Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Strategy that Ate the GOP

Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” for Republicans to win over conservative Democrats and Dixiecrats has proven fateful.  Not only did the GOP get their support, the target of the strategy took over the party.  While the initial target was southerners, the political spin they used in their strategy was not limited to the South.  The inclusion of these disenfranchised southerners in the GOP embolden others of like mind all over the country.  They evolved into the Tea Party and became a major force within the party.  Bob Dole’s lament is proof of the change in the GOP that has been going on lo this last few years.

The group whose basic tenant is exclusion now controls the party and its mouthpiece, Fox News.  Moderates are being cleansed.  Ronald Regan said he did not leave the Democratic Party, it left him.  Well guess what Ronnie, you and your kind have been left again.

Republican moderates are running scared.  In Washington where seniority means power, the Tea Party is willing to remove senior Republicans because they are deemed too moderate.  Local Tea Parties would sacrifice power and influence for their state or district's interests for their party's cause.  The campaigns of many Republicans are more about justifying their right wing credentials to their own, than opposing some Democratic opponent.  The mid-term election may see the removal of moderates.

The tragic flaw for the Tea Party is that they believe their own spin.  Fox News’ inability to recognize Obama’s win over their projected winner Romney is proof they change truth and facts to fit their expectations.  That’s why truth is viewed as liberal bias. 

The Tea Party believes a dysfunctional government is better than one that can pass laws and act.  Congress will remain in deadlock and unable to functions for the next three years.  While supporting anything related to Obama is political suicide for Republicans, Democrats can crossover and support a Republican initiative.  However, the undue influence the Tea Party controlled Congressmen have over any Republican initiative does not bode well for any meaningful legislation.  

Maybe it would be better for the U.S. if we elect only Republican presidents for the next few years until this Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party leads to the same fate as the Whig Party, or they become marginalized like the Prohibition movement of the previous century.  A Republican president can ignore the Tea Party extremist because sufficient Democrats will crossover and support moderate initiatives and the government can govern.

Though they claim to be the hear of American independence traditions, dissent or nonalignment is not allowed in a GOP congress marching lock-step into future legislation.  Controlling Democrats is like herding cats.  Even when they had a super majority, passing what was to become Obamacare proved a struggle.  Look at the results: socialized insurance, not socialize medicine.   I don't fear a Democratic (Sure would be nice if I had an known three letter acronym for them.) super majority as I would a GOP super majority.  

Only a politically gifted president -- Clinton, Reagan, and LBJ comes to mind -- deal with a split Congress the likes of which we now have, and they are rare and infrequent, so maybe we should just elect Republicans for president and just enough Democrats for Congress to keep the government from veering too far right for the next few years.