Two Steps Forward and One for the Gipper

Few nights ago I was watching Rachel Maddow go through one of her long rants, armed with charts, graphs, and tons of documentation, about how the nation has become increasingly conservative in the past half-century.

It left me thinking that the Republican Party has adopted a Vladimir Lenin, Soviet Union, approach to fighting its political battles. Make some gains, fall back a little to avoid bloodshed, and after the dust settles take another leap forward. Doesn’t matter if you win or lose in the short-run as long as in the long-run you end up at your goal.

The extreme conservative wing of the GOP is determined to make America a bastion of right-wing ideology. It is hellbent on making this a one-party, strict constructionist, heterosexual, male dominated, Christian based theocracy where little room remains for free thinking progressives.

If Rachel’s charts, graphs and evidence is correct the conservatives are inching towards their goal. The conservatives continue to drift further to the right of center while the liberals inch closer to the center line and overall the nation becomes more conservative. Look at Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who neither are traditional liberal Democrats. In their fiscal policies both are much closer to the center than LBJ was with his Great Society and War on Poverty. Both are closer to Ronald Reagan than any of today’s candidates, the GOP having moved that far to the right.

So, where does the current insanity of the Republican Presidential Clown Mobile fit into all of this. Unlike a horse race where the fastest horses head for the inside, today’s GOP candidates couldn’t get to the outside far-right fast enough. Their focus hasn’t been on the things Americans worry about, it’s been on who can claim the title, Most Conservative. To prove his claim to the title Mitt Romney even coined a new political adjective, “severely” conservative.

Santorum caught flak in one of the debates for saying politics was a team sport and he took one for the team in several of his decisions while serving in the Senate. Well, I think maybe Santorum is still doing the team’s bidding. The right had Obama on the ropes with the church v. state issue swirling around contraceptives. But they couldn’t leave it at that, especially Santorum. They had to turn this into an issue that makes them look like they are going to war against any woman who has ever used or considered birth control measures.

In the end the bulbous nosed candidates of the GOP are wreaking havoc on the party’s chances of victory in November. But possibly that’s the plan. Maybe the party’s leaders, Rush, Shawn, Glen & Ann, realized they couldn’t win with any of these candidates so why not push them as far to the insane right as possible. Then, four-years later, come back with a slightly saner slate of candidates and maybe the 2016 version of conservatism will seem more rational and acceptable than today’s version.

Like some old Soviet dude may have once said, take two-steps forward followed by one-step back, do it often enough, and you’ll eventually arrive at your goal. Today’s GOP team is just playing this one for the Gipper.

2 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward and One for the Gipper”

  1. Political commentator, Howard Fineman, recently wrote several pieces about the GOP becoming America’s first religious party. He renamed it the American Faith Party (AFP). Bill Clinton, in his book “Back to Work,” addressed the issue that the GOP’s core no longer has an ideology, it IS an ideology. Thus, it is a party not based on achieving goals through accommodation, it just wants to remain permanently carved in the stone of its unyielding convictions regardless of whether anything else is accomplished.

  2. Boy, did you throw a hunk of red meat in front of me on this one, Larry! I can unfortunately go on for hours about the maddening lack of logic existing in the modern Republican party. They really don’t seem to be FOR anything; merely dedicated to undoing decades, perhaps centuries, of social progress in America. I imagine that if you turned over enough rocks, you could find a Republican that was against every single social improvement made since the civil war, including emancipation of the slaves. And, I think, that might lend a clue to what’s going on.

    I, too, saw Rachel’s piece on the long-term goals of “conservatives” in moving America to the right, and I remember thinking at the time that she was probably correct in defining the goals of the big-buck zillionaires that are currently buying our government in case lot quantities. But, big-business Republicans are far from being a majority in today’s Republican party. Getting the assorted Jesus freaks, luddites, birthers, neo-nazis, anarchists and civil-war-outcome deniers to adhere to a big-business philosophy might be too much to ask for. Obviously, the current big-business-bought leaders of Congress aren’t having a lot of luck at it. Rachel Maddow also examines periodically the lack of progress John Boehner is having as House Speaker. Personally, I think this guy was in over his head as a congressman, let alone the chief cat-herder in Congress, but it does illustrate the scope of the unruly mob the Republican party has become. Right now, the clown-car crew are fighting for the presidency of the Confederacy, in that the southern Republicans have taken off their sheets and ventured out into the daylight. 80% Christian fundamentalists voting in a Republican primary? The average American might be tolerant of these people, but, I suspect, that’s a far cry from wanting them to interface with the rest of non-Christian-fundamentalist world governments on our behalf. And, that’s the problem with mixing religion with politics. Right now, there’s probably a candidate out there who would see no problem whatsoever with nuking every country surrounding Israel without advance warning, thinking that would hasten the second coming of Christ. Which would be fine if there actually were someone named Christ, and he were actually coming back, but, a large portion of the world doesn’t believe this stuff. Those are the sorts of considerations voters should have in mind when evaluating candidates, but, instead, they’re being force fed crap about birth control pills and abortions.

    Of course, Rachel may be guilty of trying to apply Democrat ethics to Republican situations. It’s a tendency most liberals have: There must be some sort of logic involved; it’s just a matter of figuring it out. Politics is an intellectual exercise to liberals; it’s not to “conservatives” (I put that word in quotes because these people aren’t really conservatives; they’re right-wing reactionaries). I maintain that the right wing propaganda machine has succeeded in turning Republican politics into a religion. And, all religion has a certain degree of illogic about it (some, like Bill Maher, insist it’s 100% illogical). When you argue politics with these people, you aren’t questioning their conclusions, you’re questioning their beliefs. Rachel may be trying to impose logic on a basically illogical situation.

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