The Crazy Base Won’t Let the Republican Party Change

My Wednesday column and the crazy results of a new PPP poll:

In the wake of the election, there’s no doubt that the Republican Party leadership is capable of making some adjustments to re-brand itself. There are plenty of ways they can do it, but it’s obvious to anyone paying attention to what’s happening on the far-right that the base simply won’t allow the party to change. For example, in the wake of his support for a deal that would allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest incomes to expire, it appears as if Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is vulnerable to a primary challenger from his right. Make no mistake, in spite of his tax softening, Chambliss is a villain for reasons too numerous to list here. The point is, we’ve only just begun to witness the far-right backlash against the party leadership.

The base of the Republican Party is deeply entrenched in the murky darkness the party has fermented throughout the last three decades: a realm of anger, racial resentment, distrust of government, hatred of immigrants and violently anti-choice misogynists and demagogues. The party has incited these tendencies via its PR apparatus — the conservative entertainment complex — on AM radio and Fox News Channel, augmented by wealthy financiers who bankroll the bulk-purchasing of every book-length ghost-written screed by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck.

The problem this creates, of course, is that the Republican Party has been consumed by misinformed idiots with no substantial connection to the real world, and the first post-election PPP poll only serves to amplify this conclusion. [continue reading]

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  • rob black

    “The far-right media is so deeply and inextricably woven into the life-support system of the Republican Party, it’s nearly impossible to extract it without killing the host.”
    Seriously, which is the host and which is the parasite, disease ect..?
    Could a Republican running for national office of any kind, entertain the most remote possibility of winning…and not appear on Fox News?
    They could try, but merely by not paying homage to Rupert and Roger, they would instantly make themselves targets of the talking heads and pols that constitute the entire staff.
    There is a media conglomerate, one of only 4? left remaining after 3 decades of deregulation and consolidation. Lets aptly call them “News Corpse”.
    They have a political arm to insure the interests of their constituency, lets call them “the rich” are met (at all costs).
    Since the pesky and inconvenient democracy still gives one vote, and only one vote, to the each member of the electorate, and their actual constituency the aforementioned “the rich” only make up a small percentage of the whole, they must cater to the absolute worst citizens in the electorate using the most base set of emotions (fear and greed).
    The real tragedy is that the other 3 members of the oligarchy media go along with the charade.
    The very existence and success of News Corpse, at the dawn of the “information age” will be viewed by historians as a societal abnormality on par with smoke stacks blacking out the sky’s in Europe at the start of the industrial revolution.
    People will marvel at “how could they have been stupid and greedy enough to let that happen”?

  • muselet

    I shed no tears for the Republican Party, which knowingly courted the craziest and least-well-informed chunk of the population in pursuit of electoral success. It wasn’t a terrible tactic—they’d successfully done it before with the Religious Right—but it just plain sucked as a strategy: the crazies became the indispensible base of the party.

    It was easier to become the party that spoke for the loonies than to formulate realistic policy proposals and argue for them, I suppose, but now the Rs are faced with a fundamental dilemma: how to survive as a political party beyond 2025 or so.

    I have no idea how they’re going to pull that one off, and even if I did I wouldn’t tell them. They brought this on themselves and I feel no obligation to help them out of their dilemma.

    Popcorn, anyone?

    –alopecia

    • bphoon

      Yeah, like I’ve said before, “all this and free entertainment too?”

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      We’re all in the front row on this one. :-)

  • Brutlyhonest

    Neither the republican party nor the right-wing media machine is in charge; they are just arms of the autocrats like murdoch. One is their operations wing and the other is their propaganda wing. It’s insidious and devious, but brilliant at the same time.

    Also, too: On the nbc broadcast last night, they actually covered how r’s were afraid of being primaried if they supported the UN disabilities treaty – even withg Bob Dole there to beg them to pass it. I almost shit myself when the news reader said the super-wingnuts think it would lead to a UN takeover and everyone knows they hates them some UN (OK, I paraphrase). She then stated (not paraphrased), “But proponents of the treaty say this isn’t true.” This, corporate media, is why no one trusts you anymore. It is a fact that “it isn’t true”, but you’re refusal to “take a side” has destroyed you.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Bob Dole in a wheelchair from recent surgery could not convince the republicans to ignore the crazy caucus. McCain, to his credit, was one of the few republican senators to make an impassioned plea in favor of the treaty.

      And you can bet that every senator who voted against the treaty knows that the conspiracy mongering is a load of shit. But rather than tell the nutbars that they were full of it, they took the easy road.

  • bphoon

    it appears as if Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is vulnerable to a primary challenger from his right.

    Man, when Saxby Chamblis has anyone on his right, you know the ground has truly shifted beneath the GOP’s feet.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I don’t know how many times we can use the bubble metaphor, but that’s where they are. Maybe bubbles are actually too fragile to convey how impervious to reality the republicans are.

    How about a vault? Panic room? Crypt?

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Well we could still use bubble if we were talking about them as in “bubble boy” where he could never interact with the rest of the world for fear of contamination and infection. The bubble protects him but also limits his views, experience, interaction and ultimately perception. Or there is the “hamster ball” that looks like a bubble and rolls around to little effect because the hamster always either gets stuck or if it reaches a destination, still cannot move forward because of the plastic wall in the way…where the vehicle ends up becoming the obstacle to further progress or productive participation at with desired destination.

      I got a million metaphors that fit so nicely.

      • muselet

        The Right-wing hamster ball.

        I like it. Has a kind of ring to it.

        –alopecia