Early Morning Open Thread: Can Republicans Change?

Long, detailed, enjoyable (for Democrats) report by Tom Edsall at the NYTImes:

If the Republican Party were a profit-seeking corporation, the current management would be tossed.

A post-election study conducted Dec. 12 by Resurgent Republic, a conservative think tank, concluded that the market for right-wing ideologues is just not there anymore:

Republicans have run out of persuadable white voters. For the fifth time in the past six presidential elections, Republicans lost the popular vote. Trying to win a national election by gaining a larger and larger share of a smaller and smaller portion of the electorate is a losing political proposition.

The monied wing of the Republican Party suffers from what political scientists call a “resource curse” — the same “paradox of plenty” that blocks the advancement of oil-rich countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. Too much cash flowing from big donors to super PACs and tax-exempt organizations is the Republican curse.

In the 2012 election, major Republican-leaning independent expenditure committees, including Restore Our Future and American Crossroads, spent $579 million, more than three times the $168 million spent by pro-Democratic groups like Priorities USA and the Service Employees International Union.

Despite losing, a network of favored Republican consultants and contractors emerged from the election richer than before: Mentzer Media Services, Inc. collected fees of $141 million; Crossroads Media LLC, $90.8 million; Target Enterprises, $15.2 million; Arena Communications, $12.8 million. For the Republican operatives running these companies, 2012 was hardly a defeat. It was a business bonanza….

The problem that faces business leaders pressing for reform is not just the normal reluctance of a political party to change. Instead, it is the fact that much of the Republican electorate, as presently constructed, is profoundly committed — morally and ideologically — to “traditional values.” You’re asking groups of people to change who were brought together by their resistance to change. Their opposition to change is why they are Republicans.

The right coalition includes a subset of conservatives determined to preserve white hegemony. Add to that social conservatives who oppose both the women’s rights and gay rights movements, and the religiously observant who are dead set against burgeoning secularism and what they see as the erosion of faith in public life….

So: A cadre of corporatist plutocrats with more money than sense allowed themselves to be persuaded, by their pet grifters, that making common cause with various far-right cultists and authoritarians was the sure bet for a Permanent Republican Majority. And for quite a few years, it even worked! But now the “business leaders” (a/k/a David Frum’s ‘sane moderates’) have to persuade the shrinking pool of crazy old white people to embrace change, or at least learn to lie about having done so. Yeah… good luck with that, guys. I’d say I wished you the best, but mostly I wish you’d all get into a heated argument over the virtues of Objectivism versus Prosperity Christianity. In a room full of Second-Amendment-blessed high-calibre self-defense implements. At one of your country-club retreats, safely out of range of the rest of us.

Apart from watching the Republican strategy-superbowl and praying for injuries, what’s on the agenda for the end of the work week?

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137 replies
  1. 1
    Alexandra says:

    Doesn’t matter if they’re popular. Just rig the electoral college instead.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....?ref=fpblg

    All those who didn’t vote in 2010 because Dems weren’t pue enough? Those chickens are coming home to roost.

  2. 2
    greennotGreen says:

    Resistant to change is right. I recently had a conversation with my mother who is a Republican. She said she had gotten an email that said all retired members of Congress got 100% of their salary for pension. I said that didn’t sound right, googled it, found out from factcheck.org and us.senate.gov that the number is closer to 62% or less, depending on time served, and told her as much, as well as where I’d gotten the information. The next day, she was repeating the 100% number to my sister and had already forgotten where the contradicting information had come from.

    It’s hard to fight that kind of thinking.

  3. 3
    ant says:

    the market for right-wing ideologues is just not there anymore

    @Alexandra:

    from your link:

    Here’s a very illustrative example. They’re already pushing a bill to do this in the Virginia legislature. Remember, Barack Obama won Virginia and got 13 electoral votes.

    The last Dem to win Virginia other than Obama was LBJ way back in the 60’s. Clinton didn’t even win there, despite winning just fine in the south in places like Kentucky and West Virgina.

    But now, the Republicans are tacitly admitting that they can’t win Virgina in presidential elections anymore. They are folding, and throwing in their cards by doing this electoral college vote change.

    Very telling.

  4. 4
    cmm says:

    People like Frum will come out on the other side as moderate “new republicans” or whatever the eventual party to emerge calls itself. But for those more closely joined to the social ideology side like Rove, Huckabee, etc. it is hard to see a viable future. But we have a long and unsettling time to get thru. A mortally wounded elephant will eventually die, but will do a lot of damage thrashing around before it does.

    My agenda: finish shift (it is my Monday). One of our rookies backed into my car while we were at a call so we both got to go to the clinic and pee in a cup. Yay. After I get off at 8: sleeeeeeep.

  5. 5
    Napoleon says:

    Republicans do not need to persuade 50+%, just rig elections like Alexandra states. We just saw the last free federal election in this country in my lifetime since the Republicans have decided our votes simply are not to count as much as their voters votes should.

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @cmm:

    Wait, you have to pee in a cup because someone else backed into your car? That just sounds wrong.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    @greennotGreen: I had to correct random internet wingnut the other day who was sure that congress had already voted themselves a 5% pay raise this session. I don’t expect the correction to stick, but at least I got it in there once.

  8. 8
    cmm says:

    If I had been out of the car when it happened, then no. But we were both in our cars, so we both go to the clinic.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Typical case of American blind justice!

  10. 10
    cmm says:

    I mentioned on FB the other day that we have had 3 homicides (all gunfire) since the 1st of the year and a friend who is a gun rights uber alles guy promptly got into an argument with 4-5 of my other friends who all own or have owned handguns but think some controls are reasonable. It went on all day. I didn’t even get to mention that the oldest victim in the 3 killings was 26, the oldest suspect 22. The rest, victims and suspects, all teenagers, all black males. The mass shootings get the attention but the 1 and 2 at a time ongoing death toll is what adds up to this country’s crazy homicide rate.

  11. 11
    danielx says:

    Getting a vivid and ever-so-enjoyable mental image of Bobo reading this article and grinding his molars down to the gumline. As noted by Driftglass, “reasonable Republicans” like Bobo, Andrew Sullivan, etc etc were just fine with the various conservative factions pushing various brands of Teh Crazy. As long as there were enough of them to win elections, that is, and damn the long term consequences. Now that they’ve reached the point of needing to cheat to win elections at the national level…not so much.

    It belabors the obvious to mention that the fear/rage/insanity of the folks who are stockpiling ammunition to the point that police departments are running short of it are the most obvious symptom of the resistance to change embodied by the Republican Party as it is currently constituted. Which is where things get dangerous, because they don’t have the the number of voters needed to win elections, but they do have most of the guns. Just as voters in Virginia will feel disenfranchised if the electoral college legislation is passed, so do these folks feel disenfranchised now, particularly after the results of the recent election. They were paranoid before, and That Man’s Continued Residence In The White House only proves to them that they were right. The idea that the country is changing in ways they don’t like is anathema to them, in almost the religious sense of anathema.

    They don’t think they are right, they know it – wrong though they may be. As noted by Edsall…

    Their opposition to change is why they are Republicans.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Select generalizations about a cobbled together lumpenfeind?

    That’s dipping several toes into Lake Illuminati.

  13. 13
    Raven says:

    Hahaha Mornin Joe want the republicans to start calling out their stupid members starting with my congressman!

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    @cmm:

    There was a very interesting post over at the GOS the other day. It was a list of all the shootings they could find on gun appreciation day. I don’t recall the total number but there were 30-some deaths. They were all ‘small’. One or two people at a time and of interest only to the local news.

    And thats actually a good day as we average around 90 gun deaths every day in the US. One death by gun every 15-20 minutes. Its been 2 hours since this post went up, if they were average hours thats 7.5 deaths by gun shot.

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    @danielx:

    The other ting that Bobo and Sully have in common is that they will lead the charge for these ‘new’ ‘sane’ Republicans, lament those old crazies and wonder who could ever have supported them in the first place.

    The real goal of these new goopers will be EXACTLY the same as their old goal – the total destruction of the American workforce and a return to Victorian labor and social rules. That they will have a more appealing package and sweeter propaganda will only make it look prettier.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Your congressman wants to run for Senate. Tom Price is sad.

  17. 17
    SteveM says:

    Republican plutocrat money and rank-and-file Republican rage haven’t won the GOP the presidency for a while, but these guys are wreaking havoc at the state and local level — attacking unions, restricting abortion, making tax codes more regressive, gutting local democracy in Michigan. They also control Congress (the Senate, too — thanks, Harry), which means they actually do still run the federal government. And they’re developing techniques (vote suppression, Electoral College rigging, the inevitable Supreme Court overturn of the Voting Rights Act) that could give them the presidency in 2016 no matter how unpopular they are.

    Shed no tears for the Republicans. They’re doing just fine exactly the way they are.

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Oh yea!

  19. 19
    SFAW says:

    @Raven:

    Typical case of American blind justice!

    No kidding! Even though cmm had 5 x 8 color glossy photos of the whole incident.

    Next up: Group W bench.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @Raven

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Look in any mirror, Joe.

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @SFAW: Whatcha in for kid?

  22. 22
    SFAW says:

    Resurgent Republic, a conservative think tank,

    Why does Inigo Montoya come to mind when I read this?

    Trying to win a national election by gaining a larger and larger share of a smaller and smaller portion of the electorate is a losing political proposition.

    Perhaps, but if you control the power structure, you don’t need to be popular.

  23. 23
    piratedan says:

    @AL, if you’re still in Otaku mode, I would encourage you to grab the feed for Kotoura-san. Probably the most interesting new show of the season.

  24. 24
    Boudica says:

    Their opposition to change is why they are Republicans.

    But they’re not opposed to change. Roe v. Wade’s been law of the land for 40 years. They want to change that. Social safety net’s been law of the land for 80 years. They want to change that. They’re not conservative. They’re radicals.

  25. 25
    danielx says:

    If I wasn’t so prone to bathing in schadenfreude, I could almost feel sorry for Republicans at this point. Whatever decisions the party as a whole makes in order to attract greater support will lead to…worse outcomes for the party as a whole.

    Which is unfortunate. The country needs at least two viable and healthy political parties (preferably more) to give people adequate avenues of expressing their political views. However…the Republican Party’s support among the electorate comes in the main from those folks who got mad and have remained mad (since 1964) that Those People were and are allowed to ride buses, eat in restaurants, get real jobs and vote just like Real Amurkans. They’re even more outraged that Those People have been joined by (take your pick) faggots, spics, ballbusting wimmin who insist on controlling their reproduction, take men’s jobs and enjoy sex as opposed to having it inflicted upon them, and worst of all the dirty fucking hippies.

    Resentment and of itself is not a viable political stance. It worked for forty years, but as noted by Huckleberry Closetcase, “we’re just not producing enough angry white guys any more”.

    Good, says I; maybe we can spend a little more at home and a little less on splendid little imperial wars abroad.

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    @Boudica: But they’re not opposed to change. Roe v. Wade’s been law of the land for 40 years. They want to change that. Social safety net’s been law of the land for 80 years. They want to change that. They’re not conservative. They’re radicals.

    True, and what seems to motivate them is rage and the urge to punish and destroy. No wonder they avoid self-examination, resolving of cognitive dissonance, and actual Christian compassion. It’s a bit of a mess they’ve got in there.

  27. 27
    Emma says:

    Ok, so the new Democratic freakout is how totes we’re going to lose the next two presidential elections because all the Republican manipulation of states legislatures will make it impossible to elect a Democrat?

    Just wanted to make sure.

    Here’s an idea. Why don’t we steal the central tenets of the Republican playbook? Go back to local government. Take the fight to them at that level. And we do our level best to make sure the up and coming generation is on our side

    Republicans are not invincible supermen. They spent thirty years setting this up and it’s already falling apart after 8 years of Bush. Yeah, they can do a lot of damage in the interim. It seems to me that’s the history of America in the last fifty years: they screw it up, we fix it.

    (edit) in the meantime, perhaps it should become the priority of progressive groups, as well as the Democratic party, to test the legality of such redistricting moves? Get some good lawyers on it, people!

  28. 28
    Mark S. says:

    @Boudica:

    I don’t remember much from that Corey Robin book, but I liked his definition of conservatism: the protection of existing hierarchies. So it’s whites over minorities, men over women, rich over poor, etc.

  29. 29
    Emma says:

    Also, too. Electoral college? Outmoded and as shown by these latest shenanigans, anti-democratic (small d). Let’s start the groundswell for direct popular election of presidents.

    Yes, I know it’s hard, Constitution and all.

  30. 30
    mai naem says:

    I wish Tom Edsall et al would stop writing these articles.

    I would much rather say:

    Please proceed, Goopers.

  31. 31
    Splitting Image says:

    I’ll go on record saying that rigging the electoral college votes in Virginia and other states will bite them in the ass.

    People are noting the fact that guaranteeing themselves some of a swing state’s electoral votes raises the GOP floor, but I think some people aren’t realizing that it also lowers their ceiling. As ant says above, Obama aside, the proposed changes in Virginia will guarantee 4 or 5 Democratic electoral votes from a state they won exactly once between 1952 and 2004.

    More to the point, if the changes go through in Pennsylvania and Ohio as well, then the Democrats will be forced to campaign in those states on a district by district basis, which they will have to do if they want to retake the House. The GOP’s best asset over the past few years has been the fact that the administration and members of the House have different strategies for getting re-elected, particularly the Blue Dogs. The GOP’s scheme will force the Democrats’ campaign apparatus to function more effectively as a unit.

    I think people are right to worry about them somehow fluking out a win in 2016, but that’s the extent of the good it will do them. In the long run this will do to the state parties in Ohio and Virginia what they have already done in California.

  32. 32
    mai naem says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I had to do that when I was in an accident at work – my car, other person hit me, and it was a fender bender. And, I didn’t get paid to go to the lab to get it done. The next time it happened, it was the same situation – I just didn’t tell my employer.

  33. 33
    kay says:

    @mai naem:

    There seems to be this persistent yearning in Democratic circles for one knock.out punch, one dramatic culminating event that means we never have to engage with the other side and have these ( admittedly) infuriating skirmishes.

    It never happens, but Democrats continue to see it just over the horizon.

  34. 34
    Boudica says:

    @Mark S.:That makes sense. I’ll stop calling Republicans conservatives and start calling them existing hierarchy preservers!

  35. 35
    danielx says:

    @Emma:

    All good and well, Emma, but in many, many local areas (due to that phenomenon known as gerrymandering) Republicans are supermen or might as well be. Trust me on this, I live in one of those areas – you could run Jesus for office here as a Democrat and the reaction among many voters would be that His proclaimed policies make him a flaming liberal and what’s all this nonsense about who His father is, anyway? Guy must be on drugs. (There’s a reason Indiana is known as the northmost southern state.)

    It will take time, lots of it, for this to change. Voters have to see for themselves that they benefit from policy alternatives to those Republican policies (free markets and tax cuts!) that have been pushed for decades as the answer to any and all social problems (did I mention tax cuts?). Some voters will never – ever – accept that such alternatives are better no matter whether they benefit from them or not. It doesn’t matter whether they’re told they don’t benefit by Koch-funded propagandists or because they think that Those People (strapping young bucks!) are receiving benefits they don’t deserve.

    A lot of people, many of them not living in the old Confederacy states, are still fighting the War of Northern Aggression. When it gets right down to it, they think Jefferson Davis and the rest of those traitorous assholes had the right idea, and they’re not going to change.

  36. 36
    Mark S. says:

    @Boudica:

    It rolls right off the tongue!

  37. 37
    mai naem says:

    @Splitting Image: I have to agree. Obama won pretty resoundingly as a black guy with a crappy economy. He could have afforded to lose more than one state of the ones he won to still eke out a win. You put in Hillary as the first woman and a halfway decent economy with Obamacare properly implemented, the Dems should be unbeatable.

  38. 38
    magurakurin says:

    @Splitting Image:

    I think you are right in this thinking. Another thing to ponder is how do they believe they can keep the genie in the bottle. The Electoral College as a whole favors them. Without it, Bush would have never been elected. How long do they think they can push to change only the states they consistently lose? If they succeed, it will be harder and harder for them to justify why Texas doesn’t follow suit. And if the Democrats can unlock their frozen votes in Texas, the Republicans never win the White House again. It might help them win in 2016, but I’d say they are playing with fire, and a fire that will burn them hotter than the Democrats in the long run.

  39. 39
    NotMax says:

    Government is not the problem.

    Those who espouse government as the problem are the problem.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @danielx: Except for MSNBC, I haven’t heard anyone mention the plan to steal the election.
    Republicans are going to give it a fancy name, i.e. democracy for all and get away with it. I’d like to see a powerful democrat talking about it now. The only person with a strong voice is either the President or Clinton.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @magurakurin: if they win on 2016, my guess is that by 2018, there won’t be much point in voting for democrats. Even if the dems control the senate, I’m sure there will be enough of our supermen to vote for their agenda to enact the Ryan plan.

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @magurakurin:

    It’s a stupid, desperate short-sighted idea. At most it gives them one presidential election and has the potential for all kinds of blowback in statewide races that they can’t gerrymander.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @magurakurin: I don’t think we can survive another Republican president. Sure the democrats might be able to win decades of elections after the republicans steal an election but at what cost.

  44. 44
    Emma says:

    @danielx: So you think this is a short term? Or that once “the people” realize that the Republicans are wrong, we’ll never have to fight the forces of authoritarianism again? I’ve got news for you. This battle is forever.

    Yes, there will be areas of the country where we will never get a toe-hold. Yes, there will be set-backs and defeats. And progress will be inch by inch by inch, and the same ground will have to be retaken over and over again. And at some point in the future, our currently “wild and radical hippie” ideas will be the new conservatism. And the fight will be on again.

    It’s the nature of the human beast.

  45. 45
    Napoleon says:

    @JPL:

    Using Clinton is a fantastic idea, and if Hillary is going to run he has every reason to get out there and howl about this.

  46. 46
    Emma says:

    @JPL: Oh for crying out loud. At what cost? Well, the cost might be the United States of America as it is constituted now. Or it might be another thirty years of putting things back to decent again. Or we might be facing Nehemiah Scudder and have to retake the country by war. Or the giant squids from Roxicoricofallapatorius might drop in on us and we’ll become their new favorite food source.

    Ok, maybe not that last one. Maybe.

    And by the way? The only person with a strong enough voice is We The People.

  47. 47
    JPL says:

    @kay: Another Republican election would give a tax cuts, privatized Social Security and privatized Medicare. Because the deficit would blow up, there would be little a Democratic President could do.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    To use Edsall’s example, re-jiggering the electoral college is the equivalent of an accounting trick used to prop up a failing business. It’s not going to work.
    All of these genuis quick fixes rely on disenfranchising people, the voter supression tactic, gerrymandering, now this. That’s not a strategy.

  49. 49
    magurakurin says:

    @JPL:

    I don’t think we can survive another Republican president.

    That’s another story altogether, and if you really believe that then I’d suggest measures a fair bit stronger than the ballot box.

    A Republican president would most certainly suck, but I imagine the Republic will in fact survive it. I mean, if it survived C+ Augustus…

    And I’m not altogether sure that them monkeying around with the EC will be enough for them to beat Hillary or the Biden. But regardless, sooner or later they are going to win. Whether or not it is a batshit insane sociopath like Rand Paul or a “what we used to just call a garden variety assholish Republican” like Christie is an open question, of course. But the idea that a permanent Democratic majority can be obtained is as much a fantasy as Karl Rove’s permanent Republican majority. Likewise, as shitty and soul sucking as it would be, a Republican presidency will no more be the end of the Republic than the Kenyan, socialist muslim dictator’s rule has been.

    But, hell, don’t listen to me, I emigrated years ago. I only hope they don’t frisk me and take me away for questioning when I come to visit in the summers. Also, too, I care about my money in the stock market…but where I live has health care (and dental, too.)

  50. 50
    danielx says:

    Snow and 20 degrees outside. Joy.

  51. 51
    Alex S. says:

    The Republican Party in its current form is already brain-dead. Someone just needs to pull the plug. Their last breath of life were the 2010 midterm elections. They’re just trying to preserve their vegetative state. Democrats already won the swing states twice in a row and yes, the Republicans concede that they can’t win them anymore. Their only hope is to split the blue states in that fashion. I think the only states in question are Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. That gives them an edge of maybe 10 electoral votes (if these two states split their electoral votes, say, 20R-10D. On the other hand, the Dems gain a few seats in Virginia, North Carolina and the like…. If the Republicans do that to Ohio and Florida, they will never be able to win again as long as the Dems take home ALL of California, ALL of New York, ALL of New England and so on… This is no winning strategy for republicans.

  52. 52
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @danielx: #34

    You could run Jesus for office here as a Democrat and the reaction among many voters would be that His proclaimed policies make him a flaming liberal and what’s all this nonsense about who His father is, anyway? Guy must be on drugs.

    The Jesus portrayed in the Four Gospels was a DFH.

  53. 53
    Cassidy says:

    I’m really hoping these guys get sane. There’s only a couple of ways this ends if they don’t.

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    They have learned nothing. It’s not Republican principles, they say, it’s how they communicate them. So apparently, there’s a more effective way to say things like “you’re a moocher and your days of mooching are over” or “blacks had it better under slavery than they do with Obama in office.”

    This is like when Bush sent Karen Hughes to Iraq to spread his message. Why he thought the same inane policies would be better coming from a woman is the key to understanding why Republicans will never be able to relate to a majority of Americans.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    Jesus what a fucking freak out!

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    So apparently, there’s a more effective way to say things like “you’re a moocher and your days of mooching are over” or “blacks had it better under slavery than they do with Obama in office.”

    Or “was it rape rape”, or…this could be a fun game.

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @raven: My concern is because of our state. When I first moved here, everyone supported public schools and now education funds are being diverted into charter schools. If unemployment numbers were important, Deal wouldn’t be governor.

  58. 58
    Michael says:

    It seems to me that this sort of move my catalyze the National Popular Vote Movement. I’m not 100% on board with the NPR myself, but if the EC is being rigged, then I say that should be an issue on every ballot in 2014 and 2016 with a massive campaign apparatus and money behind. Hell, the new OFA could make that its animating cause.

    They have, I believe 128 EVs already on the books, so obviously need another 142. That’s not a crazy number if you have the GOP making the Electoral College a visible, national issue with their craven campaign to fix elections.

  59. 59
    magurakurin says:

    Steve Bennen is reporting that Florida is already off the list. This little project isn’t going to be as simple as they first imagined it would appear. Down to five states now that they want to monkey with. They better check their math, because with Florida out of the mix, the numbers might not add up anymore.

  60. 60
    NCSteve says:

    If the Republican Party were a profit-seeking corporation the current management would be tossed.

    There’s your problem. The people donating the big piles of money are the same ones who suffered no consequences whatsoever for engaging in massive fraud that drove the global economy and the companies they ran to the brink of dissolution until the government they so hate saved them.

    Yeah, that’s a super-duper prescription for reform from within there, all right.

  61. 61
    Michael says:

    @magurakurin: I read that the VA Lt. Gov, at least, is not on board with the EC “reform.” I don’t know if the actual Gov is or isn’t, though. Couldn’t find out either from a quick google search. He must be ducking the issue; it can’t be that he hasn’t been asked yet.

  62. 62
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Alexandra: So true. And there doesn’t seem much that Dems can do to fight back.

    Interesting how “traditional values” is defined by Rightwingers as bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. The country is moving forward on issues of gay rights, women’s reproductive rights and immigration reform. The Rethugs are allowing themselves to be left behind.

  63. 63
    Napoleon says:

    @kay:

    It’s not going to work.

    Now that is some weapons grade whistling past the graveyard. If it happens, it will be because of a cavalier attitude about just how well it will work out for the Republicans and the tremendous amount of damage that will result in this country from it.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @JPL: When I first moved here In thought Illinois politics were corrupt!

  65. 65
    magurakurin says:

    @Michael:

    Okay, I just checked that out. Yeah, he didn’t sound real pleased and it looks like he could end up being the tie breaking vote, since the VA senate is split evenly. Another Republican senator, Jill Holtzman Vogel, abstained in the committee vote, so she probably isn’t a reliable vote either. Virginia might be crossed of the list real soon as well. This plan is looking like weaker and weaker tea by the minute.

  66. 66
    TR says:

    But I thought conservatives were united only by their loyalty to principled Burkeanism?

    Just ask any conservative named David Brooks and he’ll confirm that for you.

  67. 67
    MattF says:

    I dispute the claim that the not-social-conservative ‘reasonable Republicans’ are all that reasonable. Those Randian ‘makers-not-takers’ are radicals, those ‘national-greatness’ Straussians (e.g., the good Mr. Brooks) are radicals, the gun-nuts are radicals. It’s an unstable coalition, and the fragments are less dangerous than the combination– but they’re still dangerous.

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    @magurakurin: Someone is getting primaried.

  69. 69
    MomSense says:

    @Emma:

    That is exactly what we just did here in Maine. We took the town councils and the mayoral offices and both houses of the legislature!

  70. 70
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    Now that is some weapons grade whistling past the graveyard. If it happens, it will be because of a cavalier attitude about just how well it will work out for the Republicans and the tremendous amount of damage that will result in this country from it.

    Oh, baloney, Napoleon. I’m perfectly aware of how the first phase of this would work. I don’t know how it would play out at the state level in races they can’t gerrymander, and either do they. I don’t see the point of this constant panic. It’s not even productive.

    It’s an accounting trick. It’s an indication of weakness. Start there. You may take it as further evidence of their awesome power if you like, but I don’t see the point of having a nervous breakdown each and every time they make a godammned move. Democrats are NEVER “complacent”. “Complacency” isn’t the issue with Democrats. What Democrats ARE is scared shitless all the time. It’s exhausting. It drains energy.

    “What you resist persists”. Republicans are resisting the fact that they can’t garner enough votes to increase power and Democrats are resisting the fact that Republicans still have a certain amount of power. Neither of these things are going away.

    If you want to talk to me about what Democrats in Ohio could do to fight this idea (and it is just an idea, it’s not even a BILL, for God’s sake) I’d be happy to talk about it. I think we’re in pretty good shape politically here, so could approach this calmly. What I won’t do is just stew in all this fear.

    They’re panicking as evidenced by yet another gimmick to get around voters. Am I supposed to panic too? I don’t want to.

  71. 71
    Michael says:

    @magurakurin: I can’t see the movement continuing without Fla and Va. I would be very pleased if it died out. Right now, its just one more distraction from mobilizing on actual issues, rather than rear-guard actions against the franchise itself.

  72. 72
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Alexandra:

    All those who didn’t vote in 2010 because Dems weren’t pue enough?

    Just felt like starting the post with an argument, huh? I once bought into that myth, but the polls show that the base, which I define as Democrats who regularly vote, showed up in 2010 in the same percentage as they did in 2008. It’s the Democrats who only vote in presidential years that didn’t turn out in 2010, behavior you would expect. What happened is that Republicans turned out in BIG numbers. Which is why my mantra for the next two years is “We have to get ALL Democrats to vote in 2014.”

  73. 73
    Violet says:

    If the Republican Party were a profit-seeking corporation, the current management would be tossed.

    That’s a load of crap. They should be tossed, but instead they’d dismantle the organization into parts, sell off some of those parts, and then say the company isn’t fixable while they depart with their golden parachute worth millions.

    If that’s what the management wants to do to the Republican party, I’m not really going to complain. But saying they’d be tossed if they behaved like this if they ran a corporation is just crap.

  74. 74
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Boudica: I prefer the term Regressives.

  75. 75
    liberal says:

    @JPL:
    The VA EC vote rigging play is the lead story in the deadtree Wash Post this morning. I only skimmed it, but my impression was that it was as he-said-she-said as it could be without being ridiculous. I think the argument that “even the Villagers won’t stand for this perversion of democracy” is incorrect, sadly.

  76. 76
    Napoleon says:

    @kay:

    I think we’re in pretty good shape politically here, so could approach this calmly.

    I live in Ohio and the Republicans overwhelmingly control both houses and hold ever single statewide office other then one or two supreme court seats.

    You must live in some other Ohio then I do since other then the brief Strickland era Dems have been having their lunch handed to them in this state for what must now be a couple of decades. In the last 22 years Dems have held the gov. mansion for a total of 4 years.

  77. 77
    liberal says:

    @kay:

    You may take it as further evidence of their awesome power if you like, but I don’t see the point of having a nervous breakdown each and every time they make a godammned move.

    I don’t think emotional state matters one way or the other, except as it impinges on behavior (whether people sit on their asses and do something or not).

    Democrats are NEVER “complacent”. “Complacency” isn’t the issue with Democrats.

    Maybe not with the rank-and-file, but the leadership?

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @Violet: Needs moar Bain Capital to buy up the assets and load the remaining carcass with massive debt that they can write off in bankruptcy.

  79. 79
    My Wag says:

    @Splitting Image:

    I agree with Splitting Image. I wrote the following in another comment somewhere else a few days ago regarding the compromise on the ‘debt limit’. The GOP got very bad press and I’m assuming negative feedback from mentally competent supporters:

    This must be part of an overall deal that corporate is pushing on the GOP. They want the crazies isolated, which Boehner (who up till now is the weakest Speaker in history) has shown he will do because the direction of the GOP has to be corrected.

    This year will be known as the great compromise. What the Dems have to give up remains to be seen. If the economy recovers enough to help lower the deficit Dems will have to give up less.

    Maybe I’m a pollyanna but I smell 2 political leaders that want to succeed, Obama and Boehner.

    Further:
    Also corporate has money to spend and they want to grow. All we need now is Europe. And after the IMF apology for implementing austerity Europe will slowly turn around and grow. UK has the chance for a triple dip but optimism and compromise are the words for the 2013.

  80. 80
    magurakurin says:

    @Michael: That could be true. I just did some back of the envelope type figuring and the math looks to be pretty tight with all six states changing to proportional awarding of EV’s. I don’t know how the districts break out in the other five states, but one article I read said that VA would have gone 9 for Rmoney and 4 for Obama. So, if they can manage the same 70/30 split in all those states, the total 100 EV’s would break out the same. Rmoney would have one in that case 276 to 262. A pretty slim margin. If the breakdown is a 60/40 split for the Republicans, Rmoney loses.

    If they try to extend to more and more states, the chance that they can contain to only battleground states or states they never win, like CA, would seem to become slimmer and slimmer. Full on popular vote change would be on the books.

    I’m with you though, let’s hope this gets stopped soon. People making noise is probably worthwhile now. Even if it is mournful cries of doom. The louder the better, I’d reckon.

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    @Napoleon: Do you ever read any Kay’s posts?

  82. 82
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    If you want to play it out theoretically, at least play it out. What’s the worst case? They win the presidency in 2016 by disenfranchising huge blocks of voters in that race. What happens next? What effect does that have on state races? Those voters are not going away. They’re not all going to switch sides and just declare Republican hegemony. They’re going to crawl over broken glass to beat them in statewide races. We just saw this. We just saw a massive national effort to disenfranchise Democrats. Was there a reaction? How did that work out for them? I don’t see this weekly panic as “fighting”. I see this as some kind of yearning to just put Republicans away and not have to deal with uncertainty. I don’t think that’s operating from strength.

  83. 83
    Napoleon says:

    @Cassidy:

    Yes I do

  84. 84
    mir13 says:

    I love how the righties are projecting weakness all over the place, but we’re supposed to take it as a gaudy display of power, and wet ourselves. They will do anything to display their laser focus on jobs, jobs, jobs. Show-offs.

  85. 85
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    All the predictions of disaster could be on the money, but we could be fooled as well—because we’ve accepted the Republican’s evaluation of their own situation uncritically.

    Yes, gerrymandering has resulted in a solid House majority for them with a decisive minority of the combined vote. But spreading all the Democratic votes out over the state and diluting them to impotence in many cases means they have districts that they should be winning 80/20 coming out like 52/48. Another couple of years of the Teabaggers in Congress showing their asses, and a lot of them could flip—all at once.

    That’s essentially what happened in 2006. Enough people in even these gerrymandered districts got disgusted with Bush and his policies that it was a Democratic avalanche. Fewer states had been screwed up this way, and it wasn’t as efficient—the software they have now allows them to cut a lot closer to the bone, but the overturn could be even more dramatic because of that.

    Therefore, depending on splitting up the Electoral Vote by CD could bite them in the ass. They’ve already baked the 5-or-10 point advantage they’ve had over Obama because of racism into their basic calculations. They won’t admit, mostly even to themselves, that that’s what they’re doing, but when that advantage evaporates unexpectedly, they’re also going to be taken completely by surprise.

    If (and it’s a big if) this happens, what the Democrats need to do is have a fair and equitable algorithm for redistricting ready to go and get it enacted nationwide while they’re still shell-shocked. It needs to be mechanical—I don’t trust even so-called “bipartisan” commissions like they have in California now.

    My suggestion? If a state with P people has N Congressional Districts, start in the center of the largest municipality and draw an expanding circle till it takes in P/N people, then the second, etc., till you get down to the Nth largest. The later circles would be very squashed and distorted, but who cares? It couldn’t be any worse than the Delaymanders we’ve got now.

    Failing that, divide the population of a state into N groups alphabetically. Anything is preferable to the setup as it is.

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    It’s a different temperamental approach, I think, and it is unlikely either of us are going to change because it probably works for both of us. I don’t find what I see as the constant fear drumbeat particularly inspiring or even helpful, as a practical matter, partly because I don’t really buy the ‘complacency” idea. I don’t know any complacent Democrats. The Democrats I know move from one panic to the next. That seems to be baked in :)

  87. 87
    Napoleon says:

    @kay:

    First, if a Republican wins in 16 Obamacare, SS, Medicare and Medicaid are all but gone in there present form. If a dem manages to win the next election (which won’t happen if they tilt the table as much as it looks like they will) he or she will have a epic disaster to clean up.

    Second the proof is in the pudding in that we just had an election in this state and other then Brown and one supreme court battle the Rep. ran the table, and that was after the Dem base was poked by the Rep party with the SB5 debacle (debacle for them, ultimately) and in a high turn out election for the Dems. This state is now gerrymandered such that the Rep are very insulated from loosing. On top of that there looks like there is a good chance that Kasich wins his relection.

  88. 88
    Someguy says:

    Although the Republican Party is dead, I guess there’s room for a re-made Republican Party that only favors raping some women, lynching fewer blacks, plundering half as many foreign countries, and destroying only perhaps a third of the middle class rather than all of it. Good to see honest Moderate Republicans we can trust like Hailey Barbour and Ed Gillespie running that “Think Tank,” and not some high priced consultant assholes using it to gin up billable hours…

  89. 89
    magurakurin says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    They’ve already baked the 5-or-10 point advantage they’ve had over Obama because of racism into their basic calculations. They won’t admit, mostly even to themselves, that that’s what they’re doing, but when that advantage evaporates unexpectedly, they’re also going to be taken completely by surprise.

    This is a very interesting point.

  90. 90
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    I think 2010 was a wave year and although I like Strickland, IMO his “model” the way he won races is outdated. I don’t think Democrats can win statewide in Ohio by relying on Right-leaning, white voters plus AA. I think that’s a 1990’s model. It’s the Bill Clinton model. The Democratic electorate changed.

    You’ll recall that Republicans had a very weak field when Strickland won in 2006, and they had a huge corruption scandal, on-going. So he won a race he couldn’t lose.

    He then compounded the problems he had in 2010 by (essentially) picking Lee Fisher in 2010, who was a horrible candidate for that year. Well, a horrible candidate in any year, in Fisher’s case :)

  91. 91
    magurakurin says:

    @Napoleon:

    First, if a Republican wins in 16 Obamacare, SS, Medicare and Medicaid are all but gone in there present form

    Anyone convinced that this is an inevitability and also wants the Senate to nuke the filibuster is a confused and tortured soul. After all if the Republicans are going to control all three branches, the filibuster would become the final safeguard of the republic.

    Not saying it’s you, just a straw man. A twisted and haunted straw man.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kay: This. Thank you.

  93. 93
    liberal says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    But spreading all the Democratic votes out over the state and diluting them to impotence in many cases means they have districts that they should be winning 80/20 coming out like 52/48.

    I rather doubt that the Republicans (or the Dems, for that matter) gerrymander that way. I presume you could go for something much safer (60/40 or 57/43).

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    They’ve already baked the 5-or-10 point advantage they’ve had over Obama because of racism into their basic calculations.

    Huh? That racism against Obama is there against any Democrat, including white males. It might have been marginally worse for Obama, but nowhere near 5 percentage points worse.

    (The racism against all us Dems, including white males like me, is that we’re the party that helps the blahs…)

  95. 95
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    I don’t think Republicans want to get rid of Obamacare. I think they want to use it as a club to beat Democrats over the head, but Republicans have zero interest in tackling health care, and health care is actually a problem. I think we’ll see GOP governors put it in, I think we’re already seeing that, because it is an attempt to solve what is a real problem for people like governors, people who have to actually deal with shit.
    They’re going to blame everything in the world on Obamacare, but they aren’t going to get rid of it.

  96. 96
    liberal says:

    @magurakurin:

    …the filibuster would become the final safeguard of the republic…

    Hardly. That would require the Dems in the Senate to use that tool and not back down. I wouldn’t count on it.

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @kay: I have a feeling there will be a few reversals on the Medicaid expansion when the hospitals in the red states start ratcheting up the pressure on the governours. After all Medicaid itself wasn’t universally adopted right away until it became clear the advantages of the program. ACA really is still getting its sea legs.

  98. 98
    magurakurin says:

    @liberal:

    so, the conclusion is…we’re all fucked? more or less.

    whatever boss

  99. 99
    liberal says:

    @magurakurin:
    No, the conclusion is (a) don’t count on the filibuster to help us out, (b) the filibuster should be abolished, not merely reformed, because a detailed analysis of its use over history shows that it’s primarily used as a tool of reaction to impede progress.

  100. 100
    Cassidy says:

    Pants-wetting or fighting? I know which one I’m gonna choose. That’s what it really comes down to. They’re assholes. They’re bigots. Women and minorities and Democratic votes don’t count. Women are sluts who deserve babies as punishment for sex. Blah people are lazy welfare queens and young bucks suckin’ down gov’t money like gin and juice. Rape isn’t really rape. fetus’s are people and everyone other than them isn’t. They really belive the crazy shit they say. We know all this and have discussed it to the point of weariness.

    This isn’t an issue of whether they still have power or whether they can steal another election. We already know they will try. So, seems to me, you can either live in fear and panic, or you can get mad [again] and *do something about it. We don’t have time to relax and take a break. And honestly, there is no negotiating with these people. We have to break them and shame them into non-existence, preferably before we have to shoot them.

    *This is a general statement aimed at no one as I know lots of people here got involved.

  101. 101
    liberal says:

    @Cassidy:

    This isn’t an issue of whether they still have power or whether they can steal another election. We already know they will try. So, seems to me, you can either live in fear and panic, or you can get mad [again] and *do something about it. We don’t have time to relax and take a break. And honestly, there is no negotiating with these people.

    Agreed. Though IMHO just because someone evinces “panic” in a blog comment section doesn’t mean he’s become numb and inactive.

    We have to break them and shame them into non-existence, preferably before we have to shoot them.

    LOL. Shooting would probably have really bad consequences, but would be very, very cathartic.

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @Yutsano:

    They have a huge problem. If they refuse the Medicaid expansion, they’re in the position of people receiving a federal subsidy from 133 to 400% of poverty, with adults who are lower income than that shut out. What do they do with that? They’ll have everyone in the state covered, with the glaring exception of low income adults. The feds can say “we tried to cover you! Republican governors wouldn’t let us!” How do they justify a subsidy for 133% of poverty but no coverage for 100% of poverty?

    I think we don’t know how to talk about the health care law because we use the old frame, where some had coverage and some didn’t. That’s no longer operable. The pieces fit together. It’s a system. We’ve never had a system before. I don’t think media know how to talk about it. They parcel it out, but it wasn’t designed to work like that.

  103. 103

    OP:
    The ‘monied wing’ has a problem. There are very, very few of them and votes still count. Reagan suckered the cultural conservatives into thinking the plutocrats were part of the tribe. If the cultural conservatives ditch the plutocrats, they are fucked. 1% of the vote does not win you elections. 2012 showed pretty clearly that 47% does not win, no matter how much cash you pour into the race grifters.

    @Boudica:
    They do oppose change. They oppose change to a fantasy world, but they really think that fantasy world existed. They’re freaking out because a black man being elected finally made them realize this ain’t Leave It To Beaver. Some hate him because he’s black, some because a subtler racism meant they couldn’t imagine a black man being elected.

  104. 104
    liberal says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    They’re freaking out because a black man being elected finally made them realize this ain’t Leave It To Beaver.

    Echoing my comment above about racism, I think this is really narrow minded. Obama being black made it worse, but the Republicans are never going to accept the election of a Democrat as legitimate, even if he’s Jesus Christ himself with blond hair and blue eyes.

    It’s still racism, of course, because “we” think it’s OK that welfare money be giving to “them”, in their eyes.

  105. 105
    Cassidy says:

    @liberal: Well, no, I don’t really want to shoot them either. Just sayin’ winning elections is better than having to win a war. Not intending to overuse hyperbole, but I don’t see how we can reasonably state they they are not at a point of derangement and agitation that precedes an armed insurrection. I think the only thing they lack is courage, tbh.

    I don’t think numb and inactive is correct, either. What I’m taking away from that exchange, and I agree with kay, is that Democrats are used to responding with “panic” first and then action and that is tiring. I think recent history shows us that panic is not necessary. We don’t have to be afraid of what they’ll do, just as we are no longer surprised by what they’ll say. So skip past that and go straight to the organizing, because it works.

  106. 106
    ericblair says:

    @liberal:

    I rather doubt that the Republicans (or the Dems, for that matter) gerrymander that way. I presume you could go for something much safer (60/40 or 57/43).

    I just ran the numbers for PA: the average margin for Dem districts was 74/24 (!) and for goopers was 59/41. So it’s definitely not 52/48, and looks like an uphill battle. The real damage is the huge concentration of D votes: PA-01 was actually 85/15 Dem and PA-02 was 89/9, for fuck’s sake. I don’t know how much you can expect these numbers to vary between elections and how much structural change you’ll get from demographics. It’s still a leveraged bet on the gooper’s side, and when those go bad they really go bad.

    That said, if FL is off the table for EC vote bullshit, having VA and OH go to some district scheme seems to shoot the goopers in the foot. I don’t know where they’re going to get a path to 270 when they’re guaranteed to partially lose some of the currently must-win states for them. Need more number crunching.

  107. 107
    nemesis says:

    Dont know how many of you are into the latest trends in music. Regardless, my son and I are heading to Indianapolis tonight for a double-step artists called Excision.

    The light show/visuals are said to be unpossible to believe. Now Ive been attending shows since 1968, so we’ll see about the visuals thingy. And worship the “Drop”.

  108. 108
    liberal says:

    @Cassidy:
    Yeah, of course—don’t mourn, organize!

  109. 109
    J R in W Va says:

    @magurakurin:

    So, where did you move to?

    What is the weather like there? Flaming holocaust summers, much?

    How expensive is it to travel back and forth?

    Cause I’m way tired of the politics here and enjoy thinking about being somewhere where both sides are sane, if such a place still exists.

    edit to spel corect. ;-)

  110. 110
    liberal says:

    @ericblair:
    Yeah, what makes matters worse is that (as many people have been pointing out) the system of geographic representation naturally disfavors Democrats, who tend to live in compact cities.

  111. 111
    Cassidy says:

    Fuck it. Start a campaign that says that urban votes mean more. We consume more, generate more taxes, and give more in revenue than we recieve. Fuck the red areas.

  112. 112
    GregB says:

    Is our fascists learning?

  113. 113
    liberal says:

    @Cassidy:
    Yeah, that’s the most infuriating thing about it—the rural red areas are the real moochers.

  114. 114
    magurakurin says:

    @J R in W Va:

    Well, I don’t exactly live in paradise. More like purgatory I guess. It’s very peaceful, but not overly exciting either and not without it’s problems…most due to massive inertia. I’ve been living in Japan since 1998. My wife and partner of 18 years is from here and we moved here together way back when Monica Lewinsky giving the Big Dog a hummer was the greatest threat to the Republic evah.

    I have a comfortable existence here, but the leaky reactors, albeit more than 500 miles away, always weigh on one’s mind. North Korea tossing missiles and China flexing muscles is also quite special. And domestic politics is a hopeless quagmire of the stupid and corruption. Lots of corruption.

    On the major upsides, there is adequate health care, but no where near as good as say, Canada. There are no guns. And that is super awesome. People are generally decent and well behaved in public, but of course there is always nastiness going on in the dark corners. But if you keep to yourself, it never affects you directly. Nobody steals shit either. I can go to the beach, leave two surfboards in the car, my wallet, cell, whatever and after a 4 or 5 hour session, everything is right where I left it. No worries.

    The weather varies. It’s a really long and skinny country separated by lots of ocean. Hokkaido is super snowy and cold, but the skiing is other wordly. Tokyo and Osaka are fairly mild in winter but hot motherfuckers in the summer. June is rainy and shitty everywhere. Spring and fall are also quite short everywhere. I live in a smaller city so the sea breezes and rice fields moderate the sweltering, high humidity heat.

    It’s not the bonanza it once was, but finding work teaching English is not so hard. The visas have been extended to 5 years, so that makes forming a beachhead a bit easier. I have my own business now, but it took some years to get to that point. One has to figure out a working knowledge of Japanese first. Not so hard to be conversational fluent, but true reading and writing proficiency isn’t possible without lots of study. I’m still mostly a functional illiterate. I can jabber on well enough though when speaking.

    Traveling back and forth is expensive. I come back to the States in the summer and the August Obon holiday season is very high. We are about to close the deal on some tickets for this year. We are looking at 2 grand a ticket. But this year we are taking Mom and Dad to Vegas and the Grand Canyon before heading back to Jersey. If you can travel off the peak seasons you can still find tickets for a grand or even less.

    I moved here because I fell in love. If I were just moving to move, these days Australia would be high on my list. But Spain, even with all its troubles is a pretty groovy place, too.

  115. 115
    Johnnybuck says:

    @Napoleon:

    First, if a Republican wins in 16 Obamacare, SS, Medicare and Medicaid are all but gone in there present form.

    Bush had six years to do this, and other than trying to partially privatize Social Security (for which he lost both houses of Congress) left these programs virtually untouched. This is a lesson at least one party learned from. (I’m hoping Democrats learned it too) Now Republicans would love to get Obama to agree to do this because then they can blame Democrats for doing their dirty work. It seems clear to me, however; since they insist on the President and Democrats identifying the cuts, that they’re not serious about it at all. It’s easy to yell and scream about deficits when you’re out of power, and pass scary budgets you know don’t have a chance in hell of passing and pat yourself on the back for being all ‘serious’ and junk, but Republicans are about tax cuts and war spending, and power. Fucking with entitlements is a sure fire ticket to losertown.

  116. 116
    handsmile says:

    @kay: , @Napoleon:

    Thank you both for such a reasonable, illuminating discussion from two well-informed albeit differing perspectives. And imagine, all without invective or ad hominem insult.

    At the same time, I fully agree with liberal’s observation (#100): “just because someone evinces “panic” in a blog comment section doesn’t mean he’s become numb and inactive.”
    I think that neatly describes my current feelings about the dangers of GOP gerrymandering and Electoral College “accounting tricks.” “Panic” is pejorative for “alarmed” or “concerned” but those emotions help to keep me at least informed and motivated for advocacy/activism.

    Finally, several hours ago here, SteveM (#17) incisively summarized the national situation.

  117. 117
    liberal says:

    @handsmile:
    Thanks for the shout-out.

    I’ll tell you what makes you numb (if not panic): 3.5 yo twin girls who have so-so sleeping habits.

    That’s what would keep me from contributing elbow grease in a fight with the fascists—I don’t have time to wipe my ass these days. So from me, it’s only going to be money, sadly.

  118. 118
    Michael says:

    Um, if the Republicans win in 2016, and Scalia and Kennedy haven’t had their retirements forced upon them by health, then they can retire in peace knowing that a 5-vote conservative majority is basically locked in until probably ~2025 at least, maybe 2030. That’s not a big deal?

    If Dems win in 2016, you’re almost guaranteed a 5-vote or 6-vote Dem majority on the Court for an equal length of time. Scalia & Kennedy will be pushing 90 by 2020. Roberts/Alito/Thomas would be completely marginalized.

    Forget about all the regulatory issues (weakening of PPACA and Dodd-Frank, EPA, etc) and just think about that. We’re talking decades of control of the court here. That’s a big deal.

  119. 119
    liberal says:

    @magurakurin:

    On the major upsides, there is adequate health care, but no where near as good as say, Canada.

    In terms of aggregate numbers, Japan’s health care is fine, and is a hell of a lot cheaper than Canada’s. IIRC the last time I saw the numbers, at 6% vs 10% of GDP.

  120. 120
    Johnnybuck says:

    @JPL: A pity I can’t think of a single Democrat here that could win state-wide if ‘Ol Roy couldn’t beat a corrupt deadbeat like Deal.

  121. 121
    Kay says:

    @handsmile:

    “just because someone evinces “panic” in a blog comment section doesn’t mean he’s become numb and inactive.”

    I agree with that, but I do think we are easily distracted. I get tired of the reactive nature. We’re always responding to Republicans. I don’t know how to change that, but I think it has to change.

  122. 122
    negative 1 says:

    Not to shower on the parade, but they’ll regroup, and probably quicker than most think. That’s the side effect of a two party system. The key is to take advantage of how. It’s probably going to be that they reach out hard to any spanish-speaking person they can find, and that will piss off some of their current disenfranchised white members. Democrats could make inroads into these areas by pointing out what is obvious to us – that Democratic policies are good for you if you’re not rich, and the rethugs were just using them so corporations didn’t have to pay taxes. Just because rethugs appealed to people using racism doesn’t mean that it’s the only message that works with their constituency.

  123. 123
    ericblair says:

    @negative 1:

    Just because rethugs appealed to people using racism doesn’t mean that it’s the only message that works with their constituency.

    Talk to President Perry about how that medicine goes down. The current gooper party seems to be bunch of single-issue factions in a (heh) Mexican standoff, where anybody who flinches gets their head blown off. I personally don’t think they can change, since they’ve institutionally painted themselves into such a corner. Looks like they’re turning into a rump Southern/Western party, and that will have enough tensions of its own.

  124. 124
    liberal says:

    @Kay:
    Way to change it is to implement a strategy for taking over as many statehouses and federal congressional seats as possible.

  125. 125
    Kay says:

    @liberal:

    These various states are very different. There will be competing pressures from state-level Republicans and then the national GOP. I don’t know that the plan would benefit state Republicans. They could end up with the Presidency and the US House, but lose on statewide races and the Senate. Is that worth it for one shot at the Presidency?

    Florida’s Republican House Speaker Will Weatherford has come out against current Republican efforts to change the way Electoral College votes are apportioned.
    “To me, that’s like saying in a football game, ‘We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and they beat us in the fourth,” Weatherford told the Miami Herald. “I don’t think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better.”

  126. 126

    @liberal:

    Obama being black made it worse, but the Republicans are never going to accept the election of a Democrat as legitimate, even if he’s Jesus Christ himself with blond hair and blue eyes.

    I strongly disagree. I remember Clinton’s presidency vividly. You are right that they will be insulting assholes and act like any Democratic president is illegitimate. What they did not do during his presidency was go batshit insane. Their positions have plummeted fifty years into the past. Things they kept their mouth shut about because they knew they were losers are suddenly loud, central topics. They’re driving minorities away in droves. The fringe has become the mainstream. They went from dicks to psychotic howler monkeys because Obama is black, and because of what that implies about their cultural dominance.

  127. 127
    Seanly says:

    The Tea Party mania was a doubling down on securing the white vote & the elderly vote. However, I think they misread how much growth they could have in that area. The Tea Party was a short term game but it’s put out so many unpalatable loons that I think it’s already a losing proposition on state-wide levels. And the Republican party gets locked into more extreme positions which hurt it with younger voters.

    I also like Atrios’ take that the declining impact of lead may mean a reduction in those sympathetic to the attitudes & prejudices of the Limbaugh-type crowd.

    While voter suppression & gerrymandering may help with at most a 5% swing, the inevitable math dooms a party unwilling to change.

  128. 128
    handsmile says:

    @liberal:

    Raising children, you’re doing the most important work of all.

    And as for the money, hey, if there’s enough of it, an ambassadorship might be in your future!

    @Kay:

    Absolutely agree! And one way we could address that is….hey, what’s going on over there…Oh no! Those bastards!

    Limiting my exposure to television (and encouraging those I love to do the same) surely helps.

  129. 129

    @Cassidy:
    My view is even more dismal than yours: I predict right now that if the GOP goes through with this Electoral College stunt, and manages to get the support of SCOTUS (which I’d expect) they’ve made a future shooting war inevitable.

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  131. 131
    jimmiraybob says:

    Well, once you take the natural conservative resistance to change and lock it in with doing God’s will and then put it all in writing, it’s pretty near impossible to change course.

    Better to figure out a way to rig the vote.

    I’d say that the latest scheme being floated, rigging the electoral college thingy, is too complicated and would be expensive to implement – and, of course, that would be bad for the deficit and also too “the country is broke.”

    I would suggest a constitution amendment that all votes cast for Democratic candidates be counted as 3/5 of a vote – a simple and cheap math conversion. And, when that becomes inconvenient for the TeaPublican AngryWhiteGuy Party, they could just adjust to 2/5 and then 1/5, so on and so forth. The finale could just be constitutional permanent rule by who owns the most AR-15s.

    That should do the trick. [Michelle Obama eye roll]

  132. 132
    liberal says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    What they did not do during his presidency was go batshit insane.

    Yeah, they merely impeached him.

    Their positions have plummeted fifty years into the past. Things they kept their mouth shut about because they knew they were losers are suddenly loud, central topics. They’re driving minorities away in droves. The fringe has become the mainstream. They went from dicks to psychotic howler monkeys because Obama is black, and because of what that implies about their cultural dominance.

    Really? All this talk about Vince Foster’s murder was merely being “dicks”?

    Furthermore, some of what you’re referring to is merely a continuation of a long, secular trend in moving to the right in the Republican Party.

  133. 133
    liberal says:

    @Seanly:

    I also like Atrios’ take that the declining impact of lead may mean a reduction in those sympathetic to the attitudes & prejudices of the Limbaugh-type crowd.

    Heh.

  134. 134
    Heliopause says:

    But now the “business leaders” (a/k/a David Frum’s ‘sane moderates’) have to persuade the shrinking pool of crazy old white people to embrace change

    Not really, except on one issue. All you have to do is as a “leader” is stop emphasizing an issue, not persuade people to change their minds about it. You’ll notice that GOP leadership is not raising a big stink about certain things — they’ve somewhat placidly accepted gays in the military and women in combat — because they know those are loser issues in the long run. Good example on the D side is gun control, which they completely gave up talking about for many years, though recent outrages have brought it back to life.

    The one issue I think is an exception is immigration. The Rs really don’t have a workaround on that one because of simple demographics, they’re going to have to patiently explain to their rubes that change is a-comin’ so get used to it. IMO.

  135. 135
    Betsy says:

    @Boudica: THANK YOU

    …and they expect people to behave like rational actors in an economic marketplace … HA HA HA as if … Radicals through and through

  136. 136
    Chris says:

    @Boudica:

    But they’re not opposed to change. Roe v. Wade’s been law of the land for 40 years. They want to change that. Social safety net’s been law of the land for 80 years. They want to change that. They’re not conservative. They’re radicals reactionaries.

    FTFY. Reactionaries want a return to a past that’s been gone for long enough that they can idealize it without remembering any of its warts. Easily the most unhinged part of the political spectrum.

  137. 137
    mclaren says:

    A cadre of corporatist plutocrats with more money than sense allowed themselves to be persuaded, by their pet grifters, that making common cause with various far-right cultists and authoritarians was the sure bet for a Permanent Republican Majority.

    The problem is that this description can, with a few tiny alterations, be applied equally well to Democrats:

    A cadre of corporatist plutocrats with more money than sense allowed themselves to be persuaded, by their pet grifters, that making common cause with various right-wing pro-miltary cultists and authoritarians was the sure bet for a Permanent Republican Democratic Majority.

    Extremist authoritarians have taken over the Democratic party, as the comments by crypto-fascists like General Crack Fake Name and Mnemosyne and Burnspbesq and Soonergrunt show so clearly.

    These Democratic authoritarian bully-worshipers despise the constitution, openly applaud the president ordering the murder of U.S. citizens without even charging the victims with a crime, and enthusiastically cheer endless unwinnable foreign wars forever, without end, everywhere in the world, conducted by Democratic administrations for crazy reasons.

    These wannabe-brownshirts dote on the mass murder of innocent women and children by drones. Sociopaths like Soonergrunt actually state openly and unashamedly that they hope any progressives who disagree with them “die in a fire.”

    These are the kind of people who brought Pol Pot to power. This is the kind of population that cheers kristalnacht.

    The problem with America isn’t just the degenerating lunatic Republican party, folks: it’s the erstwhile brownshirts and crypto-fascists who’ve taken over the Democratic party too.

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