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As someone who was raised in a Republican family and who still attends family get-togethers in which Ronald Reagan's name is only mentioned with the utmost respect, I have first-hand knowledge on what Republicans believe and why they believe it.

However, the Republican Party of today is terminally sick. It simply can't win elections anymore as it did in 2004, by ginning up homophobia, or as it did in California in 1994, by ginning up xenophobia.

Now comes the funny/sad part...

Republicans are now trying to figure out how they can "expand their tent" without actually giving anything to the grounds that they failed to court in 2008 and 2012. To immigrants, Republicans offer... nothing. Maybe the next Republican presidential candidate will print out a few million posters with "Viva" in front of his name. (And it will be a "him". One of the reasons why Sarah Palin hates the Republican establishment is because she found out, too late, that it wanted her loyalty but not her feminism. Women, like minorities, the working class, police officers, immigrants, teachers, academics, and libertarians are people that the Republicans want to just "shut up and vote Republican.)

To young voters like Meghan McCain and Jon Huntsman's daughters, the Republican Party offers: empty promises and Delphic warnings about how their social security and medicare will be taken away if they don't support the "voucherizing" of these programs. To union members like police officers, fire fighters, teachers, iron workers, etc., the Republican Party offers to lower their pay and switch out their pension plan for one that pays them less after they retire and possibly nothing at all (look up "defined contribution pensions" for more on that).

To people who need health care the Republican Party offers nothing.

At what point will the Republican Party grow up and kick the Tea Party to the curb? The Tea Party found a way to take states and districts that have historically voted Republican and fielded candidates that were so bad that even thousands of Romney voters found them to be unctious.

My advice to the GOP, should it choose to listen is simply this: you are headed toward a cliff if you don't change course. Changing course involves more than simply re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, to use one of Rush Limbaugh's favorite metaphors which is ironically apt at the moment. Changing course means talking to people who either didn't vote this year or who voted for Obama to try to figure out why the Republican Party and its xenophobic, homophobic, small tent, anti-worker, anti-woman policies are about as welcome in mainstream America as ants at a picnic.

Unlike the GOP, I'd like to hear all of your thoughts on this.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not Likely (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Illinois IRV, BadKitties, Bronx59, mookins

    Since sooo much of the Repub Party is AGAINST chnage, this is a tall order.The religious element can't abide gay marriage; the Wall Street element (THE most important part) can't abide any greater regulation and certainly not higher taxes on carried interest or dividends or capital gains; the racist/.anti-immigrant faction can't stand Latinos, African-Americans or Asian-Americans, I'm not sure where they can change that would give them more appeal to the middle.

  •  Money makes a lot of things easier (5+ / 0-)

    when you are out of ideas. I would expect a ruthless republican campaign in 2014.

    After that, the demographics will either kill them or force a major adaptation.

    The interests that compose the Republican coalition will continue to exist.

    I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

    by Dave from Oregon on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:31:03 PM PST

  •  We are dealing with a zombie party... (9+ / 0-)

    ...made up like an embalmed corpse, they stink to high heaven, tottering along, convincing some that they are right. But don't think that they going away any time soon. That mistake was made in 2008, and in part caused 2010.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:31:58 PM PST

    •  Elected Dems certainly didn't keep (5+ / 0-)

      the pressure on persistently enough to guide the GOP off into the wilderness post-2008. I think there was a lost opportunity there. They sort of made a comeback that really didn't need to be allowed to happen.

      I'm hoping the change in the electorate that we're seeing will "force" this self-destruction of the GOP in way that might not have been available during in the 2008-2010 time period.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:47:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really? (8+ / 0-)

    This is the same GOP party that 2 years ago handed us our ass on a platter?

    You must be dreaming.

    Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:32:38 PM PST

  •  My thoughts: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, 4mygirls, cybersaur

    I'm not in the least bit interested in a republican party comeback. I'd much prefer they head right over the cliff, the faster the better.

    As noble as it might be, there's no point giving advice to the opposition, who really won't take it from us anyway.

    Sure, they might repackage their message, and they may even emulate us in certain ways, but it won't be genuine.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:36:41 PM PST

  •  Not Being a Conservative, I Have No Advice For (10+ / 0-)

    them to improve their appeal.

    In a basketful of crucial issues, reality is far to the left of the Democratic Party. I don't see any redeeming social value for a party to the right of the Democratic Party.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:38:45 PM PST

  •  The Republican party may never be able to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Zack from the SFV

    "grow up".  It is trapped now in the culmination and maturation of its "Southern Strategy" with some Bible Belt states and the Usual Suspects in the intermountain west thrown in for good measure.  Those voters, who represent so much of the base of the party, will never tolerate the sort of 'big tenting' that hand-wringing party leaders are talking so much about these days...

    They will probably maintain a certain degree of electoral dominance in these regions, but they will probably only win swing-state state-wide or national elections when disenchanted Democratic voters stay home...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:44:11 PM PST

  •  You can't fix stupid but you can vote them out. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, MarkW53, Zack from the SFV

    One of my colleagues is a devout Christian from Africa. He doesn't really like the churches here because the way he was taught was more about helping the less fortunate become more independent and less reliant on constant assistance.

    For example, you can give a hungry (and able) man a fish. You can also give the hungry man a fish, fishing equipment and fishing knowledge. He can then fish for himself and maybe help others along the way. It's a very oversimplified story since reality is much more complicated, but the idea of helping people who want to help themselves become better is much more constructive to society.

    What the republican party does is ignore the hungry man altogether.

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:45:20 PM PST

  •  the country would be better off (5+ / 0-)

    without a Republican Party, in my opinion, so if it's true that they are terminal...that's great news.

    However, my tendency is to be more cautious about long-term trends, such as a blanket statement that the Republican Party's terminal. They appeared to be terminal to many in 1964...and then they began a long resurgence of becoming ever-more conservative and obstinate with every election.

    The Republican Party seems content to know that they will always be at least somewhat competitive, regardless of how odious its positions are to vast majorities of people:
     a) It will always have a money advantage, at least as long as they have Citizens United propping them up (many people seem to be declaring Citizens United to have been all bark and no bite; however, in my opinion, all of that money did do made them competitive and kept them in the presidential race; my guess is that it would have been an Obama landslide had Citizens United not been a factor this year.

    b) Most owners of the mainstream media are Republicans, with vested interests in propping up Republicans, not only for ideological reason, but to keep races interesting to make more advertising revenue.

    c) The party has prostituted itself completely to the monied elites...their shamelessness in being blatant tools for the wealthiest special interests becomes more blatant every year.

    The Republicans have lost a couple of elections in recent years; of course, they also won a major election in 2010, as well. In 2016, they can finally be rid of the albatross around its neck known as George Walker Bush (assuming they don't nominate someone else named Bush, in which case...well...the ads for the Democrats almost write themselves...showing the country what happened the last two times Bushes were allowed to purchase their way to the Oval office).

    In other words, my guess is that we probably won't be so lucky as to have the Republican Party dying out. Like most other evils...they are just lurking, for now, waiting for the right circumstances to try to slither their way back into power.  

    •  CU failed because all they had was... (4+ / 0-)

      ...negative ads. People got overly annoyed with them, never seeing positive things about what the Republicans would do. Also, their operatives responsible for producing and airing these ads were skimming money for themselves. The Republicans essentially saw this as a way to enrich themselves, blunting the effect. This may be the Achilles heel of CU.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:08:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The party has "legs," that's for sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plu, wdrath

      They always seem to find a way to slither back. Unfortunately.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:21:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think the GOP CAN change. Here's why: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dewstino, msmacgyver, JeffW, MBramble, native

    The religious fanatics, hysterical that America might never be the "Christian Nation" of their dreams, are digging their claws ever deeper into the GOP. I saw a retweet* from Bryan J. Fischer, wacko homophobe, just the other day that said if the GOP softens any of its stances, it will lose the evangelical vote. Which is only 26% of the electorate, but whatever.

    * I can't see his tweets, because he promptly blocked me after I implied that he was upset because a favorite boy toy had left him.

    They won't change or soften their stance on women, because the forced-birth slut shamers will all start screeching, howling, and threatening the loss of money and the votes of all who despise women. Even though they have nowhere else to go, so it is an empty threat.

    They can't really change on immigration, because they don't want to. They really do wish all these voting Latinos would self-deport.

    They can't agree to taxing the rich, because then the billionaires won't make campaign contributions.

    So, basically, they're screwed. And as a Republican, I'm not sorry. This is NOT the party that I joined. This group of weak, whiny obstructionists has no business holding public office.

    •  Well, what portions of the Republican Party... (0+ / 0-)

      ...are left that might work for the country, and with Democrats? Maybe the only thing that those Republicans can do is split off into a new party. Or anatgonize the screwballs to split off.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:24:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And they don't intend to change, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBramble, native

      either.  I've watched their public dialogues and internal diatribes since before the election (things are pretty boring on this side) and there's nothing they want to change or think will make a difference if they do.  As far as they're concerned, what they've cobbled together is the most coherent and most relevant set of positions they can.

      Internally it's accepted by the relatively bright ones that the grand Nixon-Reagan Republican programme is fundamentally unpopular, probably not implementable, and likely not going to yileld the good results they claim even if they were able to implement it.  But they don't really care.  They just don't like the way the country is and where it's going.

      Republicans claim to be conservative but are in fact radical.  Democrats claim to be liberal but are constantly struggling wtih internal conservatism and lethargy.

      Basically, Republicans are sitting around waiting for a major portion of the current Democratic coalition, or voters who sat out 2012, to split off and join them.

      I think the arguments about religious privileges and privileged standing of religionism are not really decided yet.  As a country we're changing on some social issues, incrementally and piecemeal.  But there's one more major fight or set of fights to come for the whole hog of the standing of conservative religious culture in American public life.  That's where the popular base of the GOP is or soon will go.

  •  No, they just have a bad cold (3+ / 0-)

    I’m not as sure about the decline of the Republican party as a lot of people seem to be.  Obama only won the popular vote by about three million, which is a two percentage point difference among those who voted.  That is still a lot of Republicans.  Furthermore, Romney was a lousy candidate, and he was running against an incumbent.

    It is rare for a party to hold the presidency three elections straight, so the pendulum will soon be on its way back:  as much as I love the Democratic party, after four more years of Obama, a lot of people will be really sick of us by then.

    I hate to say it, but I don’t think the Republicans will have to change at all.

  •  Terminally ill? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59, native

    I'll wait at least three more election cycles before I will make a judgement. The GOP has both money and patience. Don't count them out.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:15:23 PM PST

  •  The GOP is a sinking ship. They think they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, JeffW

    can right the course by changing their hate filled language against immigrants. I think that ship has already sailed.

    "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little" – FDR

    by smokey545 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:17:07 PM PST

  •  Least we forget, Mark Twian said upon reading the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obits in the morning paper, where his name had been  printed, "News of my death have been greatly exaggerated,"

  •  I think we should leave Republicans alone (5+ / 0-)

    and focus on moving our party and our ideas forwards.
    I don't have any advice for Republicans, except to keep doing the same things they have done recently, which has taken them to loser-ville. As far as I'm concerned, Sarah Palin, Santorum or Michele Bachman should be the next nominees of the Republican party for 2016.

    The Democratic party is not perfect and there are lots of things we need to do to:
    +Pass our agenda through Congress with as much support as possible.
    +Explain our policies clearly to people, so they can understand what makes us different from the others.
    +Win back states we lost, consolidate states we won and win judges races
    +Strengthen our leadership and our bench, so that we always have candidates who are strong and ready to continue the fight.

    I don't care if Republicans dig a big hole and stick their heads into it and choke.

  •  In this case, I would be in favor of mercy killing (0+ / 0-)

    Paging Dr. Kevorkian.

  •  We said the same thing in 1964 (0+ / 0-)

    and we were wrong then. The "permanent destruction of the Republican party" lasted all of four years, and we've been working to overcome the fallout from their rebirth ever since.

  •  All they need to do (0+ / 0-)

    Is get about 1 in 50 voters to change their minds. That's probably what they'll concentrate on--a minor tweak rather than anything substantial. Despite all the factors you mentioned, Romney got about half the vote, and those folks aren't likely going away.

  •  When Fianally Dead, Republicans Go to Hell! (0+ / 0-)
  •  What we need to figure out (0+ / 0-)

    is not how to fix the Republicans but how to shove them off the ledge.
    Even though BushCheney ruled for two terms, it was only because the Supremes gave them the election, otherwise, they were losers, Bush's father was a loser. Dole? McCain? Rmoney? A string of losers since Reagan. The GOP has already advanced quite a ways in it's terminal illness, the parts are still hurtling along out of inertia.
    How can we deflect some of the parts off their common trajectory? I mean, any worse than their own internal nattering? I want to see open warfare between the parts of the party. The wRongPaulies made a good start this cycle, they bolted and voted up Ron Johnson, now let's see the Jeebus crowd driven out by "too much secularism".
    We need to find a way to peel off disaffected groups within the GOP's big tent, to exacerbate the internal frictions between the larger factions. We may not be able to sell them on our folks, but we may be able to get them so disgusted by their "leadership" that they do what the Left did in 2010, stay home.
    The problem the GOP has, more than anything else is Karl Rove. And he's in trouble.
    Rove carried on the tradition of Lee Atwater, extremism for the CAUSE, anything goes, try to keep your fingerprints off of the really dirty stuff.
    Rove is one of the core backers of the TeaBaggers, along with Dick Armey, they control the two largest TeaBag operations and they act as the funnel for Koch and Coors funding. They were conceived as a tool for causing Obama trouble and it worked. They successfully shifted the Overton window way to the Right and sucked all the oxygen out of the mediaspace, making it impossible for Obama to hear anything but their loony hoots and howls. The side effect has been that the TeaBaggers got a firm grip on the House Republicans and are fighting for dominance of the entire party and if they have to throw out 3/4 of the other Republicans to achieve their coup, well, so be it.
    But Rove spent almost 1/3 of a billion$ of other peoples' money and came up empty-handed. And since the election, there hasn't been a whole lot of TeaBagger hype. It may be that the Kochs and their ilk are rethinking the strategy that saw them spend over $1Billion and still lose.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:44:21 AM PST

  •  Republicans need to be open (0+ / 0-)

    For the last few years, the Republicans have been following the ALEC playbook, enacting onerous legislation on the State level designed to deprive people of their rights.  Wisconsin and Ohio and Florida and Michigan are great examples of voter ID laws that Just Had to be in place to 'prevent voter fraud' all the while perpetuating  election fraud by disenfranchising voters.   Republicans in Michigan even tried to sidestep the entire democratic (small d) process, and they got called on it.
    All of the Republican/ALEC antics have been exposed as nothing more than power grabs from behind closed doors.  Republicans have got to abandon that approach and include minorities as equals.  Republicans need to drop their manufactured urgency in enacting onerous legislation so that the electorate has a chance to examine what is intended and decide for themselves whether it's good or not.

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