsibility for their own actions - they hid behind a wall of secrecy & privilege & national security lies ... accountability, like taxes, are for the little people in their world. Enough will be enough when the prosecutions are real and the verdicts are read ... when justice for all actually means something again.

Unknown said...

I suggest we keep handing ole Mitt the rope and in no time he will hang himslef completely! Nothing can cure his foot in mouth disease! Good thing...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Marthe - Yes, it's addiction to adrenaline and testosterone, which is part and parcel of their ideology. I think you have to be addicted to real buy into their ideology.

That's the only thing that explains why an otherwise intelligent person would buy into their ideology.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Susan - Yes, Mitt will continue to put his silver-coated foot into his gold-plated mouth - meanwhile, we need to be vigilant and watchful while the people in his background plan and scheme dirty tricks. I wouldn't put it past 'em.

Pfalz prophet said...

I have to wonder if we're not seeing the conditions that precipitate the rise of a rational conservative party, led by, oh, say, Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins or Colin Powell. Were some rational conservative leader to network amongst his rational peers, they could form such a party and let the batshit crazies wither and die in the currently irrational GOP, as George Will predicts. A Dem landslide would accelerate that process.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Pflaz prophet - Well, looks this morning like Romney stuck his foot in his mouth once again over Libya. Even the Republicans have taken him out to the woodshed. Maybe you're right. Maybe this will prompt a bit of house cleaning in the RNC. From your mouth to God's ear.

Kay & Sarah said...

Thanks for connecting all the crazy ideas together for me, and giving us a bundle of Republican thoughts to point to as we fight this mess.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

We have to continue to fight the mess these ideologes have started. They could ruin everything good about this country.

Matthew said...

I miss the old republican party. Granted, it could be elitist and patrician (the Rockefellers were in it) but at least people had brains and by todays standards it seems almost progressive. In the wake of Libya, a friend emailed me this Gerald Ford TV commercial. Wow. How things have changed. Easing tensions, making sure we are at peace.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

That commercial makes me weep and I'm a lifelong Democrat.