The Republican Party is done at the national level

You can thank Rush Limbaugh and Fox News for that

There’s plenty of recrimination going on about why President Obama cleaned Mitt Romney’s clock in last week’s election. At the end of the day, however, the reason for the drubbing is simple: America is not a far-right, super-conservative nation. We are, largely, a centrist country that probably leans a tad to the left.

But the Republican Party has allowed themselves to be completely co-opted by the far right and, more importantly, by the far-right pundits, commentators and blowhards that dominate the radio airwaves and Fox News. This plays out by making it all but impossible for their national candidates to win their primaries — unless, of course, they are willing to “drink the tea”, so to speak.

The Republican Presidential primary is the most obvious example. The only reasonable candidate in the running was Jon Huntsman and he didn’t stand a chance. Not. A. Chance.

Instead, look at who the contenders were: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum. The centrist voters of America was never going to let one of these extremists anywhere near the White House. They didn’t get the nomination but the man who has been running for President for decades and who spent an insane amount of other people’s money to get the nomination was forced by them to run far to the right. All of his moderate views went out the window during the primary while he transformed himself into Severely Conservative Man.

In the age of YouTube and a 24-hour news cycle, that doesn’t leave much room for Etch-A-Sketching.

It’s not going to change, either. The blathering millionaires who keep the far-right conservative fires stoked and white hot, people like Rush Limbaugh and his allies at Fox News, aren’t going to allow compromise and a move to the middle. That would damage their brand. They can’t suddenly start agreeing with The Kenyan on things!

Limbaugh, for example, is not having any of what he calls “pandering” — his word for moving toward the center where the rest of America is:

The usual suspects are out, and they’re saying, “Rush, we gotta reach out now to the Hispanics and reach out to the minorities, blacks.” Okay, let me remind you of something…Let me take you back to the Republican convention. We had Suzanne Martinez, female Hispanic governor, New Mexico. We had Condoleezza Rice, African-American, former secretary of state. Both of those people imminently qualified, terrifically achieved. They have reached the pinnacles of their profession.

We had Marco Rubio. We had a parade of minorities who have become successful Americans. And they all had a common story: up from nothing, hard work, their parents sacrificed for them. Now, why didn’t that work, folks? The answer to that is our future. Why didn’t it work? Some people say, “Well, Rush, we pandered.” No, we didn’t pander. Everybody says that we need to reach out to minorities. We have plenty of highly achieved minorities in our party, and they are in prominent positions, and they all have a common story.

Rush Limbaugh has built an empire out of stoking the farthest right conservative views that he can. He’s not about to let the Republicans move to the middle now. And, if you think he and his radio compadres don’t have the ears of much of American, particularly the states that Mitt Romney actually won, just take a drive down there for one day and scan the AM dial on your radio for a few hours. The Limbaugh set is making their listeners as comfortable as possible with never compromising.

Laura Ingraham is on the same page as Limbaugh. This is from her blog:

Are the defeats the fault of the GOP and its candidates, and do they now need to pander to minorities and update their platform to make it more appealing? What exactly is wrong with conservative principles? Anything? No. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. We don’t need to change to appeal to voters. We need voters and their mindsets to change.

Nope, they don’t need to change. The rest of us do.

Many will blame the tea party for the corruption of the Republican Party primary system but the tea partiers are, by and large, led by the nose to the primaries by well-paid people like Limbaugh and Beck and the entire Fox News network. They had no political power but they have become the useful idiots that accomplish the goals of those who actually stand to profit from it. The talk show hosts, Fox News and some anti-tax, pro-Big Business groups like Americans For Prosperity are a powerful engine to keep pushing the Republican Party as far right as they can possibly go.

In the meantime, our national demographics are changing and the more they change, the more they resemble the Big Tent of the Democratic Party. The Republicans are, thanks to people like Limbaugh and Ingraham and Fox News, presiding over a shrinking number of people who are old and white and angry and impotent.

It’s no time to rest on our laurels and we must always keep our eye on the next election and begin organizing NOW. Because, at the local level, the conservatives can make inroads as Tea Party idiot Janice Daniels showed Troy, Michigan. But, in the long term, unless they figure out a way to push back against those that are condemning their party to irrelevancy, the Republican Party will be done at the National level.

And that, I would suggest, is a Bad Thing.

[CC image credit: DonkeyHotey | Flickr]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.lear Shane Lear

    You’re spot-on about what the national Republican party has become – irrelevant, extreme and well, mean-spirited. However, nobody put a gun to Romney’s head and made him flip-flop from the middle to the far right. He did that on his own. He had a choice, especially once he shored up the Republican nomination.

    The man is spineless and has no backbone or strength of character, so in my opinion, he is as much to blame for the GOP as the Tea Party, Fox “News”, etc. His party was going to rally behind him no matter what, once he was their only choice, but he continued to try to play both sides of the fence and talk out of both sides of his mouth and to outright lie and deceive. He could have shown some leadership and redirected the party to the center and stopped embracing the Tea Party and the evangelicals and the cooks at Fox.

    Regardless who is to blame, the GOP needs to majorly change if they expect to survive. They have managed to alienate the gays, blacks, Hispanics, women and younger voters and that they don’t see that in themselves is astounding to me. They are delusional. Personally, I think the whole Republican party is suffering from dementia due to old age. It’s really too bad because we need two parties to keep each in check, but today’s GOP resembles less a political party and more of a kooky cult.

    I think Ronald Reagan and my grandparents would be spinning in their graves if they could see what has happened to their party. It’s truly pathetic.

    • jerkstores

      Obama cut his teeth on the far-left, flip flopped to the center-left, and has slowly begun flipping back to what was the far-left now that the electorate is more accommodating to some of those views. All politicians flip flop, successful ones at least.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ian.pasterkiewicz Ian Pasterkiewicz

        BS! He’s been more of a Republican than anything if you have payed attention to ANYTHING he has done through out his administration so far.

        To note examples of this:

        *Leaving Iraq & Afghanistan on Bush’s timetable rather than his own.
        *Replacing American soldiers in Iraq & Afghanistan with mercenaries.
        *Not only not vetoing the NDAA & Patriot Act, but AGREEING with them both.
        *Increasing Drone strikes in the middle east.
        *Increasing raids on medical marijuana dispensaries.
        *Not closing Guantanamo Bay.
        *cutting taxes on the wealthy to become the holder of the title of 2nd lowest taxation on the wealthy out of any administration award.

        & all those were only a few points that made Obama more of a Republican than anything else.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randall-Marshall/1288523666 Randall Marshall

          Your mistake is in not noticing the right-shift that’s gone on the last 20 years. If Obama is “a republican,” then the Republicans have become literally fascists. They’re still way, way to the right of him, don’t kid yourself that they’re not.

          • Carroll Price

            Republicans are facist, although very few of them have the slightest idea what that term means or implies. You see, Republicans, as a rule, are very poorly educated individuals. They confuse terms like “critical thinking” with atomic bombs and stuff like that.

        • jerkstores

          Obama governs to way the right of his actual beliefs, if Obama circa 1990s and early 2000s is to be believed. As President he’s more to the center, on a personal level he’s a radical. Contrast this with Romney who’s a moderate in most areas but socially a bit conservative on a personal level, and who had to tick away from the center to get the nomination.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randall-Marshall/1288523666 Randall Marshall

      “the national Republican party has become – irrelevant, extreme and well, mean-spirited”

      Don’t make the mistake of thinking that there aren’t plenty of Americans willing to vote Republican *because* of that. Obama got what, 38% of the white vote? He won largely because blacks and latinos voted for him in large excesses – if they decide to stay home, we’ll be right back to Republican “leadership.”

  • http://twitter.com/sploork Rob Follett 47%

    I just hope they keep it up.

  • kirke123

    well, the politicians should wake up, both sides, and realize they work in a bubble and not the real world. their all afraid of rush, a person, no different than a terrorist, whose red state followers have more cattle than voters.
    the only way to shut up rush and the fox gang is to publicly tell them to shut up, it will strengthen the dems and stop the destruction of the republican party.
    we must now enter an era of truth, more town meetings, less money in politics, and more unity for america.
    this financial cliff, what drama, must be the first truth barrer, the dems must follow the voters mandate; higher taxes for the wealthy and improve entitlements. there can be no other direction or the dems will lose !

  • Yo Mama

    You and most all that you cite in this article is bullshit. Not a little, most of it. You are an idiot with out a clue. I am so tired of people writing crap like this and thinking they know something. Get a job.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      I have a job. A very good one, too.

      And I blog. Drives you nuts, doesn’t it?

      Good.

      • saras_tears

        He wants to call you a “taker” so bad, it hurts.

    • Derpman

      lol owned

    • callanish

      @5fe19c88a4543e8ec432bd98fb5048c9:disqus

      Speaking of someone that thinks they know something….I I bet you were one of the ones that predicted a Romney landslide, so frankly what you don’t know could probably fill a warehouse.

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  • Wame

    Wame. Way Lame. That’s not a comment on the article or anything.. just a new word I thought up. Wame.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Okay, then. Thanks for sharing : )

      (It’s a good word : )

    • Paul

      Straight out of Wame’s World?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003696188428 Fred Smith

    I’m all for this. When you look at it, the Tea Party has been the gift that keeps on giving. Dems would be in much worse shape in the Senate if it weren’t for the tea party. The teabaggers did make gains in the house but my guess is they will lose all that in 2014 when unemployment is much lower.

  • http://twitter.com/jsusanka James M. Susanka

    john huntsmann? really? Ron Paul actually won Iowa but we weren’t gonna let that be known and let him get momemtum were we.

    did you see the GOP handcuff, arrest, and break knuckles,hips of their own delegates who did nothing but follow the rules.

    I agree the GOP is done.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Amazing. You spelled BOTH of his names wrong.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jhlasnik Joe Hlasnik

        Putting the spelling mistakes aside he’s exactly right, you just did what the rest of the media has done and completely ignored Ron Paul.

        • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

          I ignored him intentionally. He was never a viable national candidate but he wasn’t a tea party but like the rest.

  • variant

    The Republican party has to follow the example set by the Democrats by reaching out more to the illegal immigrant, the dead, and those voters willing to take the time to vote several times in an election.

    • jsmith40000

      You couldn’t PAY me to go through that hell twice in FL, let a lone enough times to actually sway the election. Get your head out of your ass.

    • callanish

      Yeah, that Republican party was a real class act all through the election. As a Democrat, I’m so ashamed that I did the right thing and voted for the best man for the job.

      • variant

        You voted for Ron Paul,good for you!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randall-Marshall/1288523666 Randall Marshall

          Ron Paul blows. His policies are somewhere between child molester and mafia don. Seriously, go read his platform – “Abolish the department of education,” are you insane? …rhetorical – of course you’re insane.

    • Dman

      Losing Florida and all the big swing states must really burn you.
      Touted as the closest election in history,hah,…not even close.To many Republican lies.

  • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

    I’m leaving this absurd comment up for all to point at and laugh derisively.

  • Some Prick

    Sort of like in 2004, when the Democrats couldn’t defeat old George “less than 50% approval rating” W. Bush. The Republicans did run a terrible and unreasonable campaign and got almost half the popular vote. If you think there done on the national scale you are living in a fantasy. Watch for a more moderate approach in 2014, and my money is on Gov. Christie of NJ to take the 2016 party nomination.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randall-Marshall/1288523666 Randall Marshall

      Unfortunately, I’m with Some Prick, here – never assume an opposition that you beat by maybe 2-3% is “finished.” It makes you overconfident, and the Democrats are already sliding in that direction a week after the election.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Billy-Lee-Kidd/1590131333 Billy Lee Kidd

      Jeb Bush’s son in 1/2 latino and will be taking the governship of Texas over when he wipes Gov. Perry off the map. Then in 2 years he’ll be on the Republican ticket as V.P. or as Pres. This is one reason why the Republicns are going to join the Democrats and back the Dream Act and the road to citizenship of Spanish-speaking people. It’s all about the 2116 comeback. The Republicans Dead? That’s like saying Satan in just gonna dig his own grave and hop in. Not happening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Randall-Marshall/1288523666 Randall Marshall

    “The Republican Party is done at the national level”
    That is exactly what Karl Rove said about the Democrats after Bush was reelected in 2008. You’d think in an article *about* politicians like Rove, you’d avoid making the same mistakes.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      How dare you compare me to Karl Rove? There’s actual PROOF that he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.

    • Jim

      Bush was not re-elected in 2008. If he was, there’s something really wrong with this country. 2008 is when the economic meltdown happened, after eight years of Republican ineptitude. The people of the US have had about enough of Republicans for a while, I think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shannon-Perley/100000192259778 Shannon Perley

    No mention of Ron Paul?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ralf-Oc/100003028130946 Ralf Oc

      Not electable to the vast majority.

  • Jim

    Good riddance. I say move them all to Alaska and let them plot their next moves up there in “Sarah” country.

  • Carroll Price

    Have you ever noticed how much trouble right-wingers have with separating political ideology from reality? Which is apparently one of the things that occcur when they listen to blow-hards like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, or watch Fox News for the purpose of developing a political concious.

    For instance, its easy (and it don’t cost nothing) for right-wingers to insist that unemployed single mothers with three hungry children “get off their ass and go to work”. They do it all the time. But you’ll never hear those same right-wingers call for laws being passed that would forbid corporations from exporting jobs out of this country, then ship products back for the laid-off mom to consume. You’ll never see a self respecting right-winger support “anti-business” legislation, heavens no! Because if they did, it would have a negative impact on a stock portfolio embarrassingly heavy in stocks and bonds issued by that same US corporations that laid the single mom off before moving their operation off shore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003216492628 D.w. Skinner

    the republican women I know all voted for Obama this year. i asked them why… they said it started with Limbaugh’s attack of Sandra Fluke..and went from there..

  • vonlmo

    That the Repubs are “toast” is bombast & thorough rubbish. That same thing was said in 2008 & they came back & made O their bitch, getting most of their legislative goals enacted.

  • http://twitter.com/VAStreamMonster Marty

    This article is basically a Liberal spiking the football, yet when Bush beat Kerry by similar margins I didn’t see anyone saying the Democrat party was done. Lets not forget 4 million people didn’t even show up this election in comparison from 2008. But keep drinking the koolaid, the good news is Republicans finally realise they have work to do, while Democrats feel mandated to push their agenda as far left as they can.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Kerry didn’t get beat by Bush because crazy left-wing primary candidates prevented Democrats from choosing a strong candidate. The converse cannot be said about the GOP today and THAT is what this essay is about.
      It’s pretty well accepted that the GOP is going to have to figure out how to marginalized the far-right tea party types or their goose is cooked. I’m hardly the only one saying this.
      Tea party radicalism ad ignorance might work in the mid-terms when overall turnout is low but the GOP IS done at the national level if they don’t stop their radical elements from ruling their presidential primary.
      And that ain’t spikin’ the football.

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  • sunmusing

    You can argue all you want to on the national level…the real fight for our country is at the state level…Just look at the efforts put in by those who are in ALEC…that should be ringing alarm bells and raising red flags…These people recognized this is the weak link in our electoral process…this is the path to dominating our government…Their call of States Rights is a siren call to the corrupt…Follow the money…start in Wisconsin and the trail widens to the south…We need to focus our efforts here in the states…It is in our States Constitutions that guarantees our right to vote…and it is in the states where our most prized protections are written…not just in THE Constitution…This is why the right wing has attacked the states with ALEC written legislation, it was quiet and out of sight…I wonder if there were explicit orders from corporate to the MSM to not look into or investigate this…this story has been buried and forgotten…

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