A Republican new poll finds that women see Republicans as “intolerant,” “out of touch” and “the kind of guys who need a poll to tell them that women find them intolerant and out of touch.”
Women are justifiably scared of a political party that seems to be less attuned to women’s issues now than it was in the 1960s. But there’s a group that should be even more terrified — GOP donors.
On Friday, a former Republican nominee for vice president posted a scathing diss of a conservative website on her Facebook page. Sarah Palin spent about 300 words calling out The Daily Caller — a double-A ball team in the conservative media farm system — as a bunch of frat dorks because the site pointed out that she demanded a private plane to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Just six years ago, hundreds of millions of dollars were being spent to make this woman one bad pretzel from the presidency. Now she’s trolling lame websites on Facebook.
Later that same day, Jesse Benton — who ran Ron Paul’s presidential campaign and Rand Paul’s Senate campaign — was forced to resign from Mitch McConnell’s Senate campaign. Benton gave the Senate Majority Leader the Tea Party credibility to avoid a primary challenge in exchange for promises of helping Paul’s campaign for president in 2016. We know this because the Pauls’ favorite operative, and a member of their the family by marriage, told a reporter this last year.
Benton’s involvement in an alleged and hilariously irrelevant scam to pay off an Iowa State Senator to switch allegiances from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul in 2012 is now blowing up all over what will likely be the most expensive Senate race in American history. But at least this disgraced former Paul staffer didn’t celebrate John Wilkes Booth’s birthday.
Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz is amping up his 2016 presidential run as his spokesperson is tweeting threats of a government shutdown that sound like her threats from the last government shutdown, which Senator Cruz still blames on the president whenever he wants to get a laugh from a crowd.
The prospect of renewing the kind of shutdown shenanigans that have driven his party to levels of unpopularity not even seen during the Bush/Cheney administration just weeks before an election where Republicans have the best chance of taking back the Senate in a decade must be making GOP donors convulsive. And this shutdown would be over immigration, which would be popular among the GOP base and a fatal blow to any hopes of Republicans ever winning over enough of the Latino vote to win the White House.
For the GOP’s billionaire donors it’s the best and worst of times.
A series of Supreme Court decisions have given them the ability to build up their own army fueled by hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous donations. Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity regularly holds “summits” that motivate and empower hundreds or thousands of activists. And a new study finds the Citizens United decision has improved Republican chances of winning state House races by 4 to 10 percent.
While state house control is invaluable for transactional power, right wing donors know it’s useless if they lose their tenuous majority on the Supreme Court, which will definitely happen if a Democrat is elected president in 2016.
In 2012, Republicans found that more than a billion dollars wasn’t enough to elect a wax Reagan willing to adopt about any position that polled well enough with the base. And another half a billion may not be enough to give them the Senate, even though all they need to do is win Senate seats in six states that the wax Reagan won.
And the GOP class of 2016 is beginning to look even more dangerous than 2012, when wildcards polluted the field but had no chance of winning the primary.
The prospect of a Rand Paul or Ted Cruz nomination has desperate for any other nominee — and the choices are slim.
Paul Ryan’s new book is heading to the bargain bin and apparently no one told him that being known for wanting to gut Medicare isn’t a path to the White House. Jeb Bush just took a job at private equity firm because the Bush name isn’t enough of a liability. Chris Christie is so damaged that conservatives who were willing to hold their nose for him are happy to shrug him off. Marco Rubio, like the the two last GOP nominees, has turned against everything that made him electable. Scott Walker is trailing his Democratic opponent for re-election and will either lose or survive by the skin of John Doe’s teeth. John Kasich is cruising to reelection but the fact that he accepted Medicaid expansion makes him look like Obama in whiteface to some GOP primary voters. Rick Perry will lose all his allure should he be acquitted — or required to debate.
So that’s how you get a Mitt Romney resurgence.
The prospect of President Hillary Clinton has the GOP preemptively attacking her age and wealth two years early. So the GOP solution is to run someone older and richer than her.
It’s like a middle aged man who leaves his wife to get laid and then spends a year in bars getting rejected. Now they’re begging the guy they always thought they could do better than to take them back.
The Kochs would prefer Governor Mike Pence whose former aides have populated the Kochosphere. He’s a steady, hard-core conservative who quit Congress to win the governorship of Indiana, a sometimes swing state, and he loves the Kochs as much as they love him. While he’s completely unknown to the rest of the country, his far right policies are quite well-known. However, his willingness to flirt with Medicaid expansion makes him seem much more like a realist than Cruz, who is vowing to take health insurance from at least 24 million Americans.
If the Kochs can’t win with him, the party’s donors may be left with an even more terrifying thought: It may not be our candidates whom voters are rejecting.
[Image by DonkeyHotey | via Flickr]