Friday, November 07, 2008

Which Way Should The GOP Turn Now?


Ole Jesse, dead but not forgotten... in certain circles

Right on cue-- as the GOP tumbled further along the road to political oblivion-- lunatic fringe power-mongers within the party claimed the tremendous drubbing Republicans experienced on Tuesday was not because the party was too extreme, but because it wasn't extreme enough. Wow-- are they not paying attention! I guess no one ever explained to kooks like religionist fanatic Tony Perkins and Greed worshippers Grover Norquist and David Keene what the dustbin of history looks like. They blamed it all on mainstream conservatives-- what they call "moderates."

The mainstream elected officials, Perkins claims, led the party away from his psychotic neo-fascist policy agenda. "Moderates never beat conservatives. We've seen that in past elections," he hissed, menacingly. He seems to be suggesting that the key to future elections would be to scapegoat one group and campaign relentlessly against them, the way far right political movements have always done, racial minorities, immigrants, gays, poor people.... it doesn't matter who, just so long as a group can be scapegoated and made into an object of fear and hatred. That's the Republican way Tony Perkins and his hate group, the Family Research Council, interprets the election results.
Norquist said one of the lessons the conservatives took away from Tuesday night's results was that they focused too much on the presidential race and not enough on helping congressional candidates.

In addition to Sen. John McCain, a Republican standard bearer, losing his bid for the White House, House Republicans will have at least 26 fewer seats in the next Congress, and Republicans could have a few as 40 seats in the Senate.

"As a national movement, a conservative movement, as a national Republican Party, it was certainly a mistake to focus on the presidency. It would be a mistake to focus on the elected officials in Washington," Norquist said. "So we rebuild, not just in Washington, but in all 50 states."

Let's take a look at what really happened in those congressional races, rather than at these kooks' fantasies. The Senate is easy. In every single instance where the GOP tried slipping in a far right replacement for a retiring mainstream conservative Republican, the Democrat won. In New Mexico Pete Domenici has been a mainstream conservative, one of the dozen least extremist members of the Senate Republican caucus. Given the opportunity to run another mainstream conservative, his protege, Heather Wilson, the far right of the New Mexico GOP instead chose one of the most radical right members of Congress, Steve Pearce, whose extremism turned the entire state bright blue. Obama bested McCain by 15 points. Pearce lost his own race by 22%, one of the worst drubbing anywhere, and helped drag down 3 congressional candidates, clearing the way for a 100% Democratic congressional delegation for New Mexico-- like Massachusetts. And none of the races were close.

Similarly in Virginia, the retirement of mainstream conservative John Warner who was just a tiny bit less conservative than Domenici, led the far right radicals in control if the Virginia GOP to trash a mainstream conservative candidate, Tom Davis, in favor of a right-wing extremist, James Gillmore. That worked out great-- for the Democrats. Obama beat McCain by 6 points in a bedrock GOP state, Gillmore, of course, was defeated by a mainstream conservative Democrat, Mark Warner, by a startling 31 points! And 3 far right Republicans-- two of them incumbents-- were beaten in congressional races, Congresswoman Thelma Drake, Congressman Virgil Goode, and crazed religionist fanatic Keith Fimian (a 12 point landslide). Even the right-wing incumbents who won, all felt the heat-- all but one of them scoring less voter support than they had in 2006. Randy Forbes, for example, was challenged by Andrea Miller, an African American teacher who had headed Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign in Virginia. In 2006 Forbes was re-elected with 76% of the vote. This year he was down 16 points. Goodlatte went from 75% to 61%. The new Minority Whip, radical right nut case Eric Cantor, dropped down a percent this year.

In Colorado and Idaho, the open seats, were to replace extreme right retirees, Wayne Allard and Larry Craig and the GOP nominated equally radical replacements, losing spectacularly in Colorado (double digit victory by Mark Udall over Robert Schaffer)-- while helping Obama carry Colorado by 8 points and helping to defeat right-wing icon Marilyn Musgrave by an astounding 12 points in the heavily Republican fourth district. The far right strategy also helped Colorado become the first state to elect an openly gay male freshman to Congress-- with Jared Polis slaughtering Republican Scott Starin by 28%, one of the biggest landslides in the country for any freshman.

The Republican strategy in Idaho-- replacing right-wing closet queen Larry Craig with a straight right-winger, James Risch-- brought them a 58% victory. They did manage to lose one seat, though-- that of the Western United States' most reactionary member, Bill Sali, who was replaced by a moderate Democrat, Walt Minnick.

If Norquist, Keane and Perkins weren't talking out of their asses, they would have also seen their empirical evidence that their assertions were false in House race after House race. In Arizona's first CD they used Rick Renzi's corruption indictments to move in an even more right-wing maniac, Sydney Hay who lost to a totally lackluster generic Democrat, 56-40%. Trying to replace conservative Jerry Weller with far right loon Marty Ozinga worked out well-- for Democrat Debbie Halvorson who routed him 58-35%. Same in MD-01, where the radical right primaried mainstream conservative Wayne Gilchrest, took him out with a far right lunatic and then see the lunatic defeated-- in an overwhelmingly Republican district-- by a mainstream conservative Democrat.

So by all means, let the neo-Nazis take over their party and make it more extreme. Let them run Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber in 2012 and nominate more like Darren White, Chris Myers, Jay Love, and Kirk Schuring. And, by all means, more like Robert Schaffer, James Gillmore and Steven Pearce. The more extreme the better. Is there any chance of bringing back Newt Gingrich to run for president? Maybe with Macaca or some other raving, ranting racist as VP?

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At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they just change the official name of the party to the John Birch Society?

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Rob in Michigan said...

I'd love to know why you think that loon, Michele Bachmann won in MN?!

I am still in a state of shock after her spectacular call for the media to bring back McCarthyism. And, I'm appalled.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Rob, I want to think it's because progressives couldn't force themselves to vote for the Blue Dog who was running against her. But I know that isn't true. It's a hopelessly red district and they agree with her.

We have to fix the education system in this country.

At 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MODERATE Republicans All Confirmed:
- Sen. Susan Collins (Maine);
- Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee);
- Sen. Norm Coleman (Minnesota).

Conservatives... please, shut up !

At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just hope and pray that the GOP doesn't unwittingly embrace the Archie Bunker/Alf Garnett element (as in racists, white supremacists, outright nativists, xenophobes and suchlike among the Dregs of Society).


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