Thursday, October 15, 2015

The GOP Is Actually CRAVING Another Goldwater-Magnitude Ass-Whooping-- And Ted Cruz Is Their Man


You think the Republican Party is a mad-house now? Just wait until Tailgunner Ted Is Their Nominee! I have to admit, I rarely read David Brooks columns and I usually get them second hand. This one from Tuesday came to me via an Ezra Klein post at Vox. Klein wrote that Brooks "accuses today's Republican Party of betraying the actual tenets of conservatism. 'By traditional definitions,' he writes, 'conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible.'" He wishes!
Today's Republicans, he continues, have abandoned all that. The GOP is increasingly driven by a faction that "regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored. Countrymen with different views are regarded as aliens. Political identity became a sort of ethnic identity, and any compromise was regarded as a blood betrayal."

It's perhaps not a surprise that Brooks, a Burkean conservative, finds the party of Donald Trump and Ben Carson a bit objectionable. What's interesting is the precise nature of his diagnosis. Republicans, he says, have become prisoners of their own rhetoric:
Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced. Public figures are prisoners of their own prose styles, and Republicans from Newt Gingrich through Ben Carson have become addicted to a crisis mentality. Civilization was always on the brink of collapse. Every setback, like the passage of Obamacare, became the ruination of the republic. Comparisons to Nazi Germany became a staple.

This produced a radical mind-set.
The result is a party that has convinced its voters that America needs a political revolution and is now surprised to find its voters turning to revolutionaries. "These insurgents are incompetent at governing and unwilling to be governed," Brooks says. "But they are not a spontaneous growth. It took a thousand small betrayals of conservatism to get to the dysfunction we see all around."

...Brooks's point is that you can't say, as Mitt Romney did, that "with Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society," and then turn around and tell your supporters that you've lost the election and it's time to accept that Obamacare is the law of the land. Either America is in an existential struggle to preserve its character, and radical means are merited, or … it's not. If you campaign based on an existential threat you can't govern as if it's just politics as usual.

But while Brooks sees today that Romney's comments paved the path toward Trump, at the time Brooks and others like him saw Romney as their best hope of taking back the White House. That's the core dynamic here: Establishment Republican candidates feel they have to use revolutionary rhetoric to win over the Tea Party, and since they face no sanction from the desperate moderates in their party when they pander to the right, it's an easy choice. Until that changes-- until players like Brooks are angrier at the center of their party for indulging these tendencies than they are at the fringe for taking advantage of the result-- the Republican Party is going to continue to get pulled far to the right.
If they are really as crazy as Brooks is coming to see them as-- and they are, after all, his people-- they'll nominate Trump or Ben Carson. More likely, though, it will come down to a battle between the Establishment (demented Cuban-American wing-nut, Florida teabagger Marco Rubio) and the fringe extremist (demented Cuban-American wing-nut, Texas neo-fascist Ted Cruz).

You've probably heard by now-- we've been writing about it all year-- that Likud/Mafia/China connection Sheldon Adelson is going to bankroll Rubio. Alex Isenstadt figured it out a couple days ago.
Sheldon Adelson, one of the Republican Party's most sought-after contributors, is leaning increasingly toward supporting Marco Rubio-- and the Florida senator is racing to win the backing of other uncommitted megadonors who have the potential to direct tens of millions of dollars his way and alter the contours of the Republican primary fight.

Last week, during a campaign swing through Las Vegas, Rubio held a meeting in Adelson's offices at the Venetian Las Vegas, one of a number of five-star luxury casinos the billionaire mogul owns around the world. Adelson, seated at the head of his conference table, heaped praise on Rubio’s performance while he discussed the dynamics of the 2016 race. Those briefed on the meeting described it as short but said it had an air of importance, with the two joined by Rubio’s campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, and a pair of senior Adelson advisers, Rob Goldstein and Patrick Dumont.

Those close to Adelson-- who spent more than $100 million on Republican candidates and causes during the 2012 campaign and has been aggressively courted by most would-be Republican nominees-- stressed that the 82-year-old gambling magnate had made no final decision on whom he’d support but said that momentum had strongly shifted to the Florida senator. A formal endorsement, they said, could come as soon as the end of the month-- and with it, the potential for a multimillion dollar contribution. With a net worth of $25.7 billion, according to Forbes, Adelson can afford to spend freely.
With the utter failure of Jeb Bush to connect with Republican voters, Rubio will be the younger face of the Ford/Dole/Bush/McCain/Romney wing of the party establishment. But it probably isn't their turn this cycle and even despite Adelson's vast wealth, Cruz is the more likely nominee (and, of course, he has his own billionaires in tow ready to pay for the ride. Stuart Rothenberg at Roll Call, one of Washington's most conventional pundits, wrote that with "the fissure in the Republican Party becoming wider and deeper," it's becoming increasingly apparent that Cruz will be the nominee.
It’s time to make the anti-establishment wing of the GOP put up or shut up.

For years, the most conservative elements of the party have complained about nominees such as Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney, seeing those Republican leaders as pragmatists who didn’t deeply hold conservative principles and weren’t worthy of the label “Republican.”

According to those conservatives, the GOP loses when “squishy” Republican nominees don’t offer voters a sharp contrast, and because of that, millions of conservative voters sit at home, unexcited with the choices offered.

Even the government shutdown of two years ago didn’t convince tea party conservatives in Congress that their strategy was unwise and backfired dramatically. After all, they now can note-- Republicans made additional House and Senate gains in 2014, even after all the media hysteria associated with the shutdown.

Of course, national polling from respectable pollsters showed substantial damage to the GOP brand during the shutdown, but the party was saved by the administration’s messy launch of its Obamacare website. It isn’t clear that Democratic ineptness will save Republicans from themselves a second time.

So, the GOP has been and remains a political party at war with itself. And because of that, the congressional wing of the party will remain paralyzed, with as few as a three or four dozen conservatives (sometimes many more) making it impossible for the party’s leadership to lead.

Cruz has been a cheerleader for those House Republicans who are most adamant in opposing compromise. Indeed, The New York Times noted that while Cruz “conceded defeat” when Congress voted to end the 16-day government shutdown, he did not “express contrition.”

...As a spokesman for the no compromise, anti-establishment wing of his party, Cruz would be the ideal presidential nominee for conservatives tired of Republican leaders. He could ask a like-minded governor, possibly Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to join his ticket, giving voters the clear choice that conservatives claim they never have.

...[It is] likely that Cruz would underperform among swing voters and suffer additional Republican defections. His nomination would enable Democrats to make the election a referendum on him and the tea party, and it isn’t difficult to imagine 2016 becoming a modern day version of 1964, when Republicans suffered a humiliating defeat.

A Cruz nomination would virtually guarantee Democratic control of the Senate after November’s elections. GOP senators in states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and, of course, Illinois would have little chance of being re-elected, and the party’s prospects in a handful of other Senate races, (e.g., Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and even Arizona) would suddenly become more worrisome.

Given the relatively low number of truly competitive House districts, the GOP might well be able to retain control of the House, but even that is not certain.

So why should the GOP nominate Cruz if it entails so much risk? Because a clear and convincing defeat is the only thing in the foreseeable future that has any chance of convincing Freedom Caucus types in the Republican Party that their strategy is flawed and they have helped damage the Republican brand. (Alas, even a crushing defeat wouldn’t convince everyone.)

Until that happens, Republicans, and the country in general, seem destined to suffer through more months of legislative shutdowns and gridlock that will further weaken the country.
The Republicans do know that Pelosi's unwillingness to clean house at the DCCC, despite one humiliating loss after another, will leave the GOP majority there safe no matter how sweeping an electoral catastrophe and how powerful Cruz's reverse coattails turn out to be. They may lose a few seats around the edges, but with the endemic incompetence and corruption and the Rahm Emanuel-Chris Van Hollen-Steve Israel strategic overview still dominating DCCC thinking, virtually nothing the Republicans can do would lose them control of the House.

In 1964, when Barry Goldwater only carried his own state (Arizona) plus 5 bastions of hardcore racism and secession (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana), losing the electoral college 486 to 52, Republicans were lucky in the Senate to just lose Maryland, Montana and New York. They weren't so lucky in the House. Although the GOP gained a handful of seats for sociopathic racists in the Deep South, Republican incumbents were replaced by Democrats in seats in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa (5 seats!), Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey (4 seats), New York (7 seats), North Dakota, Ohio (4 seats, including Robert Taft's), Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington (4 seats), Wisconsin and even Wyoming! The Republicans went into the election with 176 House seats. After the dust cleared on election night, they only had 140 to the Democrats new majority of 295 (up 37 seats in all, despite all the Republican victories in Alabama). Almost 10 million more voters chose a Democrat for the House than a Republican, a swing of 4.7% in favor of the Democrats. At the time Michael Kirwan of Youngstown Ohio, a powerful progressive, was the DCCC chair. He was one of the last competent ones.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


At 9:35 AM, Blogger Quas said...

Has any of your sources explain Pelosis reasoning on not changing the failed DCCC leadership ?

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Exit 135 said...

"They may lose a few seats around the edges, but with the endemic incompetence and corruption and the Rahm Emanuel-Chris Van Hollen-Steve Israel strategic overview still dominating DCCC thinking, virtually nothing the Republicans can do would lose them control of the House."

And Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Although per Bloomberg Politics, the lid just got blown on DWS. "Insurrection Erupts at the Democratic National Committee"

At 1:03 AM, Blogger Daro said...

I tell you who will stay home come election day: millions of Democratic party members if Madame Hillary is the candidate. Polls are fine but c'mon! Actually, discretionarily and proactively vote FOR her? And no one is getting off their butts to vote to ensure a left-leaning Supreme Court candidate is nominated in blah blah blah. There'll be crickets at the Democratic party events setup around the country.


Post a Comment

<< Home