“A party of closed minds and borders”

That’s the Wall Street Journal on the GOP. After all, the plutocrats love them some guestworkers, and when the principle of bigotry runs into the principle of greed, well then the plutocrats think bigotry ought to give way. There’s just one problem: the party’s lunatic fringe is now also its central voting base.

Tom Edsall reports on the discomfort the lunatic fringe/base and the racketeers who profit from its gulliblity have started to cause among Republicans with clean fingernails who want to win Presidential elections.

I don’t see any way for the plutocrats to win this one. Gerrymandering and voter suppression will guarantee safe seats for red-meat “conservatives” in Red districts, and ensure that the main threat to the political longevity of a Republican officeholder is a teahadi primary challenge. Yes, losing the moneyman vote can cut into, or even reverse, the traditional Republican advantage in campaign finance, as Ken Cuccinelli is discovering. But that means much more in statewide and national races than it does for individual Congressmen and state reps.

That’s bad news for the country in the medium term; we really need two parties capable of running the government. But since the GOP is what it is, there’s at least some benefit in saying so and accelerating the inevitable collapse and reconstruction.

Comments

  1. Ebenezer Scrooge says

    I’d really like to know how losing funding “means much more in statewide and national races than it does for individual Congressmen and state reps.” I thought that national races were saturated, so a 20% advantage in money had almost no meaning. I thought that small amounts of money make a bigger difference in the smaller elections. If the local plutocrats stop funding local Republicans, they’re really in trouble. Is Mark’s hypothesis that local races work off local funding, and the stench of the national Republican brand only affects national or state-level funding?

  2. Brett says

    Those districts are secure now, but will they be secure in 6-10 years? The Republicans who won in wave elections in 2000 and 2002 did everything in their power to gerrymander districts to their liking, and it was all undone by 2006.

    • Barry says

      Brett: “Those districts are secure now, but will they be secure in 6-10 years? The Republicans who won in wave elections in 2000 and 2002 did everything in their power to gerrymander districts to their liking, and it was all undone by 2006.”

      My guess is that the GOP will have problems after the 2000 Census, but OTOH why redistrict if it’s against their interests?

  3. NCG says

    Well. I was never that confident an immigration bill would pass. And the talk has been so draconian from the drop that I wasn’t really that into it. (13 years? Why not make it 50?) But I have to admit, being free from worry about deportation would still be pretty good, even if it comes with a lot of insults and fees attached.

    But then again — can’t the President pretty much just decide not to deport anyone? (Well, except for that crazy union…) And how good are our chances for 2016?

    Or is it too early to give up?

    • Brett Bellmore says

      Why would anybody be confident it would pass? It’s an amnesty bill, even if proponents deny it, and amnesty is unpopular even in the Democratic base. That it had any chance of passing at all is a testament to how broken our system of representative government is.

  4. says

    Edsall’s analysis was good, but it missed what I call the “second wave.” It is this: The Democrats will begin to dominate national politics in a big way by 2016 for the demographic reasons Edsall described so well. At about the same time, global climate change will no longer be viewed as a topic that only people who wear Birkenstocks have an interest in. It will be too obvious and too significant to ignore. There will be two basic types of government action in response.

    The first is action to reduce GWG emissions. Proposals to achieve these sorts of goals will be opposed by the usual suspects–the Kochs, the Scaifes, etc.

    However, the second broad category of programs will be those designed to mitigate the effects of global climate change. In the aggregate, these programs will constitute nothing less than a government works project of historic proportion.

    Now, assume that you’re a potential government contractor jockeying to get a piece of the pork. Which party will you make your campaign contributions to: The National White Peoples’ Party, which will be perpetually outvoted in any event, or the Rainbow Coalition, which will be able to dictate who is awarded those government contracts? And the most delicious part: The Citizens United decision will allow massive amounts of cash to flow to the party whose members sign off on the contracts. Remember: Ya’ gotta pay to play.

    Stated simply, not only will the Democrats have a growing demographic advantage nationally, they will also have a financial advantage as well.

    • James Wimberley says

      Nice argument. One problem with it is that as the price of oil rises ever higher in a grand going-out-of business bubble, the oil industry’s profits and incentive to finance do-nothing politicians will rise too. Of course, if the GOP is seen as unelectable (cf. Cuccinelli) it will lose even its most cynical or ideological business sponsors, and the money will go to Blue Dog or centrist Democrats (cf. McAuliffe).

    • Mike says

      Stuart wrote:
      “Now, assume that you’re a potential government contractor jockeying to get a piece of the pork. Which party will you make your campaign contributions to: The National White Peoples’ Party, which will be perpetually outvoted in any event, or the Rainbow Coalition, which will be able to dictate who is awarded those government contracts?”

      Don’t be ridiculous. There’s no need to wait around to find out what happens. It’s the same thing that’s been happening for the last 50 years. The folks with the really big bucks and exposure to government “uncertainty” i.e. those who depend on various tax dodges, structured investments, money already independent from national obligations in global slush funds…

      Those folks have been buying both parties for years and have been getting pretty much everything they want. The rest of us make do with the crumbs off their table in between cyclical recessions. I would not expect that to change. In fact, there’s ever more reason to financially sponsor the erstwhile party of Lincoln as a loyal opposition that sounds a lot different on what’s important to the monied interests, but really isn’t, even more so to counter the demographic shortfalls. Not to mention increasingly corporatist Dems in primaries against candidates who even hint at rocking the yachts of the wealthy by dropping a pea of progressivism into the tidal basin.

      Politics is good and bought in the USA and there seems little sign that demographic changes will change that. The continued slide in the standard of living for 90% of the population will eventually create difficulties of course, but so long as the NSA is keeping track of that, they’re good.