Republican Implosion

There is absolutely no doubt about it, the GOP is outright sweating bullets over the recent victory in MS-01 of Democratic candidate Childers over Republican candidate Davis. Indeed, in order to staunch the metaphorical blood flow, the Republican party pulled out all the stops, including robo-calls from President Bush and Dick Cheney.

In a district that went to Bush by over sixty percent, you would think that that would be enough. But what conservatives and Republicans are making plainly clear is that they haven’t the slightest clue as to why their party faces total implosion this fall.

The three congressional seats that Republicans lost this year hardly mark the end of the GOP’s current woes. As Matt Stoller points out, the chaos has filtered onto the House floor, with Republicans falling flat on their faces on vote after vote.

They are a party that is failing within and without.

Earlier today, none other than “The Architect,” Karl Rove himself advised that Republicans needed to “stand for something.” But curiously enough, going straight to the heart of how little Karl Rove understands what’s going on in the electorate, and how he himself has affected the great turning of the tide, by the end of the piece Rove falls to advocating recreating the kind of agenda that he used in 2002 and 2004 to secure significant Republican victories.

The error in Rove’s assessment of the political landscape is reproduced just about everywhere you look; again represented in the new agenda the party is pushing in order to cover for the unrest that continues to fester among the GOP’s ranks. Laughingly, the “cure” to what ails the Republicans seems to be focusing on Republicans addressing, ” kitchen table questions of, ‘Are my children safe at school, are they safe from gangs, are they safe from the Internet.'”

Yes, that’s the ticket, keeping your kids safe on the internet is exactly what is needed to return the Republican party to the good graces of the American public.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes there is talk of rebranding the party, fixing the messaging, and shaking up the leadership. Fine ideas, I suppose, and most definitely classically political solutions. Whenever something goes wrong, you keep doing what you are doing, you just do it with someone different in charge.

In other words, they’re still not getting it.

The Politico offers up six things that Republicans can do to pull their party out of peril, but even these only glance off of the real problems the Republicans face, and in the instance of the last item on the list, like Rove, insists that the Republicans do what they have done in the past and play the politics of fear.

They’re all missing the point, with Rove almost coming close to it, but then, just as he’s about to hit enlightenment, he veers hard right and lands himself in a ditch. The intense irony about this is that he should know best what’s wrong with the party; he helped put them where they are.

After all the messaging is retooled, after the leadership is shaken up, after Republicans attempt to push forward a brave new agenda, it comes down to the same two questions; are you still for an open ended occupation of Iraq, and are you going to keep doing to the economy what you have been doing?

It’s that simple, and as long as the Republicans continue to answer yes, than they are going to continue to meet with electoral doom.

But their problems are even deeper than that, and the Republican primary should have provided them with something of a clue. The coalition that has brought them electoral triumph in the past is breaking apart, and a party that has earned its daily bread off of pandering to the extremes is feeling the hurt from that.

For as long as the three legged stool held together, things were fine and dandy for Republicans, but now, as fiscal conservatives view the neoconservative approach to spending as wasteful, as the faithful broaden their scope beyond abortion and gay marriage, as these parties all begin to want a bigger share of the pie, and they want it now, what you have is essentially a party that is getting tugged apart at the seams.

It is the extremist portion of the base that won’t let Republicans ditch their ultra hawkish foreign policy that has put the rest of America severely off their lunch. It is an extremist portion of the base that is so invested in tax cuts that it doesn’t matter what they do to the economy, there simply must be more tax cuts.

Ridiculously, these Norquistians actually believe that we’re just one more tax cut away from pulling the economy out of a nose dive.

But most importantly, it’s the extremes that pull Republicans from listening to the rest of the country. As it turns out, when a majority of the country wants you to at least think about pulling out of Iraq, it might do you well to listen. When a majority of the country thinks you should probably do something with the economy, you know, something other than what you have been doing because it sure as hell isn’t working, they kind of want you to listen.

And when you stop listening, you find that they don’t want to vote for you again. They don’t want snazzier lawn signs, or snappier slogans (even slogans that come with side effects and prescriptions), and they DEFINITELY don’t want to see more negative ads. They don’t want to see fluffer legislation either. They want to see that you’re listening to them and right now their two big issues are the Economy, and Iraq.

But when Republicans answer the calls on these two issues, they only offer the same policies, the same mindset, the same everything that made those two issues the most important issues in voters’ minds in the first place.

When that’s the case, how can anyone be shocked that Republicans are hurting so bad?

One Response to “Republican Implosion”

  1. Chief says:

    Rep Cole (R) chair of the NRCC said “What we’ve got right now is a deficiency in our message.

    What I wrote earlier can be found here http://libertystreet.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/message/

    Executive Summary: It is not a message deficiency, it is a defective product.

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