Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Republican Autopsy and the Changing Conservative Media


If anything, the rise of the youthful Ron Paul movement that also includes many old Libertarians has decisively and justifiably harmed the Republican Party by delivering painful ballot box defeats. As one who abandoned the Republican Party after 2004 because I viewed the GOP as statist, interventionist, fascist and and anti-civil liberties, separating myself from the goons and loons comprising conservative mob was a most liberating experience.

Can the Republican Party ever get back to its conservative small government roots?  While the GOP's definition of conservatism has certainly become shamefully twisted over the years and decades, there really is nothing conservative or even constitutional about the Republican Party as it is presently constituted.  The Republican Party is a party that must change or die.  It really is that simple.

The conservative media is taking notice because, well, the painful medicine of GOP election losses has taken effect.  The Washington Examiner, a website I consider a cheerleader for all things statist Republican neocon, is suddenly changing its tune and actually raising the foreign policy issue.

Tim Carney, who has actually done excellent work on the issue of crony capitalism, directly confronted the Iraq War.

The mistake of Iraq and the education of the Right

Then Philip Klein let loose with a piece blaming Republican foreign policy for Obamacare.

Iraq War made Obamacare possible

Both Carney and Klein are right.  Foreign policy is killing the GOP and is directly responsible for back to back presidential election losses.  That said, the Republican Party does indeed have problems besides its non-stop interventionist wars.

Few folks even understand the conservative base, least of all Republicans and the RNC/GOP machine that engineered the disastrous defeat of the Republican Party.  Although liberals and Democrats do indeed plunge themselves into endless tirades on Republicans and the Republican Party, it took a well known liberal election pundit to nail it.  Stu Rothenberg penned an extraordinary piece.

The GOP: A Party Increasingly at Odds With Itself
The Republican Party continues to fracture more seriously than I expected following last year’s re-election of President Barack Obama.....

Earlier this week, the Republican National Committee entered the discussion with a lengthy report that dealt with everything from message to campaign mechanics and the presidential nominating process....

But while the report proposes a big tent strategy, others in the party — Rush Limbaugh, the Club for Growth, Sean Hannity, Tea Party Express and Jim DeMint — have a different agenda. Bliss did not have to deal with similar non-party groups 50 years ago, and their existence today undercuts the authority of the national party.

Allies of Ron Paul and “movement conservatives” have already criticized the RNC report, portraying it as little more than the establishment’s attempt to remake the party in the image of the Democratic Party.

Because the RNC cannot dictate message or mechanics the way it once could...

Since the GOP brand is damaged, it has little credibility with certain voters....
That the Republican brand is badly tarnished is no understatement.  In fact, it's a glaring and bitter truth.  Daniel McCarthy at The American Conservative also nailed it.

The GOP’s Vietnam
How Republican foreign policy lost the culture war—and a generation

America doesn’t really have a two-party system. It has a one-and-a-half-party system, where one party at a time tends to dominate the national agenda while the other becomes a half-party—one that might hold onto the House of Representatives and some state governments, but that isn’t trusted by voters to run the country.....

The root of the GOP’s problem now is the same as that of the Democrats in 1969: the party’s reputation has been ruined by a botched, unnecessary war—Vietnam in the case of the Democrats, Iraq for the GOP. This may sound implausible: every political scientist knows that Americans don’t care about foreign policy; certainly they don’t vote based on it. But foreign policy is not just about foreign policy: it’s also about culture.
The Vietnam War cost the Democrats dearly, just as it is costing the Republicans dearly.  The 'WAR PARTY' label doesn't win elections.  In fact, the 'WAR PARTY' label is a ballot box loser.

As for Republican styled fiscal conservatism, it's a total farce and a joke.

The Tea Party Republicans Spent More Than the Dems They Replaced.

The Republican Party has big problems because it doesn't stand for anything except endless wars, bigger government, more deficits and more debt.  The RNC's pathetic autopsy on itself was one whopper of an exercise in delusion and it's a delusion that can no longer be sold.

Meanwhile, the message of the rising Libertarian/Paulite elements within the GOP actually stand for something that does appeal to voters:  peace, liberty and prosperity.  Will Republicans drink the medicine that is the antidote to the poison they've been ingesting for decades?

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