There have been many pronouncements made about the Republican Party, how there will be a civil war, a reckoning, a need for introspection, how beneficial it could be in attracting minority votes to snuff out the burning crosses…but amid all the internal and external criticisms of the GOP, Romney and its players, only one meme rises to the top…the GOP needs to figure out how to be better at convincing minorities and women that their lives will be better if they vote against their own interests and elect Republicans.
There is an avalanche of Republican babbling about how they need to reach out to minorities and women, how they need better messengers (in other words, using minority and women Republicans to talk to their own demographics into voting against their own interests) and more specific, defined messages (read: more effective propaganda).
Don’t let the mea culpas and Republicans criticizing their party convince you otherwise, the GOP exists primarily to enrich and empower the wealthy, misleading the low info and less educated conservatively religious Americans that they share their social values. This is their raison d’etre, the central reason for their existence so they sure as heck ain’t abandoning that. And if they’re not, if they remain trickle down, anti-entitlement, anti-regulation supporters…how do they attract minorities and women who have been and will be victims of their policies?
By trying to shed the social policy issues that harm them in the eyes of these groups and trying to look more “reasonable”.
It is remarkable how swiftly the results of this election have caused Republicans to flip on supporting immigration reform…or is it? Consider this, if the businessmen who own and run the GOP simply saw it as politically advantageous to stir up enthusiasm within their base of racially intimidated and/or hateful members and attract more into the party…if it was not truly a core principle of theirs but a manipulative wedge issue they happily used when it benefited them, how odd would it be for them to toss this issue away over their shoulders and adopt a new position that they saw as more useful in winning political power?
So, can the GOP use The Rovian Reversal Tactic and suddenly claim that the Democrats’ immigration reform agenda is actually their idea and they are the true champions of Latino rights? Don’t think they won’t try, they already are. If immigration reform is passed, Republicans will justifiably get their share of credit from the Latino community but I don’t think Latinos will all suddenly acquire amnesia and forget which party was racist and hostile towards them for decades until this month and which party has supported them throughout.
The same ease at tossing away a phony core belief is reflected in the sudden acknowledgement by some Republicans that it won’t kill the wealthy, the economy or convert our country into socialism for the wealthy to pay just a little more in taxes. They knew all along, this was just BS to fight for keeping every penny they could, that this argument was dishonest and that they could pay a little more in taxes without it affecting their lifestyles in any way.
What this is all about now is survival, doing whatever it takes to stay viable as a political party that can win national elections…and if they do, turning around and using their power to claw back those taxes paid by the wealthy and so much more money and power on top of that.
This is not to say that the Republican Party and the plutocrats haven’t been shaken by President Obama’s re-election and the strong Democratic victory this month, they are reeling a bit. The Republicans in Congress and their corporate owners had been counting on Mitt Romney winning so their blocking economic recovery and holding off on adding jobs seemed a worthwhile sacrifice for two years when the rewards for helping defeat Obama’s re-election and gaining control the White House would be so huge. The problem is, it’s not sustainable and surely can’t be extended another two or four years.
So, at this point in time, the GOP and the wealthy have a big problem on their hands. They just lost a major round in their class warfare campaign and the public is souring on them more and more. This is an immediate problem for them that needs to be addressed first. They now know that they can’t win with the “makers and takers”/47% classism argument (it’s asinine and shows such hubris that they ever thought they could attract a majority of Americans by attacking them) so they need to put on a thick layer of populist makeup for a while, until it hopefully changes the perception of them in the eyes of the public and they can then use their new facade to deceive people into once again obliviously support their plutocratic agenda.
Will it work? Probably not and the main reason for this is glaringly obvious, the GOP Elite who are trying to put on this sheep’s clothing…have cultivated a party of wolves to be the core of their party who are proud to be hateful wolves. They have been programmed by Rush and Fox News to hate “libtards” and “takers” and “feminazis” and “illegals” and “shiftless, lazy welfare queens”.
They’ve turned the GOP into a party of hateful extremists, they’ve created a Golem and they can’t just turn their backs on it now.
When the GOP lost in 2008 in a huge way to the Dems and Obama, we were having this same discussion about how the Republican Party will have to wander through the wilderness for years and figure out how to return to the mainstream. What many overlooked is that the wealthy are more typically focused on short term profit than long term profit. They wanted to come back quickly and get power and the 99%’s money back in their pockets right away. So, they financed an Astroturf vehicle called The Tea Party (yes, there was a tiny grassroots Tea Party that existed previously but it was invisible and miniscule) and bought themselves a new, rabid opposition to Obama. The Tea Party was a tool to quickly build a motivated and energized base for the GOP, after losing their long term base in the aftermath of George W. Bush’s and Republicans’ destruction of the nation’s and world’s economy.
The GOP Elite didn’t recognize that they were once again making a deal with the devil to make their party competitive again so quickly. History was repeating itself. In the 1980’s, part of the way the GOP recovered from it’s disastrous President who undermined the entire nation and its democracy as well as its standing with the American people…President Richard Nixon that is…was to follow Nixon’s plan to pander shamelessly to the Religious Right and use them like clueless fools to help them win elections. Back then it was called The Moral Majority and Jerry Falwell was its leader but interestingly, the Tea Party turns out to be pretty much the same constituency, just with a different and less outwardly religious title.
As happens so often with those who act rashly, there is no thoughtful consideration of blowback. Though the GOP Elite saw The Moral Majority as inferior morons who could be so easily manipulated to advance their agenda, The Moral Majority eventually became fed up with the disinterest of the GOP to actually make their religious agenda the law of the land (as long as the religious agenda was stalled, the GOP had a rallying cry to recruit more Moral Majority followers so it wasn’t in their interest to actually get abortion outlawed) and eventually, as they became the majority of members in the party, grabbed the reins of the GOP and led it and the nation into darker days which disintegrated The Moral Majority and the GOP once again, making way for the election of Bill Clinton.
The Republican Party now wants to resurface again as a reasonable alternative to the Democrats but they are underwater and have an anchor tied around their ankles, named The Tea Party. Where they are going on negotiating immigration reform and raising “revenues” (taxes) will alienate and infuriate their base…which will then need to be placated. So two steps forward, one step back would seem to be what’s in store.
The GOP can’t afford to anger The Tea Party crowd and lose them, that’s the only energized base they have. Also, they can’t bring minorities into a tent filled with racists. And despite the concessions to moderate policies they might make along the way, Republicans just can’t be better at being Democrats than Democrats can so they won’t win that competition with Latinos, Blacks, Asians and Women. So, they’ll inevitably need to return to pumping up their hateful base for the 2014 elections but the game plan seems to be insulating themselves beforehand from being seen as anti-Latino and anti-majority-of-Americans by passing (or trying to pass) immigration reform and tax reform that increases taxes on the wealthy.
We’ll see what happens with sequestration and entitlement reform, whether the Republicans fight for the hard right on those issues to placate their Tea Party base or find milder compromise to put on a thicker veneer of moderation. However, when 2014 comes along, it might not be smart to bet against Republicans trying to once again whip up hostility and prejudice in pursuit of more tax cuts for the wealthy, reducing spending on entitlements and social programs and removing regulations from corporations.
The biggest problem for them will be the same problem they faced this year, Americans who are ignorant, older white people who resent minorities and women are the base they have to serve in order to be competitive but they are a minority of Americans…and that minority will be even smaller two years from now. So how do they keep their base from revolting and abandoning them while convincing minorities and women to join the “White Men Are Superior to Minorities and Women Club” and vote for the agenda of enriching the wealthy at their own expense?
In the end, I think you drown with the anchor that holds you down and the GOP will find it very difficult to separate from their only base, the Tea Party, which would be required for them to attract minorities, women and a majority of voters.