THE 2012 Republican Presidential primaries will be remembered, if at all, for having taught us any number of things we already knew.
Rush Limbaugh is a human cloud of flatulence. Rick Santorum is a 10th century religious lunatic. Newt Gingrich is to serious politics what Newt Gingrich is to academic history.
Nobody likes Mitt Romney.
Of course the preeminent truth is that the whole goddam party is insane, and that the Press, having ignored the over-abundance of evidence of this for a generation, now finds itself incapable of dealing with this. Aside from the customary writing of scripts designed to encompass all such facts as aren't truly inconvenient. Those, as always, get ignored.
So this is the campaign which began with the artificial groundswell of popular wrath known as Teabagging. To my knowledge no one ever asked what exactly the "grassroots" were so worked up about, other than the fact they'd roundly and deservedly lost an election. That turd floated so long as it was the only Republican hope for the mid-terms, but the fact that it might mean Sarah Palin was the nominee alerted a few worrywarts who'd actively campaigned for her to become Vice President of the United States just months before.
Which led to the desperate casting of Indiana Governor Mitch "Ronald Reagan Without The Charm, Or The Stature" Daniels as the Big Brained Savior of the Big Brained Republican Economics Club. Which lasted right up until the time Mitch (Or Haley Barbour--there's an opportunity lost--or Chris Christie, or Paul Ryan) would have had to become serious candidates. Recall that, at the time, each man's refusal was excused as personal decisions which disappointed a lot of potential supporters, and not a harbinger of Sarah Palins II, III, IV, V, and VI.
Trump. Bachmann. ("Tested by Fire".) Perry. Cain. Santorum. We'll leave out Newt's minute at the Top, even though he has the coveted Palin If It Can't Be Me Sorta-Endorsement; Newt is sui generis. The rest are just as cracked, and all but Santorum as illiterately ill-prepared, as La Palin herself. Anybody really believe that the emergence of Candidate Daniels would have changed that dynamic?
When was it, actually, that it began to dawn on the bright thinkers that there was trouble a'brewin'? Not when Bachmann was taken seriously. Not when Rick Perry rode into town. And both were well-known as imbeciles long before they demonstrated that anew, in debate form.
In “Batman Begins” — the 2005 movie about the origins of the caped crusader — there is a group of villains who believe the city of Gotham is beyond saving and that the only way to fix it is to first destroy it.
Y'know, nobody ever asks whether "having a pundit class whose frame of reference exceeded pop culture" could do anything for us.
As the Republican presidential race has worn on (and on), there are some within the party wondering — privately, of course — whether the only way for the party to face the growing divide between its moderate and conservative wings is for the 2012 election to be its Gotham moment.
What "moderate" wing? If Mitt Romney had embraced his record he'd'a been run out of town in '08. Romney isn't the "moderate" candidate. He's the establishment candidate.
“I’d personally enjoy all the ‘we can’t nominate another Republican In Name Only’ crowd getting a stomping by an incumbent with an 8.5 unemployment rate,” said one senior party strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly, warning of nominating a strictly conservative candidate like former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
Granting, arguendo, the existence of "moderate" Republicans, on the grounds that there are still some left who are just sane enough to realize Rick Santorum is unelectable--even if they won't say so out loud--th' fuck is a "stomping" supposed to accomplish? Why should it do more than the stomping of "Moderate John" McCain? "Moderate" Republicans haven't nominated a winning candidate since Eisenhower. The lips of the modern "moderate" Republican are still firmly attached to the tailpipe of Ronald Wilson Reagan, the World's Most Unpardonably Successful Anti-fluoridationist. Why should anyone in that blasted landscape listen to them?
The GOP’s problem, according to party insiders, is most evident when it comes to the issue of immigration. All of the major Republican presidential candidates — with the exception of former House speaker Newt Gingrich — have largely rejected the idea of a path to citizenship for the 11 million people in the United States illegally.
That view has contributed to a broader sense among Hispanic voters that the Republican Party is not a friendly place for them. In the 2008 election, President Obama won the Hispanic vote nationwide with 67 percent of the vote. Given that more than half of the total growth in U.S. population over the past decade came in the Hispanic community, Republicans simply can’t afford to keep losing this largest minority group 65 percent to 35 percent and have a fighting chance of winning national elections in four or eight years’ time.
For those of you just tuning in, or exiting a coma, yes, this is the very same Republican party which threw out African-Americans--literally, not just figuratively--by dissolving all the Reconstruction-era Republican organizations across the south in 1964, and which has been milkin' that same bull ever since. It's the same one which is currently involved in a national effort to obstruct voting by poor people. It's the one where the "moderates"--see McCain, "Desperate John"--are the ones who've flip-flopped on the issue. Now a fast-growing Hispanic minority is an opportunity you're not taking full advantage of? Maybe you people should come out in favor of contraception. In selected drinking water supplies.
The question many Republican strategists are asking themselves at the moment is whether — in 2012, 2016 or even 2020 — it’s worth taking one step back in order to, hopefully, take two steps forward.
GOP 2020: That Shit-Stain Was There When We Got Here.
Two steps forward to what? You've had thirty years at least to do something about this. Your brand, clearly, consists of pushing hot buttons for votes, not offering a vision of leadership. You're not one lesson, or two, away from righting the ship. You're forty years off course.