This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1 WQ

    As I was watching Hardball with Chris Matthews last night I couldn't help but see the dust-up between Pat Buchanan and Mike Paul; a black Republican strategists. The exchange between the two highlighted the current state of influx for the Republican Party and the deep divisions that are becoming more pronounced with each passing day. What many are missing is not that the Republicans lost; it is how they lost and why they lost that should be examined. I am not sure that they have the willingness or the humility for self-examination and without self-examination there can be no change. The struggles within the Republican Party are not new; it is just that they were able to mask them behind their "cultural wars" and false patriotism. Now that those rhetorical arguments have been ignored by the electorate the party is being exposed for who they truly are.

    The true nature of the Republican Party has been and remains exclusion versus inclusion. Rather than wanting to expand their base they want to continue to cling to a shrinking version of an America long since past. Listening to Pat Buchanan one is reminded of why the Republicans are becoming a regional minority party. Mr. Buchanan characterized the Latino and minority voters who by the way are the fastest growing block of voters as being "big government" proponents because they are looking for hand-outs. This is an insult to all of the hard working immigrants and minorities in this country and represents the type of insensitivity that was so evident in the last election. As Mr. Paul tried to suggest the country is changing and the Republicans need to change. Pat Buchanan's answer was to stick his fingers in his ears and pretend it is still 1964. If this is going to be the Republican answer to the changing demographics in America then their fate is sealed.

    I have heard the argument that we need the Republican Party to regroup and become a strong opposition to strengthen our democracy. While I agree that we must have other alternatives to one party rule that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be this party. If a party becomes irrelevant and opposed to change by its own design then another one will rise to replace it. Anyone remember the Whig Party, the Know-Nothings, or how about the States Rights Party? We have a long history of parties rising and falling in America and today is no different. There will always be an opposition party no matter who is the majority or governing party. When a party loses touch with the electorate and the important issues of that electorate then they deserve to become extinct like all other organisms that do not evolve. They may continue to press their agenda but if that agenda is not considered relevant by those who are being asked to support it in a democracy then the people will seal its fate.

    America is changing and there are many Republicans and some Democrats alike who find that fact frightening and will continue to cling to their fears and try to stoke the fears of likeminded people, but make no mistake the genie cannot be put back in the bottle. We cannot turn the clock back to the "good old days" when power was concentrated in the hands of a few white men only nor should we. If the Republicans want to continue to run their national campaigns on issues like fear, abortion, and gay-marriage they have every right to and I for one will support their right to do so. However, if the electorate decides that those issues no longer resonate then the Republicans will have a choice to make. They are obviously not at the place where they are ready to make that choice. They continue at least publically to reiterate the same tired rhetoric that has failed them in recent elections. Let the ice age begin. Unless they have a plan to deport all minorities, immigrants, and people who accept diversity not as a necessary evil but as a desired outcome then they shall go the way of the Bull Moosers and good riddance.

    The Republicans have maybe two more election cycles to either reach out to more Americans or become insignificant as a national party. They will always have their regional, cultural, and ethnic issues and the voters that these type of arguments appeal to. The problem is that this blocks of voters is becoming smaller and smaller. If anyone is willing to see beyond the numbers there is a gradual but perceptual shift in the American electorate. The problem with many Americans whether they be pundits, political experts, or the general public is that we refuse to accept something until it is right in our faces. It is this lack of foresight that allowed us to believe that there would be no consequences to invading Iraq, spending money like a drunken sailor, or removing the regulations on the greediest among us.

    What the Republicans have to come to grips with is that it is not the face of the messenger that counts, it is the message stupid! So whether it is Colin Powell at the UN or Gonzalez at Justice if the policies are whack dressing them up with an acceptable messenger doesn't make them plausible. Crap is still crap no matter who is spewing it.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?  Four.  Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.  ~Abraham Lincoln

The Disputed Truth

Tags: Bull Moose Party, Colin Powell, Mike Paul, pat buchanan, Republican Party, States Rights Party, Whig Party (all tags)



Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

The one thing that really struck with this exchange is how Pat kept harking back to what worked ion the past. He is stuck in the 70s and 80s.  I just kept saying to myself, he just doesn't get it.

by jsfox 2008-11-14 06:24AM | 0 recs
That's why Rachel Maddow keeps him around

He represents nearly the polar opposite of the cultural spectrum from her; so much so that he's nearly irrelevant now, a relic.

You might think that the film Birth of a Nation is a travesty due to its inflammatory racism, but less than a century later, a black man was elected president of the country that made that movie.  It's rendered into a historical object lesson... just like Pat Buchanan.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-14 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: That's why Rachel Maddow keeps him around

I'm not sure what's worse:

Pat Buchanan and his implicit and explicit bigotry or the scary neocon bomb everyone Cheney types.  Buchanan was opposed to the Iraq War and very much distrusted many of Bush's policies.  His selling points are that he is a true conservative ideologue and he puts this new-wave of phony conservatism and patriotism into sharp contrast.  He asks very serious and very important questions about the role of the U.S. in the world and how to be consistent with that overall strategy.  His downsides are quite obvious and probably don't need to be recounted here.

But overall, I disagree with Buchanan immensely and I respect his position.  There are many in the Republican party who's positions I just can't respect because they don't seem to have any ideological grounding and appear to be tuned to short-term gain by confusing issues and demonizing people with different points of view.

by the mollusk 2008-11-14 07:06AM | 0 recs
It's pretty clear which is worse

I'd rather have an honorable enemy than a duplicitous one.

I'd take a hundred Buchanans if we could ensure that we'd never ever get a Cheney again.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-14 07:13AM | 0 recs
The difference is:

Buchanan doesn't have the kind of power that Cheney's wielded for the past 8 years.

It's hard to conceive of our country being in a worse state that it is in now, but I shudder to think of the kind of damage Buchanan's bigotry and demagoguery could wreak on this nation.

I want to believe that we've progressed past the point that this kind of idiocy is effective, but you only have to look at other flashpoints around the world to see how easy it is to foment hatred and sow division. The liberal/conservative divide is bad enough, and I doubt that this, too, would have been any better under Buchanan.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-14 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The difference is:

The real difference is that someone like Buchanan will never take power in today's political climate.

It doesn't matter how mean a shi tzu is, it doesn't change the fact that it's a nigh-harmless tiny little dog.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-14 07:53AM | 0 recs
I really, really hope you're right.

This November 4th was the start of that hope.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-14 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The difference is:

Old men accustomed to being listened to will not yield the stage anymore than power will yield itself. This election was just an inch short of a revolution against everything that the Republicans have done in the last eight years. They can have the keys to the rope warehouse for all I care. This election registered an ideological shift in an emerging America. I'm willing to say that the 30% of people under 25 who voted for McCain did so out of lack of ability to break from their very regional herd traditions. The other 70% voted for Obama. In four years 70% of the total electorate may even be registered as Democrats or Independents. No matter, I hope Republicans understand the need to focus on gay rights, abortion, and how Mormons, Christians and Catholics are one big happy family. That will create jobs. In 2080,maybe?

by Jeter 2008-11-14 09:55PM | 0 recs
They're both equally repugnant.

Buchanan's views on the war (and on the role of the US) come from largely an insular and xenophobic perspective - I find little to respect in that. When it comes to demonizing people, don't forget his "cultural war" speech at the RNC convention in '92.

In many ways, Buchanan and Cheney aren't that different - they're both self-serving demagogues that believe the world should revolve around them. Their intellectualism - and the occasional bouts of reason that affords - doesn't make them any more palatable to me.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-14 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: They're both equally repugnant.

I guess what I'm saying is that if you magically peeled away Buchanan's bigotry and you were left with a very traditionally conservative view of the U.S. and its place in the world, that would be far preferable to a Bush-Cheney multicultural neoconservative view.  I don't think Bush or Cheney are particularly bigoted.  But it didn't matter that they had Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Alberto Gonzales in their inner circle.  Their policies and style of governance were so bad that they just created a huge mess.  Again, I don't agree with everything Buchanan says, but there is a purpose to his style of conservatism:  Limit the role of government (really), allow free markets to work, govern as if we were a nation (no more Iraq wars), make life good for us, let the rest of the world fend for itself.  To me, this is better than "open your markets or be bombed".

by the mollusk 2008-11-14 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: They're both equally repugnant.

It's old school Republicanism.  The party that opposed FDR was anti-immigration, isolationist, and pro-business, just like Pat Buchanan.

On a semi-related note, my congressional district is pretty much permanently Democratic, but that didn't stop the Republican from running ads, where he promised to "end affirmative action, immigration, and foreign wars".  That phrase is so funny to me - "foreign wars".

The picture of the guy was kind of creepy too - it was was all washed out and he had this grimace on.  It looked like somebody's last known photo.

by Jess81 2008-11-14 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

Buchanan's kind of an easy target considering how off-the-wall he usually is, and it's not like he's got any real influence in the party. (Remember, he ran against the GOP on the Reform ticket in 2000.)

But yeah, I get the larger point: he's more or less representing the Palin wing, and that whole party definitely has issues.

Even better than Mike Paul's probably useless plea for sanity is Tim Pawlenty's criticism:


    PAWLENTY: I think just because you bring up the name Joe the Plumber -- while people view that as a symbol -- but what does that mean, in terms of what Republicans can do to make my health care more affordable, my -- filling up my car more affordable? I think just throwing out a symbol or an icon is not enough.

and this:
'Drill, baby, drill' is not an energy policy. We need more than that," Pawlenty said."

Meowr! Think he isn't still pissed about being passed over for Caribou Barbie?

The best thing about all this GOP infighting is that I simply don't care. If Obama won, I thought I'd be interested in reading all about the GOP's inner battles, recriminations and search for their own identity. But as it turns out, I'm not. It's like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders: I don't need to be concerned with (or worried about) what the GOP is doing. Let them starve out in the wilderness for a while. We're going to plow forward regardless.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-11-14 07:14AM | 0 recs
Tim's the smart one

He's probably really glad he got passed over and avoided that mess right now.

As much as I dislike Pawlenty's politics, he's a smart guy and really tries to practice what he preaches in terms of conservatism.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-14 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

did you see him on hardball yesterday  Chris Nailed him .......... But Pawlenty makes too much sense for the republicans to turn to him as a leader  because he has above a 5th grade education ...remember anti intellectual is the hip new thing in the GOP  

by wellinformed 2008-11-14 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1
The Republicans have to evolve. If they don't too bad for the country but they will. Obama has raised the bar. Thank God
by canadian 2008-11-14 07:29AM | 0 recs
I really want to cheer you on.

But I can't.

I don't believe the country is "center-right" at all. But I do believe that the swing vote is fickle, and easily swayed. That things had to get as bad as they did before we got any perceptible momentum in our favor, is testimony to this. That despite someone like Palin on the ticket, a full 48% voted republican - is testimony to this.

Sure there'll be infighting and inter-faction squabbles, but I wouldn't write off the GOP anytime soon.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-14 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to cheer you on.

yeah, these kinds of obituaries were being written about the Democratic party in 2002 and 2004.  I would argue that the party hasn't changed substantially and now we're in the ascendant.

by the mollusk 2008-11-14 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to cheer you on.

I disagree the Democrats were never in this position we just had to run smarter and be willing to change...we had to quit believing that being right was enough...I don't see that same introspection from the grand ole party...

by Forgiven 2008-11-14 09:19AM | 0 recs
But where was that 48% concentrated?

The large majorities are in the Christian bible belt and the Mormon bible belt.  Obama got substantial majorities everywhere else.

That, by the way, is why I am opposed to eliminating the electoral college.  We could end up with 100% of religious fanatics voting their fundamentalist candidate into office.

by GFORD 2008-11-14 06:55PM | 0 recs
Impossible to examine

The Republican Party has gone through a political hell that I would only wish upon, well, the Republican Party.

Start with Bush and his failed war, add in Abramoff, Foley, and DeLay (and a whole host of others crooks), throw in an uninspiring cast of charactors deciding to run for President, and then top it all off with more Bush and an economic meltdown.

So are we good or just lucky?  A little bit of both?  We don't know.   We can't know.

I don't think policies had much to do with it.   Change isn't a policy and I don't think many average Americans took much away more than the idea of change away from the election.   They wanted to move 180 degrees from where we are now with Bush.

Two years from now will be a different time, and there will be different candidates.  The cicumstances will be much different, and how we have faired as a country from now till then will be hugely important to both sides.

I recall after 2004 all the doom and gloom on our side and how we needed to regroup and find a new direction, etc, etc, etc.  We made some small changes.

We've talked up God a bit more, and gun control a bit less, but we didn't make any major changes from losing in the early part of this decade to winning big in the middle of it.    Good timing, and good candidates, as well as using the internat better than the GOP, has had the most to do with it.

The bottomline in my mind is the economy and the war over the next two years.   If things turn for the better we will look very very good.  If things are still bad, of if they get worse than we are in trouble in the midterms ... assuming the GOP picks some decent candidates.

More interesting will be '12 and the type of candidate the GOP rallies behind.  

by RichardFlatts 2008-11-14 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Impossible to examine

It's funny because all of the things you name for their defeat were affected by policies so to say that policies don't matter seems odd. I agree they may not matter to the average purpose but results do and aren't results the result of policies?

by Forgiven 2008-11-14 09:17AM | 0 recs
I don't think that is true

Corruption is not a policy, it is a crime.

Even the meltdown was due to any policy.   Heck, admit it, if we where in the White House, it still would have happened.   We weren't exactly banging the drums back in the 90s over today for any great change in the way banks or Wall St. does business.  

Democrats, by and large, get along very well with Wall St.   Clinton and Shumer do very well there.  Obama was the most popular target of donations from those in the banking industry over the last couple of years.

I spoke with a lot of non political types who were voting for Obama and I didn't hear any policy dicussion from them.   They voted for him for the same reason a lot of average folks voted for Bush last time, because they liked him better.

by RichardFlatts 2008-11-14 09:29AM | 0 recs
What? No...

Suggesting that Bush's policies didn't majorly contribute to the meltdown is ridiculous.  He deregulated like crazy and gave tax cuts to people who basically pocketed the extra money instead of letting it trickle down.

I'll be the first to admit that Clinton's economic policy was essentially Reaganesque, and that there could have been an economic meltdown had Democrats kept office, it would not have looked like what we have now.  Do you really think that Al Gore would have essentially legalized Enron-style insider trading?

I seem to recall that there were minor housing bubble bursts in the late 90's/early 00's that didn't result in the sort of supposed armageddon we're currently facing.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-14 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't think that is true

Admit it?!?  You act like that's not an incredibly unpopular view - not that it's wrong - although it is - but you can't just throw it out there and expect people to nod.

Anyway, non-incumbants always run on "change".  That was every word out of Bill Clinton's mouth, but people knew more or less what he planned on doing.  I don't think people are unclear on where Barack Obama is in general terms.

I do not believe you're being entirely sincere, by the way.  If there was nothing wrong with the Republican's policies, and nobody knows what Barack Obama stands for, oh, and by the way, the media dragged him across the finish line, then why are you a Democrat?

by Jess81 2008-11-14 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

Despite their failure in running the presidency the bush administration understood the electorate. Which is why they opposed many of hte anti latino policies of their fellow republicans. While they led the insanity on foriegn policy they actually tried to hold republicans back on immigration. Fortunately the majority of republicans have never realized this and as a result we've seen the results.

Now as a warning our electoral advantage is not a as strong as we may think. I think Rove was quite correct in identifying latinos as a population that the republicans could make inroads with. They tend to be very religious and many times have conservative family structures. We can not always count on republican stupidity to give us elections. Rather we must exert good governance to chart this country out of troubled waters that will hopefully give us a nice mandate.

by kbal 2008-11-14 09:51AM | 0 recs
"Excuse me?"

I've been waiting for someone to say that for a long time!

I don't think he actually did tell the guy to move to Canada - he said "examine yourself" - but whatever - the point is that Buchanan's racism just doesn't fly anymore. He's a paper tiger and when you call him on it, it's lights out, game over.

by obsessed 2008-11-14 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

Every time I read threads like this, or think about how the GOP is made up of mutually exclusive philosophies, I can't help but think that we're wasting time talking about it when we could be out there doing God's work: trolling.

Why aren't we on Redstate calling the Palinites a bunch of fanatics and talking about how the party needs to return to its small government roots?  And then have someone else talk about how all that means is that Republicans are going to be run by international bankers, and how that's only going to happen in this Christian nation over my dead body.

Given more notice I'm sure we all could be more convincing and insulting about it.

by Jess81 2008-11-14 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

While I understand and in some ways share your hopes here, this diary has a lot of wishful thinking in it.  I mean no offence when I say that.  Just four short years ago the Democrats were on the deathwatch.  Our immenent implosion was predicted by every gooper and 3/4ths of the journalists in the country.  The reality was that the GOP's gains in 2004 were the result of a 1.5% electoral shift from 2000.

The GOP will not implode.  There will be no boom.  At the heart of that party (and ours, btw), is a core of professional politicians and players who will do or say whatever it takes to get elected and get rich.  33% of the country still identifies itself as conservative while only 22% of us call ourselves liberals.  Obama's "landslide" was the result of a 2.5% shift in the electorate.  Three million people out of 120 million chose to vote D instead of R.  That margin can change its mind again in a heartbeat.

We are walking the knife's edge.  We are on eggshells.  If some of our compatriots who are so quick to throw the racism charge at anyone who disagrees don't shut the hell up, 2010 could be the end of our congressional majority.

by SuperCameron 2008-11-14 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: This Party Will Self Destruct in 5,4,3,2,1

But, But, But this is brilliant.

by Jeter 2008-11-14 09:43PM | 0 recs


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