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Harris reports: "The Republicans increasingly look like the party of angry, older white people...And that does not work in America any more."

'As Republicans sifted through the wreckage of the Mitt Romney campaign, they saw collapsing popularity.' (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
'As Republicans sifted through the wreckage of the Mitt Romney campaign, they saw collapsing popularity.' (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)



Republicans Begin Internal Civil War

By Paul Harris, Guardian UK

11 November 12

 

he town of Pella, Iowa, looks an almost too perfect vision of smalltown America. Surrounded by a chessboard of prosperous farmland and with a bustling town square, lined with shops bearing the surnames of its first Dutch settlers, Pella feels like a throwback to a different age.

But beneath its attractive exterior last week one could find some ugly sentiments on election day. "Obama is a Muslim," said Shirley Schutte, 75. Was she sure about that? "I am. I am not sure he even should have been there [in the White House]. He has been a disaster."

Such a fervent belief is not typical of most Republican voters, whether in Pella or anywhere else in America. But it is not hard to find. One poll in Mississippi even found some 52% of likely Republican voters suspected President Barack Obama was a follower of Islam. Neither has the party leadership done too much to discourage equally outlandish ideas, such as Obama being born in Kenya. From business mogul Donald Trump to top elected officials, Republicans have carefully crafted a message of Obama as a radical "other" hoping to transform America in some dangerous way.

Yet far from exiling Obama outside the US mainstream, many experts, now including leading conservative figures, believe the Republican party itself is being pushed into the political wilderness. The Republicans increasingly look like the party of angry, older white people. People like Schutte. And that does not work in America any more.

As Republicans sifted through the wreckage of the Mitt Romney campaign, they saw collapsing popularity among fast-emerging ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, and key social demographics, such as young people. In an economy struggling with 7.9% unemployment, where more than half of voters believed the country was heading in the wrong direction and against an unpopular incumbent, the once fiercely effective Republican party machine only managed to craft a devastating defeat.

Some say the reason is a simple failure to change in an America that is becoming less white and more socially liberal. "They look a lot more like a political party of the 1950s than a party of the 21st century," said Professor David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron in Ohio. "They are at risk of being irrelevant."

Some in the party know it. Even though the corpse of the defeated Romney campaign is still warm, a bitter fight has started to break out over its meaning in Republican ranks. On one side are the modernists, who understand that the party cannot afford to be seen as a backwards-looking ghetto for white voters. On the other are the nativists, angry at a crippled and ineffective immigration system, who believe that only a true message of pure conservatism will save the day. It is a battle for the soul of the Republican party and the first shots are being fired. "I think it is going to be a war. I really do," said Larry Haas, a political commentator and former aide in the Clinton White House.

Last week the Romney campaign in the key swing state of Iowa held a "victory" party in the capital, Des Moines. Right in the American heartland, in the very state that gave birth to Obama's presidential ambitions in 2008, the great and good of the local Republican party gathered in a downtown hotel ballroom to celebrate their side's expected win.

But shortly after the local TV station announced Obama had won Iowa – in the end by a hefty six percentage points – Fox News said that the White House also would remain in Democratic hands. The mood of the almost entirely white gathering of several hundred rapidly deflated. Some headed to the exits. One woman muttered angrily to her companion: "It is the dumbing down of America."

This is the side of the Republican party that has dominated its internal politics for four years. It is a party that almost seems to exist in its own vacuum of rightwing thought. Infused with Tea Party radicals, it has backed hardline immigration laws in states such as Arizona that many Hispanics see as racist. It boasted two Senate candidates who made tone-deaf comments about rape that cost them otherwise easy victories. It is still male-dominated, yet finds time to take hardline ideological stances on female contraception and abortion. This is the party that appears implacably hostile to gay Americans even as last week four more states held ballots on gay marriage and all voted in favour. "Does social conservatism continue to be a albatross around the neck of the party?" said Professor Gerard Alexander of the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

But it is not just social issues. On economics the Republican party plays host to a powerful and vocal wing of libertarians who wish to slash and burn government spending. They cling to a conservative world view that has forced previously extreme stances – such as abolishing the federal Department of Education and returning the dollar to the gold standard – into the heart of Republican thought. Not even the vast amount of cash that Republican big money operators poured into the 2012 race was able to have a major impact. Of the top 10 Senate candidates that political guru Karl Rove's American Crossroads group spent the most on, just one resulted in a Democratic defeat. Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson backed eight candidates – including Romney – with around $60m over the whole election cycle. None of them won.

To many observers, the Republicans are turning into a party that cannot win office. It has been dominated by the punditocracy of Fox News and the enormous influence of rightwing media stars such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. It believes it does not need to change, but must maintain ideological purity and run a true conservative candidate. In Romney it sees the failure of a moderate who did not really believe the conservative values he had to espouse to win his party's nomination.They point out Obama's victory was built on a superior ground game, which turned out its base. They can even say Obama only beat Romney by 50% to 48% – a sliver that only grows large in the undemocratic electoral college.

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has emerged as one of the leading lights of this message. "The answer to Romney's failure is not retreat, not apeing the Democrats' patchwork pandering," he thundered. "No whimpering. No whining. No reinvention when none is needed. Do conservatism, but do it better."

Limbaugh was more blunt. "I went to bed last night thinking we're outnumbered. I went to bed last night thinking we'd lost the country," he told listeners as Romney went down. But perhaps Fox News host Bill O'Reilly – for many fans the very incarnation of the average white man – was the most blatant: "The white establishment is now the minority … it's not a traditional America any more."

But many are lining up on the other side of the trenches. Indeed, even Krauthammer acknowledges the party has a serious problem with Hispanic voters, who now make up the fastest-growing part of the electorate and went for Obama by some 70%. These are people such as Texas senator Ted Cruz and Florida senator Marco Rubio, who has already announced his intention to visit Iowa this month, effectively firing the first shot of the 2016 campaign. They also include former Florida governor Jeb Bush, whose last name is still a political handicap but whose Hispanic wife, half-Hispanic children and fluent Spanish are a major asset to dragging Republicans out of their white corner.

As such figures rise, and perhaps bring with them a greater sensitivity over issues such as immigration, they will strike a blow for the reformers and the party's makeup will come to better represent the wider American public. Yet it might not be that simple. In an economy still struggling with high joblessness and the threat of renewed recession still looming, convincing some of the party's stressed base might not be easy. "The backroom people in the party look at the numbers and know they have a problem. But it is another thing to convince the base," said Professor Shaun Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside.

Neither is it as easy as just shifting the ethnic tone of the party's public image. Many Republican activists say that Hispanics – who often display a strong social conservatism around Roman Catholicism – should find a natural home in the party. However, many also bring with them a profoundly different sense of the role of government. The hostility many in the Republican party express towards government programmes can be just as off-putting to many Hispanic voters as their opposition to abortion and gay marriage might be attractive.

It is not likely to be an easy process. Some believe Romney came close enough to victory to allow an even fight in the coming Republican civil war and thus ensure a protracted and painful debate that will stretch on for years. What the party really needed, some think, was to have nominated a died-in-the-wool ultra-conservative in 2012 such as Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich who could have led the party to an overwhelming defeat, forcing the reformist wing to triumph. But the selection of Romney denied them that piece of creative destruction, even though the party has now lost the popular vote tally in five of the last six presidential elections. "They are still maybe at the early stages of denial," Bowler said.

Democrats are largely celebrating the prospect of this fight. The glee among the liberal left has been unrestrained, ranging from serious political pundits, such as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and film-maker Michael Moore, to the viral popularity of an internet site showing photographs of sad Republicans on election night called "White People Mourning Romney".

The Democrats, in fact, are licking their lips at the prospect of the next four years. Obama's brilliant strategists have created a highly effective coalition of minorities, younger women voters and urban educated people. They eked out an election win in the most trying of economic circumstances by getting those people to the polls. But some people think the Democrats also have a problem. Obama lost the white vote in America by some 20 points, and perhaps that should not be ignored. "It is not good to lose the white vote by that margin," said Haas. "This election was visionless on both sides, it was just about stitching together enough votes to get to the top."

The Republicans may be about to have a civil war over their future but the Democrats also have their issues when it comes to the full spectrum of America's broad and diverse electorate. When any political system fights over identity politics rather than actual ideas, no one really wins.

Republicans to watch in 2016:

CHRIS CHRISTIE

Though he defines himself as a conservative, the New Jersey governor is seen as a potential moderate with broad appeal. He was positive about Obama's performance during the Hurricane Sandy disaster and an early endorser of Mitt Romney in the nomination process

MARCO RUBIO

The Florida senator is regarded as one of the most potentially powerful future party leaders. His Hispanic background could broaden the base of the party and he is also a favourite with the conservative Tea Party movement.

JEB BUSH

The former Florida governor seems to tick all sorts of boxes. Popular in a key swing state, he is a moderate conservative who appeals to the party base, has a Hispanic wife and is fluent in Spanish. Only the residual problems of his surname could hamper him, but by 2016 that may not prove to be such an issue.

JIM DEMINT

The South Carolina senator is one of the party's most conservative leaders and is widely believed to have an eye on a 2016 run. Closely allied with the Tea Party, he is extremely socially conservative, once advocating not allowing gays or single mothers to teach in public schools.

RICK SANTORUM

The former Pennsylvania senator was an obscure figure in the lead-up to the 2012 campaign but won over a huge amount of the base with his spirited and extremely conservative challenge to Romney. He ended with more than enough status to try again in 2016, posing as a social conservative with appeal to the white working class.

PAUL RYAN

Romney's running mate performed well enough during the campaign to boost his reputation as one of the party's leading lights. He also appeals to the white working class and social conservatives. A devout Catholic, he does not look like a moderniser.

 

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+87 # mullinob 2012-11-11 14:50
It has always been the natural progression in this country to phaze out parties and bring in new ones from time to time. It is time.
 
 
+39 # JohnMayer 2012-11-11 23:39
That’s what we were thinking when Nixon resigned …
 
 
+17 # Independentgal 2012-11-12 06:13
For the right wing, this is the flip side of the '60s.
 
 
+269 # AUCHMANNOCH 2012-11-11 15:22
Ha Ha Ha . I have to laugh. I just had a look at the link in this article entitled 'White People Mourning Romney'. In the article is a tweet from a Kristen Neel and I quote: "I'm moving to Australia because their President is a Christian and actually supports what he says."

Well Kristen as an Aussie let me educate you. We don't have a President - the head of our Government is a Prime Minister and SHE is a self professed atheist. On top of that she doesn't believe in marriage and lives openly with her partner of many years who is known in Oz as 'The First Bloke.'

Still want to come to the land down under?
 
 
+97 # MainStreetMentor 2012-11-11 17:42
I love it ... absolutely LOVE it!
 
 
+56 # kelly 2012-11-11 21:51
Don't they also have a form of socialized medicine?
 
 
+33 # Texas Aggie 2012-11-12 08:26
Oh, you bet. And mandated time off for both parents at the birth of a child, with pay. And support for that kid for a few years.
 
 
+10 # Selwick 2012-11-12 14:34
Oh Geez, it's socialism! :)
 
 
+54 # reiverpacific 2012-11-11 22:03
Quoting AUCHMANNOCH:
Ha Ha Ha . I have to laugh. I just had a look at the link in this article entitled 'White People Mourning Romney'. In the article is a tweet from a Kristen Neel and I quote: "I'm moving to Australia because their President is a Christian and actually supports what he says."

Well Kristen as an Aussie let me educate you. We don't have a President - the head of our Government is a Prime Minister and SHE is a self professed atheist. On top of that she doesn't believe in marriage and lives openly with her partner of many years who is known in Oz as 'The First Bloke.'

Still want to come to the land down under?

Heh-heh and goodonya mate.
One thing you can say about Twit, he represented much of the American populace as an international ignoramus!
As a "Scotty" I used to love my visits to y'r great country; you drink like us and have "footer" (Rugby), cricket and some of the most amazing landscapes I've ever witnessed -almost extra-planetary in places. Almost moved there once from Indonesia.
Pity about ol' tricky Dick on steroids Muck-doc but then every country throws up mutations from time to time; ours was Thatcher, then Blair. The US has done a stellar job in puking up a whole bunch of 'em who could never be taken seriously elsewhere.
Nice Scottish-soundi n' nom-de-plume you have there BTW.
G'day and best o' luck.
 
 
+6 # DarthEVaderCheney 2012-11-13 05:48
Sadly, Kristen Neel is a prime example of a really, really poor education... probably from her lack of attendance from school. Read the comments in the right wing blogs and you will be ammmmmmazed at the grammatical and spelling errors therein! Don't blame the education system... these are bonafide day care dropouts! Then you will have partial proof as to WHY the Rmoney/ryan team lost big time. They are simply not educated enough to see through the muck of their own Party... much to their demise! Ummm ummm!
 
 
+1 # Scott Galindez 2012-11-13 15:19
I wish the woman in Arizona that ran her husband over with a car for not voting, had left the country instead...
 
 
0 # Scott Galindez 2012-11-13 15:28
Crazyiest part is they were in Arizona, a State Romney one, so the husbands vote was meaningless...
 
 
+46 # NOMINAE 2012-11-12 05:44
@ AUCHMANNOCH -

GREAT comment. And So sorely needed here.

You have no way to comprehend the number of people here, especially since the Bush Admin's publicly-stated animosity to "fact-based reasoning" and their stated preference for "faith-based reasoning" was made national policy at the time.

We have been suffering the consequences ever since.

The Republicans had no way of seeing their recent "pasting" in the National Election coming, because they were all seeing the world via "faith-based polling and analysis."

To get a taste of how powerful that has become up here, the Romney campaign had a full suite of fireworks ordered and ready to be fired over Boston Harbor for their "inevitable" victory celebration.

Oooops! They paid off the pyrotechnicians and cancelled the show the DAY OF their defeat.

So PLEASE continue to enjoy laughing at the world-wide farce that our politics have become, and thank you SO MUCH for your refreshing blast of TRUTH sent up here. We need every lil' boost of truth and fact that we can GET !
 
 
+19 # popeye47 2012-11-12 08:22
What you say in your post(Auchmannoc h) is typical of the Republican voter.
They make statement that are plainly lies or falsehoods to be nice. They continually repeat these lies to their neighbors,frien ds as though it is the absolute truth. But they could care less if it is true or false. And others that follow, are so naive and clueless.
They wouldn't know the truth if it bit them in the ------.
 
 
+24 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-11-12 08:31
One widely circulated response by “Felicity Ryan” stated:

“Australia has universal health care, compulsory voting, no guns, no death penalty, pro-choice when it comes to contraception, openly gay politicians and judges, evolution is taught in all schools, and our female PM is an unmarried atheist. Be sure to declare your pitchforks at Tullamarine.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/disappointed-republicans-display-woeful-ignorance-of-australia-canada
 
 
+4 # NOMINAE 2012-11-13 04:50
@ Ray Kondrasuk

Yup, when England was ridding herself of "undesirables" America got the Puritans and Australia got the prison convicts.

It was far from evident at the time, but modern history demonstrates the fact that Australia got BY *FAR* the better of THAT bargain !
 
 
+9 # DarthEVaderCheney 2012-11-12 11:09
I love it... this self-made conservatives are soooooo in-the-dark! They don't even know that they are their own Party's worst enemy and executioner... mmm mmm... so sad!
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-11-15 10:49
@AUCHMANNOCH: Thanks for contributing to the effort of having once again to correct a rightie (or a Christian fanatic or both).

Going to Australia? I don't know, but your Prime Minister politically sounds like my kind of gal.
 
 
+65 # MikeAF48 2012-11-11 18:44
The wealthy, pompus general attitude of the upper crust of American socity cracked first. White male america didn't see the forest for the trees. This is 95%the congress big problem-wake up congress this is truely a equal intergrated socity as notice has ben served.
 
 
+47 # futhark 2012-11-11 19:12
The only Republican candidates in the 2012 go-round that showed any consistent principles, rather than being marionettes of the plutocracy, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, were steamrollered by the Republican insider establishment. The Republican Party is committing suicide by excluding new ideas and perspectives and insisting on representing a portion of the population that is shrinking rapidly, the top 1%.
 
 
+45 # DaveM 2012-11-11 21:03
We need only to look back 20 years to see that this has happened before. George Bush, Sr. ran for re-election on a platform which consisted largely of calling for a Constitutional amendment banning flag-burning and "dedication to the values of the Pledge Of Allegiance". Enough people realized that, by and large, this meant nothing at all, and G.H.W. Bush became a one-term President.

The slogans have become triter, the pundits goofier, and the connection to reality even more tenuous than in 1992, but the result was the same. Regardless of one's political slant, no useful agenda can be covered by a bumper sticker, a protest sign, or a sound bite.
 
 
+29 # linkedout 2012-11-11 22:34
OK, we all know that Republicans fight by lying. So what does it look like when two Republicans fight?

"The moon is made of green cheese!"

"No, you idiot! That's Jupiter! The moon is made of congealed marshmallows!"
 
 
+34 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-11-11 22:35
"Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has emerged as one of the leading lights of this message."

I think Chuckie has been hitting the Kool-Aid too hard recently.
 
 
+54 # Regina 2012-11-11 22:51
The Republican Party has won four years in which to recreate itself for the 21st century. Their bitterness over their well-earned defeat reinforces everyone else's view that they were wallowing in a nostalgic miasma and fervently looking toward a return to the early 1900s. In concert with other enlightened constituencies, the women they warred against answered: Never Again!
 
 
+74 # Invisible Woman 2012-11-11 23:13
Great article, but not wholly inclusive of the "republican problem". This article is framed, rightly so, at aging white people not being comfortable with anything but other white people. Shhhh, we don't want anybody to be the wiser, but "IT's the PERSONAL INCOME stupid". Jeb Bush, with his hispanic wife and spanish language skills, is still a priviliged elite. Race doesn't necessarily vote for race in the enlightened world of 2012...err, duh. It's about OUR OWN MONEY and more specifically, lack of it. When will the debate be framed where it more accurately resides: CLASS.
 
 
+16 # karlarove 2012-11-12 11:12
Actually, its not personal income. I know a number of people who still like to argue with me, who are staunch republicans. They are very much a part of the 99%, one living on disability payments. Some of it is clearly racism, some of it is militant ignorance, and most of it is simply unconsciousness .
 
 
+55 # karlarove 2012-11-11 23:17
Interesting, all men. most of them, extreme in their views on the necessity of a human life amendment. I hope they pay attention to the fate of their party members who were not elected because of their views on rape, not acknowledged as act of violence and psychic trauma to women, but now in their terms, another method of conception. put them all in the time machine and send them back where they belong - the Dark Ages.
 
 
+18 # Billbb 2012-11-12 09:56
Yes, yes! As this 66-yo white guy affirms, it's not age or race, as IW states above.

It's about class. Are we living in a bountiful world with enough for everyone or a dog-eat-dog world where the few have too much and the many go hungry?
 
 
+13 # Billbb 2012-11-12 09:57
Easy on the "all men," karla -- many, many of us are on your side!
 
 
+11 # karlarove 2012-11-12 11:08
Hey Billbb, I was talking about the men listed in the article "Republicans to watch in 2016"! If you review it its all men.
 
 
+13 # in deo veritas 2012-11-12 13:48
I am a 70 year old white male who despises everything the neanderthal Repugs stand for. Indeed they are remnants from the dark ages who will not long co-exist with the rest of the human race in an enlightnened world. Their ideology has nothing in common with true Christianity.Pe rhaps they would be more at home somewhere else on this planet.
 
 
+8 # in deo veritas 2012-11-12 13:50
There were obviously many deranged women who voted Republican. That would make them accomplices to the Repug war on their own gender! Unbelieveable!
 
 
+26 # nightwolfboy 2012-11-11 23:26
As was said on NPR today, don't you just love the yummy taste of a cocktail made from all these Republican tears? MMMMM- delicious!
 
 
+11 # Billbb 2012-11-12 09:57
Uck! Now where's my mouthwash when I need it?
 
 
+46 # Milarepa 2012-11-11 23:27
Most of what is being discussed here will be irrelevant during and after the next few catastrophic weather events. Mother Nature is wielding the biggest stick now while we're still babbling politics ....
 
 
+85 # susienoodle 2012-11-11 23:32
My favorite republican is Chuck Hagel who had the common sense to leave office rather than embrace tea party fanatics. He even endorsed Bob Kerry, but too late to matter. He criticized Geo W Bush for the Iraq war. If there were more folks in the party like him, instead of the Mitch McConnell's of the world, they would have passed President Obama's jobs bill a year ago and created another million jobs. Unemployment would be closer to 7%. But obstruction by the house was supposed to deliver a republican victory. It didn't. Their loyalty is not to the country, but
to to their own job security. Mitch McConnell must go in 2 years before he obstructs again.
 
 
+18 # dbriz 2012-11-12 07:08
I would slow down a bit on praise for Chuck Hagel.

As the old saying goes, "...don't listen to what they say, watch what they do...".

Hagel may have spoken out against the Bush Iraq war but at crunch time he voted FOR it.

He also voted FOR the Patriot Act, the Bush tax cuts and NO on McCain/Feingold Campaign reform.

Talk is cheap...
 
 
+2 # dovelane1 2012-11-13 15:44
Susie - It was mentioned in another article on RSN (ripping off elections or something like that) that Hagel was invested in a company that made voting machines, which were used in the state elections in Nebraska. There is some question as to whether or not he truly won election, or if he cheated his way in.
 
 
+43 # Active Voice 2012-11-11 23:48
"What the party really needed, some think, was to have nominated a died-in-the-woo l ultra-conservative..."

The correct expression is "dyed-in-the-wo ol" -- but perhaps in this instance it refers to a candidate expected to suffocate inside his sheep's clothing.
 
 
+21 # hobbesian 2012-11-12 04:18
yes - Dyed in the wool means that the dye is all through the wool, (like the leopard's spots) and cannot be changed - Romney likes to change, he may be a lifelong conservative (dyed in the wool) but his views and "ideas" are not, they come and go according to the weather and come out in the wash.
 
 
+40 # epcraig 2012-11-12 01:28
The Republican Party lost me by denying science, that is to say evolution and more recently the warming climate. The evidence is there and keeps slamming into us with direcho, tornadoes, and hurricanes, in and out of season, not to mention droughts and wildfires with amazing heat this last summer.The evidence is convincing that the situation is getting worse.It is likely to get worse for the next millenium. We can only hope enough survive to maintain civilization. Perhaps enough can.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-11-15 10:53
@epcraig; I get the feeling they'll continue to deny science, as well as trying to use and abuse it, e.g., relating to the scientific-soun ding term, "Intelligent Design."
 
 
+26 # Artemis 2012-11-12 02:17
Republicans to watch in 2016!

You must be joking.
 
 
+17 # JSRaleigh 2012-11-12 07:43
Quoting Artemis:
Republicans to watch in 2016!

You must be joking.


Maybe he means these are the people we need to keep an eye on ... follow 'em around like security at WalMart.
 
 
+10 # Texas Aggie 2012-11-12 08:32
My thoughts exactly.
 
 
+11 # AUCHMANNOCH 2012-11-12 03:11
Well spotted Reiver. It means 'Monks Field'
and is the name of our ancestral farm near Sorn, East Ayrshire. Don't blame us for Murdoch, his ancestors were sheep stealing borderers from Scotland too! Only kidding.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-11-12 08:42
Quoting AUCHMANNOCH:
Well spotted Reiver. It means 'Monks Field'
and is the name of our ancestral farm near Sorn, East Ayrshire. Don't blame us for Murdoch, his ancestors were sheep stealing borderers from Scotland too! Only kidding.

McChuckle! Hey, guilty as charged -we were always the Thugs o' southern Scotland/Northe rn England.
B.T.W., y'r first post reminded me of Rush Limpballs statement who was goin' to "Move to Coasta Rica if Obamacare passed"; well guess what, Costa Rica has Universal Healthcare (like Australia and the rest of the allegedly civilized world; my late ex-wife had great care in Sydney when she went for an annual check up and they never asked for her insurance or anything).
Always good to yak with a Wallaby.
 
 
+32 # lanie940 2012-11-12 04:40
I agree,Susienood le, Mitch McConnell HAS to go. The whole Tea Party HAS TO GO! They created this mess with their radical ideas and greed. The Republicans have become obstructionists . It is not for the good of the Country or for all Americans, it is only for the RICH. They demonize socialism like the plague, yet we will not have total socialism, they worship Rush Limbaugh and glenn Beck, something is seriously wrong with them mentally!
 
 
+25 # fredboy 2012-11-12 05:05
Fortunately, all of our direct neighbors are, like us, older white Democrats. We are outnumbered 2-to-1 by the glassy-eyed, vicious repugs, but we are hanging in there and championing hope and the future. If the repugs want a civil war, let's go for it and get it over with. Tired of these whiny, horribly wrong people influencing our lives.
 
 
+26 # Ralph Averill 2012-11-12 05:56
"The Democrats, in fact, are licking their lips at the prospect of the next four years."
We need to focus on the 2014 mid-term elections. If we can carry this momentum, and the Republicans continue to bicker among themselves, then maybe we can truly drive a stake through the heart of the Tea Party/Limbaugh- Hannity/Fox News wing of the Republican Party.
It's all about Congress in 2014!
 
 
+10 # drivensnow 2012-11-12 06:07
What....??? No comment from Dick Cheney yet ??
 
 
+3 # in deo veritas 2012-11-12 13:56
Be thankful for small favors.....
 
 
+2 # dovelane1 2012-11-13 15:49
Or W. Bush? As was said about all armaments, may they rust in peace.

Actually, I wouldn't mind if they said something as long as it was telling the truth about everything they did. But that'w why we now have silence.
 
 
+17 # walt 2012-11-12 06:11
If the Republican party is to survive, they need to break away from the ignorance and bigotry that has overtaken them. Their candidates and campaigns showed them as a complete laughingstock to the nation rather than a party wanting to represent the American people.
 
 
+9 # JSRaleigh 2012-11-12 07:46
Quoting walt:
If the Republican party is to survive, they need to break away from the ignorance and bigotry that has overtaken them. Their candidates and campaigns showed them as a complete laughingstock to the nation rather than a party wanting to represent the American people.


I'd rather they didn't. Keep the "ignorance and bigotry" quarantined right where it is.
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2012-11-13 04:03
Quoting walt:
If the Republican party is to survive, they need to break away from the ignorance and bigotry that has overtaken them. Their candidates and campaigns showed them as a complete laughingstock to the nation rather than a party wanting to represent the American people.


And how crucial is it *THAT* the Republican Party survive ? Don't be so helpful ! :):)
 
 
+26 # JSRaleigh 2012-11-12 07:26
One problem for the Republicans is that what it stands for is everything some of us "angry, older white people" are angry about. They want to take away my Social Security, my Medicare and my VA benefits to give away my tax dollars to billionaires and corporations.

The Republican party is the party of thieving banksters.
 
 
+9 # independentmind 2012-11-12 10:54
And that is what the first order of business should be - break up the banks and force them to split their business into two branches - banking and gambling!
 
 
+8 # in deo veritas 2012-11-12 13:57
ONly way to do that is to reinstitute Glass-Steagall (HR1489). DEMAND that those who "represent" you in Congress do this!
 
 
-1 # robniel 2012-11-14 05:53
Quoting JSRaleigh:
.

The Republican party is the party of thieving banksters.


We should be smart enough to find either the antibodies for this infection or the gene that expresses it so that it can be excised.
 
 
+14 # Texas Aggie 2012-11-12 08:40
"Many Republican activists say that Hispanics – who often display a strong social conservatism around Roman Catholicism – should find a natural home in the party. However, many also bring with them a profoundly different sense of the role of government. "

Not only that. The allegiance of many Hispanics to their work colleagues manifests itself by a VERY strong commitment to unions and collective action. This is totally inimical to the republican value of the supremacy of the corporate bosses. Resistance to domination by people perceived as the enemy is a lot stronger in the Hispanic tradition than in the Anglo-Saxon.
 
 
+3 # in deo veritas 2012-11-12 13:59
RIGHT ON! The Anglos need to wake up and join the fight against corprate plutocracy!
 
 
+6 # Smokey 2012-11-12 08:52
The Republicans still have plenty of fight and plenty of influence. You'll discover that truth as you try to work with the House of Representatives and many of the state legislatures.

Other points....

FIRST: Angry, mature, white folks gave the Democrats a lot of support. Bill Clinton was popular at the Democratic convention. Joe Biden delivered Obama's message after Obama stumbled in the first Presidential debate. Michael Moore is still popular.

SECOND: Keep your eyes on the elderly. Most people past 65 voted for Romney. However, the baby boomers are moving into retirement and that will change the senior vote.... This has already happened in key states like Florida. Many of the state's retired people know that they're part of the 47% that Romney ridiculed.

Eventually, the progressives will become interested in the elders. A lot of seniors will be voting in 2014. (College students often get excited about national elections but they tend to ignore local and state contests.)
 
 
+7 # kelly 2012-11-12 10:43
If your premise about the local elections is correct, then why did record turnout occur when there were ballot initiatives that were particularly of interest to the focus groups you mentioned. The attitude you are taking sounds just like some of the pundits I heard the other night. Many of the "baby boomers" have reached the age of which you speak. I and my brother are two of that generation. I believe they cut it off at '61 or '62. Well that would make us at least 50. We are a shrinking electorate. Pandering to us no longer makes sense. Most of the people right now are unmarried, non-secular and lower to middle income. No one is suggesting that a particular part of the voters be ignored...if fact, what they are saying is that unless we begin to include those who we have thus far been ignoring, our heretofore unrepresentativ e government will soon find itself in an upheaval.
 
 
+6 # Skeeziks 2012-11-12 09:09
All I will say is we the "47%" that myth Romney was not concerned by, picked up some friends on election day. Maybe he and the Republican party geezers can be "concerned" by them?

Now if our newly elected President would only rescind some of those Bush "W" signing statements that do interfere with us being truly free, I for one would feel much better in being of the original "47%"
 
 
+6 # jimvw2@msn.com 2012-11-12 09:35
No Republican or Democratic analysts are getting right to the guts of the Republiccan Party problem: it's basic narrative, the thing that drives all the other craziness.

The REAGAN narrative, that government is the problem, not the solution, is the real problem for them.

Voters just can't buy the notion that the size of OUR government is the problem and that hobbling it's ability to address REAL problems like the deficit and the decline in working people's incomes (by pledging to never raise taxes on the wealthy, for instance), is somehow going to magically fix everything.

Until they dump that narrative they will be a permanent minority of aging white men, because they won't be able to pose any credible solutions.
 
 
+11 # CAMUS1111 2012-11-12 10:05
Jeb Bush is a "moderate conservative"? Utter Bullcrap! A moderate fascist, perhaps, when compared to a Rubio, but that is about it. There are NO moderate conservatives left in the gop--the party has moved so far to the right that there are only reactionaries and fascists of varying degrees. Anyone who says otherwise is playing into these neanderthals' hands.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2012-11-12 10:55
Quoting CAMUS1111:
Jeb Bush is a "moderate conservative"? Utter Bullcrap! A moderate fascist, perhaps, when compared to a Rubio, but that is about it. There are NO moderate conservatives left in the gop--the party has moved so far to the right that there are only reactionaries and fascists of varying degrees. Anyone who says otherwise is playing into these neanderthals' hands.

Never mind; let's hope that Jeb has his stake in the Bush compound in Paraguay. After all, he might be useful as an interpreter.
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2012-11-13 04:18
Quoting reiverpacific:


Never mind; let's hope that Jeb has his stake in the Bush compound in Paraguay. After all, he might be useful as an interpreter.


Great comment, humor is such a refreshingly welcome ingredient in these frequently fear-based comment strings.

However, out of respect, I must concede CAMUS111 their point ! Today's Republicans are running somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun, and wondering where the applause and the cheering
went !

And, the pouting, sniveling Republicans need to lighten up ! A Republican DID win after all ! An old-school moderate Republican named Obama.
 
 
+7 # MindDoc 2012-11-12 10:20
Very nice overview and snapshot of what many see as a "tipping point", for better or worse or both. America *is* changing, and in fact is still a young country. Will we learn from our mistakes? Can we self-correct from the harm done by SCOTUS and the constant efforts at corporate coup d'etat fueled by money, Citizens United corruption, and deception?

The points are all fair enough, neither gloating nor disrespecting the diversity of opinion. But - I see no evidence for the conclusion that America is poised to renounce politics by the angry white men who do such a good selling and messaging job, through "special interests" including big media, Crossroads, etc. Shocking to read of the Romney supporter muttering about the dumbing down of voters. (What disinformation/ 'news' do you think she takes as smart gospel?)

In sum, I cannot reconcile the continued allegiance to Fox/Rove "reality" and the ratings the Limbaughs, Becks, and others still enjoy. I agree it would be *logical* to conclude that the angry, misogynous, let's say "not open to diversity" voices of a party built upon this - the Tea/GOP/Rove/Ry an party - might now go the way of the dinosaur. But I strongly doubt those opinions in Iowa or Fox "newsroom" are going to change any time soon. More likely, a doubling down and deifying of Paul Ryan, Cantor, Mitt McDonald, and anyone anti-Obama, anti-Democrat, etc.

What's changed is that we have a chance to pause, reflect, and educate - and move forward. Yes we can.
 
 
+5 # Jaysson Brae 2012-11-12 14:52
Greed-Oppressio n-Privilege are the chief features of today's national GOP value system.

So, Republicans got only a mild dose of what they actually deserve on Nov 6th.
What they actually deserve is to be voted out of political existence -- permanently.
 
 
+9 # CL38 2012-11-12 14:52
That so many voters actually checked the box for Romney, despite his constantly changing positions, reinforces the importance of shoring up and significantly strengthening our pubic educational systems as part of the Democratic platform. We need citizens with an ability to weigh and evaluate arguments, using truthful, science-based thinking, not ludicrous sound bites.
 
 
+3 # NOMINAE 2012-11-13 04:35
@ CL38

Yes, and cracking good start at *that* would be to reinstate Civics Classes in all of our public schools, K-12.

Legislatures gutted those classes because they don't *want* the citizen to be aware of the way the Government is SUPPOSED to work - you know, with three separate branches, buffered in power by checks and balances - all of that complicated stuff that Johnnie and Janie just can't intellectually handle these days.

An electorate with no idea of the way Government was legally set up has no idea of the myriad ways in which the Electorate is being illegally ripped off, of both money and political enfranchisement .

And don't think these people aren't patient. The aggressive "dumbing-down" of the U.S. Electorate began in 1980 under a U.S. President whose own brain was being progressively and inexorably eaten away by Alzheimer's.
 
 
+2 # dovelane1 2012-11-13 16:02
When I was in college, I too a class titled "citizenship skills." I don't know if that is the same as "civics class," but either would probably fill the bill.

I read recently that the real intent of
Bush's No Child Left Behind was to get rid of public schools in favor of funding charter schools. Just another way for the rich and religious to corporatize their agenda, and continue the real dumbing down of America.
 
 
+1 # futhark 2012-11-13 19:21
As a public high school teacher from 1978 to 2010, I could see quite clearly the direction of No Child Left Behind had really nothing to do with ensuring that every child received an adequate education, but much to do with ensuring that the schools had to buy more textbooks and standards aligned curriculum materials at frequent intervals, profiting the publishers immensely. The testing was there to demonstrate how the schools were failing and that the teachers were incompetent. The answer? Private charter schools!

Another beef I have with America's school system is that we spend so much time huffing and puffing about our "patriotism", but have nothing in the curriculum about how to behave in or run a public meeting. A fascist dictatorship can have competency standards for math and language arts, but would hardly venture to teach children Robert's Rules of Order. Our schools are no better if they do not teach students how a democracy operates in practice as well as in theory.
 
 
0 # mjc 2012-11-12 14:58
See no mention of Petraeus. Think that is why the Republican dinosaurs are so up in arms. He was their choice for 2016 if Romney lost. Think this "affair" may still be plowed under by these true, blue hard-liners.
 
 
0 # kelly 2012-11-12 16:59
I'm not so sure. There's such an anti-Obama undercurrent with those dinosaurs right now that cannibalism would not be hard to imagine. The conspiracy theories abound about his affair being a smokescreen for not having to testify about Benghazi...indi cating, of course, something nefarious about the Obama administration.
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2012-11-13 04:41
@ kelly

Yeah, as if someone the Repubs wanted to run in 2016 is going to "Fall on his sword" to protect the sitting President. Sounds like the Republicans are still firmly ensconced in their "bubble" !

There is something very "fishy" about that whole scenario, and someone's a$$ is obviously being covered, but we don't yet know whose it is !
 
 
0 # DarthEVaderCheney 2012-11-13 06:25
Better be careful... you may have a few knocks on your door, lolol. Be ready to answer "questions."
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2012-11-14 01:25
@ Dakotahgeo

How right you are ! Thanks for the "heads up". :)
 
 
+3 # dovelane1 2012-11-13 16:08
Kelly - I recently read that under the W. Bush presidency, US embassies were attacked 12 times. I have yet to see that fact mentioned in the mainstream media, nor have any Republicans come forward with this fact.

Now why is that? It couldn't possibly be partisan politics involved here, could it? ;-)
 
 
+2 # truthbug 2012-11-13 09:54
I've read through these comments with joy, and I agree with most all of their viewpoints concerning the Republicans. I realize many are thrilled because of Obama's win, and I myself am relieved that Romney lost. However, what is sad to see is no mention of the fact that our political system is a de facto two party dictatorship, and I'm sure the very rich/powerful who read these comments will chuckle at their success in again duping the US electorate. The really important issues of this country, including the banker/military /industrial /corporate/gove rnment complex is bi-partisan, and on these issues, Obama will continue to behave largely as Romney would have behaved, and as G.W. has also behaved. Until the electorate sees the underlying structure running this country and can see behind the silly presidential/co ngressional campaign smoke screen, we will continue our downward spiral.
 
 
-1 # dovelane1 2012-11-13 16:11
Obama did say we had a lot of work ahead of us.

Now is obiously the time to start working on getting other parties in the mix.
 
 
+1 # futhark 2012-11-13 19:10
Yeah, it's the economy, stupid. We wouldn't want to go back to 1991, when the Soviet Union imploded, resulting in massive military base closures and consequent economic stress in many communities. If peace suddenly broke out in the world, we'd have to discover or invent a new bogeyman, like was done in '91, to justify keeping that military machine alive and healthy. Bush(s), Obama, Romney, are all marionettes of the military industrial complex and surveillance state apparatus that makes the whole thing tick. Don't mess with success! And certainly don't divert the public's attention to REAL problems that challenge human survival on the planet, like anthropogenic climate change! ;-)
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2012-11-14 01:28
@ truthbug

You have certainly underscored your online pseudonym with THAT comment. Sadly, you could not be *more* accurate and correct.
 
 
+2 # hpaa46 2012-11-13 15:42
Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. What Democrats must do to keep support of the white males who are not angry.

The Getting Ahead Tax Cut.
It's simple. Tax cuts, solely in the lowest brackets, reduce your taxes on the first dollars you earn, not the next million.

It's necessary. Every dime of taxes on the first dollars you earn, delays the time you stop scraping by and start saving for your future.

It works. Tax savings for people who are trying to get ahead. At last, a real chance to save for home, health, education, and retirement.

Not a handout. A ladder of opportunity, climbed by responsible workers who want to find a way out, move up, and get ahead.

It's the fairest option. Bush style tax cuts give the wealthiest both "first-dollar" tax savings, plus more on top of that! - a larger percent pay raise for them. Less for those in the middle or at the bottom.

Good for employers. It raises pay without raising wage costs.

It's business-like. Higher tax rates on the top part of high incomes is payback - a dividend, if you will - earned by the nation's citizens, volunteers, neighbors, and families who, together, secure a vibrant, stable USA where the fortunes of the wealthiest are made and preserved.

The country can only afford prudent tax cuts. We must focus cuts where they are most necessary today and have the biggest effect tomorrow.
 
 
+1 # David Starr 2012-11-13 16:25
This "civil war" within the ranks of the aging minds of the GOP, both young and old, ups the chance for an implosion. This would be a significant step in giving the U.S. a chance to evolve from a montetary empire, with its degree of democratization in turn evolving, into something the GOP-but also many Dems-has opposed.
 

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