The GOP begins to re-think

Friday, November 9th, 2012 · 11 Comments »

National Schadenfreude Day is just gonna last all week, isn’t it? The headline from the Washington Post:

Republican Party begins election review to find out what went wrong

Hello, Republican Party? What went wrong is that you hate female people, black people, brown people, gay people, non-rich people, educated people, rational people, etc. That’s a lot of people.

Party officials said the review is aimed at studying their tactics and message, not at changing the philosophical underpinnings of the party.

Okay, see, this is going to be a problem. Because the philosophical underpinnings of your party are that you hate female people, black people, brown people, gay people, non-rich people, educated people, rational people, etc. Do you see where this is going?

Seriously, though, it will be interesting to watch the Republicans retool over the next few years. I have no doubt they’ll do a very good job of it, too. They just need to get back to first principles. They need to get back to their true philosophical underpinnings, which are hidden deep in the party’s tiny little black heart of hell, or possibly in Dick Cheney’s undisclosed location.

At its core, the GOP is the party of the 1%. Yes, it started out as something different back in the 19th century, but for the past hundred years the GOP has been the party of the rich. The party of the 1%. And all the other stuff—from red-baiting to abortion to the Southern strategy to guns to gays—is just smoke and mirrors to trick the 99% into voting for them.

Racism and sexism have been particularly potent smoke-and-mirror techniques for the past few decades, so much so that there is now a generation of useful idiots in the lower ranks of the party who really think that’s what the GOP is about. But modern demographics are complicating that strategy. There are just too many female people and black people and brown people on the other side.

When your base is down to the Confederacy and Deseret, you have a problem.

So the Republicans need to retool. They need to come up with a new and improved line of bullshit to trick people into voting for them. What will it be?

Personally, I think one growth sector in Republican bullshit is going to be the national debt. Very few people understand macroeconomics, and even otherwise intelligent people are easily misled into thinking the debt is like some huge credit card bill we owe to China. And it scares them. A lot. Right before the election there was an article about some Romney volunteer who had actually quit his job to work full-time on the campaign because he was so terrified about the national debt. Can you imagine? It made me think of those pathetic people who gave up everything because they thought the Rapture was coming.

Of course it’s immoral as hell to scare people like that, but politicians don’t give a shit about morals. With the national debt, Republicans have found the perfect propaganda tool. Nobody understands the real situation so they don’t know they’re being conned, and it sounds so scary that people think they have to vote for whoever is promising to fix it. It’s a great racket.

As for solving the demographic issue, I think the Republicans are most likely to go after the Hispanic vote. This will mean dropping the immigration thing, but the advantage (in their minds) is that they might not have to drop any of the other shit. They probably think they can be pro-Hispanic but still virulently anti-black, anti-woman, and anti-gay. And maybe they can.

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11 Responses to “The GOP begins to re-think”

  1. Unree says:

    So true. I once met Michael Mandelbaum, who had the gall to title his book with Tom Friedman “What’s Wrong with America” (imagine a female author daring to assert such a thing), and when I asked him why the deficit matters he sputtered and made it clear he had No. Friggin. Clue.

  2. madamab says:

    While I can see Republicans trying to make it happen, I’m guessing it will be really hard to get middle class and poor people to care about the debt. They are too busy, you know, working and trying to put food on their families. (As W used to say.)

    According to exit polls, the Republicans have pretty much lost this demographic at this point, and screaming hysterically about the national debt won’t get them back.

    A far better strategy would be to kick the hate zombies out of the Party and dump them all onto a private island where they can all “Lord of the Flies” themselves into oblivion. Oops, did I say that in my out-loud voice?

  3. Violet Socks says:

    While I can see Republicans trying to make it happen, I’m guessing it will be really hard to get middle class and poor people to care about the debt.

    You would be surprised. I have blue-collar cousins in the South, and they are absolutely terrified about the national debt. They think that’s what’s messing up the economy and, even more worrying, they think it’s going to ruin their children’s futures. They’re scared to death.

  4. anna says:

    What is the deal with the national debt? Is it the same as the deficit? Does it ever have to be paid back or what? Sorry if I sound like a fool but I don’t know where you get unbiased info on this. (The fact that my parents are Republicans doesn’t help, I assure you.)

  5. Violet Socks says:

    I strongly recommend Warren Mosler’s free book as an introduction to the basics:

    http://www.warrenmosler.com/book

    It’s a word document and you can just download it. It’s excellent because he wrote it expressly for people with no background at all in economics. It explains the modern monetary system extremely well.

  6. madamab says:

    You would be surprised. I have blue-collar cousins in the South, and they are absolutely terrified about the national debt. They think that’s what’s messing up the economy and, even more worrying, they think it’s going to ruin their children’s futures. They’re scared to death.

    I wonder if your cousins are already Republicans, though? If so, they’ve probably been hearing the propaganda day in and day out for years. That would scare me too.

    I’m just a little dubious that using the debt as a wedge, Republicans can win over the people they didn’t get in 2012. That mostly consists of middle-class and poor people, aka, the group with the demographics you mentioned.

  7. Toonces says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/opinion/krugman-nobody-understands-debt.html?_r=0

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_budget_deficit#Primary_deficit.2C_total_deficit.2C_and_debt

    The deficit is like yearly shortfall in tax revenue. Debt is long-term and the worry is usually expressed as being about the interest on the debt.

    The reason we had a surplus with Clinton was because he raised taxes. You can’t support cutting taxes while spending like crazy on war (what percentage of that money went to private contractors with inflated prices, anyone know?) and cause crazy-ass economic bubbles and worldwide financial disaster and call yourself a “fiscal conservative”. It’s pure insanity.

  8. Unree says:

    There’s no free Word book on the Mosler site (that I could find by clicking on the link, anyway).

  9. Violet Socks says:

    Just go to that page and click on the words “Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy.” The link will pop up with the option to open or save the Word doc.

    I’m going to try to post the direct link to the Word doc here:

    http://www.moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF2.doc

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    If the GOP is focused on running candidates who promise to strip the voters of their civil rights then they are not about to change any time soon.

    Already there is speculation that Rick Santorum is revving up for 2016 and Marco Rubio is headed to Iowa to put down stakes for the next election. Even Bobby Jindahl is getting attention this early in the game. “Same old, same old” suspects expected to “lead” them into the WH.

    The youth vote counted for something. Most of these kids include gays in their circle of friends. Most have no problem with interracial dating and marriage. Many consider themselves “secular”. The majority accept evolution and science. This demographic understands the changing landscape.

    A party that harbors Tea Party ignoramuses and the fundies who wish to replace the Constitution for the bible are not attractive to a generation that has benefited from education.

  11. Unree says:

    Thanks, Violet.