Friday, October 26, 2012

GOP Betrayal and Self-Destruction

by Leslie Fish

As I mentioned in earlier posts, the GOP co-opted the Tea Party -- which began as a Libertarian grassroots movement -- and turned it into a cheering section for its own really reactionary NeoCons.  Worse, the GOP then assumed that all those people who had founded and supported the original Tea Party were now dutiful NeoCons too.  Bad mistake!  This is what made NeoCon GOP candidates assume that there was a huge public backing for their own incredibly reactionary social ideas.  This is probably the reason for the GOP's alienation of its own Libertarian wing, culminating in its visibly shabby treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters.  This is also why we've seen Ronney sounding off about saving tax money by not funding birth-control for the poor, Ryan touting bans on abortion, Akin's incredible statements about "legitimate rape", and Mourdock claiming that rapes are part of "God's plan".  This is what comes of believing your own propaganda and, worse, listening to none but your own supporters.

Dozens of polls have shown that the Republicans have lost 81% of the Hispanic vote, 47% of the women's vote, and 100% of the Black vote.  This is a prediction of disaster, and should have raised warning flags, but the GOP's response has been only to discount the polls.

Another unnoticed warning is the record number of voters registering Independent, or even third-party.  Here in Arizona, the number of registered Independents is greater than the number of registered Democrats and Republicans -- who are running about equal.  This could possibly be because, in this state, if you're registered Independent you can vote in the primary elections of every party on the ballot -- or it could be because a huge number of voters are disgusted with the Big Two parties and are willing to look elsewhere.  In any case, it means that Republicans are a minority here.  It's a mistake to assume that Arizona is still a reliable "red" state.  Nonetheless, the GOP has made that mistake.  The usual glossy political ads are specializing on state legislative races, hardly even mentioning the presidential race.  They think they've got it in the bag.

Well, they don't.  This state also has voluntary early voting, and a lot of citizens (including me) have taken advantage thereof.  The early returns on those early ballots show Obama leading with a score of 53%, Romney with 41%, and... nobody's talking about the other 12%.  This, in a state that everyone assumes is reliably Republican!  What do you think is happening in other states?

And the Republicans did it to themselves.  I predict that in betraying its own Libertarian wing, by believing its own NeoCon propaganda, by tricking itself into thinking that the majority of Americans really want to go back to the 1950s, the GOP has (unless it commits a really spectacular vote-fraud, probably with the vote-tabulating machines) cost itself the coming election -- and very possibly more.

A lot of Americans, given our current economic and political mess, are fed up with the two-party system.  They may be registering Independent, but they're looking elsewhere.  Here in Arizona, I noticed in the voters' information book, a good dozen Libertarian candidates for state offices, and another half-dozen Greens.  If the Rep./Dem. balance among the winners is close, it won't take a majority of Libertarians or Greens to swing a vote in the legislature.  And all political movements -- and parties -- start small.

It's not impossible that in another decade or two the largest of the third parties -- the Libertarians -- will draw enough votes to outnumber the Republicans.  That would be a fitting revenge for Ron Paul and the original Tea Party, both.

--Leslie  <;)))><   )O(         


Mark Horning said...


The AZ vote is going to be about 52% Romney 45% Obama and 3% third party. AZ is a reliably red state and frankly Mittens might do better than expected due to the "Mormon Factor".

This election is going to turn on voter turnout, and whoever gets their partisans to the polls is going to win.

Ohio is the kingmaker, and whoever takes OH is going to be the next president.

After this election I expect the real Tea Party folks to take a good hard look at what the Washington Beltway insiders have done to them, regroup, and then do what they actually do best: take out big government Republicans in the primaries.

The Tea Party has never been "libertarian" in the truest sense of the word. What they are is hard core fiscal conservative.

Their only litmus test is fiscal conservatism, that's why they nominate religious nut jobs like Sharron Angle. They simply don't care about nutty abortion policies, gays, or anything else as long as the person actually believes in balanced budgets.

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, do you think we have another two decades to wait for the Libertarian Party to become a force to contend with?

Because if we do, then the people claiming that the debt problem is totally illusory and we can continue with business as usual may be right.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Aya. No, I think this election will make the Libertarians a swing-vote to contend with. I just think it'll take 20 years for the Libertarians to completely replace the Republican party. As for the debt, that's already a major issue; I don't think anybody can get the public to ignore it.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Carolyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn said...

Sorry for the deletion, I screwed up the link on my first try.

the GOP has (unless it commits a really spectacular vote-fraud, probably with the vote-tabulating machines) cost itself the coming election

Unfortunately, that's exactly what they're doing.