25 July 2011

Republicans: a price yet to be paid


Aside from the immediate results of the debt-ceiling fight (whose final outcome we don't know yet), the Republican party is setting itself up for two self-inflicted wounds which are not reflected in current polls but will come to a head by election day next year.

The first is that the teabaggers have now driven a wedge between the party and one of its main constituencies -- big business. For weeks Wall Street has been growing increasingly alarmed at the threat of a default and has been warning House Republicans that it must not happen. Even if it doesn't, Wall Street will not soon forget that we came this close to the brink. And they know very well (even if much of the public doesn't) who is to blame. As David Frum points out, the normal fighting over the debt blew up into this crisis solely because the Republicans took the step, unprece- dented in US history, of threatening to not raise the debt ceiling.

The thing is, Wall Street itself helped create the problem that now so alarms it. Last year the Chamber of Commerce and financial companies spent $20 million to support teabagger Republican candidates, the very people who are now driving the party's intransigence. They paid for the bomb which is now threatening to blow them up. This will have consequences, in 2012 and beyond. Not that Wall Street interests will abandon the party, but they're now well aware of how dangerous the know-nothing element is, and they'll likely be more selective in whom they support. If this forces the party back toward sanity and the political center, that will be good for the country. In the meantime, it will sharpen the divide between the know-nothing teabagger element and those Republicans who, whatever their ideological differences with us, at least operate in the real world.

The second wound the party is about to inflict on itself stems from its Presidential nomination contest. Romney is the front-runner, the candidate of choice for moderate Republicans, and the only candidate who (based on current polls) has a significant chance of defeating Obama. But the fundies of the base are deeply hostile to Mormonism (example) and the issue will gain more prominence as he gets closer to winning the nomination. Expect an escalating flood of ugly anti-Mormon rhetoric from religious-right sources as the primaries progress, especially as fundies who know little about Mormonism start to read up on it and find out just how alien it is to their view of Christianity.

The reason this matters is that Mormons are one of the most solidly Republican voting blocks in the country. A wave of anti- Mormon hatred from the party base will shock and repel them, especially if it costs Romney the nomination. Again, I don't expect Mormons to turn Democratic en masse (if Romney is the nominee, they'll more likely turn out in record numbers to support one of their own), but it will be another wedge driven into the Republican coalition. Republicans have terrible difficulty winning support among racial minorities because they can never quite expunge the stench of racism wafting from their troglodyte wing. The last thing they need is to create a similar problem with a religious minority which now supports them.

Two years ago, I quoted a comment which sums up the present Republican party in a nutshell: "Basically as part the polarization strategy Rove and all these other geniuses some of whom are now whining about the outcome let the Morlocks out of the basement and they’ve taken over the house." By empowering the crazies -- the teabaggers and fundies -- the Republican party gained a burst of vigor and enthusiasm, but they have now indeed taken over the house, and the party is only beginning to pay the price.

22 Comments:

Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

That photo brought back old memories, that was one of my favourite movies year's back ... "The Time Machine" ... still love it, yet I havent seen it in sometime ... HG Wells is genius!

25 July, 2011 05:42  
Blogger LadyAtheist said...

They've shot themselves in the foot and then they shot themselves in the other foot and now they don't have a leg to stand on!

25 July, 2011 07:32  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

Of course, this why the GOP pines for an Uber-Morlock (from the new slightly dreadful Time Machine movie) who can control the conservative mob with his mind powers and make them devour Liberals, errr Eloi, at a consistent steady pace...

25 July, 2011 08:52  
Blogger mommapolitico said...

Hoised by their own pitard - what a beautiful sight to see. I think you're right, Infidel - they will regret this in 2012.

Great post, friend, as always!

25 July, 2011 09:15  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

BTW Info, I met to tell you, you made some decent point's here as far as analysis ... and you know where I stand on this stuff, and hope to hear them shooting's continue, cause this GOP crap is destined for misery if they get any more slack ....

25 July, 2011 12:21  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thanks, everyone!

To corroborate my thesis about the growing alarm on the non-lunatic right wing about the teabaggers, see this piece from Rasmussen Reports that Parsley's Pics found.

Morlocks actually aren't the best metaphor for the teabaggers/fundies, since they were actually intelligent and technologically inclined, whereas the Eloi were pretty but had the IQ of rocks. The House teabaggers are more like an enraged monkey that has somehow got possession of the controls of a jetliner we're all riding on, but the image isn't as picturesque.

RC: I know where you stand, but whatever "shootings" you're referring to, I sincerely hope you're speaking metaphorically.

25 July, 2011 12:55  
Blogger The Heathen Republican said...

Just to put an alternate point of view out there, not that I'll convince you, but I think ultimately Obama will be hurt in the long run and the GOP will benefit in 2012.

I don't believe there is any wedge between the Tea Party and Big Business in the Republican Party, but even if there were, it would be a secondary consideration once election day comes around. Both groups will evaluate their choice between Obama and [unknown Republican] and make the best decision for them. In the end, they will make the same decision, regardless of any supposed animosity.

25 July, 2011 19:55  
Blogger John Myste said...

This is the first and I hope the last time I have ever been angry at a politician. I like commenting on politics, but I usually just don't concern myself. What is to be will be.

In this case, I am actually experiencing political anger. I think it tastes like chicken.

25 July, 2011 22:41  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

HR: In the posting I gave my reasons why I believe the debt ceiling hostage crisis has driven a wedge between the teabaggers and business. As for supporting candidates, it's mainly that from now on business will be more reluctant to support bull-in-a-china-shop teabaggers who are likely to pull something like this again, and more likely to donate to more traditional Republican candidates who understand reality, hence, as I said, forcing the party back toward the center. And, yes, if some crazed teabagger gets the Republican nomination to a Congressional seat and his Democratic opponent is a moderate, I would expect to see the business community support the latter, simply because they now understand that the former is a greater threat to their interests.

JM: I think anyone who has been paying attention has had plenty of opportunity for getting angry with the right wing.

26 July, 2011 03:33  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh ... I was only using the word in the sense of shooting one's self in the foot ... I shouldnt have wrote it like that :)

26 July, 2011 04:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've given the Rethuglicans way too much credit..... They don't have the Intelligence of the Morlocks...... They should be relegated to live under the ground permanently, anyway, because when they're done with all their ''Dirty Work'' this country won't even be habitable for the rest of us! They aim to take the country down to their level.

26 July, 2011 05:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two points that I believe are missing here are:

One: Can we as a country afford to wait until next year in this already weakened state expect to absorb the damage caused by these policies? I take very little solice in the on-going and continual search for the straw that will break this elephant's back.

Two: Won't the Republican's look like hero's to these Wall Street gurus when they come to an agreement in the nick of time after squeezing every last ounce of "cooperation" and "consessions" from the Democratic Party? Isn't this basically a huge victory for the republicans and the wall street elite? They already have everything they asked for and more without conceding anything, how can we look at this as any sort of victory?

26 July, 2011 05:45  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon #1: Duly noted -- see 6th comment.

Anon #2: Wall Street certainly hasn't been happy with teabagger brinkmanship so far -- and it knows that giving power to people who really don't understand the risks of default is dangerous. Besides, we don't yet know the outcome of this fight. If Obama concludes that no deal is possible -- a conclusion hard to escape at this point -- and invokes the Fourteenth Amendment, the Republicans win nothing.

26 July, 2011 05:54  
Anonymous Charlie said...

It does not matter that the republicans are shooting themselves in the foot because a conservative Obama will hand them everything they want which allows them to scream and howl and behave any way they want. Come the next election all we will have to vote for will be more conservative scumbags. All we have now are the democrat and rebublican wings of the corporate conservative party.

26 July, 2011 06:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(You misspoke. The linked article says 20 million, not billion).

I'm inclined to think that many more Americans (outside of religious fundamentalists religious fundamentalists) will have reservations about a Mormon candidate than you seem to believe. For example, I'd be curious if Romney is prepared to endorse the Joe Smith Meets Moroni Tall Tale. It's no more ridiculous a fable than that of an immaculate conception, but his answer, whatever it might be, will surely give pause to a great many people.

26 July, 2011 08:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only I had faith that Obama would use the fourteenth amendment defense and tell the Republican obstructionists "Too late, you had your chance".

But if I believed that, I'd probably start believing that he would work to end unfair trade agreements, try to fix social security by eliminating the cap and promote a single payer health system. If I went that far, I might as well count on paying my mortgage with the money from the tooth fairy.

Sorry to be so cynical but I have gotten my hopes up too many times only to be let down by the oligarchs we have elected regardless of the letter the place in front of their name.

No offense intended to you infidel753, I think your work is admirable and well written. I'm just a hopeless cynic

26 July, 2011 08:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Charlie: That's too stupid to argue with.

Anon #3: Number fixed. You may be right about the broader objections to a Mormon -- orthodox Christian myths are just as weird, but seem less so since they're familiar -- but I hope not. I'd vote for Obama over Romney, but not for that reason. He seems no more serious about his religion than the average non-fundie American.

Anon #4: Thanks. I don't claim to know exactly how this will come out -- but Obama does have options if the Republicans keep making it impossible to reach a negotiated deal.

Don't forget, too, that cuts more than a couple of years in the future are pretty much meaningless since Congress then is not bound by what Congress today votes to do.

26 July, 2011 09:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous # 1 is back.... Don't expect 'Spineless Jelly Fish' Obama to do anything that any thinking American would expect from a President. He is POWERLESS because he's 'BROWN'.It's unfortunate but it's also true true. And the Rethuglicans will do anything in their power to make him seem an even bigger failure than he already is. Representative BONER be damned!

26 July, 2011 14:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Anon #1: Don't be absurd. The President is not powerless.

This lady has the cynics and pessimists figured out, I think.

Oh, and Anon #4: Single-payer couldn't have passed the Senate. The President isn't a dictator. People who demand all or nothing usually end up with nothing. By making ugly compromises, Obama got something, which can be built on and improved later. That's how most reforms happen.

26 July, 2011 17:05  
Blogger John Myste said...

Can you anonymous commenters become onymous? You are killing me.

26 July, 2011 17:11  
Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

According to this article, Momma Politico believes that the GOP fully intends to drive the (world) economy in the ditch in order to blame it on Obama to drive up the electoral advantage of one of their currently sappy lineup of candidates.

Quite frankly, Wall Street seems to have done very nicely over this last Recession; corporate profits are up and they have a large pool of cheap labor to draw upon.

I fear the Republicans are nutty enough to do ANYTHING to discredit the Democrats and Obama in particular. Like Paul Krugman writes, they do not recognize any Democratically led administration as legitimate.

26 July, 2011 17:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

JM: I doubt it. They'd rather go on killing you.

RtS: Well, the fact that somebody believes something doesn't make it so; in any case, as I keep pointing out, Obama has several options if this thing goes down to the wire without a deal.

Wall Street will take a serious hit if there's a default, and they don't want it to happen. Forget the conspiracy theories, look at what they're actually saying and doing.

26 July, 2011 18:10  

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