The fuse has been lit for a long time. The GOP knows that its policies, rhetoric, hypocrisy, and blatant lies are finally catching up to them. The tea party mania is waning, now reduced to mostly a fundraising tactic for dead-end campaigns that will lose in November despite millions in dark money.
With the economy and Obamacare being tangibly successful to their base, railing against them and shouting Benghazi are now easily perceived as just transparently partisan attempts at creating crisis where none really exists. Even Limbaugh bluster can't save those dead horses.
So now Speaker Boehner has to sue the President for something, anything, just to keep the pressure on. And what does the GOP choose? Blaming Obama for delays in rolling out the ACA that they themselves forced through Congress. It doesn't get much weaker and more obvious than that.
Running out the clock won't let the GOP win or keep their ship from taking on water. They will have to reinvent themselves, and my guess is that some of their benefactors may be caught in the crossfire.
Remember how in "The Wizard of Oz" the wicked witch's guards were essentially released from her spell when she was liquidated? They were the first to hail Dorothy, and suddenly went from scary automatons to sympathetic individuals enjoying instant freedom once that the mind control had been cut.
Don't you think today's GOP would kill for that kind of instant rebranding? They've already tried the vulnerable thing, but it's usually been in the tone of brashly announcing that we've hurt their feelings. If they have to come up with some sympathy, perhaps the most direct way is to shout in unison, "I didn't want to, but he MADE me do it!"
For some politicians like Ted Cruz, their bed has already been made with the insane lengths they've gone to get money, attention, and relevance. But the quiet ones who haven't gone as far out on limbs may see the opportunity to sidestep the coming backlash and leap to the fore by saying things like, "A couple of years ago I came to believe that global warming is manmade, but Big Oil told me to not change course in the rhetoric or else they would primary me out of office, put big money behind whomever my opponent would be."
A more slippery slope is the rebranding of the war on women. The narrow issue of contraceptives, not abortion itself, may be the path out of the political abyss that awaits the stalwarts. This avenue isn't open to the tea party because their brand of absolutism doesn't have that wiggle room. But self-described conservatives may not have to backtrack, merely side with full legality and disagree with the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision. They can point to the most rabid of the evangelicals with the same "they'll primary me" meme but it has to be focused on individuals, not evangelical leanings as a whole.
Now that the primaries have passed, edging towards the center doesn't pose the same risks for Republicans. But they are bound to alienate many big-money contributors. And many of the superPACS like Americans for Prosperity with their Koch brothers ties will pull their purse strings shut when any deviations from their CORPservative agenda are expressed. Knowing that they won't get that money anyway, a centrist drift while pointing fingers at extremists like the Kochs may be the only way to extend careers on the lifeline.
Remember when the hippie counter-culture became something the media could latch onto, ride the wave of popularity, and make billions on? Think "Laugh In." The rejection of tea party and ultra-conservative goals will be a call to reason at last, and populism isn't that far from the cry for freedom if there's an inclusive core to it. In the hippie era, the bad guy was "the man," generally the corporate button-down type ruining the ecology and oppressing the masses. Those villains are worse than ever, but far more insulated by 30 years of Reaganomics, right-wing tax breaks, and the shunning of oversight on the "job creators."
Let's see; Big Oil, fire and brimstone religion, and billionaires. The GOP can't turn their backs on any or all of these groups completely because they've got only poor grumpy Southerners left after that and there are no billions coming from that well.
The GOP doesn't have the luxury of pointing at "the man." But what Republicans can do is make a few targeted reversals, alienating as narrow a scope as possible while presenting themselves in a way that seems very broad. For instance they can take on fracking in a very specific location or by a particular company, yet still remain in the pocket of Big Oil everywhere else.
This reinvention will come at a cost to the base, and perhaps the gamble won't claim enough of the middle to make a difference. But it is the only way for the GOP to stop the bleeding. It will be a necessary thinning of the herd, letting the old ideas die off with Cruz, Boehner, and Cantor. Wordsmiths like Karl Rove and Frank Luntz may be in on the framing of this new direction because big money can be made in successfully negotiating these dangerous waters.
But it's the perception of change, if not actual change itself, that may loosen the noose around the necks of GOP politicians this November. That will be only on a seat by seat basis, though, because all still will remain dragged down by the Republican brand which grows narrower and narrower with statements like Todd Akin's saying women don't need abortions after rape because "The body has ways to shut that whole thing down."
It's getting to the point, particularly in the field of global climate change, where there's too much truth for the Pox News propaganda machine to overcome. The GOP can see that their main mouthpiece keeps relighting the fuse of their demise. Each time they think they've snuffed it out, extremist Republicans ever eager for the limelight keep on flicking their Bics. The monsters they've created and fed can't curb their runaway egos and perpetually shoot themselves, and their party, in the foot.
The wicked witch's guard tactic can be a boon to the corporate media as well. Much as American media got "hip" in the 60's while basking in all that capitalistic potential, today's rejection of conservative extremism can be wildly popular if well framed. Look at MSNBC. Its viewership is on the rise and people are beginning to connect the dots even without them. Imagine the ratings in watching the old-guard GOP train wreck, if Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow were on the same stage. Those that realize just how badly they've been played by the GOP will delight in seeing their former heroes go down.
Which of the major networks will be the first to blink and reap the profit potential of switching allegiances and being on the right side of public opinion? If they see this shift coming and convert from conservative spin to progressive analysis, they will immediately be able to unveil mountains of facts to push the wave. All it may take is firing a few network execs including the CEO, and the witch's guard scenario can be put into place. If CBS were to fire some figureheads and hire back Dan Rather, their reputation could be resurrected instantly.
Corporate America will be forced to fall in line, particularly if Hillary announces her candidacy. As a DLC Democrat, Wall St. and many of the corporate titans have little to fear from her. But the rhetoric will shift, and some liberal courses will be charted. But not universally, judging by those deep DLC ties that tainted her husband's legacy through things like NAFTA and the repealing of Glass-Steagall.
Unless we push Hillary Clinton to the left. We can start that process by electing a Democratic House and filibuster-proof Democratic Senate. That's where it all has to start, achieving those results by embracing The Blue Deal, a platform packed with the populist benefits that Democratic control can provide. We can have the votes to make every state and federal office campaign publicly funded, and thus strip away corruption and corporate favoritism as mainstays of future legislation. As part of The Blue Deal we can pledge to change the tax codes so corporations can no longer shelter profits from taxation with offshore P.O. boxes. We can introduce the "1000 Families Top Tax Tier" at 72% for those making a thousand times what a family can survive on, $35,000. In those tangible terms, those raking in $35m a year will be seen as being able to afford that level of taxation. And with the revenues brought in by this massive influx of justified tax, the blight of austerity will be exposed as an unnecessary burden levied on the 99% specifically to protect the 1%. States and cities will see this additional revenue through rebuilding infrastructure, funding better schools, and revitalizing social services.
By the time Hillary begins her campaign in earnest in the fall of 2015, the benefits of The Blue Deal can already be experienced by all. And she, too, will be driven to reinvent herself as her constituents pull her to the left.
That's our endgame. Our first moves will be when we see that attempt at a centrist shift by Republicans, we have to cry BS on those politicians crying out that "he made me do it." Hypocrisy will be more prominent and obvious than ever before, and the spotlight needs to stay on it. They can't come out unscathed for their pasts like sports stars after cocaine rehab. That counterpunch to an attempt at a wicked witch's guard resurrection needs to focus on all the harm they've done. Capitalize on their faux remorse, and remind voters just how many ways they've abandoned integrity, punished their constituents, closed doors on opportunity, and promoted the hatred of racism and division. Their legacies need to be so thoroughly tainted that this brand of Republican extremism will never be considered again. Also pulled down the drain in their whirlpool of lies will be the key sociopaths that led us to the brink: Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Dick Armey, and of course George W. Bush.
I like that future. Under the rallying cry of The Blue Deal, I do believe it is attainable. There is enough truth, enthusiasm, and humanity on our side. We will be the Inclusive Americans delivering the best possible future for our country and our planet. The tipping point is coming, America, and let's be there to insure that the GOP is out of power for decades.