Monday, March 18, 2013

Which Way Will The GOP Turn-- And Who Decides? Rience Preibus' GOP Autopsy Report


Boehner bombed on ABC's This Week Sunday. First he admitted that the debt crisis is not an immediate threat. Then he reiterated that we need to gut the two most popular social safety programs in American history: Social Security and Medicare:
We do not have an immediate debt crisis. But we all know that we have one looming. And we have-- one looming-- because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re gonna go bankrupt. Washington has responsibility-- to our seniors and our near seniors-- that we firm up these programs so that they’re there for the long term. Because if we don’t do it, not only will they not get benefits, we will have a debt crisis right around the corner. We have time to solve our problems. But we need to do it now.
So he says he's made a decision: no compromise. Greg Sargent points out that the conventional wisdom is now that
1) Republicans are not getting the entitlement cuts they want without agreeing to new revenues; and 2) Republicans are explicitly confirming that there is no compromise that is acceptable to them to get the cuts they themselves say they want. The GOP position, with no exaggeration, is that the only way Republican leaders will ever agree to paying down the deficit they say is a threat to American civilization is 100 percent their way; they are not willing to concede anything at all to reach any deal involving new revenues to reduce the deficit, or to get the entitlement reform they want, or to avert sequestration they themselves said will gut the military and tank the economy.
Coincidentally, the foundering RNC released a report, a kind of an autopsy, tacitly admitting what we have all seen for years-- that it is "ideologically ossified, unable to speak to a wider electorate and increasingly seen as representing the rich and the old."
"Public perception of the party is at record lows," the report says. "Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country. When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us."

In page after page, the report-- compiled over the past several months by five veteran GOP campaign operatives-- describes the party as ideologically ossified, unable to speak to a wider electorate and increasingly seen as representing the rich and the old.

In focus groups, voters who said they had left the Republican Party described the GOP as "scary," "narrow minded," "out of touch," and as the party of "stuffy, old men."

Unless something changes, the report says, "it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future."
The level of solutions are almost of a level of "we need to use better colors on our reports," "perhaps our candidates can get tattoos and talk about that rap music stuff" and "maybe we can do a better job tweeting." The ossification they admit prohibits serious solutions to anything. As David Donnelly, the Executive Director of Public Campaign Action Fund, pointed out after he read it, "Their views on campaign finance appear to be more about having a financial advantage to overcome all the other disadvantages they have, rather than a principled position regarding Americans being able to participate more fully in democracy. And they will simultaneously push these policy changes while their top elected official in the country, Mitch McConnell, claims they're not the party of millionaires and billionaires." Their position is severely at odds with a train that has long left the station:

It goes hand-in-hand with John O'Sullivan's myopic report in the National Review, Funeral Procession of the Tories which argues for uncompromising right-wing retrenchment: "The party's ministers and loyalist MPs are rendered inert by the strategic decision not to challenge the metropolitan-liberal consensus. They are confined within social-democratic limits on everything from taxation to equality to Europe. They are dumb on the implications of the scandals within the National Health Service that have quite literally killed thousands of old people. And when they break out of these constraints … no one believes them. To use American English, such things are seen as "boob bait for Bubba."

David Frum contrasts that view of what's gone wrong in the U.K. with a more realistic-- and devastating-- analysis by Fraser Nelson in the Spectator. He says if they read it carefully "they'll hear a muted warning to shelve Paul Ryan's budget plans." [In other words, the Austerity agenda is killing the Conservatives in Britain-- and it will kill the Republicans, or anyone else foolish enough to embrace it, in the U.S.]
[H]aving won the argument for austerity, [Chancellor of the Exchequer George] Osborne take all the political pain while making little economic progress. … Osborne urges patience: the growth will come. The problem is that it has already come to Germany, Canada, Sweden and Austria, who have all seen their economies recover to pre-crash levels, even adjusting for population growth. Britain is now not expected to manage this until 2017, a full ten years after the crash. This leaves us mid-way through a Japanese-style "lost decade," and that's if all goes well. The Budget small print is expected to indicate that, adjusting for inflation, salaries will not be back to pre-crash levels until at least 2027.
The Autopsy Report the RNC released this morning proves the Republicans here are even less self-aware than the Conservatives are over in the U.K. Even if the conclusion from nearly 100 page report is that they better hide their vile essence more effectively, none of them seem ti get it as well as David Cameron has. My favorite election ditty ever:

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At 10:14 AM, Anonymous robert dagg murphy said...

Politicians think only of the next election, to expect statesmanship is a little unrealistic. They are not problem solvers. They are stuck on scarcity when we have abundance. They are as obsolete as a stagecoach.

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Dennis Jernberg said...

Actually, politicians have always posed an obstacle to the public welfare. Statesmen are rare, while grafters and sycophants are more common than dirt. The Populists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries knew this, which is why they agitated for direct democracy and got it established in so many of the era's new state constitutions. The Populist principle: get power out of the hands of the elites, including the politicians, and put it where it belongs, with the people.


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