Postphoning the Goperdammurung?
It seems that whenever there is a Republican setback lately, whether electoral or politically in general, there are a spate of thinky pieces about what’s going wrong in the Republican Party and how they might fix it. I don’t despise the impulse, even while I find it overly optimistic and paradoxical. Many of the premature postmortem-writers aren’t ostensibly fans of the Republican party, to begin with. And rather than consider how whatever rupture between the party and the mainstream can be repaired, I know my gut instinct is to reach for a lever and pull like a mad mother. Political writers are, for the most part, I think, bright people and problem-solvers at heart. We are generally not rooting for armageddon. There is a code of honoring bar tabs and not kicking even bastards in the slats when they are down.
And I am a political writer and not immune to the zeitgeist, so why don’t I carve into this still-wriggling corpus and see what political wisdom may be extracted? (Let’s get it down first. And maybe a kick to the slats? And while we are here, a shiv and that lever. Thank you.)
Those of us living in consentual Realityville should agree that the government shutdown over the ACA and subsequent debt ceiling threat were quixotic and futile errors that cost real money and real political capital with independents and moderates—regardless of the happy faces that the multiple culprits want to pull over it. Smiling Jack Kingston, Republican of GA, has gone so far as to consider the shutdown a quest to re-establish the Republican brand. That’s very good, isn’t it? A possible economic meltdown tipped off by a misinformed paranoia over a law that was passed three years ago now suffices for a defining moment for what was the party of Lincoln. May I suggest that sounds small? If Republicans want to be a party that can be drowned in a bathtub, they can be my guest, since they already have members that could be drowned looking up at the rain.
But that doesn’t stop new Tea Party posterboy Ted Cruz and Action Sideburns Matt Kibbe of the morally and financially bankrupt FreedomWorks from considering this to be “Winning”. Because there is a segment of the base that would love to bankroll the kinds of politicians who would do this all over again. And will funnel that checkbook destructionism through all the right “grassroots” wallets, u betcha. And if any “squishes” want to be killjoys and stop the shutdown/debt-ceiling threat party from happening again?
PShaw! The answer will be primaries. Who loves primaries?
No normal incumbent wants to be primaried. So primaries are beloved of the outsider-bullshit artist. Sarah Palin, for example, has endorsed primaries for Kelly Ayotte and Marco Rubio over possible support for an immigration bill, and seems supportive of challenges to Sens McConnell, Graham, Alexander, and even Thad freaking Cochran. And yet Ted Cruz, recently ensconced in his seat, also thinks primaries are just aces. Because if they say elections have consequences, then it must follow that one’s job-performance has elections as a consequence, no?
But the answer is “Yes” and the reason why is money, and here is the Hipster Hirsute Hotness of the Recently Dickless Army to tell us why:
The CEO of the nearly bankrupt tea party PAC FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe believes that the Republican Party is facing “a real possibility” of a schism within its ranks.According to Talking Points Memo, Kibbe made the remarks in an interview with CSPAN, in which he said that if the party loses in the 2016 elections it could well split into hostile factions, “a moderate party and a conservative party.”
“I think that’s a real possibility because you’re seeing this clash between the new generation and — to me, it’s not just the old wing of the Republican Party versus the new wing — you’re really seeing a disintermediation in politics. It’s already happened with the Democratic Party,” Kibbe said. “It’s happening with the Republican Party now. And grassroots activists have an ability to self-organize, to fund candidates they’re more interested in, going right around the Republican National Committee and senatorial committee.”
I love that word—“disintermedition”. I like the context in general of a decentralization and greater grassroots participation in politics as a part of my desperate love of democracy. I think the Occupy movement, for example, definitely helped with focusing on real-people issues and straight language that addressed what we need our representatives in government to do.
But the actual meaning of the term “disintermediation” is derived from finance and means “without brokers”. Essentially, he’s saying that the national Republican party no longer acts as a consortium for candidate sponsorship, and that various modern mechanisms allow for purchase of meatpuppets for office, on the direct market. No third parties are needed at all. Just like I suggested that McConnell wanted a sugar daddy to further his five term incumbency, it’s obvious that the ideal conservative future is the result of a kind of heavily-sponsored demolition derby, where one battered poitical carcass limps across a primary finish line to face—
A machine Democratic candidate we’re conditioned to like more than them?
Yep. Even that. I do not know how to address the Republican verge towards apealing to the more white and more right. I don’t care. I just think the party, as currently constituted, is bound to lose more and become more prone to futile gimmick, minority party hijinks.
Also, so long as the Tea Party is not ditched, they lose by attrition, as the social conservative mores are more exclusively a senior joint. And the racialist politics are challenged by changing demographics.
In other words, they have self-made problems I have no interest in trying to untwist, so long as they exclude whole segments of the population—by philosophical design.
I have no advice. If they persist in religious bigotry and racism, they deserve all the fail. If they repudiate science and technological advancement, they deserve all the fail. And if they think corporate sponsorship is even for a minute about freedom, not privilege, again—that is fail.
I have high hopes for taking back the House. I do not think it is irrational exuberance. I just think the GOP is that disorganized right now, and I am glad of it.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)