Funky base

There’s a side of me that thinks the GOP will move to the center over the next few years because their far-right positioning will become politically untenable. But the truth is there is no rational reason to believe this will happen. Michael Tomasky:

What the party needs is not simply a new candidate. It needs someone with the courage to stand up and say that the GOP has gone completely off the deep end—and that the party could run an amalgam of Ronald Reagan and Mahatma Gandhi and he wouldn’t win as long as the party’s inflamed base keeps with its current attitudes. But it lacks such a person utterly. It’s a party made up of on the one hand unprincipled cowards, and on the other of people devoted to principles so extreme that they’d have serious trouble attracting more than about 42 percent of the vote.

Geoffrey Kabaservice:

Elites are aware that more is at stake this year than ideology. In that way, the emergence of Santorum or Gingrich as the front-runner might provoke the establishment, in a fit of self-preservation, to back an alternative candidate, much as the threat of Goldwater’s nomination stimulated a challenge from Pennsylvania governor William Scranton in 1964. Conservative activists would undoubtedly cry foul, sparking a subsequent round of intraparty enmity and recriminations. But liberals would be blithe to assume that the ensuing crack-up would move the party in a more moderate direction, since, unlike in 1964, there are so few moderates left to take up the mantle.

The Republican party will put up a presidential candidate who espouses extreme right-wing positions. There’s not a damn thing Joe Scarborough and Tom Friedman can do about it.






60 replies
  1. 1
    ooparts says:

    I’m not sure what the happier outcome would be. A more moderate GOP that could be worked with or an extreme GOP that rarely wins elections.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Still hung over, then, eh?

  3. 3
    Egypt Steve says:

    The problem with Tomasky’s analysis that leaps out at me is this implication that Reagan was a sane conservative, and that the Republican party is somehow deviating from his pragmatic example.

    No.

    I’ve said it before: every noxious weed that is choking the garden of America sprouted from a poison seed planted in the Ray-Gun administration. More Reagan equals more crazy.

  4. 4
    Luthe says:

    Love the new category.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    As soon as Fox News goes off the air, the GOP will lurch out of its echo chamber.

    Good luck to them with that.

  6. 6
    MikeJ says:

    (OT: Yutsano, I saw your meetup post a few threads back. Check this and see if it will help in coördinating things.) It would be cool heading into election season if it got more use around the country.

  7. 7
    Culture of Truth says:

    It needs someone with the courage to stand up and say that the GOP has gone completely off the deep end

    They have people like that. But that person would lose, and that’s the problem.

  8. 8
    Brachiator says:

    The Republican party will put up a presidential candidate who espouses extreme right-wing positions. There’s not a damn thing Joe Scarborough and Tom Friedman can do about it.

    If Mittens is the candidate, he will sweet talk the public with moderate nostrums, selling himself as Mr Businessman who will create jobs that will all be the right size; but he will probably have a far right VP pick to keep the fundies happy.a

    The same will be true if the GOP goes brokered convention nuts and drafts Jeb Bush or some other Great GOP Hope.

    If by some chance, Santorum ends up the nominee, he will go more and more to the right, because he just can’t help himself.

  9. 9
    wvng says:

    What BGinCHI said. As long as Fox is on the air driving the crazy, the crazy will remain in its current delusionally frothy state. And Fox is insanely profitable.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Gandhi?! Wasn’t he one of the original DFHs?

  11. 11
    artem1s says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    They have people like that.

    hmm…not really. all I hear from the remaining sane is how both sides do it and are equally bad. and Al Gore is fat and Clenis, etc. They just can’t get past the first sentence…because the only sane next sentence is “I’m done”.

    I’m even done with those who still believe there is a GOP party worth salvaging and that goal is somehow a good thing. Let ’em go the way of the Whigs.

  12. 12
    ericblair says:

    I don’t see any negative feedback loop that would moderate the GOP. I just see a positive feedback loop of Not Conservative Enough Dammit and purity purges until they turn into your basic European far-right xenophobic party. As for worrying about a one-party state after the GOP blows itself up: this is the Dems we’re talking about. We’re about five parties by ourselves here.

    OT, but the Premium Blogads are getting fun again. Apparently there’s a problem with THE 4 DANGERS DESTROYING MEN, and one of them is Angela Jolie in lingerie on a bed looking at me like she wants something. Apparently one of these 4 DANGERS is making guys feel funny down there. I guess.

  13. 13
    c u n d gulag says:

    Reagan was the smiley-faced old man mask the party threw on to cover for the Fascist Overlords pulling his strings, determined to take America back to before the Civil Rights Era – to even before women got the right to vote.

    But it’s Nixon, not Reagan, who’s the root of all of the evil.

    Is there any doubt about that?

  14. 14
    mass says:

    There’s not a damn thing Joe Scarborough and Tom Friedman can do about it.

    Friedman and Scarborough are multi-millionaires, so they’re really not gonna break a fucking sweat on anything. Hell, the ole plagarist himself, Mik Barnicle (?), was just saying this morning that the MOST IMPORTANT!! thing to ALL VOTERS!! was THE DEFICIT!!

    Yeh, right. Ain’t got no health insurance, ain’t got no prospects, but it’s the deficit that’s worrying some poor, jobless motherfucker.

  15. 15
    Ed Drone says:

    “Both sides do it” is seriously wrong, though. Even if the Left has its share of wackos, there’s an important difference:

    The “Left” doesn’t run its true crazies for high public office. It’s as simple as that.

    Ed

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @Brachiator:

    If Mittens is the candidate, he will sweet talk the public with moderate nostrums, selling himself as Mr Businessman who will create jobs that will all be the right size; but he will probably have a far right VP pick to keep the fundies happy.

    I know that’s the plan, but I’m not so sure it’ll work out. The problem with nominating a candidate the base doesn’t trust (as McCain found out) is that he can’t really pivot, because if he plays the moderate with a wink to the wingnuts, they’re perpetually demanding proof that he’s not actually playing them.

    That’s one of the problems with having a base that has been told repeatedly that they’re a majority and don’t need to compromise with anyone else, when actually they aren’t even close.

  17. 17
    Culture of Truth says:

    @artem1s:both sides do it and are equally bad. and Al Gore is fat and Clenis, etc

    I am not saying that. What I am saying there people in the GOP who are startled at how the party has changed and have left the party, or stayed silent, or are ignored. Indeed, even the viable arch-conservatives stayed out of the 2012 race, only in part out of concern about Obama’s strengths. I am saying the party does not in fact “need someone with the courage to stand up and say that the GOP has gone completely off the deep end” because it would have no effect.* Do you think it would?

    * also, this is something everyone knows

  18. 18
    ChrisNYC says:

    Their problem is much much bigger than “one person standing up.” I really think that it’s much more serious and part of a much longer story. They hollowed that party out from the inside and there is just nothing left there. Can’t run the scam when every person is a grifter. There’s no host, just parasites and a smaller and smaller trough to suck on. I think they may go 10 years just limping along, winning less and less until there’s enough room and lack of will for something new to grow.

    And please, as though TPers or wingers or whatever we want to call them are devoted to principles. Bull! They’re devoted to nothing. I mean, first big govt GWB and now Santorum — the guy who believes that freedom means freedom to follow God’s will. Their electeds are devoted to money, period.

  19. 19

    “Both sides do it” is a pile of ass covering crap.

    What is the lefty equivalent of making it difficult for women to get birth control and disenfranchising the poor and people of color? Making them use more efficient lightbulbs?

  20. 20
    Ump902a says:

    Alas, the “moderate Republicans” are the unprincipled cowards. If the GOP takes a real thrashing in 2012, expect a lot of the so-called extremists to become more moderate as there are a lot of unprincipled cowards in their midst also (Yoo-hoo, I’m looking at you, Mitt.).

  21. 21
    trollhattan says:

    They’ve been so busy driving RINOs into the kill pit it’s difficult to imagine any moderates will still exist, or should they, that they’d pop up and wave, “Hi, over here!”

    Put another way, so long as there are billionaire asshats willing to throw bags of cash at bloodless idiots like Santorum, they’ll keep finding new Santorums.

  22. 22
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    i really think the conservative extreme is going to keep going until they are stopped. as we see in every hostage crisis they manufacture, that it takes time and energy for the democrats to diffuse, ultimately the gop picks up and moves to the next thing. its easy to give the mic over to the screamers and the true hearts because they supply the consequence that lets them bargain off something from the dems for their mere participation in the process.

    the conservatives will keep breaking things until they can force a chance to pick up teams again. every radical shift i have ever seen in business was preceded by a brief time where no one seemed to care about what was obviously broken. then in managing the new strategy, you had a low baseline from which to show that the new thing was working. i think the cons have taken the same approach to managing their political ideology.

  23. 23
    Egypt Steve says:

    @c u n d gulag: I do doubt it, because Reagan is at the root of the Republican party’s tax fetishism, and all the obstruction and general stupidity that has flown from that. He was a tool of his astrologer wife, which speaks to the anti-intellectualism of the modern Republican party, and a dabbler in Christian apocalypticism, which speaks to the same thing but which is also at the root of the religious white-wing take-over of the Rethuglican party. Also too, Watergate would have been a one-off in Executive lawlessness if Reagan had not institutionalized it with Iran-Contra, followed dutifully by a passel of pardons doled out by Bush I. So sure, Nixon should have died in prison, but he was old-school evil. The modern evil of the Republicans is all Reagan.

  24. 24
    22over7 says:

    The GOP overlords and their toadies in the press are upset because the current crop of candidates are so unseemly. They would prefer the more refined (or at least better scripted) evil of a Reagan. But they’re even more upset because this election has pushed them completely aside. The RNC’s fundraising pales beside the super-pacs, and those billionaires are uninterested in advice other than their own.

    So the toadies come out to cluck over the lack of civility, while their corporate bosses chuckle with glee over the prospect of a whole summer of headlines and ad buys.

    Somebody’s gotta be making HUGE bank this year.

  25. 25
    batgirl says:

    If Romney is the GOP candidate and loses, then it is likely the GOP will continue down the crazy road and argue that the problem with the election was the lack of a true conservative (a la McCain in 2008). If, please FSM, Santorum is the candidate and loses, maybe, just maybe, the party will realize that it has gone off the rails and make a move towards sanity or at least force a historic party split.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @Redshift: RE: If Mittens is the candidate, he will sweet talk the public with moderate nostrums, selling himself as Mr Businessman who will create jobs that will all be the right size; but he will probably have a far right VP pick to keep the fundies happy.

    I know that’s the plan, but I’m not so sure it’ll work out. The problem with nominating a candidate the base doesn’t trust (as McCain found out) is that he can’t really pivot, because if he plays the moderate with a wink to the wingnuts, they’re perpetually demanding proof that he’s not actually playing them.

    The VP choice will be sufficiently pure to pacify hard core Republicans. The only other choice these people will have will be to stay home. But the GOP will scare them with the inevitable “if you stay home, the scary Kenyan will win and zombie girl scouts will roam the streets aborting your babies.”

    This will leave Mittens free to go for moderates, independents and whoever else is gullible enough to fall for the GOP’s false promises.

    McCain wasn’t trusted, but he was the nominee, and he was never as crazy as Santorum or Bachmann or the other GOP loonies. The GOP encourages wingnuts, but still expects them to go along with the choice of the money men and women.

  27. 27
    max says:

    It’s a party made up of on the one hand unprincipled cowards,

    GOP leadership is in it for the money. They aren’t unprincipled as engaging in false advertising. As the Southern Party has been doing for some 200 years or so.

    and on the other of people devoted to principles so extreme that they’d have serious trouble attracting more than about 42 percent of the vote.

    If they were really loud and proud with all their principles they’d get 27%, tops. Which is why I find it so odd that everyone is going on about ‘the white working class’ going for R’s. When the R’s are pulling 95% of the white working class (whatever that group is, exactly), you’ll have something.

    Conservative activists would undoubtedly cry foul, sparking a subsequent round of intraparty enmity and recriminations.

    I am an actual small-d democrat. I think those people should be accurately represented in Congress along with blacks, browns, gays, not-conservative whites (a not insignificant group now that I mention it) and everybody else. They are the Party of the 27%. So the Tea Party would be absolutely right to scream.

    The short-term problem may be that the 27% are crazy (or badly misinformed, which amounts to the same thing for voting purposes) but the real, long-term underlying problem is that the upper-class (the above 90% crew) male white person point of view is WAY over-represented.

    So we have the problem here that liberal people are actually arguing in support of calculating upper-class Republicans who would send them to the glue factory as soon as look at them. (I mean, Good Lord, most of the complaining about liberals is actually made by upper-class conservative white people who apparently bitterly hate upper-class liberal types they are complaining about.)

    Isn’t that exciting?

    max
    [‘Santorum/Gingrich ’12! For a real bloody massacre!’]

  28. 28
    Tonal Crow says:

    Also too, Watergate would have been a one-off in Executive lawlessness if Reagan had not institutionalized it with Iran-Contra….

    Or if Ford had not badly undermined the rule of law by pardoning Nixon to help “heal” the nation.

  29. 29
    Ben Cisco says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis:

    Funky base

    I know this isn’t what you meant, but I’m posting it anyway.

  30. 30
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    Ha Ha. Good luck with moderating the GOP of today. You motherfuckers benefited for decades at the ballot box for your toxic deal with the devil called The Southern Strategy.

    They took over your tent, these nihilistic fuckers. They don’t give a shit about your fine conservative sensibilities of wily bullshit. They want you, us, and the constitution they never agreed to, to burn, in hell. And then to start over with them running the circus. If you want to clean up your mess, then you will need to vote democrat, otherwise, you are guilty guilty guilty, for whatever these lunatics end up reeking on the Union. dumbasses.

  31. 31
    Desert Rat says:

    The only thing that will cause the money men who really own the GOP to turn out the loons will be having its ass kicked biannually through several election cycles. It’s the only thing that really changed the Democratic Party back in the 1970’s and 1980’s (for good and bad, fwiw).

  32. 32
    Precious Roy says:

    There’s already a party occupying the center-right spot.

    What will happen is that the Republican Party will wither away and the Democrats will split into center-left and center-right parties. Don’t hold your breath or anything though.

  33. 33
    Sly says:

    What is the more likely scenario?

    1) A paternalistic wise man, or group of wise men, will steer the GOP away from the grips of its reactionary psychosis in a way that is minimally disruptive to the inherent need for conservatism to maintain that psychosis.

    Or…

    2) The reactionaries will slowly die off, and not enough new reactionaries will be created to replace them.

    You know why this country is less racist today than it was in 1950? Because most of the racists in 1950 are dead, and their progeny have been marginally less racist. Progress, when you get right down to it, is a process of attrition.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    I’ll add I don’t know many active wingnut-style Republicans but I do know a lot of default Republicans. They’re Republicans because they “pay too much in taxes already.” That sums up the thought they put into voting; they’re not swayed by advertising, party platforms, debates or slogans and they don’t even know enough about the party to be embarrassed voting for it.

    They just do. Every time.

  35. 35
    eyelessgame says:

    Nixon and Reagan are *different* evils, that have joined and metastasized.

    Nixon brought racism and a sense of paranoid victimization, and through criminal acts caused the nation to distrust its own government.

    Reagan brought the religious conservatives, the smiling face of Goldwaterite libertarianism, and rhetorically turned the nation /against/ its own government.

    Both governed more moderately than their rhetoric. In particular, Reagan’s rhetoric forms the basis of today’s Republican idiocracy; many of Reagan’s actions would be anathema.

    As I like to put it: Reagan bullshitted the country, because as an actor that’s what he did for a living. But the people who came after him didn’t see the “WARNING: Professional Actor. Do Not Try This In Real Life” that should have been open-captioned below all of his speeches.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @batgirl:

    If Romney is the GOP candidate and loses, then it is likely the GOP will continue down the crazy road and argue that the problem with the election was the lack of a true conservative (a la McCain in 2008). If, please FSM, Santorum is the candidate and loses, maybe, just maybe, the party will realize that it has gone off the rails and make a move towards sanity or at least force a historic party split.

    The GOP would prefer that the crazy be downplayed, but this is who they are. And they have been doing on the state level everything that they want to do on the national level. They are not going to change as long as they people keep voting them into statewide offices and governorships, even if they get crushed in the November presidential election.

  37. 37

    The amount of leverage that the “Party elites” have has, ironically, been considerably diminished by CU.

    In the “old days”, candidates had to suck up to the Party and toe the line, because that’s who gave you the money to run your campaign. Now, you just need to get some Super PAC behind you, and the Party can keep its money and their attached strings.

    Right now, the major role of the Party is to conduct the caucuses/primaries. They have almost unlimited power to control those.

    Consider also that the evangelicals have spent three decades insinuating themselves into the Party itself on almost every level. Who or what constitutes the “Party elites” is not very clear anymore.

    If you have an agenda (pro-corporate, pro-war, return to the Fifties, etc.), it’s generally a smarter move to avoid the Party and go with outside organisations – with the Party being forced to play ball with you or be made irrelevant.

  38. 38
    Redshift says:

    @Brachiator:

    This will leave Mittens free to go for moderates, independents and whoever else is gullible enough to fall for the GOP’s false promises.

    Can I take that as a prediction that Mittens won’t have to say any of the crazy stuff to appease the base once he’s nominated?

    I’ll take the other side of that prediction, and we’ll see in the fall. I don’t think it’s impossible that I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  39. 39
    different-church-lady says:

    Such is the beast that Karl Rove created. Every Dr. Frankenstein thinks he’ll be able to control his creation. Every Dr. Frankenstein is wrong.

  40. 40
    Sly says:

    @batgirl:

    If Romney is the GOP candidate and loses, then it is likely the GOP will continue down the crazy road and argue that the problem with the election was the lack of a true conservative (a la McCain in 2008). If, please FSM, Santorum is the candidate and loses, maybe, just maybe, the party will realize that it has gone off the rails and make a move towards sanity or at least force a historic party split.

    If Romney gains the nomination and loses to Barack Obama, it will be because there are too many “elites” in the party who propped up an insufficiently conservative candidate to rally the base. If Santorum gains the nomination and loses to Barack Obama, it will be because there are too many “elites” within the party who undercut him.

    Conservatism cannot fail. It can only be failed.

    Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 will be a wake up call for Conservatism in America. And they’ll open their eyes only long enough to find the snooze button.

  41. 41

    What the party needs is not simply a new candidate. It needs someone with the courage to stand up and say that the GOP has gone completely off the deep end

    I suppose the corollary is what the Democrats will do in response to the GOP? It isn’t as though the party has been drifting relentlessly left since St Ronnie. I suppose there is electoral benefit to pursuing the GOP refugees, policy wise…?

  42. 42
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Redshift: I’ll take the third side of that bet: if Romney’s the nominee, he’ll alternate between hard-right rhetoric when his base wobbles and center-right rhetoric when the latest poll shows an uptick in the probability of “meep-meep”. The film will make marvellous “flip-flop” ads if Obama has the guts to use it.

  43. 43
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Sly:

    If Romney gains the nomination and loses to Barack Obama, it will be because there are too many “elites” in the party who propped up an insufficiently conservative candidate to rally the base. If Santorum gains the nomination and loses to Barack Obama, it will be because there are too many “elites” within the party who undercut him.

    Also too, Santorum will then be vilified as a “RINO” as the wingnuts attempt to move the goalposts another 5 yards rightward.

  44. 44
    Calouste says:

    that the party could run an amalgam of Ronald Reagan and Mahatma Gandhi

    Gandhi? Gandhi? A brown non-Christian intellectual pacifist? In the GOP?

  45. 45
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    The GOP will need a crushing, overwhelming series of defeats, much like what happened to the Democrats in the eighties. before they even start thinking about changing their ways. A decade in the wilderness, at least.

    I do not see that happening in the next ten years.

  46. 46
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    @Chuck Butcher: Right now we have a far-right party in this country and a center-right party.

    Leftists have jack shit, and most of them definitely seem to like it that way. I have yet to meet a hardcore lefty that doesn’t buy into the “they’re all the same” argument.

  47. 47
    wrb says:

    This fell in place for me in the last few days, or at least it feels like it has. Bloom’s “The American Religion” combined with things I learned a few years back while doing research on the architecture of Provence, with readings in mediaeval history, and with the last few days of conversation here, to form a theory.

    Figure out what the beanies, Santorum, the Mormons, the Southern Baptists, and the charismatic/prosperity gospel writhers and the plutocrats have in common and confusion will lift.
    This isn’t about race, it is a very old religious schism.

    While they are running against Roger Williams and freedom of conscience, the real hatred is directed- as has been repeatedly- at those who would rudely remind them of certain stories having to do with a camel and the eye of a needle, money changers in a temple and the like.

    This is a coalition of those who would use Christianity as a means of- and justification for- cashing in. They are the coalition for guilt-free greed.

    Yes, they are running against Roger William and freedom of conscience but those they really hate are those who point out the contradictions at the core of their faith, whether those happen to be Catholics who thought the faith had something to do with social justice (at least did until they were quashed by the beanies) liberal Protestants who thought the same, and who mock mega churches the prosperity gospel, whether mormon, Baptist, Charismatic, or Randian.

    And yes, they do want to kill us. They’ve killed liberals many times before.

    I found the architecture of Luberon- the hills that rise in Provence toward the Alps- strangely appealing. It had a beautiful restraint that felt like that of a New England village, a Shaker cabinet, or a Zen tea house. I looked up the history of the place, wondering if there was something distinctive about the people. There was- they had been exterminated. They were the Valdois, pre-protestant Catholic schismatics that believed in “proclaiming the Gospel, serving the marginalized, promoting social justice, fostering inter-religious work, and advocating respect for religious diversity and freedom of conscience.” The Church had been quite thorough about wiping out that sort of opposition from within, an in fact had spent the previous centuries wiping out another group, the Cathars, from the rest of Southern France. While the church has doubtless given shelter and hope to many over the years it also developed the most successful business plan ever known. By the 10th century it owned 1/3rd the real estate in the Carolinian Empire (roughly France and Germany) and a quarter of that in England. Those in the upper hierarchy were living in splendor. Selling admission to eternity was a buisness inspiration of never-matched brilliance. The church, for all the good it has done, has repeatedly crushed those who would undermine it. While the old line old-line Protestants were formed in opposition to the church, “protestant” is really a misnomer for these newer sects, as they were formed when the Church was over the horizon and out of mind. They don’t care about the Catholic Church to protest it- they want to emulate its business plan.

    So I’m not at all sure that the right is doomed. Are new immigrants really going to prefer liberation theology, serving the poor, Quaker Meeting, and drum circles over all forms of prosperity gospel and guiltless greed?

  48. 48
    PIGL says:

    Why in the world should leftists or even b-j centrists care for the healthy future of the GOP? Let them Die In their very own Fire.

    Our place is to stand by cheering, with extra matches and napalm. That party is a threat to civilisation, and must be destroyed.

  49. 49

    I’m not sure what the happier outcome would be. A more moderate GOP that could be worked with or an extreme GOP that rarely wins elections.

    Well the first one wouldn’t make me feel like my head is exploding three times a day.

    “Both sides do it” is a pile of ass covering crap. What is the lefty equivalent of making it difficult for women to get birth control and disenfranchising the poor and people of color? Making them use more efficient lightbulbs?

    It’s comments like this that keep me coming back here.

  50. 50
    Taobhan says:

    Re Tomasky’s statement about no more than 42% of the electorate voting for a candidate who supports extremist positions: Does he believe that 42% of the American electorate would vote for the kind of insane positions taken by the current crop of Republican candidates? I’m surprised that the number could be that high. If it is, this country is in much more peril than I imagined!

  51. 51
    DMcK says:

    If/when Obama wins in November, and it won’t matter against who, I fully expect an avalanche of crazy conspiracy theories as to how he “stole” the election, and who helped him do it. Conservatives have fully internalized the myth of their imagined victimhood at the hands of evil forces out to destroy them. It wouldn’t surprise me too much if, by 2017, Reptilians and chemtrails become acceptable talking points in conservative discourse, and are treated as valid ones by certain sectors of the media. Anything to fuel their rage and preserve an identity whose construction depends almost entirely on a complete disconnection from objective reality.

  52. 52
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    @Taobhan: That jumped out at me, too. I agree that the Republican Party has gone crazy. I also know that a 58-42 vote is considered a big landslide. But in an election with 130 million voters, 40% is still more than 50 million people.

  53. 53
    Bruce S says:

    “There’s not a damn thing Joe Scarborough and Tom Friedman can do about it.”

    As bad as this is for the country, there’s some pleasure in watching those witless assholes freaking out as their “Conventional Wisdom” doesn’t even manage to meet the bar of annoying banalities.

  54. 54
    Datacine says:

    Perfected in my beloved CA since 1978.
    They cannot get moderates through primaries here.

  55. 55
    Woodrowfan says:

    @ericblair:

    OT, but the Premium Blogads are getting fun again. Apparently there’s a problem with THE 4 DANGERS DESTROYING MEN, and one of them is Angela Jolie in lingerie on a bed looking at me like she wants something. Apparently one of these 4 DANGERS is making guys feel funny down there. I guess.

    Reply

    All I get are Special K ads. 8-(

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:

    @Redshift:

    Can I take that as a prediction that Mittens won’t have to say any of the crazy stuff to appease the base once he’s nominated?
    __
    I’ll take the other side of that prediction, and we’ll see in the fall. I don’t think it’s impossible that I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s likely.

    All anyone can do is make semi educated guesses and speculate. Mitts or whoever has to go after swing voters and moderates. We’ll see whether the GOP nominee, whoever he or she is, doubles down on the crazy or tries to wink and nod their way to a win.

  57. 57
    mclaren says:

    Your logic sounds reasonable, Doug, but that’s not the way the world works.

    Remember: the Republican party is now a doomsday cult run by Rapture-believing global-warming and evolution-denying fundamentalist evangelical Dominionist Christians.

    What happens to a doomsday cult when the fact contradict its predictions?

    The cult becomes more extreme.

    We’re seeing a classic case here, just like the Heavens Gate Cult, just like the Aum Shin Rikyo cult, just like the Jonestown cult. As things got worse and worse for the cult, anyone who was inclined to be skeptical left, and the remaining cultists became even more fanatical and more extreme in their beliefs.

    That’s what’s going on here.

    Count on it, Doug: by 2016, Republican candidates will be biting the heads off live kittens on public TV and calling for the impalement of babies as their policy platform.

  58. 58
    Trakker says:

    I think the establishment is pretty certain Mitt will eventually prevail (sadly, he probably will), and they know they have enough money coming into their SuperPACS to convince the voters in November that Barack Obama is the most dangerous President in our history and that if re-elected he will finish his job of making sure the government will make every decision in your life, and require every child in school to experience gay sex to make them more tolerant. Who knows what the mad Kenyan will do if he doesn’t have to worry about another term.

    Don’t laugh, have you seen the amounts that have been contributed already just in the primaries? You can triple that for the main event.

  59. 59
    Tehanu says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    freedom means freedom to follow God’s will as interpreted by Rick Santorum alone.

    Fixed that for ya.

    the party could run an amalgam of Ronald Reagan and Mahatma Gandhi

    They could run an amalgam of Reagan and Jesus Christ and it still wouldn’t change anything. I believe JHC was, in fact, the ur-DFH they hate the most.

  60. 60
    Nemesis says:

    Cant agree.

    Having lost badly in the November 2012 elections, the gop will do exactly what it has done for the past 4 decades when losing a national election-reconsititute, praise purity, complain they werent conservative enough, and move farther to the right. I will happen.

    Their heads will asplode when Obama receives a strong vote of confidence. The gop will blame themselves and the American people. As a result, they will attempt to inflict more pain and suffering on the country through bad policy, obstruction and incited violence.

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