Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saving The GOP By Cutting Off The Tea Party Head?

This is the graphic run by the New York Times today to illustrate the point being made by GOP oppo-research operative David Welch, in an article bemoaning the lack of moderate or traditional "gate-keepers" in the GOP. Welch wants, in plain terms, the Tea Party run out of the Republican Party. If that happens, one suspects that the blood spurting out of the snake, will be the GOP's chances of sustaining itself as a national political party. The problem is that if the Tea Party remains in the GOP, the same electoral doom awaits Republicans.
Republicans, shattered beyond much hope of recovery by their 2012 shellacking by Democrats—especially the Democrat from Kenya—have been looking backwards, trying to find an answer or anyway some inspiration about what to do.

Few in the GOP go so far as to look backwards to Abraham Lincoln, the best politician and leader the Republicans have ever produced, chiefly because the GOP has been hijacked by people whose ancestors would have been fighting against, not for, Abraham Lincoln and his Yankee invaders in the Civil War.

The beauty of the utter sellout by Republicans to their former pro-slavery, pro-segregation, enemies, which bought the GOP the American (white) South in the 1960s, and its Confederate values, is that, finally, the white racist majority in the USA is running out of people and time.

The fact is that two blazingly white old Republican men ran for fucking president in the United States of America, and got their butts kicked by the same black man. The first time around, the GOP blamed the inept campaign of John McCain combined with the economic meltdown and the general hatred of George W. Bush for the amazing loss. The second time around, a few weeks ago—well—hmm. It just seems a majority of Americans, a majority that will only get larger, are not going to vote for the blazing white Republican old male assholes any longer.

That fact has really ripped apart the cosmic egg of the GOP. Their world has clearly changed forever. Now what?

One idea, suggested today by GOP oppo-research operative, David Welch, is that there should be a big push to go back to—well, not 1865, but how about 1955?—the year the great conservative aristo William F. Buckley started The National Review. Welch argues that a return to Buckley values and Buckley’s willingness to be a “gate-keeper” for the GOP, is necessary to cleanse the party of what Welch says are its seemingly endless supply of “extreme, untested candidates”, who inevitably lose to Democrats because of the extremists’ “predictable gaffes and…moon-bat pronouncements”.

At some point in the article, Welch specifies exactly who and what he’s talking about. He says the GOP needs to encourage the “denouncement” of the Tea Party, and to reject its flood of “unserious” candidates. In fact, Welch compares the Tea Party, and the problems it is causing the current GOP, to the John Birch Society, and the problems that group caused for earlier Republicans. Welch argues it was mainly Bill Buckley’s condemnation of the Birchers that ran them out the GOP.

Now, blaming the Tea Party to this extent and in this manner (especially claiming it is the root of all things unserious in the Republican Party) is quite a remarkable argument. Because, if the Tea Party is anything, it is most definitely serious, even grave and obsessive in its commitments to its causes. That the Tea Party is also a pack of loons and unqualified halfwits is unquestionable too. But, let us pretend for a moment that there is a successful uprising of the Republican old guard against the teepees: Welch says the right people to be the present-day gatekeepers are Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, along with Karl Rove!! and “Republican Party institutions”.

These are the people Welch identifies as the necessary anti-Tea-Party remedy the GOP requires to save its electoral relevance. Welch, apparently seriously, argues that Rove’s PAC, American Crossroads, can be revved back up “in the next election cycle” in order “to bring some sense back to the Republican landscape.”

Cool, but how is this sense going to translate into any election victories in the landscape, especially if it starts out by tossing away the Tea Party?

Who exactly does Welch think will be left in the GOP to show up to vote for Republican candidates? The Chamber of Commerce and Nancy Reagan?

It is useful in thinking about that question, to look back, not to 1955, but to 2008. William F. Buckley died early that year, and more telling, his old publication, The National Review, later that election year accepted the resignation of Buckley’s son, Christopher Buckley. Why? Because Christopher was so embarassed and disturbed by John McCain’s truly bizarre nomination of Sarah Palin for VP, that the younger Buckley announced (not in The National Review) he would be supporting Barack Obama.

It should be noted that one of David Welch’s resumé talking points is that in 2008, he was the assistant director for research for the doomed McCain campaign. Welch later, after McCain had lost, defended the choice of Palin and the campaign she had run, saying the intense criticism of Palin (coming anonymously from within the McCain camp) was unfair.

In any fair review of what has happened to the GOP in the last four years, you have to go back to 2008 and the choice of Sarah Palin, as the real beginning of the Tea Party movement. While Welch is hoping for a Bill Buckley-style savior to ride forth to give the Republican Party some necessary intellectual gravitas, the fact is Welch was one of the main people who approved and pushed for opening the selection of candidates in the GOP to the looney and the plainly unqualified.

It is amusing Welch is now out front cheering to have the Tea Party bums thrown out of Republican Party. It is more amusing (espcially, obviously, to Democrats) to consider what will happen to the GOP if the party takes Welch’s advice.

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