Saturday, December 26, 2015

Republicans Are Revolutionaries, Not Conservatives: A Response to Thomas Schaller |

Mike Lofgren, a long time Republican GOP staffer, analyzes and laments the GOP rise.  Trump is no fluke, nor are the 32 Republican governors.  Democrats hoping that demography will seep the GOP away are unrealistic.  The Republicans are relentlessly on message and committed to their regressive agenda.  - gwc
Republicans Are Revolutionaries, Not Conservatives: A Response to Thomas Schaller |
by Mike Lofgren

....The comprehensive national failures of the last decade and a half have contributed to a pre-revolutionary mood in America. Obama’s 2008 campaign tapped into the Zeitgeist, but the president repudiated the very mood that elected him. Occupy Wall Street was another sign, but it fizzled out when Democrats distanced themselves. The Tea Party is yet another indication and has endured longer because of better funding and its incorporation into the GOP’s tactical infrastructure. And while the two figures are certainly not equivalent, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders show that there is a deep hunger for something different, something – at least within the framework of the contemporary American political system – revolutionary.
But revolutions are just as likely to breed radical reaction as rational progress; even more so, if the history of twentieth-century Europe is any guide. Ironically enough, the Democrats are now the stand-pat, conservative party. With the exception of a miniscule number of marginalized individuals, the organizational structure of the Democratic Party is dedicated to preserving the status quo and not upsetting its contributors. The Wall Street wing of the party, led by former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley, is now organizing to torpedo Sanders’ candidacy.
Because of its militant rhetoric, Manichean worldview, demand for ideological purity and bare-knuckle Leninist tactics, it is the GOP that fits the bill of a revolutionary party. To the erstwhile party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, politics is now war in all respects except the shooting. In a post-9/11, post-financial meltdown atmosphere of lingering crisis, the GOP is well positioned to wage such a war.
As I finished this piece, news broke that Republican Matt Bevin (described by CNN as “controversial,” a press euphemism for far-right wing), won the governorship of Kentucky by a surprisingly large nine-point margin. This brings the number of governorships in GOP hands to 32. Those who still imagine the election of Donald Trump or Ben Carson to be a metaphysical as well as demographic impossibility may have lost touch with the mass psychology of the country in which they live.

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