Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What Next for the GOP?

Image result for abraham lincolnYou've really got to hand it to fate. As the old Frank Sinatra song lamented, "You're riding high in April, shot down in May". Although the utter implosion of "the party of Abraham Lincoln" took a little longer than a month, the irony is comparable. After spending nearly four decades pandering to a class of people who historically had been ignored by both political parties (I am speaking of the clinically insane) the GOP has got its work cut out for themselves to be sure. The chickens have come home to roost.

What will they do now? As far as the presidency is concerned, they're dead. Even if Donald Trump's candidacy were to finally self-destruct, none of the rest of the contenders have a molecule of the gravitas necessary to win the Big Prize. The American people (I think) learned a very powerful lesson from the catastrophe of the Bush years. When a party is able to somehow puke up a clown car full of of contestants who manage to make Dubya seem like a moderate, then it's time to strike the tents, fold up the chairs and go home.

But much to the terrible chagrin of the RNC, The Donald won't be going away anytime soon. You would think that after referring to Hillary Clinton as getting "schlonged" by Barack Obama in 2008, Trump's numbers would have fallen into the toilet. In 1980 that's precisely what would have happened.

That was then. This is now.

Image result for barry goldwaterThirty-five years ago, although an indisputably goofy lot, your average Republican primary voters (particularly in the South and Midwest) were, for the most part, reasonable, earnest people. Sure, there were a handful of half-witted neanderthals scattered among the ranks in 1980, but they weren't being considered as serious presidential contenders. In 1964 when Barry Goldwater sought the Executive Mansion, he was viewed by many as a radical extremist. Do a YouTube search of Barry's campaign all those years ago. By the standards of 2016, the old guy looks like a wishy-washy moderate in some cases. He famously declared in his acceptance speech that long ago summer:

"Let me remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

Ted Cruz is not your father's extremist. 

Image result for dwight d eisenhowerWhere they go from here is anybody's guess. The best kept secret in politics these days is the fact the Republicans were deflated by the rise of a permanent third party: the tea-baggers. I really hate to be the bearer of such bad news (actually, I love being the bearer of such bad news), but the Tea Party is here to stay, and they'll be holding the Republicans hostage for a very long time into the future. The damage they are doing to the party that was once the ideological home of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D Eisenhower will very soon prove to be mortal. Isn't that a lovely thought?

Life is beautiful.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths. 
by Stephen B. Oates
I purchased this book thirty years ago and am now reading it for the third time. It's not so much a biography as it is an attempt to separate the Lincoln of legend from the real person. Oates is a first-rate historian.


Many thanks to the kind folks who sent me messages of sympathy (HUNDREDS OF 'EM!) on the recent passing of my mom. Your thoughts and good wishes are much appreciated. 

So I guess I'm an orphan now. Go figure.


At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extremism IS a vice, if a vice is a negative thing.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Beach Bum said...

As someone living in the middle of an ultra-conservative section of the already extremist Red State of South Carolina I have nightmarish bad news as to what is next for the mutant GOP.

May of these semi-literate proles are ready to spill blood. Yeah, that by itself is an harsh almost irrational statement but I regularly hear statements about how liberals. Mexicans, homos, and any other group not part of the White, Anglo-saxon, evangelical base should be done away with in some extreme manner.

The crazy chick running for Harry Reid's senate seat in Nevada back in 2010 openly spoke of "Second Amendment remedies" and while she has been forgotten her idea is peculating in the background waiting for someone to spur on the disgruntled masses.

As crazy as the Nevada woman was, and the "I'm not a witch" woman from Delaware one of the nutcases I work with blurted out in a meeting that he thought their defeat was the result of electoral fixing. Not that his statement surprised me, I had listened to the guy many times before expound his political views, all which would have easily won him a Nazi brown shirt back in the 1930's.

I could easily continue on with several more examples but I'll just close by saying Donald Trump is just a symptom of a disease that has flared up before. His defeat will NOT be an end to his views but probably a beginning as those who share his beliefs are further marginalized by a society becoming increasingly more diverse. For me the only question is whether or not the diverse groups making up the ONLY viable opposition allowing themselves to splinter and open up a way for the Republicans to win.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger The New York Crank said...

The problem is not just that the Tea Party is damaging the Republican party, but that they are damaging the United States of America.

Ridiculous concepts subscribed to by Tea Party partisans, such as the rights of potential felons to bear arms even if it means small children will be mowed down in their school rooms, that taxes are evil, that public health insurance destroys freedom, are little by little bringing our nation to what will eventually be its knees.

Extremism in the defense of nonsense is not only a vice, it is subversive.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crannk

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

"Extremism in the defense of nonsense is not only a vice, it is subversive."

That line wins the Internet! It describes the Conservative movement perfectly.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Goldwater Trump is just a patriot in the extreme, which is good for freedom.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

And now Arizona has put a woman who barely managed a high school education, and who believes the earth is 6,000 years old and church attendance should be mandetory, as HEAD of their EDUCATION system.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Tom, I am truly sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. May God welcome her into his embrace and give comfort and peace to you and all that loved her.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Condolences on the loss of your mother, Tom.

What next for the GOP?

Same old same old. Millions of dollars from the Kochs, Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Insurance, etc. And almost a complete lack of any opposition party, as the Dems also suck up to those who rule by divine right of wealth.

Obama and the Republicans have given away the store again to the donor class. The spending bill also rewarded them with more secrecy for their corruption.

Bill Moyers sounds the warning alarm very clearly.

The Plutocrats Are Winning. Don’t Let Them!

The vast inequality they are creating is a death sentence for government by consent of the people. This is the fight of our lives and how it ends is up to us.

He reveals the horrible corporate and donor class giveaways, and new veil of secrecy, in the latest spending bill signed by Obama.

He concludes with: ”So enjoy the holidays, including Star Wars. Then come back after New Year’s and find a place for yourself, at whatever level, wherever you are, in the struggle for democracy. This is the fight of our lives and how it ends is up to us.”

I hate to be a pessimist, or actually, realist, but I have to say, sorry, Bill. The plutocratic enemies of democracy have already won. Americans have already embraced them as infallible “Job Creators”, entitled to rule by divine right of wealth.

The late great George Carlin put it best. “You don’t have rights. You have owners….This country is finished.”

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Sorry about your Mom, Tom. The worst loss there is. Stay strong, and take care.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Cirze said...

I'm devastated to hear about the loss of your Mother, Tom.

My heart goes out to you.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote from Sore Loser, 2014:

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous sore loser said...

1. It's New Years.
2. I just completed 6 hrs of volunteering at the USO.
3. Had too much caffeine to sleep.
4. Classical Liberals never sleep in the defense of liberty!

Quote from Chuck Morre 2015:

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

Mozart, it would if what you said were not a LIE?

You doubted I volunteered for the USO?

Time for you to put up or shut up
Come on down to Lambert Airport in St Louis this Sunday anytime between 6 pm and midnight and stop by the USO. We will see who is "owned"?

You and Davy are the class clowns of the internet and LIARS to boot.


So Chuck Morre and Sore Loser are both USO volunteers. I wonder if they've ever met each other. Someone should introduce them; they have a lot in common! (Except for their names)

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Republican party does not ignore the mentally ill; they ARE the mentally ill. It is a communicable psychopathy.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Just The Facts said...

"Where they go from here is anybody's guess. The best kept secret in politics these days is the fact the Republicans were deflated by the rise of a permanent third party: the tea-baggers."

LOL. Where do the Democrats go from here? They have all their eggs in one basket. An old bag who lies like a rug who has not accomplished anything with the only qualification that she has a vagina.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Chuckie and Sore Loser and Just the Facts, and so many others, all happen to have the exact same thoughts.

It's a Christmas miracle!

That's the only possible explanation, amirite?

Merry Christmas to real Christians. You know, those who love the least of us. Happy holidays to atheists who have more compassion for their fellow man than the hypocrites of the radical Right.

And a special holiday greeting to those liars, racists, and haters who serve the interests of the greedy scrooges and their Party of Mammon, who would deny the fact we've just had the two warmest years ever recorded.

Let them eat coal and drink oil. It would be good for the planet, good for the poor, good for the middle class, good for democracy, and good for humanity.

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how even when I'm not here how much I am on the minds of liberals.

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Chuck and Sore Loser have ever met. Have their six-hour shifts at the USO ever coincided?

It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Chuck Morre said...

I'm so sorry to read of your recent loss. While there is never a "good" time for this to happen, the Christmas season can hurt the most.
Know that you are in my prayers as I ask God to bless and comfort you.



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