The GOP Crazy/Death Spiral

Remember when Liz Cheney was considered Queen of the Crazy Wing of the Republican Party? Now she’s the voice of reason. I feel disoriented.

Cheney is engaged in open feuding with Donald Trump. Earlier this year House Republicans tried to remove her from her position as House Republican Conference chair, but failed. Now Charlotte Klein reports at Vanity Fair that they’re fixin’ to oust her again, and they may succeed this time. Klein writes that it appears House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy will not support her if her leadership position comes up for a vote again, as he did the first time.

Meanwhile, this weekend Mitt Romney was booed at a Utah GOP convention. The crowd yelled that Mittens is a “traitor” and a “communist.” I say anyone who seriously thinks Mittens is a communist should be marched to a reeducation camp. A resolution to censure Romney for voting to remove Trump from office was defeated by the convention, 798 to 711. Still, that’s close.

Both Romney and Cheney have fallen out of favor in the party for one reason — insufficient fealty to Donald Trump. Paul Waldman wrote today:

As The Post reports, in states and counties and cities across the country, the Big Lie of the 2020 election — that Donald Trump won reelection handily but his victory was stolen from him — is being pushed by some who would like it to be moved from conflict to consensus. State and local party officials who admit Joe Biden is the legitimate president are being censured, harassed and driven from their jobs.

Waldman notes what’s been going on with Cheney and Romney, and also Susan Collins:

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) defended Cheney and Romney by urging Republicans to accept “differences,” adding: “We don’t want to become like too much of the Democratic Party, which has been taken over by the progressive left.”

Yeah, Republicans don’t want to be taken over by extremists or anything. Brilliant, Susan. But Waldman goes on to explain that there are no genuine policy differences in the GOP right now, as far as they are interested in policy at all. They all oppose taxes and abortion and foreigners and want to pass voter suppression laws. The only thing driving division is whether one accepts that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, or not.

Basically, they’ve all gone crazy.

Their main hope at the moment is to take back the House and Senate in the 2022 midterms, and they are doubling down on Trumpism to do it. “Trumpism,” of course, simply is loyalty to Donald Trump. This is in spite of the fact that Trump lost in 2020. I know; they are telling themselves that Biden stole the election. I wonder how many of them actually believe that, though.

Note that some reason polls have shown that Trump’s popularity among registered Republicans has dipped below 50 percent. Among Republicans, mind you. Trump is what’s going to get ’em out to vote in November 2022?

Last week Jennifer Rubin pointed out that the GOP had raised self-sabotage to an art form. Trump’s efforts to gum up the 2020 Census appear to have resulted in undercounting Republicans. Although red states gained some population, if the count had been done more robustly they probably would have gained more population, and more seats in the House.

As former Obama administration speechwriter David Litt writes in Democracy Docket: “In places like Texas, Florida, and Arizona, many local and statewide officials supported the Trump Administration’s unconstitutional attempt to add a citizenship question to the census, even though the people most likely to be deterred by such a question live disproportionately in those states.” He also noted that the “Florida GOP underfunded census outreach” and that “[Texas’s] outreach campaign operated on what the New York Times described as ‘a shoestring.’” The most remarkable finding was this: “even before the pandemic hit, 24 states were not planning to spend a single dime of their own money encouraging residents to sign up — and 17 of those 24 states were run entirely by Republican politicians.”

Oops. But now we’ve got another example — Florida Republicans rushed to curb mail voting after Trump’s attacks on the practice. Now some fear it could lower GOP turnout. by Amy Gardner at WaPo.

Not only are GOP lawmakers reversing statutes that their own predecessors put in place, but they are also curtailing a practice that millions of state Republicans use, despite former president Donald Trump’s relentless and baseless claims that it invites fraud.

That would be mail-in voting. Not only are Florida Republicans working hard to make mail-in voting more difficult, by limiting drop boxes, for example;  they are requiring Floridians to request mail ballots every other year instead of every four years. This will impact senior and military voters, groups that tend to lean Republican. And when they realized this, some Florida lawmakers tried to make seniors and people in the military exempt from the two-year rule. They were advised that would violate the equal protection clause.

Now E.J. Dionne is talking political realignment. Maybe Biden will be able to poach Republican voters.

Can Republicans begin to claw back some of the upscale, well-educated voters they lost under Trump? And can Democrats expand on the inroads Biden began to make among voters who didn’t attend college?

Democrats hold the initiative, and not just because they control the presidency and narrow congressional majorities. As long as the vast majority of GOP politicians refuse to break with Trump, they will be tethered to his minority coalition. A comeback will be tough if moderate middle- and upper-middle-class professionals continue to associate the party with Trump, far-right extremists and the Jan. 6. attack on the Capitol. It’s why reducing the size of the electorate is the GOP’s most visible initiative.

This creates a vulnerability Biden hopes to exploit. It’s hard to imagine that any Republican will win more of the White, non-college-educated vote than Trump did, so some parts of that electorate are up for grabs. Democrats do not need to carry this group; a shift of five or 10 points among these voters would put the GOP on its heels.

I personally think the GOP is betting the rent money on the wrong horse. At this point Trump’s appeal to voters is not going to grow. If he didn’t expand his base while he was president, he’s not going to do it now.

Of course, a lot will depend on how much of Biden’s agenda will be passed and in place before the midterms. And midterms nearly always go against the party of the president. I believe the last time that didn’t happen was 2002, when Republicans won big the year after the 9/11 attacks. It’s believed this happens because people only vote in midterm elections when they are pissed off. But maybe a whole lot of not-Republican voters will be pissed off next year.

Trump supporters. Los Angeles Times photo

5 thoughts on “The GOP Crazy/Death Spiral

  1. Democrats sure are dumb.  They stole the election from The Donald and were too stupid to steal senate and house seats while they were at it. /s

    Was the Susie Collins reference really necessary?  Seeing or hearing her name raises my blood pressure and "…of the Democratic Party, which has been taken over by the progressive left.” adds nothing to the article other than to get an "I wish" past my lips. 

  2. I heard from my 2nd favorite philosopher, Igotz N. Ideehr*, and here was his recommendation:

    We already have this group of self-identified Theocratic RepubliKKKLANs known as the "Silent Majority."

    We need to confuse those feckin' moro…  Sorry, his words!!… Confuse those folks to drop out of the "Silent Majority," and join a new group: "The Soylent Majority!"

    We turn Crackers into… Well, into crackers!!!  

    For dogs.  Dogs, NOT people!

    I mean, we're not monsters…

    Yeah… For dogs.

    Hmm…  We could also combine energy efficiencies while we cull the human race of millions of feckin' eedjits:  "Soylent Green Energy!"

    For cats. 

    And dogs.

    I can see it now: "Soylent Green Energy Bars!" 

    For pets.

    Yeah. 

    Heh-heh… 

    For pets.

     

    *My absolute favorite philosopher?

    Dr. Pooldid Otto Myazz.

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  3. There's a BUNCH of popular stuff we can't get passed before 2022. We need to get that stuff up for a vote and force the GOP to vote against it. Top of my list is the Dream Act. Politifact confirmed – supported by 74% of voters. Sane gun control – don't go big with controversial provisions – just include universal background checks and ban military mags. The GOP will vote it down anyway, so keep the provisions POPULAR. We can't make it happen – and we can't stop it – but when the USSC makes women's control over their body a state by state issue, make sure women know who brought it. 

    Getting a democratic majority who will kill the filibuster is a function of forcing the bat-shit crazy GOP to publicly declare where they are. Mitch didn't let them vote on bills from the House, which meant GOP Senators could take whatever position on any issue for any audience that was expedient. 

    Ultimately, I hope the Democrats overtly or covertly target registered Republicans who don't like Trump (but can't vote for a Democrat) to vote their conscience by staying home. A movement to protect real conservatism by sitting it out until the party offers candidates with real values. STAY HOME. 

    It can work because it HAS worked. Moscow convinced enough Democrats that HRC was not worthy of their vote to get Donald elected. It's impossible to measure but I know my wife, a Democrat, couldn't bring herself to vote for Clinton. In here, we were saying, hold your nose to hold back the stench but vote. So we got to put the stink on Donald for a small percentage of Republicans, and convince them that the way back for them is to NOT support the crazies. 

    Asking most Republicans to support the Democrats is a bridge too far, but they'll pass on where the GOP is going. If Rudy is indicted and turns on Donald, that will be the kind of stink… and if 5% of Republicans sit it out, we'll get the majority in the Senate we need.

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  4. The only way the Republican Party can pull out of it's death spiral is to subjugate their lunatic fringe.  They obviously lack the skill and power to do this.  The fringe will nominate many extreme candidates.  Only if they fail in 22 will they get the will to go sane, but it may be too late to prevent the end.  The Party  needs to file for moral bankruptcy now and reorganize for survival hope in the long term.  The Party cannot continue to eat their own children for survival.  It is not a sustainable strategy.

    Democrats Deliver –Republicans Divide

     

  5. Liz Cheney has long since aligned herself and went along with republican strategies, tactics and political rhetoric that brought them to where they are today — a party with a shrinking, extremist base, detached from reality; devoid of any substantive policy ideas, so steeped in conspiracy theories and delusions that they demand sycophantic loyalty to a racist, one-term, twice impeached, thrice married and betraying them all, record setting liar as president, who cost them all three branches of government, and whose crowning "achievement" was an attempted insurrection against the government. If that's who they want to hitch their wagon to for 2022 and beyond, then as Obama told Romney in 2012, governor, please proceed.

    While I disagree with Cheney on policy, I admire her for holding fast to her principles and integrity, and for having the clear headedness to recognize Trump for the immoral lout and loser he is.  But Cheney had a hand in what may ultimately be her own political undoing, by feeding and contributing to, over the years, the monster that is now poised to consume her and ultimately the republican party.

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