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View Diary: The First Shots Fired in the Coming GOP Civil War? (283 comments)

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  •  I'd split the modern GOP coalition (6+ / 0-)

    into the "free market" corporate wing (not all corporations are soley about profits no matter how antisocially and destructively gotten, e.g. Costco or even MSNBC), and the "culturally conservative" wing, variously based on gun rights, nativism, white identity, patriarchy, homophobia, fundamentalist religion, ruralism, and all those other "heartland" values we heard about in the 80's, 90's and 00's (and will doubtlessly hear again as the economy improves and the media needs a new fake controversy to stir up for ratings).

    The former have run the party and usually the country since Reconstruction (and not necessarily always irresponsibly, e.g. in the 50's), with a brief interlude under TR, FDR/Truman and Clinton, but have exploited the latter, when and as needed, to get enough votes to stay in power. But as demographics have changed since the 60's, they've increasingly had to rely on the latter, and on an ever more radical version of them, to win, which has not only alienated centrists and indies and driven them towards Dems, but risked having them lose control of the party to these increasingly crazy and emboldened and desperate cultural Repubs.

    I know that it's been predicted many times before, but this time, I think the fissure is serious, and quite possible irreparable. The crazies have broken down the asylum walls and they're storming out like the floodwaters during Sandy, and they're not going back in again like dutiful foot soldiers. They got a taste of power, and they want more of it. The closest historical comparison I can think of is 1960-1964, when the crazies took over the GOP. The GOP eventually figured out how to put them back in their place and harness their crazy energy, by running sociopaths like Nixon and psychopaths like Reagan. But now the sociopaths and psychopaths have taken over, and the corporates are scared.

    What do they do? If they try to move the party to the center they'll lose the crazies, without whom they can't win. If they keep moving to the right, they'll lose the center, without whom they also can't win. Basically, they're screwed, even if current political makeups of congress and statehouses don't outwardly reflect that. Something's going on here and it's not good for the GOP.

    My prediction is that they'll eventually split. The crazies will form their own party, which will go the way of the Know-Nothings in time. The corporates will reassert control over an unavoidably minority party for a number of years as they regroup and move towards the center again. As they do this they'll attract centrists and indies who always leaned right back into their fold, along with more than a few center-right Dems like Blue Dogs, and eventually they'll be able to content for the majority again, especially against a Democratic party diminished in number by defecting centrists, and perhaps once again a bit too left-leaning for many swing voters. But that's likely to take 10-20 years, maybe longer. In the meantime, we should enjoy and make maximal use of this opportunity made possible by the self-destructive and too far right nature of the GOP.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:25:51 PM PST

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