Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dana Hunter On The Other Guys

This screenshot is from the Stargate SG-1 episode The Other Guys. It's a story about a group of scientists and engineers about whom the military folks have very low expectations. I've taken to calling the Republican Party "The Other Guys" for the same reason.

I'm not feeling terribly effusive this evening. Fortunately, Dana Hunter felt no such reluctance. Describing her stepmother's conversion from conservatism to a more centrist political viewpoint, she wrote:

If it could happen to her, it can happen to just about anyone. And so here's what I'm hoping: I hope she's a sign of what's to come. I know there are thoughtful, intelligent, reasoning people still in the Republican party. I'd love to see them rise up en-masse after this election (in which they'll have voted for Obama, natch) and take back the party from the gang of losers, liars, thieves, religious freaks, and dumbfucks who hijacked it awhile back. I'd love to watch these angry conservatives clean house. I'd like to see a slew of moderate Republican candidates suddenly have a shot at being elected, even if their politics don't pander to the rabid religious right base. I'd be happy if, in 2012, a renewed Republican party is fielding a presidential candidate who gives us Dems an acutal run for our money.

America needs this. We need a Republican party we can respect. There's a creative tension that arises between folks who almost but don't quite agree. A strong, healthy and wise Republican party can provide an effective balance to a strong, healthy Democratic party, and keep both thriving. As much as I love the Dems, I know that if we end up the only party of sane people, it won't be a good thing. One party rule never is.

My stepmother gives me that hope. If enough people like her emerge and take over the Republican ranks, we'll have a functioning democracy again. We'll have a chance at actual bipartisanship. The poisonous, toxic, neoconservative elements can be driven out so that the adults can get some work done and help this country recover from a devastating eight years.

George Bush Has Done the Impossible

Readers of this blog may recognize this sentiment. I've certainly said before that we don't just need better Democrats, or more Democrats, in government. We need better Republicans, too. Leave any party in power too long, and they'll start to abuse it or, at the very least, become complacent. If there's no vital opposition, we won't survive as a democracy.

So I'm hoping that the Republicans will start cleaning their house, too. It's a big job, but I don't think we can stand much more of the two parties we have now.


One Fly said...

Agreed Cujo

Cujo359 said...

I've railed about this before, One Fly, but on some of the more basic Constitutional questions that have arisen in the last eight years, you'd think there'd be more disagreement among the Republicans about things like habeas corpus and privacy. Yet nearly all of them were willing to go along with the party line. Combine that with the nonstop stream of scandal and general buggery, that represents an intellectual and ethical bankruptcy that's dangerous to a democracy.

I don't expect those guys to suddenly realize that free markets aren't really free, or that minorities still sometimes require protection and respect. What I do expect is that they'll join us in defending the right to have discussions on those and other matters that affect our country.

Needless to say, cleaning up the Democratic Party will be a big enough job. I'm just hoping that the Republican rank and file will start on the task of fixing theirs.

I guess I'm feeling more effusive today. ;)

spincitysd said...

It will be a generation at least before that happens. Already the propeller-heads that ran the NeoCon Revolution are offering their reasoning for the failure of Bush Jr. The excuse is what has been called the "lone gunman theory" by the Young Turks. You see W was not a real conservative.

You got to love the delusion, W was the true believers go to guy just eight short years ago. But like 80% of the rest of America the NeoCons are tossing W under the bus too.

Look at the original vote for the bail-out of Wall Street. It failed because Free-Market ideologues in the Republican Party hated the idea of any kind of government intervention. Even after the total and obvious collapse of their anti-regulation ideology the true believers were yammering for even more. Only after they were fed even more tax breaks did the idiot Elephants fall into line.

The Republican Party still worships the petrified remains of Ronald Regan. They still see Government as THE PROBLEM. They still want to drown the government in a bathtub. FEMA was their dream set-up privatized, contracted out, hopelessly incompetent and very profitable for the few who were connected. People saw the raw face of Republican ideology in NOLA.

Unfortunately for the G.O.P the rot began at the head and the head shows no signs of improvement. AEI and other "think tanks" have become wingnut welfare houses. They tell right-wing loony-tunes like Richard Melon Scaife what they want to hear. Look at the National Review, it is an insult to its founder. The drooling idiocy of its writers, their lockstep support of every foolish talking point uttered by the far right is painful to watch. Go further afield to Malkin and others and it only gets worse. No thinking allowed, you're either with us or against us is the prominent meme.

The Right is morally, politically, and spiritually bankrupt. It has pitched itself in the deep dark hole of authoritarianism. When a Goldwater Republican like John Dean calls you out on your inner Hitler you are not doing very well.

The election of 2006 did not even phase the Republican Party. The upcoming election of 2008 which at least down-ticket is shaping up to be a further disaster has not changed the elephants ways. The base is making goo-goo eyes at Sara Palin and will probably force the Party to run her in 2012. They will claim that McCain was not a "true" conservative and that is why he lost.

The Christianist-Corporatist-NeoCon coalition is going to have yet another go at it. It will be full-bore anti-intellectualism, nativism, "pro-life", free-market, jingoism in pure undiluted form. Palin, a super aggressive, super-ambitious woman of no intellectual heft will be the standard-bearer of the one-true-conservative-faith. Only after she (hopefully) crashes and burns will Republicans possibly change course.

It took the Goldwaterites a generation to get what they wanted- Regan. It took more than a generation for Regan and the Bushes to finally deliver on most of the Goldwater agenda. It will take an equal amount of time and some very bruising losses for party as a whole before more moderate Republicans may regain the party. This is because the moderates will have to pry it loose from the fanatics of the Religious Right. The Republican Party made a deal with Religious Conservatives and those people are not going to go gently into that good night.

The evangelicals have a death-grip on the G.O.P. because of their organizational depth. The only way that goes away is for them to die, and I mean that in a literal way. The old generation of right wing evangelicals will have to die out for there to be a change in the Republican Party.

The younger evangelicals have a cohort that is less wedded to setting America back to the fiction of "Leave it to Beaver" but there is no guarantee that they can change the attitude of evangelical voting. If the "Street Profits" ideology (more concerned with poverty, more ecologically aware, more sympathetic- within limits- to homosexuality) fails to become the majority or at least a sizable minority of the evangelical movement look for the Republican Party to continue to be lost in the political wilderness. The free market absolutist will drift over to Libertarianism and the Corporatists will drift over to only winning game in town- the DLC.

There may be a long reign were the Republicans become a party of opposition for opposition sake and thus relegated to core areas where they become even more ideological and disconnected. The Democrats will then split becoming a De Facto Two Party competition between the DLC Corporatists and the Progressive grass roots. Many elections will be decided in the Democratic Primaries.

Sorry to be so bleak but that is what the trend looks like. Moderates are still being purged from Republican ranks and now true blue, rock-ribbed conservatives are being ousted in safe Republican seats (and not so safe seats) for even more ideological true believers. While the general public is finally waking up from its somnambulist procession through the Regan dream-world the Republicans have hit the snooze bar until at least 2012 and perhaps beyond.

Cujo359 said...

Hi, spincitysd,

There is something in human nature that refuses to change long-held delusions until things hit rock bottom. Like Dolly says, denial isn't just a river in Egypt. The Republicans obviously haven't hit bottom yet, and given their power over the news business, they might never. That's a very troubling thought.

I was commenting on the necessity of the Republicans cleaning house without speculating on the probability of that happening. If your take on these things is correct, that's very depressing indeed.

BTW, it wouldn't surprise me at all if some Palin-like candidate emerged in 2012. I'm going to guess that it won't be Palin, but it could be Mike Huckabee, or it could be some other evangelical type of whom I'm now blissfully unaware.