Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Chair For The Confederate Party of Republicanism

It is probably a natural consequence of being drubbed in two consecutive elections and losing the Presidency to a liberal/pragmatic black Democrat that a Party would be in some disarray. The RNC is not only demonstrating that, they are making themselves exemplars of it. It is not the purpose of this post to dissect all the machinations of various factions, let it be simplified down to a collision between the social and the the fiscal conservative factions.

While it is true that social conservatism and fiscal conservatism are not necessarily the same thing the blood bath is about who wins elections. The hard core social conservatives are not attractive to the business/plutocratic wing, they are an element of discord and that is not what money wants unless it serves to divide the opposition. For a time the divide has worked for the money wing, the people who lost economically under their policies were appeased with mouth noises...and then they started to get some of what they wanted.

Most Americans are willing to let people hold Medieval beliefs provided they aren't forced to live under them but once that happens there is a push back. Once a group like the social conservative wing starts to win, they are unwilling to be pushed back. They are, after all, not only right but supported by a god. It is important to remember that there are Republicans or Democrats, there are also Republican Party members and Democratic Party member and they are not the same thing. People who are willing to attend meetings and carry the water for the Party between elections and to be the foot soldiers in waiting are not average voters, they have reasons to be there - they are the activists. One problem with being a part of that group is that operating within that milieu it is easy to start that more people think like you do than actually do so. While I am aware that I am pretty darn left, I am not so among my compatriots at Democratic Party of Oregon/DNC. If I forget that, if I forget my political stance versus the voters at large my political judgement is impaired.

It is frequently stated that Democrats engage in circular firing squads and leading them is comparable to herding cats. There is no doubt that Democrats are a difficult bunch, but fratricide isn't ordinary. Most of what makes people Democrats is fairly coherent though some pieces are divisive and that usually heals the arguments. Republicans are faced with another situation.

For decades Democrats looked enviously at Republican unity while not wanting any part of the tools used to get it. Beneath that unity there lurked the devil of details, how to keep mutually exclusive policies from exploding. When you examine the demographics of the harder core social conservative voter you find that it tends toward blue collar and moderate education. If the Republican economic policies were taken alone these folks would be horrified. They exchanged their economic interests for god, gays, and guns rhetoric. As time went forward it became necessary to placate that base with more than talk and policy began to be instituted and an electoral difficulty began to arise.

The Republican businessman/entrepreneur who looks to benefit from Republicanism is also educated and has a bit of a problem swallowing Medieval Theocracy. That individual has a bit more of a problem as backlash builds and suddenly the neo-cons and theocrats emerge as deal breakers with America. Once the economy hit a wall thanks to the unregulated stupidity of completely over-leveraging an asset the game was over. Neither side likes the other, neither can get along without the other, and neither side is willing to let the other run the show.

This is how you get "Magic Negro" and "Whites Only" and Ken Blackwell and... how this will shake out is anybody's guess. While it is true that the Party mechanisms are peopled with activists their highjinks still resonate with voters if it gets public. Considering the make up and geographic distribution of the Republican US House delegation it is not dishonest to refer to them by the title nor is it dishonest to point to the RNC and state - there's your party.

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