Since the 2010 elections, the country has watched as the Republican Party - egged on by the Tea party - has apparently gone insane. While the election campaigns focused on jobs, the Republicans have forsaken that mantra in favor of, well, just about anything BUT jobs.
From the anti-union legislation in Wisconsin that kept us entranced for weeks to the Florida governor's enactment of legislation to enrich his wife's drug testing company to the plethora of anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive, anti-woman and anti-child legislation all the way to the disastrous budget bill outlining Republican plans to end Medicare, is there a hot button social conservative issue they've missed? I mean, do we really want to make having a miscarriage a felony?
An interesting web site, Seeds for Thought, has brought together some of the more insane bills being worked on at the State level:
I've watched this insanity on at least a weekly basis, and sometimes nightly, on Rachael Maddow's show. She is often gleeful at the misadventures of the right wing's current crop of Presidential hopefuls, but just as often seems just puzzled at the wide spread over reach of the Republicans on a national basis, as if they've all drunk some kind of insanity drug or something.
It helps sometimes, to step back and get out of the weeds and look at the bigger picture.
Just imagine for a moment that you were a stinking rich liberal with no public awareness of your political leanings, and you wanted to end the political power of the right wing. You figured out a way to use your money to obtain entre' into the upper reaches of the Republicans and were able to gain a measure of power over the actions of those at the top of the party.
Now, you are making a list. A checklist of actions that would result in the destruction of the Republican party by alienating every constituency in the country except the most hard core right wing. What kind of stuff would you put on that list?
Anti-abortion legislation? Anti-union legislation? Suggesting the end of Social Security?
I think if there is such a list, they've managed to hit about 80% of it so far this year alone. But why? It has been a well known formula for years that in order to win the Presidential elections, one has to win your party nomination by winning over your base, and then you've got to move to the center to win over the centrists and independent voters to add their numbers to your own party. Neither party has the numbers to elect their own nominee outright, so this has long been the recipe for winning the White House.
One doesn't win over the center by alienating them at the beginning. Campaigning is one thing, enacting legislation that proves your campaign promises are lies even before the campaign begins is completely another! I think just about the only subject they've missed so far is immigration, but they seem to be gearing up to hit that one, too.
Again, why? What do they have to win? How can they possibly win after enacting legislation that not only alienates almost half the electorate (women), another larger part (old folks), and a growing group (non-whites) that threatens to grow into the largest voting block in the country?
Add to that the suction of the Tea Party that has drawn off the craziest right wing of the party plus the Republicans' own tendency to eliminate the moderate wing by throwing out the likes of Meagan McCain and Colin Powell, and it seems that the GOP is headed down a road of complete self annihilation!
I wish I knew. Who gains if the Republicans do self destruct? Are people like the Koch Brothers really so insane and politically blind that they cannot see how this current trend is likely to end? How about the Republican slate of Presidential contenders? Are they that blind, too? Are men like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich not able to see how out of touch with the American mainstream their party has become? Is their right wing world so self contained that they really can't read the polls?
I don't think so. These people can't be so stupid, can they? I mean, Mitt Romney is wealthy, and one doesn't get and/or keep that kind of wealth by being stupid. Do they? I'd like to think that they really are that dumb, but something just doesn't ring true. There has to be another explanation for it. Smart, successful people don't just go off the deep end suddenly and begin doing stuff that is so destructive to their party interests, especially not in job lots.
This isn't just a few people at the top. This is ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! State legislatures, governors, just about everywhere that the Republicans have gained control of the reins of power without Democrats to slow them down. So, is it the true character of the Republican Party to do these things? If so, how have they kept that a secret for years if not decades? Plenty of Republicans have changed sides, and someone was bound to talk sometime, so that seems unlikely.
So who gains? Is there a small cabal of wealthy corporatists ready to move in after some measure of national confusion after the very public spanking the Republicans are likely to get in 2012? Is there some plan to destroy the right wing as a political force and substitute a more moderate party in its place?
I can't say. I'm not a political expert, I fix computers for a living. I can't imagine how this is going to play out, but when an entire political party goes stark raving mad, it can't be good.