Republican Soul-Searching in Five Minutes

by: Matt Stoller

Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 19:19


After the election, I was half-interested in the discussions around the Republican party.  Should they become moderate?  Will they become more conservative?  How will they use the internet?  Blah blah blah.  There's a lot to learn about politics from the Republicans and the details of how they reform, but the general gist of the matter seems pretty clear.
Matt Stoller :: Republican Soul-Searching in Five Minutes
The GOP is going to do is futz around for awhile with the fake moderate versus conservative argument and then eventually find a way to tap into the newly emergent overt racism.  It may happen in 2010, and it's impossible to predict whether the issues will be framed around 'law and order' as the millions of unemployed young people inevitably do what young people do when they are bored and disempowered in a recession, or some sort of stabbed in the back narrative around Iraq or Afghanistan, or some new set of issues focused on the fallout from this very scary financial crisis.  Whatever happens the party will reorganize on the internet and that's going to seem really cool and innovative and counter-intuitive except that it will be perfectly normal for a political party to reorganize using a culture's mainstream medium for organizing, which is the internet.  The right already did it once, with Drudge and the Free Republic in the 1990s.

The animus for the new Republicans, though, will not be fake conservative principles like low taxes, a strong military, and family values, because Republicans like taxes on non-rich people, they like hollowing out the military, and the GOP leadership is full of sexually tortured souls.  It's going to be racism, as it always has been.  There, soul-searching over.  And this blog post only took you five minutes to read, which is probably a bit shorter than it will take for the Republicans to find and manufacture millions of new right-wing dog whistles.

Oh, and my advice for those Republicans who don't have the heart to reform the party along these lines is to leave the party.  Join us.  You'll like it.


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I look forward to the day... (4.00 / 1)
..when the opposing view points on meet the press will be represented by the progressive and blue dog caucuses. You would think the republicans are still in power the way they still dominate the conversation.

yep! (4.00 / 2)
The base of the Republican Party is very racist.  And that racism will destroy the GOP.  In the last elections, nonwhites voted 79-18 for Obama, which is just stunning.  In future elections, there will be more of us, and GOP racism will lock in that Democratic vote for a generation.  Thanks GOP!

Short-term v. Long-term (4.00 / 1)
Short-term: as David Brooks puts it, the conservatives are in charge. They'll go in the direction of more racism.

But, racism -- covert or overt, is a losing message in an electorate where the White vote is declining at the rate of about 1% per year and minorities are voting Democratic 3 to 1.

At some point, Republicans are going to have to decide if they want to keep on pissing off Black/Hispanic/Asian voters when America is becoming a majority-minority country.

They lived and are now dying by the Southern Strategy. It worked so well for so long that they can't imagine now how it could be failing.

But, in popular vote terms, Republicans would have to find about another 3 1/2 to 4 million White votes in EVERY Presidential election from now on, merely to offset the growth in minority voting.

That says nothing of course about the fact that they LOST this election by 6.4 million votes. So, their task for 2012 would be to find about another 8 or 9 or even 10 million more WHITE voters they didn't get before.

It's flat impossible, unless they make MAJOR changes to appeal to minorities -- especially Hispanic voters. If you've seen their proposals for doing this they are utterly pathetic: appeal to "moral values" among conservative Hispanic voters, etc. It hasn't worked in the past and won't work any better in the future.

And they don't have a lot of time to change either. In 2 years the youth vote that went against them so heavily will be MORE entrenched as Democrats.

By the time they reach 30 most people have made up their minds about whether they are conservative, liberal, moderate, Democrats, Republicans or Independents. After that only a few will change their overall philosophy.

That worked decisively against Democrats for 40 years between 1968 and 2008 when the White backlash against the Civil Rights movement and anti-war movement gave Republicans an institutional advantage that enabled them to win 7 out of 10 Presidential elections. The "Reagan Youth" are still more conservative than the age cohorts before or after them, and more Republican leaning.

So, losing the 18-29 year olds is a death trap for Republicans unless they start to reverse this trend NOW!

And they can't do it with homophobia, race baiting and smear campaigns. Under 30's don't even understand WHY racism and gay-bashing still exist. Gay marriage and the threat of blacks moving into their white neighborhood is not something that makes them afraid and they haven't a clue why over 50's are so fired up about such crap.

As a long-term strategy for Republicans it's all Lose-Lose-Lose.  


One thing that will never change (0.00 / 0)
is the desire of the id to lord over one's fellow man.

The policies may change, bu the personnel won't, why look at Obama's Cabinet? Plus ca change?

Combine that with the run-away entropy of the world system and you have a recipe for great suffering.


Bobby Jindal (and Condoleeza Rice... and Clarence Thomas...) (0.00 / 0)
     We are right on the issues. And while I would love to believe that Republicans are always 100% racist, sexist, and homophobic... are they?
    The extent to which Republicans are "really" racist and the extent to which they just "appear" racist could be the topic of lengthy academic debate. But the fact that minorities voted 79-18 for Obama shows that the GOP at least appears to be racist, and that appearance will help us in future elections.
    So here are the questions for us: How could the GOP turn these trends around, and how do we prevent them from doing so? If they make Bobby Jindal their choice for President or Vice President in 2012, that would make them look (to some eyes) less racist. (I mean, choosing Palin did not make them any less sexist... but at at least they looked less sexist.)
    So, how do we make sure Jindal is not a serious option for the GOP nomination in 2012?

Luke 12:48 "to whom much is given, of him shall much be required". Would Jesus want progressive taxation, or regressive taxation?

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