The GOP's Real Problem

Mike Murphy says that if Republicans ever want to win again they're going to have to "get kind of a party view of America that’s not right out of Rush Limbaugh’s dream journal."  Steve Schmidt elaborated that it's time for his party's leaders to stand up to the "extreme statements" coming from the Right.  And David Frum was simply beside himself pronouncing that the GOP had been "fleeced, exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex."

All true enough.  The collective efforts of Limbaugh, et al have ostensibly consigned the Republican Party to virtual fringe status nationally, resulting in losing the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.  It doesn't get much bleaker than that.

But, while it may be tempting to pin all this on the hate-filled ramblings of a few mindless wind bags on Fox News and the AM radio dial, the root cause I fear is far more sinister. Indeed, it may be impossible to rectify.

You know that old saying be careful what you wish for?  Well, four years of non-stop rhetoric and stoking of fear and loathing has so ginned up the base of the Republican Party that, even if El Rushbo himself were to do an about face and call for a cease fire, his listeners would, in all likelihood, tune him out, believing he had taken leave of his senses. The same would be true of Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and everyone else on the Right.  The monster these ideologues created has now become so self aware, it is no longer reliant on its masters' voices to get its marching orders. In fact, I'm not all that sure who's driving this bus anymore: the hosts or the listeners.

I'm quite serious.  I make it a point to listen to these programs on a daily basis - what can I say, I'm into self abuse - and I can definitely tell you that the listeners are frothing at the mouth far more than the hosts, which is quite a feat on Levin's show.  They are convinced that Obama will destroy the country and are committed to anyone and anything that can defeat his agenda.  The word compromise is nowhere to be found in their dictionary; nor are they likely to tolerate someone among their lot breaking ranks and engaging with the "enemy."  In their view Grover Norquist is too moderate.

So, with all due respect to the above Republican operatives, all of whom mean well, I remain pessimistic as to the long-term prospects for the GOP. Not only have the inmates taken over the asylum, they're committed to burning it down rather than share it with their opponents.

If I were a moderate Republican right now, I'd be concerned for my party. Very concerned.



Brian Weston said…
I have said it for the past few years, if I was conservative, I would be embarrassed by these guys (Rush and others) labeling themselves as such. They are not conservatives, but actually are self loving pigs that have no place in this country...and for some reason, as you put so elequently, the GOP does nothing to disdain them. Can you imagine how many more votes this party would probably get if they simply spoke out against these guys?
Steve said…
"Remember that I have power... You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!"

--The monster to Victor Frankenstein in Ch. 20 of Mary Shelley's novel