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.
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.