That giant sucking sound that you hear, is the hole in the ground where the GOP used to be. The Christian Right (CR) took them over and instead of spreading out to envelop the entire country, the greedy, intolerant, deceitful hypocrites have killed the GOP. Moderate and independent citizens have spoken with their votes. It turns out that Americans really do want equality for all.
(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)
The GOP has collapsed as a direct result of the unholy marriage between the oil / defense industry GOP hacks and religious zealots seeking to install their religion into government. They both sought to fleece the other, like two grifters each assuming that the other one had money. The GOP wanted to use the CR to get votes as part of 'the southern strategy'. The CR wanted to take over government and get their hands on taxpayer dollars and to change laws in order to favor their religion above all others. The net result is a horribly deflated GOP, home only to racists, religious fanatics and corporate crooks.
Barack Obama was too tempting for them. They couldn't help themselves but to be stoke fear and hate in an ever intensifying downward spiral. They have lost almost everyone except white racists and apologists for corporate corruption. I am very happy to note that in 2008, both of those groups are minorities. Their own ill deeds consumed them.
For years, the Christian Right spent years hiding their base intentions with code words and pronouncements of peace and tolerance. It was bunk, it was always bunk. It was about money and power. (Hint: if they're using 'code' words, then they are trying to screw you.)
I used to be afraid of the Christian Right. I thought they would consume our nation from within, seizing government and turning our democracy into a theocracy. I thought they would consume the GOP like a cancer and once in power, usurp the military, corporations and the media in order to replace the laws of man (and equality) with the laws of god (and intolerance, brutality and hypocrisy). And they tried pretty hard to do just exactly that.
My first indicators were the mouthpieces of Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh among many, many others. Spewing rage and intolerance, telling us that we are at war with our fellow citizens. Inciting hate is never benign. It is always there for a reason and that reason is always, always, always to weaken the population while liars and murderers steal power. My next big indicator was/is the attack of education. Constant charges upon schools to allow religion to replace science. The only thing this does is to make the population dumber and more gullible to the dishonest influence of the tyrants that seek to rule. A tyrant's only natural enemy is an educated country. The only people who attack knowledge are people that want you to be stupid.
I was terrified and with damn good reason. Theocracies always end in injustice because they begin in injustice.
First, when the rule of law is replaced with the rule of god, there is no even application of the law. Laws become tilted in favor of those that believe as the state sanctioned religion does. It is also more difficult because laws have logic to their construction (or they're supposed to) but religion has no logic. How can any equal system of justice exist with a legal system based on a religious text? It is supposedly handed down by god, to people that lived thousands of years ago, originally written in other languages, translated umpteen times and censored by religious ministers.
Second, nobody ever wins a religious argument. So, if any religion controls the government, they will hear a lot of arguments from people in other religions because they laws are not treating everyone fairly. The religion in power will not be able to resist the temptation to use the police or the military to shut the complainers up. The only reason they want to change the laws is to get into a position of power over the rest of us. The leaders of the GOP and the Christian Right know this. It's their followers that haven't figured it out quite yet. They really believe that they're fighting for god and securing a place in heaven.
This election cycle was a referendum on religious zeal and intolerance. After 8 years of an unchecked religious assault, emboldened by a like-minded President, the American people spoke up. We had a choice between a country that favors one religion over others and one that favors none. It's because we realize that religious freedom means that no religion has control of the government.
The collapse of the GOP promises to be a grand spectacle indeed. There are still a great deal of GOP faithful that still haven't caught on that they are being used by people in their party and religious leadership. Once they start to really figure it out, the party will get even smaller. Also, the CR nut-jobs are totally capable of going way off the deep end when they finally get it. Watch out for some craziness. Better watch out for the crafty ones. They're already trying to do the same thing to the Democratic party. They won't get as far, because we actually are black, latino, asian, arab, muslim, atheist, intelligent and most importantly...we are in this together.
I think the final nail in the coffin is this: the world has one universal currency - ideas. The country that can think and create better than every other country will have the advantage in production, quality of life, prosperity, security and longevity. The GOP & Christian Right do not support an educated population. They do not want their autocratic rule to be challenged. We Americans have seen that ignorance is not bliss, it is a cancer. So too, is the GOP today.