Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stupid is safe. Gop political reality

               The House has decided to declare war on prudent policy and governing in the best interest of the nation. No matter what happens in the near future on funding the operation of the Government another crisis looms. Another manufactured crisis. The Debt Limit.

If 95/96 is any indicator the shutdown will still be ongoing as the House extremists threaten to blow up the economy to overturn the 2012 election. They will gleefully hold the full faith and credit of The United States Of America hostage to further their wishlist of pet issues.

Again you can expect defunding the Affordable Care Act to be front and center. This will be in spite of the fact to defund there needs to be a complete repeal. Any sane, realistic student of politics knows this is a non starter and will not happen. The GOP need control of the Senate and White House to pull repeal off. So any chance will need to wait until after the 2016 election. For that scenario to occur there will need to be earth shattering changes in the political landscape. Alien invasion may be far more likely.

A lot of people are blaming Karl Rove for the ascendancy of The Tea Party and resultant polarization of American politics. I blame Nixon.

In his Presidential run in 1968 Nixon and his troop of sycophants devised the Southern Strategy. The idea was to attract the traditional segregationist Southern Dems from the Old Confederacy who were appalled by Civil Rights laws. The civil unrest of '68 angered and terrified the blue collar base of the Northern Democratic party. They were afraid they would lose there job and be replaced by a black guy to reach a non existent quota. Nixon subtly stoked those fears. Wallace was open about that happening.

The Wallace campaign was less covert about welcoming pissed off white guys than Nixon's but Dick was more polished in his messaging and had a broader appeal to those who denied their own cultural racism. The Silent majority was born. As was nascent anti intellectualism which was and is an American tradition. They just made it mainstream.

Nixon had his attack dog Agnew out front bitching about east coast intellectual elitism. The birth of the notion of the Liberal press out to get conservatives. They implied the Jews in the press, Hollywood  and Universities were ruining American values. The  Gentiles in the Ivy League were complicit in this. Wallace chimed in with his attacks on pointy headed intellectuals.

Nixon also embraced the growing Evangelical movement. He welcomed the more extreme pastors like Falwell and Robertson while staying close to the accepted guy, Billy Graham. This unholy alliance sowed the seeds of the current face of conservatism.

Under Reagan, Lee Atwater got the religious right into bed with the GOP to perform unnatural acts  upon each other to preserve and expand power. Karl Rove was a protege of Atwater and learned how to use the racists and religious right to great effect. The money poured in. The GOP had boots on the ground at every level. Rove conned big money out of big donors by delivering votes. He kept the troops in line by tossing them an occasional bone. (Take that however you wish)

The Republican party perfected stoking racial and cultural fears. They mastered defining the messaging. They defined any that disagreed as Liberal and somehow Un-American. They succeeded in making liberal an insult and a dirty word. The troops learned well as they took control of the party at a local level.

Tired of lip service from the National GOP the activists took over local, County and State party machinery. They challenged office holders who weren't conservative enough. RINO's. Thus we saw the birth of The Tea Party. partially an AstroTurf attempt to harness anger over the Kenyan being elected and partially grassroots angry a Kenyan was elected.

The optics were mixed. With a push and good PR from Fox News they made a big political splash. However they couldn't control who showed up. Spelling challenged racists. Constitutionally ignorant self appointed spokespeople talking to the media. The floodgates were open and any idea, conspiracy theory and absurdest position was out there. The problem with zealots is they don't compromise. They have a no prisoners attitude.

2010 saw a Tea Party tsunami sweep the House and State Governments. Some of these newcomers are bought and paid for opportunists and others were true believers.

The conservative movement and GOP has moved far right. William F. Buckley would be appalled. He pushed the Neo-Nazis, Klan and the John Birch Society out. With no visionary leadership or coherent philosophy they've been welcomed back in. And the Birchers are treated as if they are actually a legitimate political power. They even co-sponsored CPAC, the conservative Woodstock.

Because the Tea Party was so easy to dismiss and make fun of in 2010 the Dems got their asses handed to them. This opened the door to blatant gerrymandering and control of the US House. The right was poised to take the Senate and White House.What the GOP wished for.

They should have been careful what they wished for.

House members and candidates for the Senate made statements that a decade ago would have run them out of politics in a wave of ridicule and derision. They saw nothing wrong with it. Nor did a lot of their rabid base. More rational voters did and the Dems held the Senate when they were expected to lose it. It didn't help the GOP that electable candidates were primary losers to unqualified novice extremists in vicious primaries. A purity test was the norm.

You now have a House that is rogue. The Speaker can't control his caucus. A cadre of thirty or forty hardcore anarchists have decided to hold the Nation hostage. A minority of a majority in one House of Congress feels they can dictate demands to overturn policy, law and elections through extortion. They can do this due to fear.

There are organizations that have money to spend to attempts to sway elections. They are using this defund gambit to keep score as to where they will support or oppose in the next election. You have professional bomb throwers like Sarah Palin weighing in with not so veiled threats. Ad campaigns have been launched to intimidate sitting Republican office holders. The right is not only extorting the Nation, they are extorting each other.

The current fight is only the first salvo. The Debt Limit will be even more vicious I believe. If any deal is made Speaker Boehner faces a coup. There is not much downside in the House. Nearly all GOP seats are safe if not challenged from the right. This is what's driving this. The hardcore are threatening the others in the Caucus with a bloodbath to purify the party if their demands aren't met. It's not like the threatened House members are moderate. There are no moderates left. The only question is are they pure enough? Are they willing to destroy America to save it from the left?

So as we careen from one crisis to the next the House will only go more right as pressure is applied
from outside forces. To keep their seats many will feel the need to act in ways they don't agree with. Stupid is safe. Not ONE has the balls to stand up to the Kochs and Heritage Foundation and call them out. Not ONE will tell Palin, Limbaugh and the rest to STFU.

The Republican party needs to stage a coup against the anarchy wing. Trent Lott said Ted Cruz needs to be cut off at the knees. Sanity is the only way out of this march to GOP oblivion. Will they survive? Should we care?

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