Is the GOP finally imploding?

It’s certainly been…entertaining at times, to watch the nascent GOP intra-party civil war.

On the one hand, we have the Republicans in Congress and elsewhere who simply want to be in charge and to have their policies implemented. Ruthless up to a point, but within limits. The ones who are happy to go on “making sausage” as the old saw goes, with respect to legislation, policy, and budgets. In recent years, they don’t like to compromise, but they will when they’re forced to. Besides, it keeps the pork-barrel spending going.

There’s also a baseline sense of civil responsibility among many of them. I personally don’t like John McCain, but he seems to me to typify this type of Republican. He and others like him won’t refuse to participate in the government just because they can’t get 100% of what they want. Sure, there are lots of us who feel what the McCain Republicans want is unreasonable, ill-advised, and often plain wrong — but that’s what elections are about. Even they still respect those, to enough of a degree to make a difference and keep the whole country from falling apart.

Then there are the Tea Party Republicans. Not only do they hate anybody who isn’t them, half the time they can’t even agree on what it means to be an ideologically “pure” Tea Party member. Just witness the intra-party sniping over Senator Ted Cruz’s “Fauxlibuster” this past week. He really is not liked among most of his fellow GOP Senators, and if reports are to believed, they’re miffed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid let Cruz be the public face of the Republican party for an entire news cycle.


Irony personified

The Tea Baggers, as I prefer to term them, using their own original name for themselves, actually don’t care about elections; all that matters is winning. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, outright theft of elections when it can be gotten away with — it’s all cool. The ends justify any and all means, to them. Losing an election also doesn’t matter; it’s just an obstacle to be overcome.

And their ends aren’t just unreasonable or ill-advised — they’re often monstrous. Like cutting food stamps. Or no disaster aid to stricken communities (especially if they didn’t vote GOP). Or insisting that the free market is just fine for poor, sick people without insurance. A lot of them will deny what they have in mind is a disaster in the making, but when you can get them to admit it, it’s like, “Yeah, that’s not a bug — it’s a feature.”

Irrationally, the Tea Baggers want the United States government to shut down and to default on its public debts. For some reason, they don’t think it’ll result in a global economic disaster that’d make the Great Depression look like a mild head-cold.

They advocate abolishing the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the EPA, the FDA, gov’t funded research and development, the national parks and forest services — and yes, Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. (The fact the GOP 2012 platform includes lots of Tea Bagger proposals isn’t a coincidence either.) People suffering and dying from poisoned water or food, or because they don’t have the money to pay for healthcare or retirement isn’t just some unforeseen side-effect: It’s the goal.

It’s the core of the real Tea Party philosophy, as handed down from their plutocratic backers, such as the Koch Brothers: Being poor and powerless is to be deserving of punishment, suffering, and pain. To be poor is a sign of moral weakness; to be rich, is to be better than everyone else. To be rich and force the non-poor deep into soul-crushing serf-level poverty? Even better.

So anyway, we have the two sides of the Republican party. One that’s been increasingly difficult for the rest of us non-Republicans to get along with, and the other literally impossible for anyone to get along with. Including the non-crazy Republicans (and there are plenty of them… it’s just they’ve been marginalized and scared into silence).

// //


There have been signs of this “if we can’t rule the Village, we must burn it to the ground” mentality dating all the way back to when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down the Federal government in 1995-6 for 28 days over a budget impasse. Although President Clinton suffered a popularity hit during the shutdown and was initially blamed for it, public sentiment later shifted against Gingrich — and the GOP by extension, including the failed candidacy of Bob Dole for president. The Republicans were hammered pretty badly in the 1996 elections. Doubling down with the Clinton impeachment didn’t help.

Over the course of the last two decades, the extremist elements of the Republican party didn’t just become powerful: They also became feared within the party. So-called ‘moderates’ like Senator Olympia Snowe opted to retire. Others such as John McCain began adopting Tea Party positions — often because they knew if they didn’t, the Tea Party contingent would have absolutely no hesitation in pulling out all the stops to destroy them. The Tea Baggers will primary-challenge anybody who does not march in lockstep with them, 100% of the time, no matter the cost.

Remember, McCain’s first choices for VP didn’t include the unfit-for-any-office Chill-Billy from Wasilla. His top two choices, Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, were considered rather moderate, even by non-GOP standards. The hyper-conservative Tea Bagger contingent said no, absolutely not.

Hell, Mitch McConnell is being challenged, with ads now airing that claim he’s a progressive liberal traitor to his party.

Now we have GOP leaders such as House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell caught in the middle. They’re happy to play the games of political brinksmanship, but at the end of the day, they don’t want to destroy the government they’d like to be in charge of. Ultimately, their threats are bluffs. Everybody knows this.

The Tea Party extremists see that looming cliff and are screaming to be allowed to drive right off it — with all of us strapped in the back seat. For them, it’s not a threat to be enacted if they don’t get what they want. It’s the goal. They’re jonesing to drive off that cliff.

Here’s why I think the GOP may finally fracture, and it’s from stresses in several directions. First — and this was the eye-opener for me — Ted Cruz and guys like him have never had any respect for John Boehner. Now, Senator Cruz is openly urging House Republicans to defy their leader. (And stories are being floated that conservative House Republicans might want to replace Boehner with Cruz — technically legal, but utterly unprecedented.)

Ordinarily, I’d say, great! Let’s make popcorn and settle in for the show. Unfortunately, this is more like one of those Sea World shows, the kind where if you sit too close to the tank, you know they’re going to make the dolphins splash everyone in the first ten rows. And we’re all in those front rows. Or, for another metaphor:

Disclaimer: GOP piñata does not contain candy or joy. (Courtesy EN2008, via Flickr, used with permission)

(Courtesy EN2008, via Flickr, used with permission)

If the Tea Party Republicans achieve their ever-increasing list of unreasonable demands, we’re all soaked. If they don’t, they’ll attempt to force a shutdown and default — contrary to the wishes of many of their GOP colleagues — and we’re drowned. The United States defaulting on its public debt is it, the end, hasta la vista baby. What’s worse, a lot of them seem to think the second alternative is actually better, because they believe they’ll also achieve all of the first alternative as an additional direct consequence. Plus be in charge of everything when the village is done burning to the ground.

Because for them, being in charge of smouldering rubble is preferable to any outcome other than being in charge.

Make no mistake. Ted Cruz’s self-aggrandizing grandstanding wasn’t just just about him and what he (insanely) thinks is a realistic shot at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. Nor was it really about Obamacare — which I do prefer to call the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (sic)), in large part because the partisan identification of the law does have a significant effect on support. In a sense, it isn’t even entirely about overall U.S. budget priorities and government policy.

It’s about a movement of politically radicalized Republican Tea Baggers who aren’t even a majority of their own party, demanding to have every one of their demands met, unconditionally. And as we’ve learned this week, even when it’s being made clear they will not get their demands, they’ll gladly go off and just keep adding to the list. Seriously, a minority of a party that controls only the House is demanding the opposition party-controlled Senate and Executive agree to a ridiculous veto-guaranteed Christmas list of anti-populist demands, or else it’s shutdown time (and presumably national debt default when that comes up, too).

They’re doing this contrary even to the advice of their last presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who has said that a government shutdown is not how his party should deal with the PPACA. Or anything.

The reason I asked the question titling this post is because while we’ve seen signs before of the extremist Tea Bagger contingent undercutting GOP leadership, including Boehner and McConnell, this is the first time I can remember a prominent GOP upstart — Ted Cruz in this instance — openly telling GOP House members to defy their leader.

What do I think will happen come October 18th? Well, I’ve been wrong many times before, but my guess is we’re going to see yet another suspension of the infamous “Hastert Rule.” Boehner’s an ideologue, but not an idiot. I’ll wager he’ll set up the House rules to allow the Senate “clean budget” continuing resolution to come to a vote, albeit with a few minor changes so he can save face with his party, but then depend on the House Dems and enough of his own Republicans to pass it.

The inevitable result, no matter how this turns out, is the fractures within the Republican party are at the point where it would not surprise me to see the Tea Party Republicans split off, much as the Dixiecrats did to the Dems in the 1948, in opposition to anti-segregationist policies adopted by the Democratic party.

Up to and immediately after October 18th though, it’s anybody’s guess. Let’s just say it’s not looking good for the Republicans…which I honestly can’t say I mind that much.

For additional background, I highly recommend “End Days for the GOP,” by Michael Tomasky over on the Daily Beast. I’ll close with a quote from his must-read essay.

They’ll almost certainly cave, just like they did on the fiscal-cliff deal. Or maybe they won’t. They lose either way. In the former case, all their big talk came to nothing. In the latter, they’ve driven the country down the sinkhole. And so, like I said up top, they’ll be seen either as in total disarray, or as complete saboteurs.

You can only set so many houses on fire before people finally figure out that this isn’t happening by accident and you must be an arsonist. The GOP is now flirting with that moment. It can’t come soon enough.

Published professional writer and poet, Becca had a three decade career in technical writing and consulting before selling off most of her possessions in 2006 to go live at an ashram in India for 3 years. She loves literature (especially science fiction), technology and science, progressive politics, cool electronic gadgets, and perfecting Hatch green chile recipes. Fortunately for this last, Becca and her wife currently live in New Mexico. @BeccaMorn

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95 Responses to “Is the GOP finally imploding?”

  1. heidi jo bean says:

    The GOP owns this debacle and I hope they die a slow painful death because of it. Maybe if they learn the meaning and practice of “empathy”, they could rise like a phoenix out of the fire. I won’t be holding my breath.

  2. Bill_Perdue says:

    You’re missing the point. Your strident pro-war, pro-austerity and anti union politics are boring and repetitive.

  3. Badgerite says:

    Uh huh! You seem to have run out of anything to say. Other than repeating your mantra.

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats are Republicans in drag. Socialists oppose both because they’re right wing, pro-war, anti-union and for austerity. I doesn’t matter which one wins of loses. They’re both the enemy of working people.

  5. Badgerite says:

    No comment except that if the outfit fits, wear it.

  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    Poor thing. Too cheap to buy his own material.

  7. Badgerite says:

    You are a Republican in drag.

  8. Badgerite says:

    Thank you for your civility.

  9. Indigo says:

    I see. I now understand much better the premises that ground your comments. Thank you for your views.

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats are Republicans in drag.

  11. Badgerite says:

    The Dream Act does not apply to the parents. It applies to the children. Like it said. Just google Dream Act Stalled. The first one up is the article in the Christian Science Monitor. Also if you google the Dream Act you can get a full run down of Obama’s attempts to implement it even though Congress won’t. You can also find that there was a court challenge to Obama’s actions by those who oppose the Dream Act. If you don;t do google, you can go to the Huffington post and search their website for Dream Act and get a run down. And this is children we are talking about. Children who grew up here. And were the Republicans and their TP subgroup not obstructing the hell out of normal Congressional business, there would have been comprehensive immigration reform to cover both children and adults.
    Your positions and the GOP objective of voter suppression are virtually the same. If you are waiting for a ‘revolution’ I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    You seem to be evading/ So I’ll ask again. “What? Is that true?. What Friday? Citation required.” Did this event precede the article I supplied with a link that says that you’re information is in error.

    What? Is that true?. What Friday? Citation required.

    I’m not a naderite, I’m a socialist and I don’t care which right wing party wines – yours or the Republicans. They’re the same party.

    What? Is that true?. What Friday? Citation required.

  13. Badgerite says:

    As I said, I prefer the Affordable Healthcare Act to unaffordable healthcare. I prefer Social SEcurity to Wall Street gambling with pensions and elderly social security funds. And having a Republican (specifically G W Bush ) controlling who fills any vacancies on the Supreme Court brought us the wonderful decision in Citizens United which pretty much opened the floodgates for the Koch brothers money to flood in. Did it not? We are a capitalist country. That is our economic system. That is not going away and I don’t think people would really want it to. There is value to private enterprise. But for my money, only when it operates within a governmental structure that limits its worst excesses that it will inevitably be prone to without a big enough federal and state government to restrain it. You cannot expect the Democratic Party to be completely divorced from the private sphere and their interests. They are our economy. But there are difference and they are DRAMATIC differences. Citizens United would not be law but for Ralph Nader’s ridiculous posturing in the election of 2000. The section of the Voting Rights Act that was recently gutted by the Supreme Court would not have been gutted because there would be different people sitting on the Court. It is a good bet that 9/11 would not have happened. Those suckers would have been apprehended at the airport. I could go on but I have things to do.

  14. Badgerite says:

    Of course it is true, It was in both the Huffington Post and the Christian Science Monitor. Google Dream Act Stalled and the first up is the Christian Science Monitor article.
    And what you really mean by your first sentence is ‘I know nothing if I do not agree with everything you say even when it is not true’. Truthfully, you sound like some GOP operative who wants to get people to waste their vote on people like Nader. In the lead up to the 2000 election, the GOP was actually contributing money to get Nader on the ballot in as many states as they could. And it was certainly not because they supported his positions. They just supported his idiocy in terms of the real political effects of what he was doing.

  15. Bill_Perdue says:

    You know nothing if you think that Obama is not the main enemy of imported and immigrant workers.

    “So you think the Tea Baggers are NOT anti-immigrant then, Bill? ” The question has no relation to what I think and is merely partisan spin. Teabaggers are anti-imported worker and so are the Democrats and the other Republicans.

    “The Obama Administration responded to years of pressure from immigrants rights groups on Friday with an announcement that it will stop deportations and begin granting work permits to for some Dream Act eligible students.” What? Is that true?. What Friday? Citation required.

    Here’s the truth. Activists arrested after Obama nixes stopping deportations 09/18/2013 – A day after President Obama told Telemundo’s Jose Díaz-Balart that it was “not an option” for him to halt deportations of undocumented parents, seven immigration activists were arrested in Washington, D.C. after chaining themselves to the White House fence….

    One of the arrested today was Tomas Martinez, a member of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR). “The only ‘no’ we’ll accept, is no more deportations,” Martinez said. “The President can’t deny he has the power and the responsibility to stop deportations. We’re being told to wait for reform but waiting is not an option when 1,200 of us are being deported each day?” “

    Obama is the enemy and so are Republicans.

  16. Indigo says:

    I did not assert a connection between gay rights having a home with the Democrats and moving the Democrats to the right. My comment concerns the Corporate Capitalists who have usurped both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Put it this way, your reading is flawed.

  17. Badgerite says:

    See reply made to Karmanot.

  18. Badgerite says:

    So gay rights, which seems to have found a ‘home’ somewhat in the Democratic party is ‘moving the Democrats right’. Let’s put it this way, I prefer and elected Democrat to an un-elected one. I prefer the Affordable Healthcare Act to unaffordable healthcare. I prefer Social Security to Wall Street ‘gambling’ with elderly people’s money and scimming off the government. Etc.

  19. Badgerite says:

    Just for the record, Clinton started out his presidency moving to get rid of the outright BAN on gays serving in the military that had been put in place during the Reagan Administration. Or had you forgotten that? It was almost his first order of business. It was his first major dust up. Colin Powell testified against removal of the ban in Congress. The military rebelled (Can you say ‘unit cohesiveness’? I knew that you could.). The country sort of rebelled because at that time it was not yet ready for such a step. So Clinton hammered out a compromise of DADT which REPLACED an out and out BAN. Thus began the saga of DADT and its ultimate removal by Congress. Clinton tried to remove the ban. And he failed. Miserably. Obama moved behind the scenes to build support from within the military whose leaders then testified in front of Congress that they were now in favor of removing any and all restrictions on gays serving in the military. Please don’t tell me that Obama played no part in securing this testimony. He was the one who ordered a ‘re-evaluation’ done on the issue for which he was roundly criticized on this very blog. Somewhere in that ‘re-evaluation’ something changed from the past. I remember, even if you have forgotten, John McCain’s peak at the military leadership supporting repeal of DADT and all restrictions. McCain tried his damnedest to get in the way of the juggernaut that was building for repeal. But he could not. I realize that a big part of that juggernaut was the activism and bravery of those gay service people who got out in front of the country and put their lives, their abilities and their commitment to the country up for all to see. But Obama played his part to. And he got it done in a way that will not be challenged in the future and in a way that supported the movement for rights overall and pushed it forward.

    As for Rick Warren, I know that you feel a cohesiveness to your own community. But you are not the only people in the country. It is a diverse country. Made up of people with wildly diverse attitudes and opinions. And all, ALL are a part of the country’s body politic and must be considered as such by the President of the United States. . I don’t like Rick Warren and I hated his stupid ‘invocation’, but I saw this and accepted it as an attempt to reach out to those who were going to have a hard time accepting the turn the country was about to make. To tell them, ‘Look, this is still your country too’. Christ, he’s in his second term and they STILL can’t accept that he is president

    As to the comments that Obama had to be ‘dragged’ into evolving. Well, Clinton tried a full, frontal assault on the ban on gays in the military which was in place when he came to office. And he stubbed his toe on it pretty good. He lost southern support and the mid terms ( although the unions sitting out the election due to NAFTA didn’t help, I’m sure ). Obama came into office with what happened to Clinton fresh in the mind. He didn’t make the same mistakes and he got it done and done in such a way as to further the overall cause of gay rights. All of those highly committed, exemplary gay service people out there for the public to see did not hurt the cause. Which would you rather have? A ‘grandstander’ ( like the Cruzmeister) or someone who actually gets it done? I, personally, would take the ‘get it done’ guy any day of the week. But —–I’m a cynic.

  20. Badgerite says:

    I know what the Know-Nothing Party was. So you think the Tea Baggers are NOT aniti-immigrant then, Bill? Seems to me, the name fits them just fine. Let me think. Who was it that got in the way of any kind of immigration reform this Congressional term when there was such a big push for it after the influence of the Latino vote on the 2012 re election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States. Thinking______Thinking______. Oh yeah. All the TP favorites. Ted Cruz. Rand Paul. etc. This President supported the Dream Act. It cannot get through Congress because of the TPers. And in case you missed it, this is from the Huffington Post October 1, 2013

    The Obama Administration responded to years of pressure from immigrants rights groups on Friday with an announcement that it will stop deportations and begin granting work permits to for some Dream Act eligible students.
    “They pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one,;on paper.’ President Barack Obama said in a press conference announcing the policy change.
    Some 800,000 are expected to come forward to receive deferred action from deportation.

    Another words, the real roadblock for a decent immigration policy is not Barack Obama. It is the Know Nothing, and pretty much do nothing inheritors of the Know Nothing Party, the Tea Party. This president does what he can do through executive action. And if the Tea Party continues its grip on the GOP, and thereby on the country, other than building border moats and filling them with crocodiles, that is all the action you will see.

  21. Bill_Perdue says:

    The know nothings were primarily anti-immigrant.

  22. Bill_Perdue says:

    Is that similar to ‘progressive Democrats’ who vote for Obama and the Democrats and then pretend to be for marriage equality, against wars of aggression, against union busting, against the torture of Chelsea Manning and for retaining Social Security and Medicare?

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s not true that Bill Clintons DOMA is gone. Section two is still on the books. “Section 2. Powers reserved to the states – No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

    It’s not true that Obama struck down Section Three of DOMA. Google it and you can confirm that I’m right and you’re dead wrong. It was the Supremes and they did it because they felt the pressure of our movement, just as they did when they struck down separate but equal over half a century ago.

    Public support for equality after ten years of pigheaded, contemptible bigotry just before he was up for reelection is nothing but political rebranding. Period. End of Story.

    Obama went after Bill Clintons DADT because he needs cannon fodder.

    You forgot to add all those invitations to White House Easter egg rolls to your list. That’s vital to your point of view. And, oddly, you forgot to mention Obama’s BBF Rick Warren, a leader of the hate speech and ‘Kill a Gay for jebuz campaigns in Uganda and elsewhere. And somehow you forgot to mention Obama BBF Donnie McClurkin, who also travels across Africa spreading the message of hate.

    Obama is a rightwing, warmongering, anti-union admitted Republican who wants to gut Social Security and Medicare. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican,” he told Noticias Univision 23 in a White House interview.” </i

    Until he died Strom Thurmond was a rightwing, warmongering, anti-union admitted Republican who wanted to gut Social Security and Medicare.

  24. Bill_Perdue says:

    Brand new identity and it’s first comment is about me and that comment is a lie. New commentators seem to pop up. distort and lie and then disappear. Only to be replaced by a new identity.

    There seems to be a pattern here. A DNC supportive pattern.

  25. karmanot says:

    You clearly are not a union member. Part of the reason unions are so weak these days is because the leadership are corporate suits.

  26. karmanot says:

    You are blind to the Obama ‘scam’. Gay poet does not balance right wing GLTBQ hater preacher giving invocation at the Inaugural. Further, DOMA & DADT were Clinton’s special gifts to the GLTBQ community and Obozo had to be dragged into the business when he was ‘slowly’ evolving. Bill is absolutely right on this one. “Obama is no better than Strom Thurmond.” Polishing the turd only makes you a cynic.

  27. Wesley says:

    The only reason they win any election is because of the money influence in politics. Until this is fixed the USA is in danger of collapsing.

  28. Wesley says:

    There hasn’t been one country with successful libertarian political system.

  29. Wesley says:

    Here you go again blaming unions. I never hear you say anything about the waste that is going on in the corporate executive sector. Unions are only a fraction of a problem because they are too protective but the same or more so applies to CEOs and their entourages. Top earners make too much and bottom earners make too little. This is the problem this economy has, who cares what political system we have.

  30. Badgerite says:

    Uh huh! Well, hats off then. Pretty damned good scam. DOMA gone? Check. DADT gone? Check. Public support of marriage equality? Check. First openly gay poet giving a speech at the a presidential inauguration? Check. Yup. Just you run of the mill Southern Dixiecrats. Why, Obama is no better than Strom Thurmond.

  31. Bill_Perdue says:

    Single payer in Canada and is not socialized medicine. England, Cuba and other nations have socialized medical systems, Canada and France do not.

    Private medical insurance companies are allowed to exist in Canada and France. Socialists would confiscate their assets without compensation and move their workers into a socialist medical system.

  32. Bill_Perdue says:

    Clinton and Gore are Dixiecrats. They rebranded but it makes as little difference as Obama rebranding and pretending to support GLBT rights. It’s a scam.

  33. Badgerite says:

    I think the ‘Teabaggers’ should relabel themselves the ‘KnowNothings’. It fits and it has historical precedent.

  34. Badgerite says:

    Clinton and Gore were never ‘Dixiecrats’. That was from a previous generation.

  35. Indigo says:

    They’re doing a solid job of moving the Democrats right or, as I prefer to express it, consolidating the Corporate Capitalist Party.

  36. Bill_Perdue says:

    Most of the Dixiecrat politicians stayed in the Democrat party until they died or were voted out by Republicans as the Nixonian Southern Strategy took hold. The rest, exemplified by Clinton and Gore rebranded and became the Democratic (sic) Leadership Council which advocated moving right. Since the advent of the Clinton and Obama regimes no organized force was necessary to move the Democrats right. That is now their sole orientation.

  37. FLL says:

    The single payer system in Canada and much of Europe is inevitable in the U.S. It’s only a question of when.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Restricting early voting (which caters to poorer areas) in FL didn’t stop Obama from winning the state.

  39. Anonymous says:

    The blind leading the blind – no pun intended.

  40. Naja pallida says:

    This is why they have embarked on a ferocious campaign of redistricting and voter suppression. They have learned that when more voters turn out, the majority do not vote Republican. When minority groups, and students turn out to vote, they don’t tend to vote Republican. Their only hope to keep up their current trend is to keep as many people from voting as possible.

  41. Naja pallida says:

    Newt’s only reason at all for teasing that he was going to run in previous years was to make money from “donors”. The only reason why he finally did run last time, is because they weren’t falling for it anymore and he wasn’t making his comfortable living off of the gullible rubes. I honestly don’t think for a minute he actually had any real intention to become President.

  42. karmanot says:

    The PAC system is a golden Goose for the likes of grifters like Newtie. Now that Callista got her guilt jewels in the beginning I suspect she will clean up at the end as well….and that takes money.

  43. karmanot says:

    Excellent! Thank the gods we escaped the Mitt Romanus, but the future may hold Pox Americanus to undo two centuries of actual democracy. At least we lasted longer than Athens.

  44. Indigo says:

    They’re not dead yet and whoever surfaces will claim the mantle while the rest will fall under the bus or wander off into the lost land of third parties. Whatever happened to the Dixiecrats? They died out eventually is what happened but some returned to the Democratic Party, others fell in with Republicans and some just gave up and went back to the swamp. I imagine that’s about what the next year or two holds in store for the TeaPublicans but as long as a black man is the president, regardless of how corporate he be, they’ll be frothing at the mouth as we have not seen since Kennedy (my how we smoothed all that over with Camelot and vanilla frosting for the younger generation, huh?) and will not see again until the first Jew becomes president. That’s the flavor of bigotry, nothing more.

    Meanwhile, the Constitution is on life support, the secret police are not exactly secretive, and most importantly, there is only one party, the ruling party, and its name is Corporate Capitalism. What the Dem and Rep nomenclature does is to preserve in rhetorical formaldehyde a system that is already extinct. Note for historical analogies that the emperors of ancient Rome never abolished the Senate. It made good cover. And just because local elections matter, the last election for Consul Romanus was in 542 C.E. after which it was merged with other offices as negligible and remained as such in the political theater of Constantinople, not Rome, until the year 887 C.E. when it fell into disuse. That’s a long run for what eventually turned into an honorary title for generous donors.

    There go both Republicans and Democrats. The Corporate Capitalists are holding the talking stick, such as it is.

  45. Indigo says:

    A Libertarian is a Republican with a bong.

  46. The_Fixer says:

    Yes, people have been predicting the demise of the Republican party for some time now. And their actions of late are bringing that day ever closer.

    All of this analysis is great, and it appeals to people who have been paying attention to these things (like me and the rest of the people who hang around here). But there’s another wild-card in the mix: How many old people will die off in the coming few years, and how many of the millennial generation and members of the minority communities actually get out and vote (provided that they’re not the victims of the voter suppression strategy of the GOP) to replace the older voters who have passed from this earth.

    It’s no secret that the GOP’s supporters (voters) skew toward older, low-information voters. The millennial generation – including and especially members of minority communities – are now paying attention, have access to more information that their parents and grandparents don’t have, and are politically active. They are (mostly) exactly the opposite of their grandparents. They look upon the TEA party and Republicans in general as being completely nuts and not worthy of their votes. They don’t look favorably on religion, and don’t understand the disdain that the Republicans have for the LGBT community, let alone race or ethnic-based animosity.

    I predict that at some point, the GOP will be buried in a mound of their own feces from which it will take a long time for them to extricate themselves. But I don’t think it will be instantaneous. It will take a few years.

  47. The_Fixer says:

    And Rand Paul is an optometrist who created his own accreditation organization because the real one wanted him to actually prove that he was worthy of being accredited.

  48. chris10858 says:

    It’s interesting to watch. I read that some Tea Baggers were pushing for Newt to run again but he got his attorneys to issue a cease and desist against them. Since Newt is a narcissist, it makes me wonder why he didn’t want to try to run? Is it because he thinks he can make more money on CNN and his other ventures or does he think the Tea Party folks are driving themselves off of a cliff and knows better than to join in with them?

    Also, it would be awesome to have the Baggers splinter off from the larger Repub party. That’d ensure Dems to win for a good number of elections to come (and hopefully allow for America to get back on the right track).

  49. Thom Allen says:

    Cheney actually had a cardiac transplant and how has his first heart, ever.

  50. Stev84 says:

    In a proper political system, i.e. a multi-party system, they would have formed their own party long ago. If they gained enough votes they could then force the Republicans into a coalition, and still block some stuff, but as a junior party they couldn’t dominate them like they do.

  51. Luigi Proud DemoCat! says:

    The Tea Party crowd and other right-wing anarchists want the default because they believe the lies Ronald Reagan and his cronies have been spouting since the 1970’s:

    Taxation is theft. The government is incompetent. The government can do nothing right. Government is the most destructive force in the universe. All of your unhappiness is caused the existence of government. “It’s bad for business.” is the strongest argument possible against any proposed government action. You get the idea.

    The financiers of the Tea Party and other right-wing anarchist groups want the default because the US Government will then have to pay a higher interest rate to them for the money the government borrows and because when Middle and Working Classes go bankrupt and lose their assets, the financiers can buy them up for pennies on the dollar.

    The financiers don’t believe the propaganda they push on the Tea Party crowd and other right-wing anarchists. The financiers view the government as a business tool and a weapon they can use to maximize their profits and wealth by crushing their competition, and of course, anyone who is not part of their crowd – which means us.

    I go further than you, John. Anyone who is still a Republican, after what has occurred, is an enabler of what you discussed and what I stated above. They deny that they agree with what the Republican Party is doing, but ultimately, they are greedy and hope that when the Republican Party succeeds, they will personally benefit from it, so they keep their heads down and keep right on voting Republican.

  52. karmanot says:

    “What’s needed is socialized medicine.” Exactly: Medicare for everyone!

  53. Bill_Perdue says:

    Dixiecrats are a distinct part of US history. They were extremely racist and to the right of the FDR/Truman wing, itself a right wing political formation. There’s a historic continuum from Dixiecrat to Democrat blue dog. The distinction between blue dogs and Dixiecrats is that not all blue dogs are from the Dixiecrat South. Many are northern machine politicians like Obama. The Clintons, Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Kerry and Biden are all rabid blue dogs, some with Dixiecrat origins.

    Both Dixiecrats and Republicans opposed FDR’s feeble reforms like Social Security and wanted to crush unions. FDR and Truman, both anti-union, preferred to appease unions rather than face the rage of workers and made only minor concessions to the hold of Jim Crow. A few Dixiecrats left the Democrats but most stayed and came to be called blue dogs or yellow dogs.

  54. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obamacare is a fraud based on bribery (1) and corruption (2). It’s main beneficiaries are insurance companines, HMO’s and Big Pharma who will get tens of billions in guaranteed profits. It’s main victims are working people who ill get substandard health care. Millions will be forced to buy crap insurance. Obama care makes the health care crisis worse and the fact that Republicans oppose it for partisan reasons doesn’t alter that fact. Low premiums are more than offset by financially crippling deductibles and copay’s.

    Obamacare is a watered down version of Nixoncare.

    What’s needed is socialized medicine.

    (1) Obama took about $20 million in bribes and had a couple of dozen secret meetings with the owners of HMOs and Big Pharma and then he scuttled single payer. “The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics — is the most comprehensive breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the 2008 election cycle. Currently, the Center’s website shows that Obama received $19,462,986 from the health sector … ” ($2.1m).”

    (2) While he was getting those bribes, mislabeled “campaign contributions” he was having secret meetings with the health care sector of the .01% . LA Times July 22, 2009 “the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list
    of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the massive healthcare overhaul. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a letter to the Secret Service asking about visits from 18 executives representing health insurers, drug makers, doctors and other players in the debate.”

  55. AndyinChicago says:

    I’m really afraid that we’ve been underestimating the staying power of the GOP. There’s a chance that the GOP will survive this and become more and more tea-party, so more and more conservative, which will only serve to shift the Democrats and the whole nation right. I’m not ready to celebrate the last days of the GOP yet.

  56. nobonesl says:

    Rather than “Dixiecrats”, I think “Blue Dog” (i.e. Conservative) Democrat is
    a more accurate term.
    As Conservative/Corporatist as Blue Dog Dems are, nobody would accuse them
    of being segregationists.
    The Tea-Party seems to be the last bastion of segregationism within either
    of the 2 parties now.

  57. nobonesl says:

    Dream scenarios for humankind:
    An end to all wars; Cure for all forms of cancer;A new, clean, inexhaustible & cheap energy source; A super-cheap way of de-salinating seawater; The End Times of The Republican Party.
    The Human Race NEEDS these things, but especially, the LAST.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Attrition of over-60 neocons should do it. Yet they still keep hanging on against the odds – like Cheney with his artificial heart. For that matter, how do the Murdoch/Koch geezers keep pushing on?

  59. Anonymous says:

    The Bush-era neocons, in office and in the media, were the nail in the coffin. They’d reached the height of their arrogance. They thought they could evolve to the Tea Party and succeed in their fascism. Note how they paid news outlets to instill false confidence in Romney, predicting a “landslide win.” They’re imploding – good riddance.

  60. Bill_Perdue says:

    Under the impact of the an ongoing and deepening economic crisis and a simultaneous radicalization both parties of the rich – Democrats and Republicans – are going to face political crises as they continue to betray their election promises, disgrace themselves and continue to alienate voters.

    Both parties embrace a right wing agenda. Both promote wars of aggression, try to gut the Bill of Rights and reforms like Social Security and Medicare. Both bust unions, promote FTA’s and the export of union jobs and both protect polluters instead of the environment.

    And that’s not going to change any time soon. Both parties will remain havens for right wingers like Obama and his Teabaggers allies and Dixiecrats like the Clintons. Both will continue to move to the right an try outflanking one another from the right. Both will continue to be owned by the rich and dominated by the political and social programs of the rich and both will continue to engage in dog eat dog partisanship before and after elections.

    If the Teabaggers split they’ll disappear just like the Progressives of 1948 only to be reabsorbed as Republicans or Democrats because, in the real world, the US is an undemocratic, plutocratic duopoly it doesn’t matter one way or the other what the Teabaggers do of if the Republicans split. Both parties will remain rightist and voters will more and more abstain from voting altogether as they move left. Socialists and the left, which does not include any Democrat ‘progressives’ will enjoy steady growth as the economy declines, as the Bill of Rights is gutted and as the incomes of working people continues to decline precipitously.

    Eventually, and sooner rather than later, both parties of the rich will become Whigs. It can’t happen too soon.

  61. karmanot says:

    Well, Ron Paul is a doctor who uses a divining rod to diagnose the ills of his patients.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Their own arrogance felled them. They really believed that these insane controversial tactics would work. Instead they completely backfired and now their party has collapsed. A tall, sturdy building can still go down with a few wrecking balls.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Same here – or “I’m ashamed of my real views, so I’m latching on to a 3rd party even though I’d never vote for Ron Paul.”

    Btw, what has that old hack ever accomplished aside from spewing ideology? And his son is embarrassing.

  64. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’ve always figured that “libertarian” meant “I always vote Republican but I don’t like to admit it at parties.”

  65. PeteWa says:

    true, although I had been personally thinking about what happened to Hungary – same thing in both places, though, with voracious corporate interests taking advantage of a weak / nonexistent government.

  66. karmanot says:

    Libertarians are just baggers with BA degrees from online colleges.

  67. karmanot says:

    Russia is a perfect study in that.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I thought it was Tea Partiers and “Libertarians” now?

  69. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’ve said it before: my pet conjecture since 2012 has been that there will be a last blaze of glory for the teabag wing of the GOP in 2014 to 2016. It is inevitable that the GOP will probably pick up a few congressional seats in 2014 and, if even just one or two of those seats goes to a teabag bomb-thrower at the expense of a more experienced and (relatively) saner legislator, that will “prove” to the extremists that the way to win elections is to amp up the crazy–er, that is to say, stand up for “conservative principles” instead of trying to mollify or compromise. The argument will go that Romney in 2012 and McCain before him lost because they were too weak and tainted with liberalism, so the real way to set the voters’ hearts aflame is to run someone without even a hint of moderation about him.

    So basically I’m predicting a teabag nutcase candidate for President in 2016, someone fairly green, followed by an embarrassing loss. That’s when the real civil war will start. I don’t think we’re there yet, not while the various factions in the GOP can at least unite around their fanatical hatred of the Kenyan usurper.

  70. pappyvet says:

    Is it any wonder? The last 10 years has seen a wave of vicious hate speech disguised as right-wing opinion. Couple big business interests with religion and you have a powerful cabal. Religion, always a powerful tool of mental oppression, has been used to keep minds chained. The GOP has portrayed itself as the party of God, even though its policies, which ignore the poor and deny basic healthcare are very unchristian. In the minds of church-going Southerners, God’s word is not to be questioned.So it becomes easy demonize everything from Science to Progressives as long as it works towards the goal. What is the goal? To keep people stupid,voting against their own interests and the most important,keep the money moving up. They hit the religionists in the back of the head with a board,steal their wallets and then point their fingers at Liberals,Gays, and anyone else who is not “One with the Body.”
    They pedal the drug of hatred and then rend their garments with fake righteous indignation if anyone attempts to defend themselves. And this has become the perfect storm of flim flam that they have used over and over again. Only now it seems that the clouds are gathering over their own heads and like Dr. Frankenstein,they are at last finding that they cannot control the cruel monster they’ve created.

  71. Leota2 says:

    The GOP brought this on themselves. In 2009 they watched the baggers act insane
    with smiles on their faces. There was nothing too stupid that the baggers could do that made them
    outwardly disapprove of them and their misspelled, racist, homophobic, xenophobic signs littering the landscape. Boehner and buddies grinned like the parents watching their gamboling offspring taking its first steps.

    Even though everyone with a brain warned the GOP that these nuts would start to cannibalize them—they never stopped the crazy. By that time they were becoming frightened of them or had decided to join their ranks because, you know—not Obama. But then it started happening. Boehner was first threatened by Cantor. He managed to deal with that threat, but now he was proved vulnerable. Vulnerable to a bunch of know nothings who wrapped themselves in the flag, god and a constitution they know nothing about and want to destroy because, you know, Obama. I’d say the republicans deserve them—-but the rest of us don’t.

  72. angryspittle says:

    This really isn’t about the ACA. These crazy fuckers just want to shut it down. If it wasn’t the ACA it would be something else.

  73. Dave of the Jungle says:

    I call on the Republican Party to disband.

  74. BeccaM says:

    Partly that, aye, and partly because he’s almost powerless to oppose his party’s most extreme elements. He’s got Cantor breathing down his neck, and Tea Baggers who’d rather have a Democrat as Speaker than have what they consider an ideologically impure Republican (i.e., anyone willing to compromise on anything) in the position.

  75. karmanot says:

    “this is more like one of those Sea World shows” More like a sea change Angela—an historic sea change.

  76. karmanot says:

    Yep, let’s call them Neo-Nutsies.

  77. karmanot says:

    Coincidental to the fact that Boehner is the most incompetent Speaker in generations.

  78. karmanot says:

    They are anarchists.

  79. Naja pallida says:

    People have been predicting the implosion of the Republican party ever since the evangelical takeover in the early 1980s. Each time they stoop to a new depth of depravity, the saner wing of the party looks for every excuse to defend and justify it. It doesn’t seem to matter how crazy they get. Even when people get drummed out of the party and mocked, or obviously do not have their interests represented by anything the party does, they still keep publicly supporting it. The tiny glimmers of sanity we do see are relentlessly derided. There is no standard logic that can be applied to predict what will happen. They have done everything they can to reject logic.

  80. karmanot says:

    Excellent analysis Becca. I would venture to say that the ‘Tea Party’ represents a significant threat to American democracy and should be considered as domestic terrorists. ““if we can’t rule the Village, we must burn it to the ground”—– that works two ways, let’s start with the Hamptons!

  81. PeteWa says:

    yes, I agree it’s far more serious – especially considering that the corporate interests are much more entrenched and powerful now, and have a huge interest in causing instability – it will be so much easier to ‘privatize’ everything when everything is in a shambles.

  82. Ninong says:

    They have circled the wagons and have begun firing away — but in the wrong direction! At least it’s entertaining.

  83. BeccaM says:

    Thanks, Pete. In researching this post, I was struck by the parallels between the Dixiecrats and the Tea Baggers.

    To be clear, no situation is identical to any other one, but for me the light-bulb moment was when I began reading about their secessionist rhetoric in the years leading up to 1948. Change a few words and it could easily have been a standard Tea Party speech.

    Of course, the biggest difference of all is the Dixiecrats were never in control of the Democratic party, whereas the Tea Baggers clearly have been running the GOP show for some years now. That, I think, makes the situation far more serious and dire now than it was back then.

  84. newsriffs says:

    Some day, “Millard Filmore and G.W.Bush” will be linked, on the game show Jeopardy, in response to: “The last two men, from their respective parties to serve as president of the United States”.

    Whigs and Republicans will then both be something you learned about in history class.

  85. BeccaM says:

    Unfortunately, it’s not enough to refuse to negotiate with the blackmailers. Their hostages have to be taken from them, and their means to keep issuing threats rendered powerless.

  86. MG1 says:

    FYI: The author of this post is Becca Morn, not John Aravosis.

  87. Houndentenor says:

    If this means the Teavangelicals eating Boehner alive (metaphorically obviously), then please pass the popcorn. I’m afraid it means eating the country which should scare us all. Even so, we can’t negotiate with blackmailers. If we do, they’ll be back every few months to hold a gun to our heads again.

  88. PeteWa says:

    I really hope your prediction comes to pass.
    like FLL I fully agree with the Dixiecrat comparison, we’re seeing the latest iteration of the hateful racists at work. There is no other plausible explanation for what they’re doing other than they (idiotically) want to prevent anyone they consider ‘the other’ from benefiting from the government, too stupid to realize they are cutting off their own nose, ears, lips and eyes to spite their faces.

  89. Houndentenor says:

    For decades the establish Republicans have pandered to the Teavangelicals by promising a lot and giving them very little. At some point the social conservatives and radical fringe were going to start making demands that the establishment never intended to honor. And here we are. They didn’t see this coming? did they really think they could take those factions of the party for granted forever? Are they really that arrogant? Obviously so. I have no pity for them. They made their bed and they can lie in it. My concern is not for the Republicans who have gay-bashed for fun and profit for decades now. no, my concern is for my country because the Teavangelicals seem intent of burning down the entire country if they can’t get their way. I curse every Republican for this mess. Fix this and stop bitching about the mess you created for yourselves.

  90. FLL says:

    Your comparison with the Dixiecrats of 1948 illustrates the current situation perfectly. I was curious to find out if Southern segregationists had any real option with Thomas Dewey in the election of 1948, so I dug up some information on Dewey’s track record on civil rights. It turns out that as governor of New York, he was a civil rights supporter. This is an excerpt from The Eisenhower Years (Presidential Profiles) by Michael Mayer:

    “A forceful and consistent proponent of civil rights for African Americans, Dewey sponsored the first state commission to end religious and racial discrimination in employment practices and was a major force behind passage of landmark civil rights legislation enacted by the state legislature in 1945.”

    From the viewpoint of Southern segregationists, the situation on the Democratic side must have seemed equally bleak. After FDR’s death, President Harry Truman established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights and ordered an end to discrimination in the military in 1948. The Dixiecrats were, in effect, a cornered animal.

    The present-day Tea Baggers are faced with the inevitable introduction of government-sponsored health care (much like the rest of the developed world) and the victory of equal rights for LGBT citizens. The modest reforms of Obamacare would have been accepted by mainstream Republicans during the era of George W. Bush—provided, of course, that the GOP got to take credit for it. Moreover, mainstream Republicans have thrown in the towel on gay rights and opted to ignore the issue, giving equal rights proponents victory by default. From the Tea Bagger point of view, the political landscape must look as bleak in both parties as it did for the Dixiecrats in 1948. The Tea Baggers are cornered animals, and we can expect them to act as such. Dangerous times we live in.

  91. BeccaM says:

    I was just using shorthand, not trying to use their official names.

  92. emjayay says:

    Not “Parks and Forest Service”. National Park Service and US Forest Service. Or the Park Service and the Forest Service. Or the Park and Forest services. Most people don’t really know the difference, or often the difference between either and state parks.

  93. AngelaChanning says:

    John said: “Ordinarily, I’d say, great! Let’s make popcorn and settle in for the
    show. Unfortunately, this is more like one of those Sea World shows, the
    kind where if you sit too close to the tank, you know they’re going to
    make the dolphins splash everyone in the first ten rows. And we’re all
    in those front rows…”

    Or… watching Shamu eat the trainer.

  94. Everyday Freethought says:

    We have seen the nutcases push the Repubs further to the right for a couple of decades. For several years, I have been hearing/reading predictions that the religious/Wall Street alliance cannot last much longer. All that seems to happen is the religious nuts get nuttier and the checks from Wall Street get bigger. I would love to see the Tea Baggers break off, or collapse, or something like that. I am just not too sure that is what will happen. I have a bad feeling that the rightward march is going to continue.

  95. douglas01 says:

    The Tea Party will control a shutdown and default only if Speaker Boehner lets it happen. He can bring anything he wants to the floor for a vote and if the Democrats vote for it there will be enough ‘normal’ Republicans to pass the bills. I lay this totally at John Boehner’s feet. He can stop this, it would probably cost him the Speakership, but it would be the right thing to do.

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