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Changing the Rules:

Ultimately there are three reasons why anyone might propose changing how Americans elect our government(s); to make the process more or less fair, to make the process more or less inclusive, and/or to make the process more or less likely to deliver specific outcomes.  Firm believers in the concept of democracy consistently seek elections that are as fair as possible, and as inclusive as possible, believing that is the best way to ensure results that best reflect the will of the American people. That goal after all reflects the heart and soul of democracy, and is what distinguishes it from other less egalitarian forms of government. That goal is not embraced by the Republican Party.

Republican’s newest election ploy involves changing how electoral votes are awarded to Presidential candidates, to be based largely on results inside of Congressional Districts, but it is only the most recent addition to their arsenal of initiatives to make elections less fair, less inclusive, and more likely to result in a specific result. That result of course is the election of more Republicans. The trial balloons Republicans have floated for their proposed changes have taken some hits but by no means have they all been shot down. While this “reform” effort needs more exposing for exactly what it is, a way to game election results, it can’t be viewed in a vacuum.  It is part of a bigger picture that stretches back at least 50 years. Part Two will focus on a short historical review.

Though Republicans claim their current electoral vote reallocation scheme is meant to increase fairness that quickly fails the quack test. If it looks like rigging an election, if it sounds like rigging an election; Quack Quack, none should duck the logical conclusion. There are 24 States with Republican Governors and functional Republican control of the State legislatures. Prominent Republicans in six of them either called for considering or actually introduced legislation changing how those States reward their electoral votes.  By some fluke coincidence those six are the only States controlled by Republicans where Barack Obama won the election in 2012, Under the “reform” plans Republicans want considered Mitt Romney would have reaped the majority of electoral votes awarded by those six states, instead of zero under the system actually used.

There is no such push for that type of reform in North Carolina though, which Republicans also control but where Mitt Romney eked out a small popular vote victory. Democrats won a majority of the Congressional Districts inside North Carolina. Of the States Republicans now control fully, eleven include Districts that elected Democrats to Congress 2012. Suffice it to say there is no new movement afoot within any State won by Romney to change how electoral votes are divided.

Even if in one fell swoop every state simultaneously changed how they allocate electorate votes to the manner endorsed by the Republican National Chairman that change would still deliver a decidedly partisan advantage to Republicans. Under such a system Mitt Romney would have defeated Barack Obama for President despite losing the popular vote by over 5 million voters. So much for respecting the will of the majority, if “reforms” are advanced that would knowingly and blatantly fly in the face of it.

Despite Democrats cumulatively winning over a million more votes for Congress than did Republicans, Republicans emerged from the 2012 elections with a clear majority in the House of Representatives because of how skillfully Republican controlled legislatures gerrymandered Congressional Districts to thwart overall majority rule. That is how, if Republican advocated changes had been in effect last November, Mitt Romney would ascended to the Presidency. That is why Republicans are advocating for those changes now, democracy be damned. This is not an isolated Republican outbreak of anti-democratic sentiments though; history bears witness to that.

The Wrong Road Taken:

What is it about today’s Republicans not recognizing “the will of the people”? Hell, what is it about them hedging on recognizing all of “the people” to begin with?  Abraham Lincoln indeed helped end slavery, but ever since Republicans drifted toward becoming the main “conservative” party in American politics, they have tilted toward government for the people, by some of the people more than others. Though they still hail democracy as an elixir for most of the worlds problems, here in the good old U.S.A. Republicans of late have been luke warm at best about core democratic concepts such as “one man one vote” and majority rule. So their latest shenanigans over how Americans elect our President should come as a surprise to no one. It clearly fits their recent pattern.

The current Republican Party infatuation with rigging the Electoral College, as discussed earlier, smacks heavily of pure partisan politics, but historically many conservatives were more focused on the theoretical underpinnings of American democracy. Arguably that was true during the struggle for Civil Rights for black Americans, extending well into the 1960’s. A 1956 editorial by William F. Buckley in the National Review, for example, made the almost clinical assertion that:

“Support for the Southern position rests not at all on the question whether Negro and White children should, in fact, study geography side by side; but on whether a central or a local authority should make that decision. “
The landmark 1964 Civil Rights and 1965 Voting Rights Acts would never have become law without strong Republican support. Senate Minority leader Everett Dirksen in particular played a critical role in the passage of both bills. Even Senator Barry Goldwater who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act (he was not a member of the Senate in 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was considered) supported 9 out of its 11 provisions. Though Goldwater did vote for the less sweeping Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, he ultimately came down against the 1964 bill because he was reluctant to support significant federal interference in what he viewed to be state affairs. In addition Goldwater opposed legislating who a private person could or could not do business with.  

Whatever his reasons, Goldwater’s vote contributed to profound electoral changes. When he went on to become the 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Goldwater won less than 5% of the black vote on the heels of Richard Nixon receiving a third of that vote in 1960. On the other hand the Deep South opened up for the Republican Party in that election for the first time in a century. Suddenly the southern white vote was available for Republicans to court, and although Barry Goldwater had no say on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Ronald Reagan, the man who replaced him as the torch bearer for the conservative movement, opposed it. As late as 1980 Reagan characterized the Voting Rights Act as having been “humiliating to the South”, though as President he did sign off on extending it again in 1982.

It seems at times that other concerns, less rooted in debates over the relative powers of the Federal and State governments, factored into the resistance some conservatives had to the use of federal powers to eliminate Jim Crow laws and segregation in the South. In a 1957 National Review editorial titled “Why the South must prevail?” William Buckley wrote:

“If the majority wills what is socially atavistic, then to thwart the majority may be, though undemocratic, enlightened. It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numeric majority.”
His opinion in this instance at least was buttressed by what most now would view as racism when he answered what he saw as the central question “…whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."

In fairness to William Buckley his views continued to evolve after 1957. Buckley later became an active opponent of racism and admitted that he was mistaken to have opposed both the 1964 and 1065 Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. Still his earlier comments help to illustrate why the “Southern Strategy” that Richard Nixon later advanced to win the Presidency was a natural fit for the Republican Party by the time Nixon ran aaain in 1968. And Buckley’s proclamation “It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numeric majority” still resonates in some Conservative circles today.

Nixon’s Southern Strategy was a major turning point for the modern Republican Party, one that severed it from a critical historic mooring. In the name of defending “States Rights” Republicans knowingly began aligning with Southerners opposed to integration, and with players intent on disenfranchising African American voters in order to maintain their political control. It is nothing that Democrats hadn’t done before them, in the South especially, but as the national Democratic Party began backing away from that sordid legacy Republicans stepped into the breech.

It was a fateful move for a Party once defined by its strong stance against Slavery. The same Party that once led the fight to expand the voting franchise to America’s newly recognized black citizens sought support from those intent on disenfranchising their descendents in the South. All done for principled reasons conservatives said at the time, while the political tacticians they employed focused on fashioning what they hoped would become a permanent Republican lock on an Electoral College majority. And they established the mindset of the modern Anti-Democratic Party.

Where That Road Has Led

It’s the age old argument of means and ends. Is democracy just a means toward an end or is it more of an end itself?  If democracy in all its nitty gritty nuts and bolts glory is simply a means to secure an end, like for example the establishment of a certain set of policies, then its nuts and bolts will likely get stripped and bent if they stand in the way of achieving that end, with little in the way of any real remorse on the part of those who strip and bend them. The ideals of our country though say otherwise. We not only glory in our accomplishments as a nation, we glory in how we accomplished them; we the people, our common will manifest and measured through democracy.

Increasingly though the Republican Party is less enamored with democracy as an end itself, increasingly it views democracy as a means that must be mastered to achieve a desired goal; government by Republicans. No political party is monolithic and no vice is reserved for one side only, but the Republican Party has not been subtle of late about sacrificing democratic imperatives for the sake of political expediency. Their current nakedly partisan attempt to alter how electoral votes are allocated is just the most recent Exhibit A documenting the transformation of the Republican Party into the Anti-Democratic Party.

Last year Exhibit A was their nationally coordinated campaign for voter suppression. With their greatest efforts centered on presidential swing states Republicans went to work, not to Rock the Vote, but to block it instead. All of their initiatives had a common theme, to make it more difficult for some people to register and vote. The tactics varied but the impact was remarkably consistent. You can call it another fluke coincidence, but the demographics of those who found themselves facing added burdens to exercise their right to vote in States controlled by Republicans skewed heavily toward Democratic voters.

Whether it was the all of a sudden need immediately before a Presidential election to fight non existent voter fraud with new State mandated voter photo ID’s, or the hasty and often illegal massive last minute purges of voter rolls that inexplicably disproportionately targeted minorities, the goal was always the same; to shrink the overall electorate and to do so through surgical strikes against Democratic leaning constituencies. We’ve held elections in America for centuries now. It’s not like we can’t see them coming ahead of time in order to get prepared, but when Presidential elections happen under Republican control in the pivotal swing states of Florida and Ohio, they reliably have voting difficulties on election day, problems that result in huge hours long waiting lines in precincts that normally vote Democratic.

The Anti-Democratic bent of today’s Republican Party surfaces in less obvious ways also, often at the State level. In States like Michigan and Wisconsin far reaching initiatives that threaten to change the social fabric of those societies while upsetting the political balance get railroaded through Republican controlled State legislatures in record time, though they were never raised as campaign issues by those who suddenly propose them. It gets accomplished through backroom meetings, using questionable parliamentary gimmicks designed to both curtail public debate and the public’s ability to overturn the legislative vote through long established and accepted referendum processes.

In Congress of course, there is the glaringly obvious example of the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate. Traditionally it was defended as a rare and dramatic measure invoked to protect the rights of the minority on important matters from being arbitrarily steamrolled by a runaway majority without due consideration or a sincere effort made to find common ground. Most Americans of good will find at least some merit in that understanding. Our political system developed with checks and balances for several reasons. Protecting the rights of the minority was one of them. The filibuster isn’t being used for that purpose by Republicans today. It is invoked routinely on even minor issues that Republicans object to. It is now used to provide the Republican minority with an almost effortless veto against the will of the majority

Can all of the lofty ideals, the Anti-Democratic Party is in this to win, and the rules of the game are secondary to the final score. Maybe a cadre of current Conservatives still believes, as William Buckley once did, that “It is more important for any community, anywhere in the world, to affirm and live by civilized standards, than to bow to the demands of the numeric majority” with them of course as sole judges for what counts as being civilized. Maybe it’s not even Conservatives who ultimately are calling those shots; maybe it is just their ideology being used for political cover by those for whom their own chosen ends justify their own chosen means.

Whatever it is we are no longer witnessing the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, or even of Everett Dirkson, or of Barry Goldwater either for that matter. We are viewing something far less pure than that, something more pedestrian in its pursuit of power, something that can better be described as the Anti-Democratic Party.

Originally posted to Tom Rinaldo on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Have not read it yet... but sheesh! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Mannie, bontemps2012, Boppy

    Your headline smacked me right across the face: they are both anti-parties - defined by the other - it's really gotten that bad...

    Can't wait to read it now... ;-)

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:00:25 AM PST

    •  Hah, never judge a book by it's cover and (5+ / 0-)

      never judge a diary by it's title.

      Nice piece.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:04:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Count the Votes. We have 3 parties. (6+ / 0-)

        Follow The Money. The big money from billionaire Republicans has been connected with the John Birch Society and its projects since 1959. This is not a "tea party."

        Authoritarian, anti-libertarian, anti-you-name-the-targets paranoid propaganda has been seizing House seat away from Bizzie Republicans since 1984. This went on steadily through 2000 and then saw another surge in 2010. The voting patterns of these Birchers have turned against cooperative democracy.

        Before 1984, anti-communism had been the organizing principle for political authoritarianism. Then generalized paranoia took over with marked success.

        Birch Society Republicans: America Now Has Three Major Political Parties

        -- Birch Society Republicans (150 seats)

        -- Business Republicans (84 seats)

        Note that the Bizzies are now a minor party with 19% of the House.

        Birchers at 34% are anti-immigration, anti-government, anti-compromise, anti-democracy, and opposed to taxes in all forms and appearances. The Bircher billionaires' agenda is not the mainstream Republican businessmen's agenda.

        The Koch family helped found the John Birch Society. They finance Bircher candidates heavily. They assure that JBS ideological slogans and xenophobic paranoia define Bircher campaigns.

        They finance propaganda from hundreds of shops to invoke exogenous paranoia. For example, NRA sells its Big Lie that Americans live in a "Batman" world of extreme violence where there are 2,500,000 armed home defenses a year. That is hokum.

        The real number for all civilian armed defenses against crimes is fewer than 25,000. Way less. And the acid test is body count.

        Doing body count is easy. Bodies don't move. Pathologists and MEs file their reports. So do the test: in 2010 the national total for civilian justifiable homicides was 232.

        That figure, 232 bodies, puts the lie to NRA's false-threat propaganda scheme.

        This test data includes small business defenses from bodegas, check cashers, pawn shops and the like. Home defenses present a smaller fraction. People in home setting report firing their guns at human targets somewhere between 3% and 8% of the incidents that they report as home defenses. A third of those shootings kill somebody, usually at very close range.

        Bircher Republicans couldn't care less that their propaganda is false. They are aiming to generate mental disorder among their followers, technically an artificial paranoia, with exogenous means.

        "The Russians are coming !" has been replaced with lies about global warming, Birtherism, secret Muslim, the NRA's 2,500,000 home firefights, George Soros, leftist re-education in schools, a war on Christianity, ACORN stealing the 2012 election, disability rights as an attack on home schooling, avoided any and all discussion of redistribution of wealth to the 1%, and even the madness of the Sandy Hook Elementary School denials.

        Looks to be $500-million a year spent pushing these threat-based fantasies. Plus the crazy stories coming out of commercial outlets such as Fox News and Wall Street Journal.

        What's amazing is that anybody hit with this crap is functionally solid.

        Maybe they're not ??? There could be tens of millions of Americans living in fear of imaginary enemies. That is exactly what the Birchers want.

        "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

        by bontemps2012 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:46:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like the Orwellian state of constant war (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bontemps2012, ichibon

          The paranoia induced state of constant distraction.

          •  War is peace. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tom Rinaldo, ichibon

            Freedom is slavery.
            Ignorance is strength.
            The 99% are a joke.

            Orwell hit 3 out of 4.

            "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

            by bontemps2012 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:31:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  there are (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bontemps2012, Tom Rinaldo
          There could be tens of millions of Americans living in fear of imaginary enemies. That is exactly what the Birchers want.
          maybe more. we see it everyday. in the rants of the likes of Ted Nugent and other RWNJ, in Facebook comments, on other news site's comments, its endless.

          sometimes it does feel like 'they' surround 'US.'

          the Billionaire Birchers have done their job well.

          HOW, and WHEN? do we start pushing back?

          pointing and laughing at them and their ridiculousness is NOT going to do it. has the opposite effect, in fact. like hitting a hornet's nest with a stick.

          been saying this here and on other "lib" sites forever. may as well talk to a brick f*cking wall...sigh

          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:36:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe you've got it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tom Rinaldo, srfRantz
            "Pointing and laughing at them and their ridiculousness is NOT going to do it. has the opposite effect, in fact. like hitting a hornet's nest with a stick."
            Except to the hornets and sticks part.

            -- The artificial paranoia is based on lies.

            -- There are only so many lies.

            -- There are only so many groups of lies, so many cross-reinforcing collections of lies.

            -- Pointing and nailing the facts could make sense.

            NRA has been instrumental in selling an extra $50-billion / 100,000,000 extra firearms in America over the last 20 years.

            That's from the crazy lies aobut 2,500,000 defensive gun uses a year. (DGUs.)  There's a whole pack of lies running around with that one.

            How hard can it be to hammer that one down as a lie ?

            "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

            by bontemps2012 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:14:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  hard, very hard (0+ / 0-)

              you ever try to get one true believer to give up belief in even one little lie?

              damn near impossible. sadly.

              this is because the prime directive of the right wing belief system is to protect the belief system against all threats including any inconvenient truths, facts, reason, logic, etc. exposure to any conflicting information causes painful cognitive dissonance which in turn causes them to both lash out violently and to hold tighter to their "truth."

              there are, however, supposedly, those who are not true believers and can be "wised up"

              we need to figure out how to reach them with the truth.

              how? got me.

              IMHO Rachel Maddow and the like do an excellent job of breaking down a lot of the lies, but the ones who need to listen to her, don't. so then what?

              also too, Lakoff says negating the lies only reinforces them because they are repeated in the process which has greater success in reaffirming them than the actual negation. He says the only way to combat the RW noise machine is with our own Truth repeated as often as possible to as many as we can reach.

              as I understand him...

              no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

              by srfRantz on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:19:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Congrats on spotlight! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, bontemps2012

    Fine piece, proud to be first to rec.

    Would love to repub, but none of my groups fit. Hope others will!

    Hope others will tweet and facebook it also (plz).

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

    by JayRaye on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:10:10 AM PST

  •  It didn't use to be so black and white (8+ / 0-)

    Up to the 1960's, the GOP was the party that spoke for equal rights, for example.  Up to Reagan, they spoke for balancing the budget, or at least for fiscal responsibility.

    By now, there's been a realignment.  Is there anything, any issue, the Republicans are on the right side of?

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:27:42 AM PST

    •  I suppose there is always something to be said... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Mannie, david78209

      for fiscal restraint, though not for an austerity budget while the wealthy laugh all the way to the bank. I remember the earlier GOP also. They didn't terrify me then for one thing.

    •  wider view than that (5+ / 0-)

      Conservatives opposed the American Revolution
      Conservatives supported slavery
      Conservatives opposed immigration as soon as 1820
      Conservatives fought against the admission of California as a free State
      Conservatives opposed the transcontenental railroad
      Conservatives fought to preserve horse-and-buggy against the Automobile
      Conservatives opposed minimum wage
      Conservatives opposed child work laws
      Conservatives supported Prohibition
      Conservatives opposed Women's Sufferage
      Conservatives opposed the New Deal
      Conservatives opposed Social Security
      Conservatives financed German rearmament
      Conservatives opposed integration
      Conservatives opposed the removal of mandatory prayer in school
      Conservatives opposed the Voting Rights Act
      Conservatives opposed the Civil Rights Movement
      Conservatives oppose same sex marriage.

      Is there anything Conservatives have stood for, looked back 50 years or more on, that was ever right?

      We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

      by ScrewySquirrel on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:06:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservative and Republican weren't always same (5+ / 0-)

        Most of the conservatives who supported Slavery were Democrats for one obvious example. I originally was going to go back a hundred years with the Republican Party, but the period between say 1890 and 1915 in particular was murky. There were a lot of cross currents in American politics then.

        Important elements of at least 4 different National Parties at one time or another during that specific era embraced some clearly progressive ideals. That included Republicans as well as Democrats (when Bryant was their candidate at least) along with the Peoples/Populist Party and the Bull Moose/Progressive Party.

        A case can be argued that Conservatives were correct to resist Soviet expansionism after WWII (in the pre-Gorbachev era at least) but they weren't alone in that and their Red Scare was truly toxic to democracy. And they were all too eager to resist militarily when often a conceptual war over ideals was more called for

        I suppose some could argue that Conservatives served an almost organic role in resisting extreme sudden moves toward some progressive social changes enabling the general public to more peacefully adjust to them as the overall culture changed through exposure to new perspectives. I admit this one is somewhat of a stretch and of piecemeal value at best regarding some issues only, but perhaps it contributes to the stability of political system that we usually fight out our differences in non violent political arenas.

        •  Hubert Humphrey gave a speech in 1964 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          when he was running for vice president with LBJ.  Humphrey said there have been times liberals were right, and times conservatives were right.  Liberals were right when we declared independence from Britain, the conservatives were happy remaining British.  But conservatives were right when they wrote the Constitution, liberals being happy with the Articles of Confederation.  At least that's how I remember Senator Humphrey's speech so long ago.

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

          by Navy Vet Terp on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 05:16:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In my calmer moments I value honest conservatives (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ichibon, david78209

            I sometimes think of social progress as a car going down the highway of history and try to see conservatives as the braking system that keeps us from sliding off of the road when driving conditions prevent full speed ahead. That's my best case scenario for them usually, lol.

            I also share some of the inherent distrust for concentrated unchecked power that conservatives tend to have. As to your memory of what HHH said, it is ironic that todays conservatiives would in mnay ways be happier with the Articles of Confederation - except when they want a strong Commander in Chief to lead us into war.

  •  This is an important diary (5+ / 0-)

    The Republican party has been changing beyond recognition, in just my lifetime.  What happened to Republicans that one could still have respect for like Jacob Javits and other moderates.  Gone forever.  I'm looking forward to part II.  
    I would use the designation small D  Anti-democratic party in describing the opposition.

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

    by Ohkwai on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:57:44 AM PST

    •  They used to have a lot of decent thoughtful ones (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Some liberals, many moderates, and honorable rational conservatives too. Senate leaders like Howard Baker.were not a rarity. In hindsight I'll even say that Bob Dole was one who hadn't jumped the track.

    •  P.S. about that Part 2 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You already read it, lol. It was the section "The Wrong Road Taken". In my first version blog post of this I did seperate it into 3 distinct parts but here I combined them. I meant to clarify that phrase but I forgot to. Part 2 took the longest to write by far, my thoughts kept evolving as I read more about that era.

      There is obviously a lot more that can be discussed about  the history of the Republican Party, but that was beyond the scope of what I was intending. Maybe more of it will be raised in the discussion of this Diary.

    •  Now the most of them are Birchers. (0+ / 0-)

      The Far, Far Right became their center.

      Gold Rules.

      "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

      by bontemps2012 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:54:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Southern Strategy may have helped... (8+ / 0-)

    ...Nixon and Reagan and Bush Sr. and Jr. but going forward it will destroy the Republican party and make it irrelevant.

    The 2012 electoral map for Romney looks very similar to the map of states and territories where slavery was legal.  The exceptions are Indiana (which has gone stupid lately), Virginia (a very swing state trending blue) and New Mexico and Colorado where Hispanics/Latinos make a difference (IMO)

    Slave states and territories

    4% shift

    The latent slavery mentality will continue to diminish even in ex-slavery states.

    Another map that correlates is one showing the states where corporal punishment in schools is legal;

    Corporal punishment by state

    Corporal punishment is a remnant of the slavery mentality.  Indiana again is the exception.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:02:59 AM PST

  •  Thank You - N/T (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, bontemps2012

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:04:14 AM PST

  •  Rendering democracy quaint. (6+ / 0-)

    That republicans have been using anti-democratic means has been obvious for over a decade.  Think of electronic voting and their opposition to any verifiable paper trail, understaffing and long voter lines in Ohio democratic precincts in 2004, voter purges, etc.

    None of these things are accidents, and all have been planned and coordinated for a very long time.

    Republicans have shown and proven the will lie, cheat and steal to win.  Nixon famously believed: "If the president does it it is legal."  Republicans believe: If they can rig the vote then it's democratic.  Remember. they are the real patriots, they are the real America, and they are going to take their country back.  Any means can be justified, it's all fair, and God is on their side.

    But, as a country, we are just ignoring it.  

    •  They didn't always act that way (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012, slothlax, Boppy

      I wonder if it is still possible for them to regain some of their former integrity. I hope so. They need more thinkers like William Buckley today. He could be very wrong (as I detailed above) but he was intellectually honest enough to make a case for what he really believed at the time, and he wsa open to changing his beliefs when compelling arguments forced him to.

      •  Bircher Republicans always acted this way. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Goldwater was opposed to them even in the 1970s. He knew they were nuts.

        "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

        by bontemps2012 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 04:58:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the distinction you are making (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bontemps2012, ichibon

          between the Conservative Right, and the Far Far Right (the Birchers as you group them) is an informative one. They are in many ways distinct from either the old school centrist Republicans OR even the old school movement conserative Republicans that Goldwater once led. And then there are simply unprincipled pragmatist self serving largely financial interests and the politicos they employ to win by whatever means necessary. There used to be more business oriented Republicans with more integrity than this bunch that now plots Republican strategy willfully dismissive of basic democracy..I do know that type were players in the earlier Republican Party also. They stopped at NOTHING trying to undermine FDR.

  •  There is, or was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Rinaldo, bontemps2012

    In Utah, While I was growing up and visiting my Grandmother there in the 60's and 70's, an Anti-Democratic Party in Utah.  I was it advertised on billboards, and in the paper's political advertisements.  That made for Rep, Dem, Lib, American Party, Constitution Party, Anti- Dem Party, and Socialist Workers Party in Utah. (Well I actually made up the Socialist Workers Party).  Not a lot of room for leftists there.

  •  Great diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Mannie, bontemps2012, Boppy

    Thanks for a valuable overview of what has happened to the Republican party. Some mornings I can't believe I am reading actual statements from the likes of McCain, McConnell, Lindsay Graham, et al. They seem to be insane in their hatred for Democrats.

  •  repugs - sore losers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, Boppy

    who have no issue with cheating; people whose ideas and policies have been rejected, but who insist on forcing them on us anyhow; in the end power for them is all about selling our government to enrich themselves and their friends

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:34:14 PM PST

    •  I honestly think even Barry Goldwater would object (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bunsk, slothlax

      to how his Party is now operating today were he still alive. He might still embrace some unpoular ideas - he never feared a challenge in tryuing to win people over to a minority position, but his idea of politics was not as self serving and devoid of core integrity regarding democracy itself.

  •  Well done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Rinaldo, ichibon

    Billionaire money has poisoned the system in ways that James Madison could not anticipate.

    In his day the King of England was the only billionaire they ever saw.

    No one in 1787 America would have been more than a $25-million-aire. And that was land and slaves.

    (No, they didn't have Wal-Marts !)

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 05:06:38 PM PST

  •  It's not that we aren't trying at all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Rinaldo

    even subconsciously, to make certain outcomes more likely with what we advocate. The difference is that we want to make it as easy as possible for people to vote, thus including more voters. Since everyone has a stake in this, everyone, who is at least 18, should have a say.

    Today's Rs, OTOH, only want the Herrenvolk to be able to vote. The Untermenschen are just too ignorant for us to chance them going to the polls. (Herrvenvolk and Untermenschen).

    And this should be played on a loop everyday:

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:01:24 AM PST

  •  Voters cannot be trusted unless (0+ / 0-)

    ..they're the right kind of voters who vote correctly.

    Same as it ever was.

    Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to #&@$ in the first place? - George Carlin

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:55:06 AM PST

  •  Well ............ (0+ / 0-)

    Democracy just isn't working out for the GOP so they "gotta get a gimmick".  They have shoot the angles, fix the game, etc.  

    They tried that in 2012.  It failed and backfired miserably.  So will this.  

  •  Republican Party as a business (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Rinaldo, skod

    Before the election, the New Yorker ran a piece on a company call "Campaign, Inc."  A legitimate (ie it really was incorporated) business that started on the West Coast in response to the New Deal.   So this integration of politics and business is a relatively recent phenomenon that hasn't completely found its way into the definitions of classical politics.

    Thus, the modern Republican Party doesn't fit into textbook politics.  But as a business enterprise, it looks quite familiar.  Well, not in classical business definition of goods, services, and customers either.  But in the contemporary sense where success is not measured by the balance sheet but on the value returned to investors.

    The modern Republican Party exists only to deliver solid return to its donors/investors.  Its other constituents of racists, religious quacks, and gun fanatics are merely tactical pawns that will never participate as stakeholders.  And given the state of the economy, the GOP is one of the few, if only, promising ventures around.  Which explains why the party continues to grow even as its political base shrinks.

    Nobody knows what a corporate state will look like if current trends continue.  But I'm not looking forward to it.  I expect we're going to have to fight like hell just to maintain an unsatisfactory status quo.

    •  Great post (0+ / 0-)

      I wish you had gotten here earlier so more would have seen it - maybe you could consider a writing a new diary? It is a really good way of looking at the current Republican Party. Investors invest in an apporatus that scares up a constituency to install office holders who deliver legislation that serves the interests of the investors. Often the pitch to attract voters has little if anything to do with why they are being "recruited" to vote for individuals beholden to the investors. It can vary case by case and be as narrow as securing a sure vote for a certain industry tax break.

      If you get a chance take a look at a Diary I wrote a couple of weeks ago called Money and the Maxed out Right. Essentially I was speculating about whether the invester class behind the Republican Party - the Wall Street crowd in this case, have played with fire a little bit too long.

  •  The Republican House (0+ / 0-)

    in Montana has voted to end same-day voter registration they blame for long lines on Election Day.

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