Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Extinction Level Event

A new column over at Rolling Stone sums up very nicely what I've been saying here for a while about how the current incarnation of the Republican party is digging its own grave.

And the piece uses the example of the state where I currently live to make its case.

"Two decades of immigration and changing demographics have steadily eroded the Republican base in the Golden State. But rather than adapt to this new reality, the state party lurched deep into the far-right swamplands of American politics. As the state grew more socially liberal, the last of the Republicans doubled down on conservatism, and sank into irrelevancy.

But this is no local story. What happened in California is just beginning to happen all over the country. The GOP’s most reliable supporters are increasingly crammed into the South and the Midwest, energized by an ever more embattled sense of grievance and cultural alienation, while the rest of the country becomes younger, more multicultural, and more socially liberal. This trend is only going to accelerate, and unless Mitt Romney and his colleagues come to their senses and find a way to reverse it, the GOP is looking at a generation in the electoral wilderness."

Again, it's not an opinion -- it's math.

Related: The Daily Banter: R.I.P G.O.P./5.21.12

(h/t Matt)


Milpa said...

Math is not taught in the south or midwest.

NoxiousNan said...

I keep theories like this tucked away in the back of my brain to infuse hope into my day. But the recent spate of polls like how many of us believe in creationism,they get the fear and worry and need to expatriate rising again.

I can do the math, I just fear it wont come to fruition in my lifetime (coming up on 50), and I need a damn vacation from the nonsense.

Villemar said...

I can't help but giggle with schadenfreudey glee every time I see that pic, despite its horrible politcal correctness.

warrenbishop said...

As a former Democrat (now independent - just because I'm so disgusted with them), this article makes the classic Democratic mistake: First,underestimating just how easily a misinformed, uneducated public can be manipulated, and secondly underestimating the ruthlessness of your opponents.

In my lifetime I've seen Republicans at all levels win contests they shouldn't simply because (to paraphrase "The Untouchables") the Republicans bring a gun to the fight, and the Democrats bring a knife.

After seeing the results in 2010, and what may happen this fall - there's no reason to think that will change in the foreseeable future. Changes in demographics will help, but to consistently hold onto power Democrats will have to fundamentally change how they approach electoral politics.

Anonymous said...

As a Democrat living in Hamilton County, Indiana, I can only hope (see!? I didn't say "pray"!) you're right.

Drew said...

I want President Obama to win...badly. We've come pretty far and yet not nearly far enough in the last 3-1/2 years (damn the GOP and their ridiculous use of the filibuster). I look at the desperate measures the right is using to even win an election and it's not really by the rules...which means they- as Chez eloquently puts it- "have nothing".

If Romney wins- dear God no- and he puts together all the measures he's campaigning on (Yes Dems, USE the filibuster swiftly and as often as possible) and they get passed, we'll have him to thank for the clusterfuck backlash that will strangle the GOTP.

Try as I might to not put fuel in the hate machine it gets harder and harder with every staggeringly fucked up and sabotaging thing the right does. How can one side play the game when the other side has no regard for the rules?

VOTAR said...

It's a little funny to read phrases like "...increasing crammed into the South and Midwest..." I know what the author means, but knowing how to read a map as I believe I do, it's an odd expression to use.

Also, regarding the scared white people being increasing crammed into the South and Midwest, it's worth noting something that might be much more important than the rest of us want to think about:

Those people make our food.

Chez said...

Agree completely, Warren. The change the article is talking about -- and the one I've spoken about -- isn't something that will happen overnight. It's going to take a while, and there's no denying that if, say, Romney were to win big in November and the GOP also grabbed both houses, that march could easily be set back by many years -- but it's inevitable that the way the Republicans are thinking right now will eventually be phased out of this country in numbers high enough to keep getting them elected. The point is that rather than reach out to new and powerful groups of voters, they've doubled down on simply trying to exclude them from the process -- and it will absolutely bite them on the ass.

warrenbishop said...

@Chez: Remember what I said about 'easily manipulating a misinformed, uneducated public' - the Republicans are perfectly capable of doing an "Etch A Sketch" on their platform, 20, 40 years from now. They'll continue to pursue the same policies, just disguise their true agenda - and the gullible electorate will fall for it.

Then when some rare voice of reason (such as yourself) tries to bring this to the public's attention: "Hey remember those decades when the GOP was overtly racist, sexist and homophobic. If you're a minority, woman or gay - they don't have your best interests in mind." Then the Republicans will respond by completely denying that they ever did anything racist, sexist or homophobic in the history of their party, they'll ignore the voluminous evidence to the contrary, they'll keep repeating the lie - and the electorate will believe it. You'll have large percentages of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, woman and gays voting against their own social and economic interests.

The worst part is, the Dems will timidly object to the lies, and by and large the GOP will get away with it, and keep winning elections.

I really, really, really hope that I'm wrong; but unless there is some fundamental shift in our society and/or the way the Dems approach politics - I think that's the way things will continue to play out. Just in the last 20 years I've seen the GOP grow much successful in convincing people to support legislation against their own personal interests, and in favor of corporations.

Like I said though, I hope I'm wrong and you're right.

warrenbishop said...

One more thought. 'Milpa' said (jokingly) that 'math and science' are not taught in the South or Midwest - now that was a joke - but in the last 20-30 years I've definitely witnessed an American culture that is growing increasingly irrational, distracted,and much, much less inclined to think critically or analytically (thereby making them much, much easier to manipulate).

I used to work for a company, where the CEO indulged in Bush/Palin 'magical thinking'. Instead of examining a situation, weighing the evidence, then coming to a conclusion about whether it was a wise course of action - he'd do the opposite. Decide on a course of action, then work backward toward a hypothesis, ignoring any information that contradicted the desired outcome. He'd put that plan into action, usually with disastrous results. Using this type of 'magical thinking' he took a thriving company and drove it into the ground. That seems much more common than 20-30 years ago. I think it's a symptom of a much larger problem.

Or to put it another way, until we collectively take our heads out of our asses - things are only going to get worse. :)

(thus endeth the diatribe)

Chez said...

Excellent point that the Republicans are indeed brilliant at getting people to inexplicably vote against their own self-interests. The interesting thing, though, is that the way they get people to do that is to stoke their fears and resentments, and as I said, it would take a drastic change within the party to be able to even fake playing up the resentments of, say, Hispanics or gays. The GOP simply wouldn't be the GOP anymore -- and the audience for what it is now is being phased out as a majority. It'll likely take a long time but it almost certainly will happen.

Now, can the GOP morph into something else once it realizes that there's no sustenance in pandering to that bloc -- there's simply no audience for it anymore? Yup. But again, it would require the party to adapt to a new reality. So far it's not willing to do that.

warrenbishop said...

@Chez: You're right - but I would argue they'll simply find some new group to focus their hatred and resentement on, as a means to achieve their electoral and social goals. It was African-Americans for a long time, then when that was no longer socially acceptable, they turned their attention to Latinos, gays, and Muslims. I'm not even sure who's left to demonize - Asian-Americans (?). Rest assured, they'll come up with someone, and get alot of people to join them in their quest to fight the (insert group/minority name here) horde. That's what they do, that's all they do. (I just accidentally quoted 'The Terminator' didn't I? Freudian slip? It's actually kind of appropriate though)

I'd love to continue this debate, but it's time for Heat x Celtics.