Friday, November 23, 2012
The GOP's Real Problem
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.