Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

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NancyElla
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Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by NancyElla » Sun May 16, 2010 9:37 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02450.html

Piston, I'm sorry to hear what has happened to politics in your hitherto reasonable state.
From Dana Milbanks' article in the Washington Post today:
Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform -- a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation -- and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a "myth," sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting "efforts to create a one world government."
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." --Willa Cather

MarkC
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by MarkC » Sun May 16, 2010 11:22 pm

.....thereby rejecting the identity of "Party of No" in favor of "Party of Moe, Larry & Curly." :lol:

jbuck919
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by jbuck919 » Mon May 17, 2010 5:58 am

NancyElla wrote:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02450.html

Piston, I'm sorry to hear what has happened to politics in your hitherto reasonable state.
From Dana Milbanks' article in the Washington Post today:
Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform -- a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation -- and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a "myth," sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting "efforts to create a one world government."
Recently Nancy Pelosi spoke to a rather fawning Commonwealth Club of California (they do occasionally have someone speak who is not a political liberal, but not often) and took audience questions. One questioner identified himself as a "Rockefeller Repbublican," meaning fiscally conservative and socially liberal (his own definition). She said she welcomed his question, and while she was at it added "Please, take your party back" to enormous applause.

Of course the Republicans aren't going to morph to please Democrats even when the Democrats are only seeking less addlepated opposition that might very well defeat them on a regular basis. The problem for some time has been that in many cases the addlepated incarnation of the GOP wins elections too, and hasn't really been tested as to how screwy its ideas need to get to start regularly losing them because of it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

HoustonDavid
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by HoustonDavid » Mon May 17, 2010 11:39 am

From today's New York Times:

Going to Extreme
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: May 16, 2010

Utah Republicans have denied Robert Bennett, a very conservative three-term senator, a place on the ballot, because he’s not conservative enough. In Maine, party activists have pushed through a platform calling for, among other things, abolishing both the Federal Reserve and the Department of Education. And it’s becoming ever more apparent that real power within the G.O.P. rests with the ranting talk-show hosts.

News organizations have taken notice: suddenly, the takeover of the Republican Party by right-wing extremists has become a story (although many reporters seem determined to pretend that something equivalent is happening to the Democrats. It isn’t.) But why is this happening? And in particular, why is it happening now?

The right’s answer, of course, is that it’s about outrage over President Obama’s “socialist” policies — like his health care plan, which is, um, more or less identical to the plan Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts. Many on the left argue, instead, that it’s about race, the shock of having a black man in the White House — and there’s surely something to that.

But I’d like to offer two alternative hypotheses: First, Republican extremism was there all along — what’s changed is the willingness of the news media to acknowledge it. Second, to the extent that the power of the party’s extremists really is on the rise, it’s the economy, stupid.

On the first point: when I read reports by journalists who are shocked, shocked at the craziness of Maine’s Republicans, I wonder where they’ve been these past eight or so electoral cycles. For the truth is that the hard right has dominated the G.O.P. for many years. Indeed, the new Maine platform is if anything a bit milder than the Texas Republican platform of 2000, which called not just for eliminating the Federal Reserve but also for returning to the gold standard, for killing not just the Department of Education but also the Environmental Protection Agency, and more.

Somehow, though, the radicalism of Texas Republicans wasn’t a story in 2000, an election year in which George W. Bush of Texas, soon to become president, was widely portrayed as a moderate.

Or consider those talk-show hosts. Rush Limbaugh hasn’t changed: his recent suggestion that environmentalist terrorists might have caused the ecological disaster in the gulf is no worse than his repeated insinuations that Hillary Clinton might have been a party to murder. What’s changed is his respectability: news organizations are no longer as eager to downplay Mr. Limbaugh’s extremism as they were in 2002, when The Washington Post’s media critic insisted that the radio host’s critics were the ones who had “lost a couple of screws,” that he was a sensible “mainstream conservative” who talks “mainly about policy.”

So why has the reporting shifted? Maybe it was just deference to power: as long as America was widely perceived as being on the way to a permanent Republican majority, few were willing to call right-wing extremism by its proper name. Maybe it took a Democrat in the White House to give some observers the courage to say the obvious.

To be fair, however, it’s not all a matter of perception. Right-wing extremism may be the same as it ever was, but it clearly has more adherents now than it did a couple of years ago. Why? It may have a lot to do with a troubled economy.

True, that’s not how it was supposed to work. When the economy plunged into crisis, many observers — myself included — expected a political shift to the left. After all, the crisis made nonsense of the right’s markets-know-best, regulation-is-always-bad dogma. In retrospect, however, this was naïve: voters tend to react with their guts, not in response to analytical arguments — and in bad times, the gut reaction of many voters is to move right.

That’s the message of a recent paper by the economists Markus Brückner and Hans Peter Grüner, who find a striking correlation between economic performance and political extremism in advanced nations: in both America and Europe, periods of low economic growth tend to be associated with a rising vote for right-wing and nationalist political parties. The rise of the Tea Party, in other words, was exactly what we should have expected in the wake of the economic crisis.

So where does our political system go from here? Over the near term, a lot will depend on economic recovery. If the economy continues to add jobs, we can expect some of the air to go out of the Tea Party movement.

But don’t expect extremists to lose their grip on the G.O.P. anytime soon. What we’re seeing in places like Utah and Maine isn’t really a change in the party’s character: it has been dominated by extremists for a long time. The only thing that’s different now is that the rest of the country has finally noticed.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

piston
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by piston » Mon May 17, 2010 12:15 pm

NancyElla wrote:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02450.html

Piston, I'm sorry to hear what has happened to politics in your hitherto reasonable state.
From Dana Milbanks' article in the Washington Post today:
Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform -- a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation -- and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a "myth," sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting "efforts to create a one world government."

When a party goes to such an extreme in Maine, it sets itself up for a major defeat at the polls and for an electoral competition involving both Democrats and Independents. This is not an extremist state, NancyElla, and politicians who go to extremes are simply fed a piece of humble pie.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Dennis Spath
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by Dennis Spath » Mon May 17, 2010 12:43 pm

Living here in East Texas it is quite easy to understand how the End Timers and other Religious Right gurus can mold the political opinions of their gullible followers. Last night I happened across the Sunday Evening offerings of Jack Van Impe Ministries trumpeting the evils of Barrack Hussein Obama, the New World Order, and his Socialist Agenda for the takeover of America. You can check him and his wife out on You Tube, sprinkling selective quotes from the Bible amoung "Conservative" political talking points. Then call his 800 Number for his two latest DVD's....it's amazing!
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

piston
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by piston » Mon May 17, 2010 12:51 pm

In 1992, Ross Perot defeated G.H.W. Bush in Maine, one of only two states where he did so. Not surprisingly, Perot's appeal partly stemmed from what, as a Mainer, I have been saying here all along: what is good about free trade if it's really bad to our local economies and communities? Economists don't feed people!
Perot activists were more supportive of greater limits on foreign imports than the general public. Perot made headway with his vigorous opposition to NAFTA, warning against the "giant sucking sound" of jobs leaving America. The Perot activists were more supportive than others of a government-sponsored national health insurance plan. Likewise, they were less supportive of restrictions on abortion, and they were somewhat more likely to support affirmative action. Averaged over all the issues, the Perot activists were more liberal on some issues, and more conservative on others, but strongly agreed that politicians and the old parties were bad and the deficit was ruining America.
Perhaps it is time for another strong Independent candidate in Maine!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

NancyElla
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by NancyElla » Mon May 17, 2010 10:49 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:Living here in East Texas it is quite easy to understand how the End Timers and other Religious Right gurus can mold the political opinions of their gullible followers. Last night I happened across the Sunday Evening offerings of Jack Van Impe Ministries trumpeting the evils of Barrack Hussein Obama, the New World Order, and his Socialist Agenda for the takeover of America. You can check him and his wife out on You Tube, sprinkling selective quotes from the Bible amoung "Conservative" political talking points. Then call his 800 Number for his two latest DVD's....it's amazing!
I have a feeling that listening to Rev. and Mrs. Van Impe might put me in a distinctly unchristian state of mind. But if I'm ever looking for something to jolt my heart rate up a few notches and bump up my blood pressure. . . !

Thanks, Houston David, for the Krugman article. Reading it reinforces suspicions I have already had. The "center" of the country seems to have moved a good distance to the right over the past, oh, 40-50 years. Ideas that a few years ago would have been considered fringe positions are now seen as mainstream. And, as indicated by the study Krugman cited, bad economic times may lead to increases in nationalism and conservatism. I think that in bad economic times, people become fearful, and that fearfulness can lead to some irrational thinking, us-vs.-them mentality, ultra-nationalism, the search for someone or some group to blame, etc. The thing that makes me nervous is that I'm pretty sure I've read about this happening before, in Europe I think. . . .

And thanks, jbuck and piston, for the added perspective. I'll be hoping for some pragmatic, sensible independents to come along and offer an alternative to the usual choices.
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." --Willa Cather

Dennis Spath
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by Dennis Spath » Tue May 18, 2010 4:08 pm

Thank you for being here Ella. Although I've been a member of CMG for a long, long time I tend not to visit The Pub very often since open minded voices of reason like yours are too often dismissed.....and I've found myself too often categorized as a know nothing tree-hugging Liberal.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

THEHORN
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by THEHORN » Tue May 18, 2010 5:01 pm

They call it the GOP because that's all it offers today- political gop !





:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

NancyElla
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by NancyElla » Tue May 18, 2010 7:10 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:Thank you for being here Ella. Although I've been a member of CMG for a long, long time I tend not to visit The Pub very often since open minded voices of reason like yours are too often dismissed.....and I've found myself too often categorized as a know nothing tree-hugging Liberal.
I like trees, too! :D
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." --Willa Cather

piston
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by piston » Tue May 18, 2010 7:56 pm

NancyElla wrote:
Dennis Spath wrote:Thank you for being here Ella. Although I've been a member of CMG for a long, long time I tend not to visit The Pub very often since open minded voices of reason like yours are too often dismissed.....and I've found myself too often categorized as a know nothing tree-hugging Liberal.
I like trees, too! :D
I'm looking forward to hugging a few trees myself, in a couple of weeks, and pushing a few down too! That's often how I generate dry firewood, with "skeleton" trees still standing. A good push and down they go! I'm good with that category, minus the know nothing part.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by piston » Thu May 20, 2010 7:49 pm

What's up with this thread? Over 650 views!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

MarkC
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by MarkC » Thu May 20, 2010 8:49 pm

piston wrote:What's up with this thread? Over 650 views!
REJOICING :lol:

Don't worry, I know the Dems ain't doing much better.......

NancyElla
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by NancyElla » Thu May 20, 2010 9:08 pm

MarkC wrote:
piston wrote:What's up with this thread? Over 650 views!
REJOICING :lol:

Don't worry, I know the Dems ain't doing much better.......
Too bad we don't know who the 650+ are--mostly hopeful Dems? Fearful GOPers? Appalled independents? It would be interesting.
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." --Willa Cather

Dennis Spath
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by Dennis Spath » Fri May 21, 2010 10:29 am

Here in Tyler, Texas I find myself represented by one of the classic clowns of the Conservative (read "Religious") Right in the House of Representatives, Loopy Louie Gohmert, thanks to the illegally funded redistricting of Texas engineered by Tom DeLay. After redistricting he defeated four term Democrat Max Sandlin and has run unapposed ever since. Ain't no way a "D" could win the way East Texas was carved up....not even Jesus Christ on a Schwinn Bicycle!
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

JackC
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by JackC » Fri May 21, 2010 10:46 am

The republicans are going to make huge gains in November. The only questions is whether they will be enough to gain control of the House and/or the Senate.

I think that you will find that most republicans are a lot more worried these days about what Obama, Pelosi and Reid are doing to the country than the current state of the GOP. They have us on the same path that Greece took, and are destroying a once great nation.

Hopefully Americans will put a stop to it, but one never knows what people who have been brought up to think that money grows on trees and that the "rich" are "stealing" more than their "fair share" will do. We have a lot of people in this country who now think that they are "owed" a lifestyle that previous generations knew they had to earn, and lots of Dem politicians who are only to happy to try to buy their votes by promising more attacks on the "rich" in order to support more entitlements.

karlhenning
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by karlhenning » Fri May 21, 2010 11:06 am

"Purity putsches" is a pregnant phrase, too.

Cheers,
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NancyElla
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by NancyElla » Fri May 21, 2010 12:57 pm

karlhenning wrote:
"Purity putsches" is a pregnant phrase, too.

Cheers,
~Karl
True. But I like this image -- kind of poetic, don't you think?
One world government? Do our friends Down East fear an invasion from the Canadian maritime provinces? A Viking flotilla coming from Iceland under cover of volcanic ash?
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." --Willa Cather

piston
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by piston » Fri May 21, 2010 1:10 pm

Them Maritimers have pretty much always directed their Manifest Destiny far out at sea. Of course, that's not true of PEI potatoes....
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

RebLem
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by RebLem » Sat May 22, 2010 12:49 pm

I keep coming back to this weirdly prescient manifesto, writen in 1919:

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
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MarkC
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Re: Is the Republican Party coming unglued?

Post by MarkC » Sat May 22, 2010 1:33 pm

RebLem wrote:I keep coming back to this weirdly prescient manifesto, writen in 1919:

William Butler Yeats.....
Not sure exactly where you're coming from on this (really -- I try not to retain who's on what side in these political things) -- but I'm all for quoting Yeats any time. :)

BTW......off the subj, but......things sometimes get more interesting when we start not seeing so well. When I first glanced through the poem, I read the last line as:

"......Slouches towards Beethoven to be born?"

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