Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Is The GOP Now One Of Those Out-Of-Control Self-Driving Cars?


I don't know if McKay Coppins is a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or progressive. No idea... I just know he's a reporter. And his reporting for The Atlantic about the state of the Republican Party is important for Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and progressives to read. His point is that no one's leading the Republican base any longer, not even Señor Trumpanzee, who couldn't even get his candidate-- Luther Strange-- nominated in an Alabama Republican primary last week. "Seven years after Republicans first seized on the unruly rise of the Tea Party as a vehicle for winning elections," he wrote, "GOP leaders are confronting a stark reality: They have lost all control and comprehension of the populist movement they were supposed to be marshaling-- and they may soon be facing a mutiny." Soon? Ask Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), or Roger Wicker (R-MS) how soon is now?

And McConnell has his bloomers twisted up in knots. His tribe of corrupt Beltway Republicans are "mystified-- and alarmed-- by the fact that not even Donald 'Drain the Swamp' Trump had enough populist cred to swing a primary race to his candidate in deep-red Alabama. While the GOP’s class of professional strategists are generally ambivalent at best when it comes to the president, they had taken a certain comfort in believing that he was fully in command of his base. The assumption allowed them to draw conclusions about what his voters wanted, how to cater to them--and how to avoid drawing their wrath." Illusion punctured.
“Trump seems uniquely able to give voice to voters’ anger, but incapable of channeling it towards a larger purpose,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist whose firm released a client memo on Friday featuring data that suggested the president’s endorsement had no impact whatsoever in the Alabama race.

At this point, Conant said, no one can predict how the roiling anger in the conservative electorate will manifest itself during next year’s midterms-- but it’s unlikely it will subside anytime soon. “We need to be honest about the fact that there are some powerful people inside the Republican Party who have no interest in governing,” he told me. “They’re focused like a laser on decapitating the party’s leadership, and have no interest in growing the party’s base into a lasting majority.” The resulting dysfunction, he said, will only further inflame voters’ frustrations.

Over the past quarter-century, Republican politics have routinely been upended by angry populist outbursts of this sort—from the rise of Ross Perot to the revolt of the religious right, from the Tea Party wave to the Trump insurgency. Inevitably, these episodes set off a stampede of opportunistic politicians, pollsters, and policy wonks rushing to co-opt the phenomenon and use it to advance some ideological agenda. In just the past few years, politicians as varied as House Speaker Paul Ryan, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Trump, and Moore have tried to lay claim to the conservative movement—with each arguing that their vision is the one that mad-as-hell voters are crying out for.

But Nick Everhart, a GOP media consultant who has worked for dozens of Tea Party-aligned campaigns over the years, said there’s little use in trying to explain the unpredictable behavior of the conservative base with issues or ideology. “The idea that these movements are driven by any kind of intellectual, structured thing is ridiculous. They’re always a backlash to the moment,” he told me, adding: “Trump corralled the angry masses for himself. Other candidates with or without the president’s endorsement will also corral that mob for their needs.”

That sentiment was echoed by Reed Galen, a political consultant who served as Arizona Senator John McCain’s deputy campaign manager in the 2008 presidential race. “None of this is based on ideology or shared purpose,” he said. “The activist, angry wing of the GOP... doesn’t care about progress or making America great again. It lives and breathes on anger and resentment. That’s a difficult movement to direct and control.”

Trygve Olson, a former adviser to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, attributed the anger in the conservative movement largely to the efforts of a “right-wing outrage complex” that profits from its audience’s grievance. In the past, he said, the GOP has been able to keep populist anger in check with policy concessions and savvy messaging aimed at the base. This time, however, Olson believes there could be a much larger “fracturing” of the Republican coalition-- one that extends beyond policy. “If this eruption is about differences in core values, which I believe is the case, it becomes hard for coalition members that don’t share any underlying values to stay together,” he said.

...In the wake of Moore’s victory in Alabama, many liberals have argued that GOP leaders-- frantic and frightened at the prospect of more ugly primary upsets-- are simply reaping the whirlwind after years of cynically stoking anger and resentment among conservative voters. But it isn’t just the denizens of the D.C. establishment who admit that they’ve lost touch with their party’s base.

I spoke with one Republican consultant who has made a career out of getting anti-establishment right-wingers elected to office. As he surveys the political landscape now, he told me (on condition of anonymity), one thing has become clear: He and his fellow Tea Party whisperers are really just guessing when they say they know what “the base” wants.

“It’s all bullshit,” he said. “So much of [what we do] is predicated on control, and saying that we understand how it works. Nobody clearly does. Nobody’s in control.”
Nobody? Are you certain? Yesterday The Hill reported that some establishment Republican strategists aren’t buying into the idea that Mercer and Bannon now control the fate of the Republican Party. "They argue that the influence Bannon and his Breitbart News outlet had on Moore’s victory is overblown and that the unique set of circumstances that won Alabama won’t be easily transferable to other primary challenges across the country." But...
“It’s only going to get harder for [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and his friends at the Senate Leadership Fund because they won’t have President Trump backing their preferred candidates in races like Arizona or Nevada,” said Andrew Surabian, Bannon’s former White House political adviser, who worked on the pro-Moore push.

“The other side knows what I know: Mitch McConnell today, in a Republican primary, is what [House Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi is to Republican voters in a general election-- absolutely toxic.”

...[T]here’s one thing that all sides agree on: The Republican base’s anger with Republicans in Congress is palpable.

One Senate GOP campaign manager pointed specifically to the failure to repeal and replace ObamaCare as a source of deep frustration within the base. Now that even full Republican control of Washington wasn’t enough to repeal the health-care law, despite years of promises, Republican primary voters could be willing to shake up the party once again.

“They want to see Trump’s reforms pass,” the campaign manager said.

So as Republican incumbents work to insulate themselves from populist challenges over the coming months, they’ll have to be sure to directly address those concerns, not just paper over them with overwhelming air cover. Bannon has proved to be particularly good at that, Republicans say, but he doesn’t have to have a monopoly.

“The electorate was angry at Washington in 2016 and the electorate remains angry at Washington in 2017. ... Any candidate who fails to appreciate voters’ anger is going to struggle in the midterms regardless of party and regardless of whether they have Trump’s support or not,” Conant said.

“Bannon is able to tap into that anger in a way that the establishment at times is not, but that should not be confused with Bannon having undue influence or power,” he added.

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At 3:48 PM, Blogger Paul Lukasiak said...

There is no such thing as the GOP "base" anymore -- its just a mob that whose basest instincts GOP politicians gleefully exploit and amplify.

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul says truth... to a point.

“Trump seems uniquely able to give voice to voters’ anger, but incapable of channeling it towards a larger purpose,”

Kind of true. His only "larger purpose" is to be worshipped more and make more money. He rhetorically validates voter anger, but could not care less about helping in any of it unless he can "win" and get adored for it. The death bill would be a 'win' but nobody would adore him for killing their grandparents and kids.

"At this point, Conant said, no one can predict how the roiling anger in the conservative electorate will manifest itself..."

This is utter horse shit. Some of us have been predicting that the insane anger and hate on the right will eventually lead to violence against nonwhites or whatever scapegoat demo is latest (muslims? LGBTQ?...). Then a fat white billionaire runs and gives them all validation for their racial and other hatreds, gets elected, kind of, and now they all have divine dispensation to hate publicly. C'ville is just the beginning. Moore was the next 'event'. There will be so many more while the orange Nazi is in office... until there's either another civil war or simply rolling racist rioting from the south migrating elsewhere. Couple more executions of black teenagers or one more Nazi/kkk march somewhere in Alabama (led by moore and bannon, no doubt) would prolly do it.

Of course, this has all been enabled and emboldened by the democraps' becoming the party of ineptitude, cowardice, corruption and corporate fascism. if the Ds were still the party of FDR, there would be a permanent supermajority which would mute the evil of the R minority.
As it is, a full third of the electorate doesn't participate because there is no reason. The Ds are shit. The Rs are somewhat shittier.

Voters could have fixed this by punishing the corrupt and electing the altruistic... but they just re-elect whatever D that has a recognized name rather than paying attention to how much they got ratfucked by that pos.

When voters are shit, both parties are shit and money rules, no government can ever be any good.

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might be OT, and I have no evidence to back what I'm about to present. It's all based on feelings I have about recent events.

It's my impression that the Las Vegas shooter may well be one of these people of the Rights whose hatred and anger at real or imagined enemies had to erupt somewhere. That he picked a concert whose music represents the kind of Red Stater the Tea Baggers have been pursuing to act out makes it especially curious to me, since there are reports he had targeted a rap event just a few weeks before and didn't carry out his crimes.

My thoughts on why attack the Country Music crowd might have to do with the failure of the Republican Party to completely eliminate Obama's legacy, sorry and minimal as it is. In a way, Like Hillary, the Shooter is blaming the voters who should have been on his side for failing to meet his expectations. The Night of the Long Knives took out as many so-called Party loyalists who disappointed the Leader as it did hostile opponents. Maybe this was his motive, especially since it appears he was planning on escaping.

Again, no evidence to back these thoughts up. Likely to be easily refuted by someone with facts. But these thoughts are on my mind.


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