Monday, October 5, 2009

The GOP's Trickle Down Idiocy

Nate Silver:

For Obama to have gone to Copenhagen to pitch the event may have been a mistake -- a few phone calls from Washington might have had 98 percent of the impact for 2 percent of the exposure. But he went in his capacity as an American President, and not as a partisan. That the conservative intelligentsia reacted giddily to news of the Americans losing is telling. It's telling of a movement that was long ago knocked off its intellectual moorings and has lost the capacity to think about what people outside the room think about. Sometimes -- certainly on the health care debate, very probably on the bailouts question -- conservatives back into something approaching mainstream American sentiment and can cause Obama and his allies a lot of problems. But any movement which also criticizes the President for giving a speech to schoolchildren, which cheers when the United States loses its Olympic bid, is mostly just engaged in the business of throwing a bunch of Kak√° at the wall and seeing what sticks. I don't know whether it's unpatriotic -- but it's pretty freakin' dumb.
Here in the unchecked conservative wonderland of Utah, local mouthpieces can't help the idiocy trickle down fast enough. Utah's most obvious political prostitute can't wait to jump on this bandwagon. And Carl Wimmer is starting to look like a moderate (shudder).

There are pockets of leadership still fighting for the relevance of the GOP, but overall this is a party in full on meltdown.

Republicans spent years perfecting a strategy to define not only national political narratives but also the opposition, and elections reflected their success. Democrats didn't begin fighting back until 2006, and didn't begin truly redefining themselves against the image created by the GOP until 2008. Now the GOP is responding like a 13-year-old throwing a tantrum at being denied a trip to the mall.

The longer Beck and the TEA baggers stand as the loudest spokesmonkeys of the party, the further the party gets from relevance and the closer it gets to irreparable implosion. The longer you have no more than concerted efforts to drive out moderates and ideological purity tests (forgive the incivility, but what the fuck is wrong with Rep. Craig Frank... anybody?) defining right-wing representation, the more you'd better hope your base is enough to get you elected alone (and it never is). And we're a long way from having a 3rd party contender to step into place should the GOP completely implode.

Watching it would be comedy gold, but overall we are better off with two viable parties and a revived national debate that is above the ridiculous rhetoric conservative leaders can't help themselves from repeating these days.

I'm going to enjoy the next few years of actual progress nationally, but eventually it's going to be better for our politics if the GOP puts the big boy pants back on, and gets back in the ring.

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