Democrats & Liberals Archives

Parties Work Best When Folks Are Invited Into Them

There’s a such thing as a party that’s too exclusive. Republicans want two things that don’t necessarily mesh: They want people to join their ranks, and they want people to give up every other opinion they have than what a select elite in the party agree with. Well, the problem isn’t getting the party faithful to play ball. And then again, maybe it is, in another sense.

There's a weird sort of substance in advanced science known as a Bose-Einstein Condensate. In essence, you take a bunch of atoms and you cool them so close to absolute zero that they become essentially one in the quantum sense, like one big superatom. You can get away with this because electrons, protons and neutrons have a dual nature, being both particles and waves.

People have dual natures, too. They are both individuals and parts of social networks, the likes of which existed long before people were friending each other on Facebook.

Now when you want to create a Bose-Einstein Condensate, the key thing is that you have to get things within millionths or billionths of degrees of absolute zero. Liquid Nitrogen and Helium won't do it- they're too warm. So, what you do, to cut short descriptions of laser and magnetic cooling processes, is take those atoms that are full of energy, that want to go elsewhere than into this condensate, and you kick them out.

They take their energy with them, along with the heat.

For the longest time, the Republicans have been creating a condensate of their own, a party that exercises great strength and power by being condensed into one entity unified by a consistent model of Conservatism. For the last few decades, it's been purging the RINOs and the moderates, the folks like MItt Romney, not to put too fine a point on it.

They've become more and more successful about it, but I think they've lost a lot of their heat on that account, just like that science experiment.

The first problem is, by making most people like minded, you share folk's blindspots as much as their vision. If one person's wrong, there's not a lot of people to make better suggestions. If the party's line isn't consistent with a workable compromise with everybody else, then there are few who can negotiate a favorable compromise that gets much of what a Republican wants as policy written in as such. The Republicans have sacrificed much of what allows them to connect with those outside of the party, see things from their perspective, in order to get a party that goes full speed all the time and damns the torpedoes.

Horsepower under the hood, in terms of political discipline, is a good thing for a party to have, but so are a set of brakes. The Republicans have cut their own brake lines, unfortunately, sharing in the all too common cultural principle that inhibition is equal to dishonesty, to a lack of commitment. They say things they shouldn't say. They push policies even when most people don't like them. They set out to do massive social reengineering in unionized states based on the notion that one big electoral victory after two utter disasters is a mandate.

Fact of the matter is, inhibition is a sin for many politically active Republicans. You can't accept higher taxes, can't accept healthcare reform, even when it's your own plan from a decade or two before. You can't accept anything approaching pro-choice politics, even "Safe, Legal, Rare" sort of standards. Republican leaders are even trying to chip away at birth control now! Faced with epic catastrophes like the 2010 oil spill or the 2008 Market Crash, there's no recognition that further regulation might be a good idea. No! It's regulations that are at fault!

To speak out against the pedal to the metal approach to the platform is to be branded a RINO, to be shoved aside as a traitor to conservatism. Andrew Sullivan, Colin Powell, David Frum, Charles Johnson, and others who were ambassadors to the general public for Conservative policy ten years ago now find themselves on the outside of the Right Wing's big tent.

Let me stop right here and say that it is the Republican Party's First Amendment Right to kick out and declare persona non grata every person who they don't consider to measure up to their standards. So, don't complain to me that I'm trying to impair your rights. Criticism of your speech doesn't mean your free speech and free assembly rights are being violated.

But I am criticizing here, make no mistake. You're free to kick people out, but your ranks are going to thin. But something else is happening to the Republican Party, too. It's possible to keep a rather tight core, yet have broad influence, but it takes a willingness to tolerate folks being fellow travellers to your organization, and not just diehard supporters.

I'm a believer in the political value of this particular theory, The Strength of Weak Ties.

It's related to ideas like "six degrees of separation", but in a very unexpected way. When researchers looked into how the social networks organize themselves, especially in the aftermath of discovering how few steps most people had between anybody else in the society around them, they found that the majority of strong social connections were actually rather commonly shared.

Or put another way, your friends know most of your other friends, your family knows most of your other family. If you try diffusing new ideas among them, you'll find they don't spread far, in no small part because they typically already were like-minded in some way to start with.

The weak ties talked about in the theory are the people you've got more casual contact with, weaker connections. It's these weak connections that make it easier to form the kind of surprising "six-degrees" sorts of relationships we hear about.

That is to say, because I took a certain screenwriting professor's class, I've got a connection to Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, and through them to any number of Hollywood personalities, including Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman (The two people I'm speaking of are credited writers on the film Wanted, which featured them as super-assassins.)

You could conceivably connect me then to anybody who worked on a film they did, or anybody they're friends with, and so on and so forth.

But it only works because I know one person who knows another. The critical link is a relationship that was temporary and at something of a remove. I was a student, he was a professor. You've got teachers, and if you look hard enough, you could find fellow students who had some tie to somebody else that enables them to claim this kind of relationship.

The point is not to brag. After all, there are dozens of people who share my distinction, because they went to this class at Baylor. I could cite an even closer connection to Jerry Falwell, and through him to most of the religious right. The point would be to say that if you're willing to dial down your expectation of how far you can influence people, you can influence far more people, and through them move far more policy. If you insist, though, on only associating with your fellow true believers, on only accepting complete capitulation by others, well then, the ability to expand your ranks will be curtailed.

The Republicans have done everything they can to run afoul of this. Remember the metaphor from the start? Some of the atoms in the condensate end up gelled as part of that quantum soup, but other atoms simply get kicked out, leave with their energy with them. Some of the "atoms" the Republicans have kicked out have hung around as the independents I seem to run afoul of every time I call somebody a Republican, but I think plenty of others have simply settled down as unaffiliated or as conservative or centrist Democrats.

Now Republicans have done some impressive things with their essentialized core of supporters, but they've done it at the price of relying more and more on a population of Republicans whose perspective and ideology are separate and distinct from that of most Americans, people who are glad, enthusiastic, in fact, to have it all to themselves.

And that is what has the Republican Party vacillating between Romney, and whoever this week's alternative to him is. They know they need a candidate who can appeal to folks who aren't Republicans in the general election, but damn it if they're going to elect somebody who isn't full-bloodedly, hot-bloodly conservative!

Of course, if they select that kind of Conservative, can they appeal to the rest of the electorate?

Back and forth, lather, rinse and repeat. The Tea Party seemed to be a glimmer of hope, but instead it only presented further division, cracking the party into factions three or four times on critical votes, unwilling to take anything less than everything from the Democrats not stupid enough to want to concede the whole shop to them.

The problem isn't merely an unwillingness for the Tea Party to tolerate the imperfectly Republican, but also to tolerate results that are less than ideal. That despite the fact that the current situation is obviously tilted against them. The center of the Republican Party's gotten so small and concentrated, ideologically that it's even leaving the unambiguously conservatives behind, yet the only alternative to the Tea Party is letting the Democrats have everything back.

And there you have it. To encourage Republicans to come out and vote, to encourage folks to believe that conservatism was back, its head bloodied but unbowed, they had to turn to both the most fanatical supporters, and the most fanatical leaders. To back down on them is to walk away from their support, to take the heart out of a party that badly needs a functioning core to maintain power. This isn't some pragmatic effort to restore conservative political power, this is a panicked, desperate attempt to keep a foot in a door that was being closed on the GOP. Only problem is, the stubborn, fearful, sick-of-compromise attitude that was required to get people to come back and stampede over their rivals isn't gaining the GOP converts, isn't regaining Congress the public's trust and respect, and is making the last couple years a graveyard of purely symbolic successes. Obama's supporters can point to dozens of achievements, including getting the number one enemy of the last decade.

Politics will appeal mainly to the political followers, who are usually part of some core faction, but for most people it amounts to bumper-stickers they soon forget when folks ask follow-up questions in the polls. They'll say big government is bad, but don't touch my Medicare or Social Security. The Healthcare reform isn't necessarily popular, but with few key exceptions, the biggest big government elements are actually popular. Medicare Buy-In and the Public Option polled well.

At best, most folks seem to say big government's bad and everything like that almost as a way to avoid an argument, and then settle into more liberal positions when the conservative's backs are turned. It's the politically correct thing to say, but the lefty sensibilities continue on unabated. That's why liberals found great humor in the Tea Partiers saying "Keep Government's hands off my Medicare!"

It showed that on a fundamental front, the GOP failed to truly change people's opinions. Even at the height of their ideological fervor, Social Security and Medicare remained lightning rods. Then you take a look at the whole rigamarole surrounding the OWS protestors, and despite hack online journalists yelling "behave yourselves!" at demonstrators, and snide, hygiene-oriented remarks at their expense, the protestor's points have managed to redefine the debate, to where even Republicans are arguing about the value of a leader whose wall street work defines what they typically held up as a paragon of virtue.

They wouldn't do that if today's Republicans weren't as ticked off at Wall Street as everybody else, at the system that helped get people cheated out of house and home, retirement and livelihoods.

Which brings me to a final point: you don't have to recruit people completely into the political party and its orthodoxy to win on their votes. What's important is a common experience, a common memory of events. You don't need to run people through ideological bootcamps, you merely need a cause for them to band together around, whether that's economic recovery, national pride, the defense of the country, whatever links them together strongly enough for them to choose to elect the same person.

What they've missed as they've unloaded the artillery on Obama is that Obama's been working on just those kind of low-key linking issues. Bin Laden is dead. The economy seems to be in a strengthening recovery. The President has a better reputation for compromise and and working with the other side. He's appealing to positive themes of recovery, of regaining national greatness, of restoring the working class and reducing unemployment. He's constantly pushing for Congress to do something, constantly pushing constructive proposals for the work ahead that often feature a mix of proposals from all sides. He's not fighting the headwind of dozens of polls like the Republicans are, not recklessly pushing divisive issues for their own sake.

People don't have to agree with everything President Barack Obama's done in order to re-elect him. They only have to agree with enough to make it worth it. If Republicans think they will win by trying to turn people against him by continuing to stonewall everything he's doing... well, I think they've got another thing coming, because their resistance to change has become the rallying point for much of the President's successful recovery. Just look at Michigan, and the political cost of opposing the Auto Bailouts. Look at all the Tea Party Governors who've pushed their agenda and ended up underwater in the polls.

For years, Republicans employed wedge issues in order to turn elections in their favor. Unfortunately, they've picked some awful choices this time around, and managed to wedge voters off themselves. Attempts to turn voters off to unions became rallying points for union supporters. Attempts to turn Birth Control into a wedge issue among Catholics have backfired, no mystery if you don't equate Catholic Bishops with Catholic Parishioners. The Debt Ceiling Debacle, rather than increase the political value of the Republican's stance on debt reduction, scared the hell out of people over the willingness of these people to crash the economy in order to make a political point. It's no mystery why Obama pivoted from that political disaster to his jobs agenda, no mystery why he has Republicans on the defensive over payroll tax holidays and unemployment benefits.

The Wedge issues of the economy have turned out to be double-edged wedges, as able to carve voters off of Republicans as Democrats, and the persistent, credible populism of a party that's actually done something to help people, that's not saddled itself with the necessity of defending elite interests at all costs, has armored it to many of the Republican's attacks. People were told by Barack Obama in 2010 that if they chose the Republicans to govern, the country might end up back in the ditch, and the Republicans have done little to demonstrate that they're better at governing than Obama is.

I mean, what can you really cite out there, in terms of what they've passed? Because of the Republican's purism, neither the Democratic Senate nor the White House have seen policies that are worth their time to help pass come across their desk. Because the Constitution mandates that bills pass Senate as well as the House, and get the President's signature, that means that nothing much of consequences, beyond their hostage-situation extorted deals have passed. Calling them a Do-Nothing Congress isn't much of an exaggeration.

And that's what the Republicans have to sell to people. How can they criticize the Democrats on what they didn't get done, with the filibuster-encumbered Congress of 2009-2011, when the Congress that follows, with a great big majority, can't even get most of its work done on time?

Fact is, dysfunction this past year may have deprived the Democrats and Obama in particular of some achievements, but in the process, they've achieved little but gridlock the whole system, producing the exact kind of inaction that I would submit people believed the Democrats were guilty of.

Not exactly the way to discourage buyer's remorse.

Republicans have done much in the last couple of years to alienate supporters of various degrees, and have painted themselves into a corner on their politics and their policies, leaving them unable to do much to please the voters. Sure, they'll throw the usual negativity Obama's way, but after more than a years worth of mudslinging, is this going to be any more persuasive than their attacks on Clinton were, a candidate who came loaded with much more self-inflicted political wounds?

I think those who would be convinced by all the negativity have been convinced, and otherwise... Well, otherwise, they're reminding folks of Teddy Roosevelt's speech about the Man in the Arena. They've become the critics, the folks who point out how Obama stumbles, and how he could have done better. Obama might make mistakes, but people see him coming back again and again to work to improve things, make things better. They see worthy causes in what he pursues, they see enthusiasm in his pursuit of their interests. Republicans have become little more than the negative reflection of Democrats, and no longer have a vision of their own that can easily be shared beyond the political extremists who now dominate the Party's agenda.

The best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of passionate intensity. The center of the Republican Party cannot hold, because it lacks real leadership, it lacks wisdom, and a critical connection to the popular culture that today's Republicans, averse to criticism and heterodox opinion, no longer allow to influence them.

Republicans have created their own culture, their own condensate of political unity and conformity, and have done so at the price of being able to appeal strongly to a majority of people. You cannot publicly hold the views of a majority of Americans in contempt, and then turn around and expect people to show up to celebrate at your victory parties.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 1, 2012 9:26 AM
Comments
Comment #337495

Stephen, thank you for the partisan liberal opinion about what is wrong with the Republican Party. It is nice to see such opinions aired out in the open because they verify the disinformation campaign that has put the country in the position it is in.

Low taxes and smaller government is now an extreme position.
People don’t want government run health care so they are against any health care reform.
Being against abortion for whatever reason, means you are a right-wing fundie.
Not wanting to pay for birth control means you want to ban birth control for all.
Want a choice to join a union or not? You are anti-union.

Your people have done a very good job in moving the country even more towards a leftist agenda. You have made moderate right positions the new extreme while at the same time defining the minority far-right as the majority for the Party.

I especially like how your people rail against the scary evil Tea Party reps representing their constituents instead of falling in line with their Party, after you had just declared Republicans demand lock-step thinking.

As far as folks being asked follow-up questions, let’s look at that.
Of course people are going to say don’t touch my Medicare or Social Security, they have already been forced to pay for it.
But, I wonder how it would poll if we asked people a follow-up question like, would you opt out of paying for Medicare or SS if given the chance?
Easier to call them extreme right-wingers and accuse them of hypocrisy though, isn’t it.

Public Option polled great didn’t it? I wonder why the follow-up question was ignored though? Could it be because that less than half of the people were willing to pay for it?

People aren’t totally accepting the liberals side on these positions Stephen, your people just stop reading when it becomes to inconvenient to continue.

OWS isn’t even worth talking about. It was nothing more than a bunch of progressives protesting for more government and it being ran according to their desires.

The fact is that people have moved right when government went to far leftist and they have moved left when the government went to far right.
The only difference now is that the Republican Party will have to give up some of their positions on individual rights and move the Party left. Which they will do.

Posted by: kctim at March 1, 2012 11:33 AM
Comment #337498

kctim-
With all due respect, it’s not exactly an insult to call this an opinion piece. I figure that anybody coming here is going to be well aware of what I’m offering.

So, what’s wrong with my analysis? My theory readily explains the vacillation between Romney and Not-Romney- it’s only natural for a party that knows it needs to move to the center to carry a general election, but whose base is in no mood to make any such accomodations to popular opinion.

I don’t think you’re sufficiently aware of what most people consider centrist politics in today’s America. Tax cuts for the rich, for corporations are not and have not been popular. The Bailouts aren’t merely unpopular because Wall Street needed them, but also because many people saw them just go right back to their old habits, as if nothing had happen.

You can scoff at OWS, but REPUBLICANS are using OWS language to undermine Romney. They may be beneath contempt to you, but that changes nothing about how quickly their message was absorbed…

…or, if you ask me, how quickly OWS was able to galvanize the common sentiment already there. See, this is part of my theory, part of the the political strength of weak ties. People don’t have to become complete lefties for the politics to move left, overall, anymore than folks had to assume all the attitudes of the right in order to jump on Reagan’s bandwagon. They don’t have to become die-hard Democrats to vote for President Barack Obama or the Democrats.

As for the evil, scary Tea Partiers?

Let me be blunt as to what I think their effect has been. What they wanted was the party to unite behind a banner of right-wing solidarity, no compromises, no failures of conformity. But regardless of what their intentions were, they represented a minority of their own party, critical to the majority, but not the whole affair.

They’re primely placed, to be sure, to make sure nothing less than conservative gets done, and they’ve gotten in the way of multiple deals with the Democrats that they considered to compromising.

Unfortunately, they don’t control the Senate or the White House. Democrats well to their left do. They can’t force either of them to agree to anything. Worse yet, once you get down to the brass tacks of actually passing legislation, it’s not necessary for the majority that passes legislation to be simply the party-line Roster majority the Republicans command. In the case of both the Budget battle this time last year and the Debt Ceiling Debacle, the deals passed with composite Republican/Democrat majorities, majorities that required further concessions to the Democrats to engineer.

In practical terms, the problem for folks on the right isn’t getting a bunch of Republicans together to vote like they want them to vote. it isn’t getting every Republican to reflect party orthodoxy perfectly.

The problem, rather, is one of actually getting substantive legislation passed, and then protecting it from any backlash that may come after. You can have all the Tea Party Congresspersons come together and push their ideology in perfect concert, and that gives you maybe 60-80 votes. You can bully the rest of your party into toeing the line, but they can’t get the stuff the Tea Party likes past the Senate, or past President Obama. The stuff that can get past them can’t get the majority necessary to pass from the Republicans alone, because the Tea Partiers shoot it down. And then, what of the Tea Party’s influence? Everything gets watered down to suit the Democrats they need to pass everything.

So, ironically enough, the Tea Party’s failure to concede, to work with others, Democrats included, renders them less powerful in real terms.

It’s a fantasy to believe you could get your pure policies passed in Washington, and the longer this has to sink in, the more the disappointments mount, the fewer the Republicans who will show up on election day. Since many Republicans were elected last time by small margins, this means the potential for things to shift back in the other direction is high.

You’re really running against the system as the framers designed it. It was designed to bleed the effective power of small, local concerns in favor of larger, more general coalitions that tied together more general, universal interests in the country- that is, what everybody could agree on.

The Tea Party wants the country to itself, but it can’t have it! Instead, what’s going to happen, is that experience is going to teach what Tea Partiers who remain that if they don’t moderate what they push for, they’re not going to get anything they want. The Republican Party will likely come out of this election strongly weakened, and that will force concessions even if they keep the majority.

The Right Wing in this country overreached. You can pummel me with all the appeals to the righteousness of your position that you want, but in the end, you by yourself are not this country as a whole.

You will have to compromise. You will have to convince people not of your party or your beliefs that you are right. If you don’t do this, expect to have even less of a role in things as they go on.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 1, 2012 12:28 PM
Comment #337507


What the Republican and Democratic parties accomplished together over the last three decades is tremendous. They moved the country about as far right as possible. All the trade deals, the outsourcing of jobs, an invasion of cheap labor across our southern border, Gramm Leach Bliley to enable financialism, huge tax breaks primarily for the wealthy, unfunded wars, and well over $10 trillion in debt, the list goes on and on and the majority of it has been detrimental to a majority of the people. Let us not forget the housing boom and bust, a tremendous success for both political parties.

Yes indeed, both parties accomplished a lot working together and could have accomplished even more if the Democrats had not been forced to call a halt to finishing the job to save their party and their souls. If only the Republicans had not blinked with TARP.

Illusion, hypocrisy and greed, the most powerful forces at work in America, thanks to both political parties and the people.

When there is a mild winter more Americans believe that global warming is happening and the opposite is true when there is a colder winter.

Posted by: jlw at March 1, 2012 2:12 PM
Comment #337513

Stephen

I wasn’t trying to insult you about this piece, just simply pointing out that it and all of your analysis are nothing more than the lefts opinion. I even commended your people for getting those opinions to be taken as fact.

What is wrong with your analysis is that you are implying that anybody Not-Romney or who wants a Not-Romney is some uncompromising fringe Republican.
Republicans can take Romney’s liberal position on health care and make that the new moderate position for the Party, but the left cannot. And don’t worry, if the ‘center’ is now as far left as you think it now is, the Republican Party will soon join you.

I am fully aware that the center has now moved far left and I agree with you that more people are buying the tax the rich rhetoric, that government should dictate profits for corporations etc…

Republicans using OWS language is nothing more than the Party moving left in order to capitalize on the ‘blame the rich’ meme.

The Tea Party reps are representing the people who voted for them and the people who voted for them do not want them to compromise away what they believe in. You can believe representing your constituents is extreme if you want, but I do not.

“So, ironically enough, the Tea Party’s failure to concede, to work with others, Democrats included, renders them less powerful in real terms.”

The Tea Party is a minority and the only power they have is to listen to those who put them there, not the establishment. If the voters don’t approve of them supporting their rights, they can vote for a Dem the next time around.

“It’s a fantasy to believe you could get your pure policies passed in Washington”

IMO, the TP is well aware of this and while they may try for some good legislation here and there, I think they believe their best option to protect their rights is to slow down or stop all the far left legislating going on.

“You’re really running against the system as the framers designed it.”

The framers did not design the system to be ran as it is today with the federal government running everything.

“but in the end, you by yourself are not this country as a whole.”

Never claimed to be, nor do I wish to be. Funny you say that though, seeing how what you want is for the country to be ran as if liberalism is the whole.

“You will have to compromise. You will have to convince people not of your party or your beliefs that you are right. If you don’t do this, expect to have even less of a role in things as they go on.”

It is too late to convince people that going back to the Constitution is what’s best. Dependency is now the majority, individualism is now the minority. Didn’t think it would happen as fast as it did, but I can acknowledge the change. Won’t respect it though.

Posted by: kctim at March 1, 2012 4:46 PM
Comment #337535

kctim-
You’ve been sold a bill of goods on conservatism. It isn’t altogether more consistent with the Constitution than liberalism. That’s just a tactic used to try and discourage people from disagreeing with their points.

This and other sentiments, sadly, have made the average GOP or right wing voter scared ****less about Democrats coming back into power, have sent them into despair about the prospect of restoring the balance in their favor, about the integrity of their very country.

What’s really awful to me is the way the leaders of the party have convinced people that their backs are to the wall on this, rather than telling them to have faith in their Democracy. Democrats winning becomes some apocalyptically awful thing, the end of the country as they know it.

But you know what? Look at what your party did over the last four years. We may have won some, but so have Republicans, and if things turn a certain way in the future, maybe they win again. Nobody should be feeling as if its the end of the world. Nobody at all.

The Republicans and the Right Wing were going to overreach at some point. Their complacency in power and their media-driven isolation from the rest of public opinion was going to cut them off from public favor at some point, and make it more difficult for their voters to relate to folks not localized around them on the political spectrum. Their hold on power has been strained since they started apologizing for Bush’s failings in the beginning of the second term, and the compulsion the party’s encouraged to chase a false dream of permanent dominance (or avoid the nightmare of permanent irrelevance) has only resulted in a party that sounds more strident, more fringey than it did before, less sympathetic to folks, and less deserving of concessions.

You act as if the relaxation would be a bad thing, and perhaps from your view it might be, at least compared to the alternative that haunts your imagination. But if you follow my logic, you’ll release that you were never going to escape compromise. This is exactly what I would tell, and have told, my fellow Democrats. Democracy demands consensus as the price of power, and you can’t create consensus without gathering enough people together to agree on the subject to push it forward.

In real terms, the question is one of results: you can try for everything, and get less, or you can negotiate a compromise which gets you more, though it concedes more than you’d like to the other folks in the country. The expression of politics can always be made pure, for it depends on nothing more than what people say. The realization of those politics, though, demands the forming of consensus, and after the fact, the scrutiny and assessment of how the policy really works.

Folks on the right need to realize that not everything they think will be right will turn out that, and that deigning to actually deal with and negotiate with the other side, rather than treat them like rivals in a war, might actually get better results, both for the party and the country.

They need to stop beating their head against the wall that the framers put between minority political interests taking over and the permanent triumph of majority power over minority rights. They need to realize that this system is always going to demand that they work and play well with others.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 2, 2012 9:53 AM
Comment #337586


I see that the RNC has become the latest scapegoat for the long drawn out Republican primary.

To be fair, when the RNC planned this primary season, the economy had barely struggled up out of the recession and all expectations were that it would quickly slide back down and double dip, the imminent demise of Europe was being broadcast daily, and the tea party Republicans were taking obstructionism to new heights in the Congress.

The RNC had every reason to believe that they would be spending this entire spring and into the summer, probably all the way to the election, trashing Obama on the economy.

The resurgent strength in the economy, in large part due to the Obama auto bailout, the Obama stimulus plan and Obama Care beginning to kick in, caught the Republican Party completely by surprise, as witnessed with the middle class payroll tax cut debacle. Caught the obstructionists with their pants down.

As a result, the Republican Primary has degenerated into a reactionary free for all in which the candidates have been competing with eachother to see which one can propose and or support the least politically popular policy. As for the party faithful, most of them have been so disillusioned by jumping from one candidate after another only to be disappointed that they just wish this would end.

They need something, anything. The price of gas has gone up? Oh, thank God.

Kctim, the eventual Republican nominee will be spending half his time explaining how he was opposed to something until just a few months before and how he is now opposed to that something again. Example, Romney will be explaining how he was for his liberal health care mandate in 2009, then opposed to it early in 2012, and is for it again in the fall. Or, how he was opposed to the Ryan budget, then in full support of it, and how he will be opposed to it in the general election. And, the American people are to trust which of these Romney’s?

You never know about Romney, why he might come out in support of single payer health care in the fall.

Posted by: jlw at March 4, 2012 1:02 AM
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